#BookReview: Friends Don’t Fall In Love by Erin Hahn

Country Music Romance For The Anti-Second Amendment Crowd. So let’s get it out of the way as quickly as Hahn does in the book: Seemingly literally on page 1 of this tale, Hahn brings in an anti-Second Amendment screed. Which could have been excused… except that then became a recurring and even somewhat central theme of the overall book. And not even in a way that felt particularly organic, if anything it actually felt quite derivative of the real-life Dixie Chicks anti-Iraq War controversy of a generation ago. So there’s the star deduction, right there. And from a tactical side of “As an author, I want to sell as many books as possible”… tacking into the *anti* Second Amendment side of *Country Music*? As a lifelong fan of Country in all its forms… eh, there may in fact be a sizeable enough niche there to sell a few books. I wouldn’t recommend trying to build a career as a romance author specifically within that niche. (Though it is certainly wider within the overall romance novel reader set, and perhaps *there*, it could in fact be more sustainable in today’s hyper-divisive world.)

As to the actual friends-to-lovers romance here… it works, and it certainly has enough spice and XXX elements that the clean/ sweet crowd probably won’t like this one as much. And enough F-bombs that those who abhor those won’t like it either. But overall, for the characters as portrayed and the situations they are placed into, it actually works rather well. Maybe not as good as the first book in this series – but that could be the lingering aftertaste of the hyper politicization and preachy politics still tinging my thinking of this book.

Ultimately, if you like spice and you like being in the room for sex scenes in your romance novels, you’re going to like this book – likely even if you don’t actually care much for Country Music itself and particularly if you find yourself to be more of a Dixie Chicks / Taylor Swift fan. If you happen to actually agree with its preachy politics, you’ll probably like it even more. For more Country Music traditionalists… eh, maybe less, maybe you want to build your trust in Hahn a bit by reading the first book in this series first before you come into this one.

And as more of a note to Hahn, herself a teacher who openly notes that she wrote the politics of this book this way due to her beliefs about the classroom… I myself am *also* a former teacher. One who actually had a high school senior lean across my desk and directly say “If you do [the thing I had just told him I was about to do, which was to write him up for blatantly sexually harassing a Junior in my classroom not 10 feet from where we were then standing], I *will* kill you.” Yes, I then wrote him up for the threat, and yes, he then spent a few days out of school. So yes, I’ve seen at least some of the same things you have. And I still disagree.


This review of Friends Don’t Fall In Love by Erin Hahn was originally written on October 19, 2023.