REVIEW – Just Say When by Kaylee Ryan

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Title: Just Say When
Author: Kaylee Ryan
Release Date: May 12, 2015

Just Say When


Saving myself for marriage, not hardly.‬‬
Saving myself for someone who will make my heart race, most definitely.

In theory it’s a good plan, however even the best-laid plans fall through. Seeing him, being around him, alerts all my senses and I dream about being his, wrapping myself in his arms and never letting go. The only problem – he sees me as his sister.

My name’s Ava Evans and I’m in love with my older brother’s best friend, Nate Garrison.

Burying myself in work for the past two years, avoiding any thought of her, has worked, until now. She’s everywhere, in my dreams, in my gym, and in my heart. I’m not sure when I fell in love with Ava Evans, but I am completely in love with my best friends baby sister.

At first she was too young for me and that made it easy to stay away. Now, it’s a struggle to keep my distance.

How am I supposed to resist her when I can’t escape her? If he ever found out, it would ruin our friendship. Even with that knowledge all she would have to do is…

Just Say When.


Just Say When is a sweet, quick read that will make you grin. This was my first book from Kaylee Ryan and I very much enjoyed the author’s young, fresh writing style. Not only has she created a hero that is utterly swoon-worthy, but also a heroine who is strong, smart, and easy to relate to. Kaylee Ryan filled out Nate and Ava’s world with a handful of vibrant and highly entertaining secondary characters that quickly became integral parts of the storyline. I especially loved the easy friendship between Ava and Kara. Their relationship transported me right back to my own experiences with college roommates and had me re-living the excitement of living on my own for the first time. Kaylee Ryan brings this well-written new adult novel to life, capturing the emotions of being college-age and both the thrill and fear that comes with striking out and finding your place in the world. Just Say When was fun and full of life, delivering a multitude of emotions that had me hooked on Ava and Nate’s journey.

“Seeing her again, being around her, dancing with her, she’s under my skin. Distance is what I need. I should have never allowed myself to get that close, to pretend she was mine.”

There were a few things about Just Say When that kept me from absolutely loving this story. In regards to the main conflict and resolution of the novel, the pacing felt off to me. For the majority of the book, Nate and Ava worry about what Brody will think of his best friend and little sister getting together, yet the issue is wrapped up with minimal fanfare – I anticipated a serious heart-to-heart moment that never came. While I enjoyed the overall storyline, there were smaller plot points that seemed to have been thrown in for the sole purpose of adding drama. Without any real sense of significance they detracted from my overall enjoyment of the story. For example, the relationship between Monica and Zach seemed to vanish while Brody’s own relationship was given a lot of attention only to shock everyone with no real attempt at reaching an emotional understanding as to his actions. These issues stood out because Kaylee Ryan made me care about the secondary characters so early on in the book. The abrupt end to their development left the story feeling incomplete.

“What I do know is I have fought what I feel for you for far too long. I’ve worried about losing my best friend, but I’m starting to think losing a chance to see what we have could be just as tragic.”

The best friend’s sibling storyline is one of my favorites, so I definitely enjoyed Just Say When. I really appreciated the depth that was given to Ava and Nate’s history. Kaylee Ryan did a fantastic job at making their connection feel genuine as she revealed how well they knew each other and how ingrained they had always been in one another’s life. I believed whole-heartedly in the feelings they shared and the strength and potential longevity of their relationship. Ava and Nate had good chemistry and the tension between them was instantly palpable. Their easy banter and good-natured teasing made me grin and kept me invested in them as a couple. Just Say When balanced heartfelt emotion with steamy encounters and silly antics, resulting in a story that was light, sweet, and full of feels. I’m curious to see what Kaylee Ryan has up her sleeve as she continues to write and develop her talents. I will definitely be keeping an eye on this author!


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