by Emma Tharp
Publication Date: March 3, 2017
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
FREE in KindleUnlimited: AmazonIt’s been six months since Willow left Kate Bergman’s college dorm room to go for an evening run…and never came back.
Everybody else who loved Willow is ready for closure, but something deep inside Kate says that her dearest childhood friend is somehow still alive. And that obstinate conviction is alienating all the people Kate loves most.
Even River McEwan is upset with her, and that’s the deepest blow of all. River was Willow’s boyfriend, but the three of them—Kate, Willow, and River—have been friends since childhood.
When a professor assigns Kate and River to be partners in a joint research project, Kate hopes it’s a chance to tear down the barrier between them, but instead faces an even bigger challenge. As she and River meet over the school project, their renewed friendship flares into something more.
Soon River is enticing Kate to do things she’s never dreamed of. But while she can’t imagine giving up River, Kate doesn’t know whether she can—or even should—stop wondering whether Willow will ever come home….
Kate's best friend has been missing for 6 months, gone after a run that leaves everyone missing her. While everyone moves on from Willow, accepting that it's time to let go, Kate has a feeling that there's more to her disappearance and that she could still be alive. While her beliefs alienate her, they also bring her closer to River McEwan, her childhood best friend and Willow's ex. Their friendship turns into more and Kate can't think of life without him, but she still can't shake the thought that Willow is still out there.
Mysterious and alluring, What About Her isn't the average friends to lover trope readers are used to. While it reads like a love-triangle, Emma Tharp's debut novel features only two main characters, the third party missing in action though she's never far from their thoughts. River and Kate are well developed characters, their friendship is one that has had a lustful connection from day one, though neither has acknowledged it. I loved both characters and, while they had minor flaws, I found myself connecting with them and rooting for their romance. Kate is the definition of a good friend, despite her moving on to River it is not as a method of forgetting or replacing Willow. I love that she tried so hard to do the right thing for others even though she knew what was really right for her. River is confusing at first, but as he opens up and reveals his true feelings I really fell for him. Willow, though missing the entire novel, seems to have been quite a character and even without meeting her it is apparent that she guides much of the novels story line. She seems to be a force and the next novel already promises to center around Willow.
With slower pacing, What About Her is the sort of novel that draws you in and grips you, not because it's fast and constantly high emotion but more so due to Emma Tharp's ability to bring the entire book to life. The small town college atmosphere is apparent, the connections between the various students are deemed just as important as those moments shared between River and Kate, and the disappearance of Willow is felt by all. I loved that the mystery isn't revealed in this novel, because the romance and development between Kate and River would've been overshadowed. With just the right amount of angst, smut, romance, and suspense readers who pick up What About Her will be desperate for the next novel.