Cover Image: Just Between Friends

Just Between Friends

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Member Reviews

I found this to be a pleasant enjoyable read a little predictable in places but overall enjoyed reading it. The topic may not be everyone’s choice . The story follows two expectant mums that meet up in a local baby group hoping to make new friends within that circle. The story is told through the eyes of Lucy & Aisha the main characters. It follows their journey in to motherhood & their relationships but all is not what it seems as the secrets begin to unravel of their past life. Starts off getting to know each of the characters , their partners & of course the baby group  where friendships are made. Has some funny moments that make you smile,  if you are a mum yourself it will bring back some of those  memories. Starts slowly with a few twists & turns later on as the story enfolds. For me I would say it’s a gentle read for you to enjoy.
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Aisha joined other mum’s to be at her local baby centre, but little did she know how life would turn out.  I truly enjoyed this touching, well written novel with an unexpected ending. Top marks to Rosie, a brilliant author!
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I just kept waiting for the 'thriller' to start... i was waiting a long time!!! 
I really disliked this book. I just felt it didn't really go anywhere, there wasn't much at stake, I wasn't intrigued or gripped at any point.
Just didn't get it - how it can be described as a mystery/thriller I don't know!!!
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This is a quick and interesting read with a mix of genre undertones throughout. It combines domestic drama, suspense and has an occasional lean towards Psychological Thriller.

Whilst the big reveal is not unexpected, the Author weaves her way towards it with the occasional hint at something else going on and I quite like that I was expecting more.

New friendships, new beginnings and secrets are all carefully put together with great characterisation through a diverse group of couples expecting their first babies.
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Just Between Friends by Rosie Nixon. Out 12 November 2020
A diverse assortment of characters makes up the Baby Group, headed by mad Maggie. There are two same-sex couples, one with their surrogate and the second couple who have used the services of an anonymous sperm donor, a young couple in their mid-twenties and two older ladies with their partners, Aisha with husband Jason and Lucy, with partner Oscar the storyline focuses on them essentially.
An easygoing slow-paced read. It was not the gripping plot that the synopsis suggests; I, unfortunately, found it all somewhat predictable; I felt like I had read it all before. 
I have read and enjoyed books by this author previously and hope to do again in the future.
I want to thank NetGalley, HQ and author Rosie Nixon for a pre-publication copy to review.
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I really enjoyed Rosie Nixon’s previous books however I could tell from the cover this wasn’t her usual lighthearted read. Featuring two strong female characters in Aisha and Lucy this is a steady character lead story with a hint of secrecy and the kind of bond that can only be formed in joined circumstances. The different couples at the baby group added an interesting element and the relationships that Aisha and Lucy were in couldn’t be more different. This is a great study of relationships and although different to her previous books her writing style has matured well.
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Thanks to netgalley for the chance to read this book.

.Aisha is eight months pregnant when she meets Lucy at a baby group and they become good friends. Aisha finds out after her baby Joni is born that her husband James had a relationship over 20 years ago with Lucy where Lucy had an abortion. The day before Aisha tells James she is pregnant, James has a one nigh stand it’s Lucy. Is Lucy’s baby James’s or did her IVF work and the father is an anonymous sperm donor? Can Aisha and James’s relationship survive the betrayal? 

A good book by Rosie.
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Thanks to HQ for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked this book. Being a new mam made me enjoy it even more I think. The story is about two pregnant women that meet at a local baby group, Aisha & Lucy. They sharply become good friends, confiding in each other about their pregnancy woes. I don’t want to spoil the book, but Lucy has a huge secret she’s keeping..  how long can she keep the secret? I loved reading all about the pregnancy, breastfeeding and parenting troubles. Everything I’ve recently experienced! It’s been a breath of fresh air from the usual crime stories I read. The characters were relatable, likeable, I enjoyed reading all about the characters pregnancy and motherhood. But it also had a great storyline! I read in two days and with a 6 month old baby that’s quick! Highly recommend! 

Synopsis: 


Aisha Moore is eight months pregnant. She’s thrilled, and a little scared. Not least because her husband Jason hasn’t quite wrapped his head around the fact.

Lucy is having her first child too. She has finally got her wish – although the circumstances aren’t quite what she had hoped. Oscar will be a great dad though, won’t he?

When the two women join the same baby group, they quickly become friends and before long they’re confiding in each other.

