❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 5/5 hearts.
When I got the email stating I had a ARC of this book, I immediately stopped reading the book I was in the middle of, and started this one. I didn’t know how much better the Fulton U series could get, but my heart was not prepared for how great this story was. The Third Best Thing by Maya Hughes blew my high expectations right out of the water. I had already been infatuated with Berk and Jules since Maya Hughes latest book, The Second We Met. I’m head over heels in love with their relationship, and as individuals.
Jules was introduced as a shy baker, but there is so much more to her. She struggles with her insecurities, she doesn’t feel like she reaches her families expectations, and she is always second guessing herself. Jules is one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever read. I love watching her character naturally grow after struggling so much. She didn’t need one motivational speech to get her going. She found her own self worth, and became the pole dancing baker goddess, that we all knew she was. My only complaint in the entire book was that I wish Jules mom would have gotten what she deserved.
I wished that I could reach into the book and hug Berk. His side of the story was the most surprising, and my favorite. We’ve only seen him as an outgoing guy who doesn’t seem to have any worries, but he’s really hiding behind all his jokes. Berk endured a hard life from a young age, and he had to grow up a lot faster than what he should have. He’s loyal, responsible, and shows a maturity that most college boys don’t have. I loved his friendship with his housemates, and how none of them were alpha males.
Jules and Berk are one of my favorite couples. They are perfect for each other in every way. Starting as friends made a solid foundation for them. They learned to trust, and became each others rock very easily. It probably didn’t hurt that they wouldn’t keep their hands off of each other either. Berk was so sweet when he accepted Jules with no questions asked. He’s the type of book boyfriend that needs to be protected and cherished. I loved that their relationship had communication that I feel is lacking in a lot of other books.
The plot was well paced, and kept me entertained the entire way through. I had to make sure I read it slowly enough, so I didn’t miss any details. Any question I had was answered by the end. Not a single detail was left out. Maya Hughes’ writing always gets me feeling the characters emotions, which helps to bring her stories to life. I was happy to see small cameos from the other couple in the series. I have yet to read the crossover series, The Rittenhouse, but I have officially put it on my TBR list. It can be read as a standalone, but it does start after the last Fulton U book ended, and it references characters from the other books.
I am so ready for the fourth book, The Fourth Time is a Charm. Lj and Marissa definitely need their happily ever after!
*ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review*