Alexander Frost has been in love with Jeri for ten years. He has been enamored of her since they first met. Jeri's never seen Xander as any more than her nerdy best friend. Neither has been involved with anyone for a while and Xander is ready for their relationship to evolve to something more romantic.
Connor Addison was the popular boy in school. He was the jock who had flocks of girls always vying for his attention. He was also the one boy Jeri had a huge crush on, but he never noticed her. Connor had gone on to college and then to Seattle where he completed his residency in pediatrics. He's back in Norfolk, Virginia and apparently plans on staying.
Jeri and Xander are enjoying drinks and each others company when Jeri first spots a fine specimen of manhood. Since she's unaware of Xander's feelings for her, she gives him a blow by blow account of the Adonis's finer points. She doesn't even realize that the man she is salivating over from a distance is none other than her high school dream guy Connor Addison until Xander points it out to her. She convinces Xander to help her get Connor's attention, which he does, all while wishing that Jeri would see him as more than just a buddy. Jeri's ecstatic to have finally gotten Connor's attention but she soon realizes that she doesn't have nearly as much fun with him as she does with Xander, but they're only friends. Kissing Xander would be like kissing her brother, wouldn't it? Is it possible that the man of Jeri's dreams has been her best friend all these years?
Have you ever had a strictly friends relationship with a member of the opposite sex, then realized years later that he's changed. He's HOT! Jeri and Xander are so close as friends that she's unable to see him as a love interest. Xander doesn't want to lose the closeness of Jeri's friendship so he keeps his feelings to himself. Connor didn't really know either Jeri or Xander during school, but that doesn't stop him from forming lasting relationships with both of them now.
Ellen Fisher's I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU is a sweet and comical look at the fine line between love and friendship and the emotional toll that crossing that line can cause. I had a blast trying to figure out how the relationship between these three characters would turn out. I fell a little in love with Connor. I was fully prepared to not like him because he just seemed too perfect, but as the story evolved I became attached to him. Xander is in such a precarious position, you can't help but feel bad for him. I actually envy Jeri, she's got a man who's loved her for ten long years and patiently waited for her to notice him.
Watch for Ms. Fisher's next book THE NERD PRINCE to be released from Samhain Publishing sometime in the near future.