I have been (impatiently) waiting for Clara and Xavier’s story since the moment they went from best friends to strangers. All those little easter eggs of intrigue throughout the previous books were a torturous tease, but oh so worth the wait.
Rayne’s novels are the perfect blend of the past and present; laughter and feelings; wit and steam; all of the elements that make me love Rayne’s novels, and the Greene family were embedded in every page.
This duo has a fantastic ability to weave lighthearted laughs with a heavy dose of heartbreak throughout. These elements are a large part of why, when you open these books, you immediately feel a connection to the characters, making you feel like a member of the family.
Clara was sweet and loving, and that’s exactly what I got from the perspectives of the other characters up to this point. She was much more than that, though; she wasn’t a meek little librarian; she was self-assured and unwilling to let anyone make her feel “less than.”
Since we’ve only seen glimpses of the quarterback hottie, Xavier has been a bit of a mystery. I wasn’t sure what to think of him at times, especially after he and Clara had their falling out.
He was a cocky quarterback, but he had also suffered a devastating loss. The kind that rewires the very fabric of your being. Sure, he was a cocky professional, but he was also a small-town hero who had lost his mother at a young age. Once he got his head out of his—, he was quite swoony.
Xavier and Clara’s connection was hotter than searing and more than “intense.” It was the type that is built over a lifetime of friendship, when your soul knows it’s met its other half long before they realize it themselves. The loved ones they lost knew though, and they were looking down with the brightest of smiles and a whisper, “We knew it.”
It makes sense now why Xavier seemed to become a stranger to those who loved him when he and Clara had their falling out. She was his anchor. She reminded him of his roots, of who he was at his core, beneath the hotshot athlete. When he looked into her eyes, he saw the best of himself shining through.
The Greene family stirs up my emotions every time. The loss of their mom, and the feelings that come with a loss like that, one that happened decades before it should have On a fundamental level, I understand. It’s not just that I feel at home when I open a Greene Family novel. It’s spending hours immersed in a world surrounded by people who understand your pain, trauma, and the fears that arise as a result of it.
My Scorned Best Friend exceeded my wildest expectations. It only took one word to transport me to Sunrise Bay, my fictional home away from home. An enthralling combination of an innately profound connection, a swoony hero, a sassy heroine, witty banter, laughs, feels, and steam. Set in a world of fiction that feels anything but, the pages contain a home and unconditional love that will stay with you long after you finish reading.
Xavier and Clara kissing in a tree…
When your best friend growing up is a girl, that’s the song your classmates taunt you with over and over again. But it was never like that… until now.
It’s always been Clara and me. She’s the only one who truly knows me. After I was drafted into the NFL and ended up the starting quarterback for the San Francisco Kingsmen, I begged her to come with me. But she had her own life and responsibilities back in our small Alaskan town, so I didn’t fault her for staying.
We remained the best of friends despite the distance. I’d hang with her in Alaska during the off season, and she’d visit me in California while I was playing. Then, one night the lines blurred for the briefest of moments and set in motion a series of events that changed everything.
I’m not proud of the decisions I made after that fateful night, and I plan on making amends, because I need Clara back in my life. But not as my best friend—as my everything.