Sophie-Claire returns home from Nashville broke and defeated, further away from her dreams of being a songwriter than she ever expected. And as if that isn't enough, her mother's playing matchmaker, effectively forcing Sophie to come up with a relationship in order to avoid being set up with whatever eligible male her mother has decided is perfect for her. Lucky for Sophie, her childhood best friend Jake is willing to step up to the plate, ready to fake a romance and ease Sophie's resettling back home.
I suppose it goes without saying that their fake relationship begins to feel real, and who better to fall in love with than your best friend? Jake knows Sophie better than anyone else does, and mutual trust is a foregone conclusion. On top of the strong foundation of genuine friendship, though, chemistry between them begins to flare, and that has them both second-guessing themselves and what's sparking between them.
Jake is especially realistic, not perfect like one might expect from a romance novel. He's a great guy, and everyone in the story seems to love him, so it's easy to see why they're best friends. But he falls for miscommunication and doubt, taking quite a while to go for what he wants, unable to lay his heart on the line for fear his more-than-friends feelings won't fully be returned. Through his actions — and often inaction — it's easy to see him as just a regular, sometimes insecure guy.
While I liked Sophie, I did have a little more trouble accepting her character. Her situation, from the career failure to second-guessing the budding relationship with Jake made perfect sense. But her rather alternative look — piercings and tattoos — in a somewhat conservative music genre didn't seem to fit. Perhaps with more back-story focused on her, it would have made more sense, but at times it felt like her visible differences were a way to make her character less typical without taking a deeper look at who she was, why she was so driven to be different, where her insecurities came from.
Despite my bit of distance from Sophie, though, One Song Away is a solid best friends falling in love story, with a super-sweet boy-next-door hero and a heroine seeking something more than what life has handed her so far. The romance is a slow build with lots of bumps in the road and the kind of gentle angst that comes from two best friends not wanting to risk their friendship or their hearts, despite their undeniable attraction. It's easy to see why it takes them so long to give in to what we readers expected all along, and when they do, it's well worth the wait.