Cole and Laila Are Just Friends by Bethany Turner

About the Book

Title: Cole and Laila Are Just Friends
Author: Bethany Turner
Genre: Clean & Wholesome Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 4, 2024

Cole and Laila have been inseparable since they could crawl. And they’ve never thought about each other that way. Except for when they have. Rarely. Once in a while, sure. But seriously . . . hardly ever.

Cole Kimball and Laila Olivet have been best friends their entire lives. Cole is the only person (apart from blood relatives) who’s seen Laila in her oversized, pink, plastic, Sophia Loren glasses. Laila is always the first person to taste test any new dish Cole creates in his family’s restaurant . . . even though she has the refined palate of a kindergartener. Most importantly, Cole and Laila are always talking. About everything.

When Cole discovers a betrayal from his recently deceased grandfather that shatters his world, staying in Adelaide Springs, Colorado, is suddenly unfathomable. But Laila loves her life in their small mountain town and can’t imagine ever living anywhere else. She loves serving customers who tip her with a dozen fresh eggs. She loves living within walking distance of all her favorite people. And she’s very much not okay with the idea of not being able to walk to her very favorite person.

Still, when Cole toys with moving across the country to New York City, she decides to support her best friend–even as she secretly hopes she can convince him to stay home. And not just for his killer chocolate chip pancakes. Because she loves him. As a friend. Just as a friend. Right?

They make a deal: Laila won’t beg him to stay, and Cole won’t try to convince her to come with him. They have one week in New York before their lives change forever, and all they have to do is enjoy their time together and pretend none of this is happening. But it’s tough to ignore the very inconvenient feelings blooming out of nowhere. In both of them. And these potentially friendship-destroying feelings, once out in the open, have absolutely no take-backs.

If When Harry Met Sally had a quippy literary love child with Gilmore Girls’ Luke and Lorelai, you’d get Cole and Laila. Just . . . don’t tell them that.

Author’s Note: Cole and Laila are best friends who slow-burn (like, for nearly forty years, so…SLOW) toward love and yet never see it coming in this low-spice/clean, laugh-out-loud friends-to-lovers rom-com. All it takes is the threat of being separated, a trip to NYC, one night in one bed, a fake blind date for the ages, and a little dancing on a penthouse rooftop for the slow-burn to finally, finally ignite. 

Grab your copy here!

About the Author

Bethany Turner has been writing since the second grade, when she won her first writing award for explaining why, if she could have lunch with any person throughout history, she would choose John Stamos. She stands by this decision. Bethany now writes pop culture–infused rom-coms for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight. She lives in Southwest Colorado with her husband, whom she met in the nineties in a chat room called Disco Inferno. As sketchy as it sounds, it worked out pretty well in this case, and they are the proud parents of two grown sons. Connect with Bethany at or across social media @seebethanywrite, where she clings to the eternal dream that John Stamos will someday send her a friend request.

My Review

Cole and Laila Are Just Friends
by Bethany Turner
Rating: 4.5/5

There’s something so comforting in picking up a book by Bethany Turner. She has a God-given ability to weave together a story that is both heartfelt, humorous and oh so timely. As someone who is about to turn 40 years old I loved her focus on older adults falling in love. The book is a huge love letter to NYC and all of the great rom-coms that have gone before it. I thoroughly enjoyed every Easter egg that I recognized but I’m sure I didn’t understand all of them despite my vast rom-com repertoire. LOL. The characters are so endearing and as a reader you expect a happy ending but you have no idea how it’s going to come about. If you’re like me, you will theorize how they can end up together but somehow, I did not guess the ending and I thoroughly enjoyed uncovering what was happening next. These book is easily one of my top three favorites from the author! I also believe the experience was enhanced by listening to the audiobook that was brilliantly performed.

Highly recommend this book (and audiobook) that brings friends-to-lovers in a clean, rom-com tribute that will having you laughing and crying and everything in-between! As I read I kept thinking of a quote I’d heard before and I really can’t place: “Love is friendship set on fire”.

More From Bethany Turner

Read my review of BASHEO here.
Read my review of HBND here.
Read my review of The Do-Over here.

You’re the Reason by Tari Faris & Susan May Warren

About the Book

Title: You’re the Reason
Series: Home to Heritage #1
Authors: Tari Faris, Susan May Warren
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: June 25, 2024

How could she ever love the man blamed for her brother’s death? A novel of Redemption, Forgiveness, and Unrequited Love in this Home to Heritage novel.

She never intended to return to Heritage.

When an injury sidelines her, Grace Howell leaves her life as a ballerina and returns to Heritage, Michigan, to heal. Teaching dance is just a temporary gig, until she finds herself unexpectedly charmed by small-town life and her growing attachment to Seth Warner, a man from her past with a troubled history of his own.

He’s back in Heritage as a changed man.

The last place Seth thought he’d return is Heritage, but a felony record has narrowed his options, compelling him back to a community that hasn’t forgotten his transgressions. Dreams of starting a Ninja Gym give him purpose, yet it’s his entanglement with Grace—the woman he once let slip away—that ignites his desire to stay. Is this his chance at redemption and to live out the love he’s always harbored?

