Cole and Laila Are Just Friends

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Pub Date Jun 04 2024 | Archive Date Jul 04 2024

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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.

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...

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ISBN 9780840706904
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Average rating from 126 members

Featured Reviews

5 stars! What a cute and sweet book!

The first thing to say is that I really, really enjoyed this book. The book is a sequel, but works well as a standalone.

The main characters Cole and Laila have been best friends since childhood. However, life changes seem to be taking Cole away from their hometown Adelaide Springs. Cole and Laila decide to spend a week together in New York, Cole's future hometown, and during that week they realize that they not only have a deep friendship, but also feel romantic love for each other. Laila loves her hometown, but Cole wants to leave, which complicates their thoughts about the future.

I liked the main characters. They felt real people. The friendship between them was wonderful, strong and so very warm. It was nice when the main characters were a bit older, closer to forty. I liked that the book had a lot of references to, for example, Friends and the movie Home Alone II!

This was a real feel-good book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes sweet, romantic books.

What to expect:
Friends to lovers
Dual POV
Small town
Sweet, clean romance, just kissing
Third act: crisis, no break up

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Best fake dating story. I loved the character continuation from Brynn and Sebastian’s story. I was grinning while reading. Truly enjoyed the story.

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COLE AND LAILA ARE JUST FRIENDS by BETHANY TURNER is a fun read, a romcom with lovable characters, witty dialogue and an interesting romance.
The story starts in the small town of Adelaide Springs p, Colorado where Cole runs his grandfather’s bar and restaurant, with his best friend Laila working as waitress. The two have known each other since they were in diapers. Now that they are nearing forty their comfortable life is threatened by the death of Cole’s grandfather and his selling of Cassidy’s to someone else, instead of leaving it to Cole in his will. This leads to a trip to New York with their newly married friends, Seb and Brynn, with Cole about to accept a job in the city……
I found the book to be a real breath of fresh air, even though I did not catch all the references to the rich and famous!
I was given a free copy of the book by NetGalley from Thomas Nelson. The opinions in this review are completely my own.

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This was absolutely delightful! The plot was well-paced and captivating from start to finish. The characters were charming and witty. I highly recommend this fun and quick read! Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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I really enjoyed reading Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other so I was already excited for this one and I ended up loving it just as much!

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Cole and Laila are Just Friends is a guaranteed book love! Turner writes with such emotion and humor. Cole and Laila are two halves of the same coin. They know it, and yet they don’t understand it. Until they start to realize it. Then the chaos ensues. Watching them go from friends to more was perfect. The uncertainty, the questions, the tension all built up to some of the best conversations and dialogue. These two humans LOVE each other and watching them discover it was so much fun. I had a hard time putting this one down. I loved seeing other characters from previous books and how they support them (not required to enjoy this one, but certainly brings a lot of enjoyment if you have read about Brynn and Sebastian). I absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for a fantastic, clean, rom-com.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley and all opinions expressed are solely my own, freely given.

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An amazing story . Laila and Cole have been best friends from the time they were babies and now that they both are 39 is the first time in their lives that they must live apart . When Cole grandfather died the dinner he owned and Cole was the chef has already sold it to a company and now he is lost . He has an offer to work with a famous chef in New York and he consider it . Laila is heart broken with the news . Cole asks her to spent the next 10 days in NY without him asking her to come with him and her asking him to stay in Adelaide Springs . What happens when he starts seeings her like a woman for the first time in his life ? Will they risk their friendship for something greater ?
I received this book from netgalley and the publicer as an ARC . Thank you . All thoughts and opinions are my own .

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You know that feeling you get when after a somewhat stressful day, you get to eat a small cone of icecream? The cold, extremely satisfying feeling sending a thrill down your form?
That is how I felt when reading this book. Though I must admit, that the beginning of the story dragged on quite a bit, I am glad that I read it to the end. 
I definitely recommend this if you are looking for a cozy novel with little to no drama, and clean romance.