Only there’s one thing Lucy hasn’t told Aisha. And while a baby may turn your life upside-down, a secret this big will change everything.
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I have given this book a high 3 stars. I liked the whole idea of the baby group and the friendships that were formed. I thought that some of what happened between Lucy and Aisha was predictable but it did not take away from my enjoyment of the story. 

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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I was pulled towards this as I saw Joan Collins say if was ‘absolutely riveting’, and apparently Lorraine Kelly ‘couldn’t put it down’, I wouldn’t be quite so effusive but it wasn’t at all bad 
Kind of a psychological, romance ish, family ish drama really that centres around ‘mum’s to be’ and a very well portrayed ( and at times very funny ) pre ‘giving birth’ club, which is run by a kindly but tyrannical woman who isen’t happy until she has them all MOOING and shouting vagina at the top of their voices, its funnier in context 😀
Anyway 2 of the members form a friendship but Aisha and Lucy really don’t realise just how much of a past, and present, they share
I think any reader will guess what’s afoot and what is going to happen and although the ending is no surprise it is done really ‘nicely’ and I was happy with the outcome
Some great extras in the group including a lesbian earth mother coupling who once give birth were not quite so green loving and some actual very emotive descriptions on how it felt to be reaching the time to give birth and be a Mum
A nice read in many ways and did cause quite a few smiles, always good in 2020 but also a story of caution 

7/10
4 Stars
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Being honest, this book didn't  really grip me completely, don't get me wrong, its well written, but it just didn't appeal to me as much as I thought it would.Baby groups, pregnancy, motherhood and all the traumas it brings, plus the friendship dynamics, it just wasn't  for me.
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Just Between Friends was an ok read, nothing new really and the twist wasn't really much of a twist.  I think after watching a few 'mums groups' tv shows, I was hoping the humour would be similar but it was all a bit safe and I was a bored by the end of it.  Not for me but then again I think I'm not in the right demographic for this book so take this review with a grain of salt.
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Just Between Friends is one of those books that you have no real idea what it’s about until you start reading it. In an nct meeting we meet several couples embarking on their first pregnancy. Two of the women become friends, although I feel like the friendship is flaky at best, but one has a secret that could change everything. I guessed the secret from early on, there are some other twisty types scenarios that happen. An easy read.
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Just Between Friends is the first novel I’ve read by this author. It’s hugely relatable for all us mothers out there as this storyline will bring back memories of your own personal experiences, particularly if you’ve been part of an antenatal group. That for me is the reason I was drawn to this novel and it is probably its biggest selling point. You cannot help but relive good (and bad) memories as you accompany this group of women on their own personal journeys to motherhood and beyond.

The baby group in this novel is made up of a diverse group of characters, headed by the unforgettable figure of Maggie. I think the author has endeavoured to imagine the most diverse group possible with a same sex couple and their surrogate, another same sex couple who’ve used an anonymous sperm donor, a young couple in their mid twenties and two older women. It is these two older women, Aisha with husband Jason and Lucy, with partner Oscar that this storyline primarily focuses on.

I don’t know if the fact I read this straight after another similar piece of fiction,also featuring an antenatal group, detracted from my enjoyment. I’d like to think not and that I’ve been able to review Just Between Friends on its own merits. It’s certainly easy enough to read but I have to say I found the pace slow. I didn’t find it gripping as the synopsis would suggest and I thought the actual plot is very weak. Whilst the two main characters, Aisha and Lucy and their respective partners are well developed, it was to the detriment of the supporting cast who don’t get much of a look in. I’d have liked to read more about these characters lives post parenthood and the relationships that exist between other members of the baby group rather than the main focus being on just two women. I don’t think there was much of a group dynamic to discuss so therefore the plot felt far too simplistic for my liking, easily guessing exactly who had the most secrets to hide and even the friendships felt flimsy drawn.