But can they forget the past?

When Grace’s old ballet company offers her a chance to come back, she’s faced with a heart-wrenching decision: pursue the dream she’s always known or stay with the community and man that have captured her heart, even as that love is put to the test.

But has Seth really changed?

Seth’s world is rocked by a confrontation that threatens to pull him back into the world he’s tried so hard to escape. He must fight to clear his name and protect his future with Grace, proving that his commitment to change is more than just talk.

With their happiness hanging by a thread, the decisions they make will define their fates and the heart of Heritage itself.

Grab your copy here!

About the Author

Tari Faris is the author of the Restoring Heritage series, a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and My Book Therapy, is the projects manager for My Book Therapy, writes for, and is a 2017 Genesis Award winner. She has a MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary and lives in the Phoenix, Arizona, area with her husband and their three children. Although she lives in the Southwest now, she lived in a small town in Michigan for 25 years. Learn more at

My Review

You’re the Reason
by Tari Faris, Susan May Warren
Book 1 in the Home to Heritage series
Rating: 4.5/5

What a tremendous teamup! I was excited to return to Heritage and catch up with old friends. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed the original Restoring Heritage series, I was excited to read more and get to know some of the other characters better. As someone who adores ballet and enjoys ninja warrior competitions, I was interested to see how these two imperfect characters could come together. This story dealt with some grittier backgrounds which was refreshing for me – nothing too graphic but definitely relevant. These authors know how to make me laugh, cry, get angry with injustice and fall in love. I could not put the story down and I eagerly await the next book in the series (which lucky for me comes out in a few months). Faith is tactfully woven throughout in this story of hope for second chances.

Highly recommend this beautiful story of redemption and forgiveness to those that enjoy clean, inspirational romance with heart and humor.

My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received. 

Also Available

Read my reviews of You Belong with Me, Until I Met You, and Since You’ve Been Gone.

One Last Chance by Susan May Warren

About the Book

Title: One Last Chance
Series: Alaska Air One Rescue #2
Author: Susan May Warren
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense
Publisher: SDG Publishing
Release Date: June 4, 2024

Axel Mulligan was built to be a Coast Guard rescue swimmer. He swam fast and endured long, a miracle for those in peril–until a tragedy sent him home to Alaska. Now, three years later, he’s not going to let the past repeat itself. As an Air One rescue swimmer, he’ll do anything to save lives—including sacrifice his own.

He expects to do just that while trying to rescue a group of tourists from the icy waters of the Gulf of Alaska. But if not for the voice on the other end of the ham radio, he might have given up and let hypothermia win. That voice awakened something in his heart, and he sets out to find the woman it belongs to.

Flynn Turnquist is not who Axel thinks she is. A national wildlife researcher, she’s deep in the bush, tracking wolf pack patterns. Or is she? In fact, she’s a former cop, tracking down a serial killer. She nearly had him—until he escaped into the wilds of the Alaska bush.

When Axel finds Flynn and discovers what she’s really up to, it stirs up a terrible nightmare he’s been dodging for years—the kidnapping and death of his own cousin. Worse, he’s led the killer right to her doorstep. Now, it’s a race through Alaska to stay alive. And when tragedy strikes again, he must choose between rescue or redemption.

Grab your copy here!

About the Author

With nearly 2 million books sold, critically acclaimed novelist Susan May Warren is the Christy, RITA, and Carol award-winning author of over ninety novels. Known for her compelling plots and unforgettable characters, Susan has penned contemporary and historical romances, romantic suspense, thrillers, rom-coms, and Christmas novellas. With books translated into eight languages, she’s a USA Today, ECPA and CBA bestseller, and has received numerous starred Publisher Weekly reviews. Library Journal says, “Warren’s characters are well-developed and she knows how to create a first rate contemporary romance.”

Susan is a nationally acclaimed writing coach, and winner of the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Mentor of the Year. She is the founder of Novel.Academy, author of the popular writing method, The Story Equation, and a founding partner of Sunrise Media Group.

My Review

One Last Chance
by Susan May Warren
Book 2 in the Alaska Air One Rescue series
Rating: 4.5/5

Wow! SMW does it again! I literally lost sleep reading this fast-paced story that kept me guessing. The story hooks you from the start and I was quite distracted from work while reading. I have read the first book in this series and it was also so good. I don’t know how the author keeps coming up with such thrilling, adventurous, believable stories that not only have clean romance and chemistry but also weaves her faith throughout in a non-preachy way. I also loved the callbacks to previous characters from the Rembrandt Stone series and the Sky King Ranch series which I also really enjoyed. As you can tell, I am a huge fan and I cannot wait to read more.

Highly recommend if you enjoy clean, faith-filled, romantic suspense that will take you on an adventurous ride through stunning Alaska wilderness!

My thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an ARC of the book. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. No positive review was expected and no compensation received.

Also Available Now

Read my review of One Last Shot here.