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Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson for giving me a early copy to this book! This is just only my opinion, Things I am going say/Write are only mine opinions after I finished this book!.
I fucking LOVED this book. I literally enjoyed the story and the writing! Every page I read of this book it was amazing!
Some of the references that are in the book make the story even more better! I would recommend this one if you need a sweet not to long book to read! you can really enjoy this one!

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Cole and Laila Are Just Friends by Thomas Nelson is a heartwarming and humorous story about two best friends who are forced to confront their feelings for each other when one of them decides to move away. Cole and Laila have been best friends since childhood, and they have always been there for each other through thick and thin. However, when Cole discovers a betrayal from his recently deceased grandfather, he decides to leave Adelaide Springs, Colorado, and move to New York City. Laila is heartbroken at the thought of losing her best friend, but she decides to support his decision. The two friends make a deal to spend one week in New York City together before Cole moves away. They agree to enjoy their time together and pretend that none of this is happening. However, it's tough to ignore the very inconvenient feelings that are blooming out of nowhere. In both of them. Cole and Laila Are Just Friends is a well-written and engaging story that will appeal to readers of all ages. Nelson does a great job of developing the characters and their relationships, and the story is full of humor and heart. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a heartwarming and feel-good read.

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All. The. Feels. Once again, Bethany Turner has written a love story that sucked me from the first chapter and I couldn't put it down. I loved the chemistry between the two characters and the way they loved each other and put each other first. The only negative I would say is how can they not see that they were meant for each other? Loved this book and can't wait to read the next one by this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed Cole and Laila are Just Friends by Bethany Turner, it was so nice to read about older characters who are confident in who they are as individuals and are see how that plays into changes in their relationship. This was such a heartfelt read and I found myself laughing and tearing up along with the characters. I didn’t realize this was the second book in a series, and while it can definitely be read stand alone, I will be reading Brynn and Sebastian’s book so I can fully understand what I assume are nods to their story that are dotted throughout this book. Overall, I definitely recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#ColeandLailaAreJustFriends #NetGalley

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Cole and Laila Are Just Friends is a quick read because you'll fall head over heels for these two friends turned lovers within the first few pages of the book. Bethany Turner has done it once again, weaving hilarity, pop culture references and swoon worthy moments together for an undeniably delightful read! Whether you get every reference or not, you'll love the authentic care and adoration between main characters Cole and Laila. Plus if you've read Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other, you'll enjoy learning more about Adelaide Springs, Colorado and the friends group at the centre of it all.

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I have found THE friends-to-lovers romance for me.

I can’t even begin to describe how much I adored this book. From the superb, well-fleshed out backstories of each character to a long-drawn out, slow burn of a romance, this just had everything I needed in my life 😭

Most of the friends to lovers tropes I’ve read feature a counterparty who’s been in love with the other forever (and hasn’t done anything about it), and while I love that, it was so refreshing to read about one where the feelings sort of happen semi-overnight!! There’s also such a big focus here on friendships AND close knit friend groups, with self-discovery at the forefront. This read so much like an adult coming-of-age novel, and I just loved how sensitive and sweet and WHOLESOME it was. I honestly cannot get enough of this book and can’t wait to grab a physical copy in June 😭 Very easily a 5🌙 for me, and not just because I’m downing every friends to lovers book I can find!!! can’t wait for this to be available to everyone so I can scream with all of you!!!

Definitely checking out the Thomas Nelson imprint after this because wtf!!! This was so so good 😭

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Oh this was an absolute delight!!

Cole and Laila are friends. Best friends. Always have been. When Cole’s grandfather passed leaving a messy will and throwing Cole’s future into a tailspin, he decides he has to be anywhere but Adelaide Springs where he and Laila grew up. He’s got a job lead in New York and he has to go. Laila heads east with him to scope it out and after one magical day, can he really stay there? Will Laila really go back to Adelaide Springs? Are Cole and Laila really just friends?

