She’s a tomboy. He’s the boy next door.
With three older brothers, Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, has always been more comfortable calling the shots on a basketball court than flirting with the opposite sex. So when her police officer dad demands she get a summer job to pay for the latest in a long line of speeding tickets, she’s more than a little surprised to find herself working at a chichi boutique and going out with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game. Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with her neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden, sitting back-to-back against the fence that separates them. Braden may know her better than anyone. But there’s a secret Charlie’s keeping that even he hasn’t figured out—she’s fallen for him. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.
I’ve been in the mood for romance lately and Kasie West is the perfect author to fill that need. Her books are so fun and cute to read and they’re super quick reads as well. Although I didn’t love On the Fence as much as I loved P.S. I Like You, it was still pretty close.
On the Fence was the perfect “friends turned to something more” romance. I was Team Braden from the moment he showed up. He’s cute, sweet, and a little bashful, which I found adorable. It was so obvious that he liked Charlie but of course Charlie couldn’t see it. That being said I related to Charlie a lot. Her mom died when she was only six years old and this caused her to have nightmares about her mother’s death that kept her up at night. This is how her late night conversations with Braden at the fence began. Although at first it was unintentional, their meetings became more intentional and they were so incredibly cute.
Besides Braden and Charlie, I really liked the other characters in this novel. Charlie’s dad was so adorable as he tried to navigate being a single dad with a daughter. It was hilarious and cute how hard he tried. I also really liked her brothers. Gabe is my favorite but Nathan was also really cute. Charlie’s boss Linda was so funny but also wise and I wish she was my boss. And I really liked Amber and all her friends.
The only complaint I had about this novel was at one point Charlie’s new friend Antonia was referred to as having “mocha skin.” This has always been a pet peeve of mine. If her skin is brown just say brown. No one ever refers to a white person’s skin tone as “vanilla”. Literally right before this is said Charlie refers to Amber’s skin as being “tan.” Why is a POC’s skin tone always compared to food? It’s fine to say their skin is brown or dark brown. Honestly, we’d prefer it.
Besides this, I found everything else about this book to be great. I thought the story about Charlie’s mom was very well done and I was actually kind of surprised by it even though I knew there had to be more to her mother’s death than what Charlie believed. I also liked how Charlie began to allow herself to step out of her comfort zone and wear different clothes and even try make-up. More than that, I liked that this wasn’t something she had to do to get the (right) guy but something she ended up doing for herself.
Overall, this was a cute and fun read and Braden is now on my best book boyfriends list. Seriously, he was so perfect.
“Sometimes we expect more than people are capable of giving at that moment.”