I think where the author has excelled is in imagining a baby group scenario which is diverse in nature and presumably based, however loosely, on her own personal experiences which of course adds authenticity. Being part of an antenatal group is possibly one of the few occasions where individuals are thrown together by a common bond and friendships are forged. Whether these friendships would exist in any other circumstances is debatable and clearly for some these friendships do survive well beyond the early years of parenting. Personally it isn’t something I’ve ever experienced, instead forging friendships with other mothers outside of the kind of group in this novel. I did appreciate the humour that is present with anecdotes of ‘poomageddon’ and inadvertently self tanning your own baby mildly amusing. As for Maggie, a doula and group leader I’ve never met such a character; I was cringing with embarrassment alongside the members of this group at her approach to discussing the more intimate topics regarding parenthood but she will probably make you laugh too! I recognised the universal fear that all new mothers experience, that ‘am I a good enough mother for this helpless little human?’ which the author has woven into these women’s own stories. She has captured their fears of the actual birthing process, the way pregnancy can make you feel and of course the sleep deprivation and inability to function as a ‘normal’ adult. Rosie Nixon is spot on with these observations of impending motherhood and beyond so that I did give a silent prayer of thanks that all that is well and truly in my past!!

I liked both Aisha and Lucy, who for varying reasons are approaching motherhood with a degree of trepidation, their partners maybe not embracing impending fatherhood as wholeheartedly as they could. Why is this? All will be revealed (slowly) as Aisha and Lucy embark on a tentative friendship which seems to cool rapidly as the storyline progresses. The reasons for this clearly lie in past, but whose past is up to you to discover as the author teases the reader with tiny morsels of information. Unfortunately it doesn’t take a genius  to deduce where this storyline is headed and for that reason  I did begin to lose interest.

Whilst this novel’s strengths lie in the depictions of the often messy and complicated   nature of motherhood, I feel it reads more like a journal documenting a few women’s pregnancy journeys rather than anything else. It’s weakness is definitely in the plot. I think it lacks a sense of intrigue until the very latter stages and then it’s only marginally present. I was disappointed this was the case and wondered if the author was going to surprise me with an explosive finish. Sadly that  wasn’t to be, so on this occasion Just Between Friends didn’t live up to my expectations. In her acknowledgements the author does mention this novel is a departure from her previous two so I would like to read those to discover how different they may be and just because this storyline didn’t excite me doesn’t mean I’m adverse to exploring more of this author’s writing in the future. Sometimes, for unknown reasons you fail to engage with characters and a storyline and I have to admit I have read better novels with a similar premise.
My thanks as always to the publisher and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read in exchange for an honest review.
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I found it hard to enjoy this book, largely because it focused on a world and type of mother that I try to avoid in normal life because I find them so far from the kind of people I enjoy being with. I found the story line limited and too far fetched to really engage with. That said this is just not my type of book. I'm very sure that it will appeal to a large number of people who will find similarities with their lives and enjoy the story greatly.
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I started my read of this book with such high hopes. The blurb sounded fantastic and the early meeting of characters reminded me so much of my own (rather unusual) antenatal group that I thought I was really going to enjoy it.

Maggie, the crazy antenatal teacher, is hilarious - and quite believable in all her passion for all things baby related. The attendees of the group could not be more dissimilar and felt a little stereotyped (gay, gorgeous men and virtuous mother's to be); it definitely felt that Nixon has tried to address a good cross section of potential parents at this point in the novel. I know it's a little mean but I was rather glad that colic visited Lin and Susie to bring their self-righteousness down to earth with a bump.

The early humour soon disappears in favour of a gritty storyline, which is tied up a little too easily for me at the end of the book. Lucy hides more secrets than Father Christmas, and I was a little disappointed as her story was revealed. Aisha is a lovely character but rather naive and it was obvious from early on that she was overlooking a problem in her marriage.

It was an easy enough read, and I didn't guess some of the twists and turns too soon to spoil the story.
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I liked the premise of the book as it reminded me of my NCT group meetings a couple of years ago, and the main characters drew me in. However I correctly guessed the big reveal fairly early on. It didn’t affect my desire to read the rest as I wanted to know how it all came about, but I prefer to be surprised by a book. An easy read.
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It’s so hard to give feedback on this without giving spoilers. I will say I absolutely loved it, even though I am not a mother. Such an enjoyable, believable book with a unique edge.
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This book was an enjoyable and unchallenging read - I suppose I’m a bit past baby groups so the amount of detail regarding births and new babies are was old hat to me - but I did enjoy it overall. 3 1/2 stars from me.
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A quite enjoyable, easy reading story centred around yummy- mummy's to be.  As the book progresses you realise there are 'secrets' involving the 2  main characters and although I rightly guessed what, it kept my interest to the end.   
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an arc of this novel.
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