Romance readers, you probably know that answer. This delightful story had my heart all warm and fuzzy and bursting. I hope you love it as much as I do!

I was provided a complimentary e-galley on NetGalley by Thomas Nelson Fiction in exchange for an honest review.

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I am very excited to be reading this book! My full review to follow.
Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Fans of clean romance and rom-coms will adore this friends-to-lovers story that features Laila and Cole as they navigate some tricky life changes. Things always happen in threes, right? The two have been best friends their entire lives, growing up in a small town in Colorado, but when Cole's grandfather dies, it sets into motion an unexpected train of events, including a potential move, a cross-country trip, a celebrity date, lots of rom-com experiences, and an entirely new future for each of them, possibly together as more than friends. Unlike some fiction, this story felt like something that could actually happen...or maybe that actually did happen...with characters that were completely believeable, relatable, and flawed. I also liked that they were closer to their forties than the typical early twenties we see in these situations.

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If you enjoy/enjoyed:
🤗Friends to More trope
🗽New York
📺Pop culture references
📖Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other

This. Book.
Well, you guys, Bethany Turner did it. This is my favorite friends-to-more story. Honestly, I think it’s in my top five books.

Cole and Laila are beautiful friends. On multiple occasions I thought I would be fine if they decided to be, “just friends.”😉

They have their own special orbit. They love each other so well. From Cole taking videos and pictures of Laila, letting her shine— to Laila being patient with Cole when he’s a bit of a jerk (he admits to it, I’m not naming names).

You absolutely have to put this book on your TBR. Do what you got to do, this is THE sweetest story. I cried happy tears multiple times, and then a little bit after I was finished with it, it would pop into my head and I would tear up again. That is NOT normal for me. That’s actually why I wanted to record my review, I have so much to say about this one.

It was hilarious, honestly, just laugh out loud funny.

CW-TW: This book is closed door. Kisses only on page. I would like to label it as, “clean” however Cole has a dream 😉😉 about Laila (it’s important to the story and isn’t detailed on the page). The kisses are not very detailed apart from hand placement. Loss of parental figure (current) and parental abandonment (past).

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What a fantastic plot! I could not put the book down once I began reading it. I hope everyone else enjoys it as well.

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Cole and Laila might be "just friends," but I just loved this book. I would definitely recommend it to my patrons at the library and I definitely think they will love it like I did!

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What a delightful surprise this book turned out to be! Initially, when I spotted the cover on NetGalley, I had reservations, fearing it might disappoint. However, I was pleasantly proven wrong. I found myself thoroughly enjoying the banter, the slow burn romance (which felt like it lasted at least two decades), and the abundance of witty jokes and cultural references. Admittedly, there were moments where I felt a tad lost due to my unfamiliarity with some of the movies mentioned, but it didn't detract significantly from my enjoyment.

Laila and Cole's dynamic is incredibly amusing, and their chemistry is off the charts—I was eagerly rooting for them to finally come together. Moreover, the narrative imparts valuable lessons, particularly in the portrayal of Cole's grandfather, whose struggles with communication struck a personal chord with me.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone seeking a charming tale of friends-to-lovers romance with a slow burn, sprinkled with themes of found family and punctuated by nods to pop culture (especially Gilmore Girls!) and the vibrant backdrop of New York City. Additionally, I appreciated the author's innovative use of both first and third-person perspectives, which added an intriguing dimension to the storytelling.

