Book Review by Rafa: Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, by Anna Martin

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Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me And One Time I Kissed Him First
Author: Anna Martin
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 20, 2016

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars5-of-5


martin-anna-five-times-best-friendWhen you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.

As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.

When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.


M/M Pairing
Gay and Bisexual Characters
Friends To Lovers

I absolutely adored this book.

The catchy title and gorgeous cover drew me in, but it was the beautifully told love story for the ages that completely knocked me off my feet.

First thing to note is that the full title of the book is Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me and One Time I Kissed Him First. Their tale spans many years, from the time Evan and Scott become fast friends in second grade all the way through adulthood, and much to my delight, the author stuck to her title quite literally in the weaving of their love story.

The second thing worth noting is that the story is told in a non-linear narrative. While jumping around in time might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I think this was a brilliant move by the author to A) focus on the major milestones of their 20-year history,  B) keep the pace of the story going at a dramatic clip and C) simply put, keep us guessing at the next time they kiss.

And oh, the kissing. The kissing and the fumbling mixed with the easy camaraderie and comfortable silences of two best friends who grow up together and navigate puppy love and high school crushes and very, very adult desires together – and not always for each other. The author very deliberately killed me with each meaningful look and yearning glance, and I could have died quite happily clutching this book.

But as the blurb implies, life is not quite so straightforward, even for two people who are so obviously meant for each other. I appreciated the paths that the author chose for them, especially in adulthood – I could totally relate to the weird twists of fate that somehow determine who your best friends are or where you end up planting roots. And I also appreciated Scott’s struggle with his bisexuality and could relate to his fear and confusion, even if he wasn’t exactly fair in accusing Evan of “having it easy.”

I was torn on the ending at first because it seemed almost anticlimactic in a way. Surely such an all-consuming love story warranted some grand gesture or dramatic celebration to mark their well-deserved HEA. But then I realized that for Evan and Scott, it wasn’t about marking their big moment with a lot of fanfare – it was about the joy in seeing their lives come full circle in a quiet, unassuming way.

This book is hands down my favorite book of 2016 (so far!) for pure, unadulterated, heart-melting romance.


ANNA MARTIN is from a picturesque seaside village in the south -west of England and now lives in the slightly arty, slightly quirky city of Bristol. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.

Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, baking weird and wonderful sweets, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.

Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading , and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.

2nd place winner of the 2012 Goodreads M/ M Romance Member’s Choice Award “Best Musician/ Rockstars” for Tattoos & Teacups.


Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me can be purchased at:

Dreamspinner Press

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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