Just Friends by Marie Cole | Hidden Rape and Roofied for a tattoo? no thanks.

Hey Guys!

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As you know I am a fan of New Adult Romances, I decided after a little while to get back to Net-galley and see the latest ones on their and I came across Just Friends by Marie Cole. I was drawn into the premise, I’m a sucker for the cliché of best friends falling in love.
If you have me on twitter you will have seen my little outburst reading it… frankly I wasn’t going to post something on my blog about it but I thought ‘No I need to share this experience with you guys’. This will contain spoilers. I am going to tell you about some points of the book which made me angry and didn’t make sense. 

First off let me just show you what Netgalley states for this book:

Fans of new adult authors like Abbi Glines and Jamie McGuire will love this brand new book by Marie Cole about being in love with your best friend. And how much it really sucks.


He’s my first crush.

I’m his best friend.

When we are pushed into a room alone together sparks start to fly and there isn’t anything anyone can do to put out the fire that sizzles between us.

Except maybe her– His girlfriend.

With her on his arm there couldn’t be a worse time to explore the depth of my feelings for him.

So for now we’re #JustFriends. …Or are we?

I read the synopsis and thought ‘oo yes this sounds like a cute little New Adult Book where friends fall in love.’ and i’m a big fan of Abbi Glines and Jamie McGuire so i’m sure if its similar I will love it. Boy was I wrong and I wouldn’t say it’s similar.

This was the first time I considered putting a book down and DNF. Firstly my issues started with it moving too fast. Everything felt disjointed and like the author just needed to slow down a little bit, describe things more and let the tension build. As you read on you will see the issue which made me want to DNF…

8% in –  Elly had revealed to us she is in love with Kent and she will be seeing him and his girlfriend at the party she was going to for the first time in forever. She had lost a bunch of weight and was now ‘hot Elly’. Then she meets a guy, loses her virginity to him then ends up in the gym telling her friend the story and Kent overhears and jokes about it making her cry. Which too me didn’t work because we’ve only had a fleeting meeting with Kent, there was no tension there or any depth to their friendship inside the book itself. If you imagine the friendship yourself then maybe… 

13% in – Elly has met a new guy this time she waits 3 dates before having sex with him. Except now he’s ignoring her and she’s talking to Kent about it and she says “So you don’t think a college guy could fall in hopelessly in love with me and end up asking me to marry him?” – apart from the extra ‘in’ they added before hopelessly which isn’t needed this was a serious sentence and not sarcastic. I know Elly is meant to be young but this wasn’t realistic to me, I’m all for romance and yes dream of a prince charming but after her previous experience with the guy she lost her virginity too surely she wouldn’t think I’M GOING TO MARRY THIS NEXT GUY.

22% – We’ve now met another guy called Nate in a bar, their going to a bakery together “I laughed softly, trying to calm my foolish heart, which thought that Nate might be the one”. This girl is just a serial romantic, she thinks everyone is the one.

35% – and so begins the moment in which Elly has what she dubs as ‘sleep sex’ with Kent. It goes on for a while but to sum it up – She listens to make sure he’s still asleep as she feels his penis then moves his hands so he’s groping her, rubs her bum against his penis then takes off her pants so they are having sex… Is it just me or is that rape? This moment is the moment I was ready to put the book down. 

Later on they reveal how Kent was in fact awake for *half of it* – nope. too late, it’s already too weird for me. They didn’t acknowledge it straight away, she ran to the bathroom after it happened and threw her pants in the bin and then couldn’t leave them their so got rid of them. It was like I was reading an assault and then she was hiding the evidence. Saying afterwards that he was awake for it doesn’t make it ok, the fact that he let it happen then didn’t do anything is weird?!

61% – Kent and Elly go for a tattoo together, on their wrists. She asks for something to help with the pain and she’s offered the choice of paying extra for alcohol or a roofie. She chooses to pay $80 to have herself roofied for a tattoo…  I have no words for this really, I didn’t like it. I mean does it ever happen? Roofie’s I just associate as a date rape drugs, I don’t think its a good idea for a character to willingly roofie and sedate herself for a small tattoo on her wrist… if you want your character to have something to relieve it then go with the alcohol and make the tattoo sound like its going to be really painful i.e by putting it like on her ribs or making it a big one.

During all this, Kent is in a relationship and he then gets engaged. They sleep together again on his stag do. Do Kent and Elly end up together at the end of the book you ask? No. She watches them get married, then catches them having sex in the toilet on their wedding day. So Kent used her completely and she still went to his wedding. 

This was probably more like a rant than a review because I don’t mention what I liked because I can’t think of anything. The bad just outweighed my experience completely. There is a book 2 to this series. I definitely won’t be going there, this book just made me angry but honestly the premise for the book sounds good but the story within wasn’t what that premise is. I think if they took out the roofie bit and the ‘sleep sex’. Made it more descriptive and had more tension and background to Kent and Elly then it would be a good New Adult Romance of a girls struggling balance of college life whilst dealing with her feelings for her bestfriend who is with someone else…

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Does the sleep sex sound like rape to you or am I misconstruing it?






9 thoughts on “Just Friends by Marie Cole | Hidden Rape and Roofied for a tattoo? no thanks.

    1. I am too! We looked it up on goodreads and it seems it’s been released a few times under different names, some people rated it 5 stars though. How they saw past the ‘sleep sex’ aka rape. I don’t know!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow, this sounds like a very bad experience! I don’t read much romance, except for my friend Jillian Quinn’s books, but from what you said, I would not have liked this one at all! The sleep sex is so wrong, and I don’t see the point of the whole book, I mean, isn’t it supposed to be a “cute best friends fall in love” story? Never reading this! Great rant!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Donna. it’s the most unedited post i’ve ever done, but I was so angry and just shocked by it, I was like MUST GET IT OUT NOW. I looked the book up after and it seems its had numerous releases under different names with some people giving it 5 stars, scary to think that such people read the ‘Sleep sex’ as ok. I mean she literally gropes him and moves him around to grope her until he enters her. Then she rushes off.Bleugh I don’t even want it in my brain anymore, I just hope someone who isn’t vulnerable doesn’t pick it up thinking its a cute romance.


  2. This book sounds like all kinds of messed up! I’m surprised you actually finished it, I think I would’ve DNF’d it at like 13% in. So sorry this one didn’t work out for you, Hannah 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a real struggle to persevere through it but I figured after the ‘Sleep Sex’ they dubbed it then things surely couldn’t get worse so I was like I’m going to finish this and see how they handle the rest of it. Its my first example of how a book can be pretty much nothing like it’s synopsis!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Y I K E S !!!!! Just reading some of the stuff in this review is making me uncomfortable. That sleep-rape scene in particular is awful. How can someone think that’s okay…? You can’t start a scene like that and then conveniently be like “oh they were actually awake”. Also what the fuck at the roofie thing?? On the less serious side of things if a tattoo artist actually did that they would 100% have their licence revoked and on a more serious side, rape culture much??? This sounds like a mess. Sorry you had to read this, Hannah. I don’t do NA, but thanks for making sure everyone’s aware of this!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This post was so unorganised but I was so angry with my thoughts I just needed to get it out. This book seems to almost boost Rape Culture? like oo lets have roofies for fun, like if your gonna sedate someone just use the work sedative? Why Roofie? Especially after the sleep-rape? This book has been released a few times under different names and has a bunch of 5 stars. HOW?! I just hope someone sees my review who may be vulnerable and knows to avoid this! thanks for your support ❤


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