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Cole and Laila are Just Friends by Bethany Turner doesn’t come out for 2 months but I can’t wait that long to talk about how much I loved it!! We first met these characters in Turner’s previous Adelaide Springs novel, where they firmly and repeatedly proclaim they are “just best friends” (mhm ok no one believes you including the reader!) When Cole’s grandfather passes away and does NOT leave Cole the restaurant he’s dedicated his life to, he decides to consider a job far away in New York City. Disheartened at the thought that she may no longer live in town with her oldest and best friend, Laila decides to go with Cole to stay with their friends Brynn and Sebastian and explore/learn more about the city before Cole makes his final decision. This story is a sloooOOOoow burn with an incredibly worthwhile payoff; it was physically impossible for me to put this book down. Cole and Laila go on a “blind first date” that is undoubtedly the highlight of the book and probably one of my favorite scenes I’ve read in any book this year! Bethany Turner clearly loves New York City like 90’s and early 2000s romcom scripts loved New York City (I mean, she even got Nora Ephron’s sister to blurb the cover!!). I really wasn’t sure how the story would resolve and was completely surprised by the ending. Cole and Laila’s book is my favorite book of Turner’s since Plot Twist (which is saying something because Plot Twist is one of my favorite books I’ve ever read).
I honestly really struggled to read Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other but I only say that because if you felt the same way, absolutely take another chance and try Cole and Laila’s book because this story knocks it out of the park. Also, there’s a Milo Ventimiglia cameo, so there’s that.
Last week I read Wooing Cadie McCaffrey for the third time and this week I read The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck in a day and I think Cole and Laila Are Just Friends still ranks up there at the top of my favorite Bethany Turner books!! Out June 4 from Thomas Nelson.

*I received a copy of this book from #netgalley. I was not required to give a review and all opinions expressed above are my own.

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This has been one of my favourite cosy romance reads for the year so far, it's perfect for when you want a book with small town charm and big city adventures. I loved Cole and Laila so much! They are both such loveable characters with a special friendship full of trust, love and laughter. I couldn't stop hoping that everything would turn out perfectly for them and they would get to live happily ever after, whether that meant individually or together. I recommend reading 'Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other' first as it will give this book even more meaning as you'll know some of the characters backstories and existing relationships. I really enjoyed both books in this series and can't wait to read Bethany Turner's next book! I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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What a rollercoaster ride! The plot had me on the edge of my seat, the characters were a riot, and I breezed through it in no time. This one's a must-read for some serious fun!

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Cole and Laila Are Just Friends by Bethany Turner is a sequel to Brynn and Sebastian Hate Each Other and brings readers back to the small town of Adelaide Springs, Colorado. Cole runs a highly successful restaurant, but his world crumbles when his grandfather dies and sells Cole's restaurant out from under him. Reeling from grief and anger, Cole heads to New York to interview for a chef's job and brings his best friend, Laila, along for support. This trip forces their relationship to examine whether they are just friends or something more than friends. Turner brings multi-dimensional characters who engage in snappy dialogue and end up in humorous situations.

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I realllly liked this! Cole and Laila are childhood friends and I loved them both from the very beginning. The plot was really interesting and kept me engaged the whole time. I like them as individuals and as a couple! This book is very much a slow burn, almost too slow for me, but I really loved the book when it picked up. I really enjoyed the side characters as well. Overall, really enjoyed! Will probably go on my physical TBR as well so I can read it as a physical book too.

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I was thrilled to get a copy of this book, as I had heard good things about it. It was pretty much just what I was expecting: a light, fun, friends-to-lovers story (with occasional heavier moments). Yes, it's predictable and occasionally requires some suspension of disbelief/cynicism. However, the characters are so winsome, it's basically impossible not to like. Anyone who likes pop culture references or small towns OR New York City, or just loves love, will enjoy this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction. I will post this review on Goodreads and Amazon closer to the book's publication.

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What a delightful, emotional read!!! Friends to lovers is not normally a trope I get hooked on but this book was something else. The love and devotion Cole and Laila have for each other from page one is so obvious. It is like these two characters are living their happy ending but no-body told them. I loved this story so much I did not want it to end. I wanted to keep reading about their life and their love. I also loved all the 90s pop culture references. Thank you for an amazing read 😍

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