Lips Close to Mine – Robin Bielman

 

I would call this a friends to lovers story, but also a second chance story, because the two characters had a one night stand and reconnected again several months later.

Harper and Levi were best friends and inseparable since they were babies until they were six years old. Then they were changed to different schools and lost touch. Now Levi’s best friend is going out with Harper’s best friend, so they were thrown together, and had a one-night stand. At least, for Harper. She recognized that Pants Charming could charm her pants off very easily so she’s veering out of his way. She’s very susceptible to Levi’s smile. Fast forward several months to where the action starts in this book.

Seven years ago, someone important to Harper drowned and she still hasn’t overcome that loss. She was training for the Olympics swim team and the incident broke her will to continue with her goals. For a while she hardly lived, and it took getting acquainted again with swimming, by way of giving lessons, that brought her back. So she doesn’t want to get involved with anyone, even Levi who bewitched her with his smiles. She doesn’t want to feel that pain ever again.

Levi himself is still overcoming the betrayal of an ex-girlfriend who messed up his mind. Until recently, she was still stalking and messaging him, but she cheated on Levi with another guy and got pregnant. Levi was still reeling from the betrayal, so he only wanted a fling, no serious relation.

Their attraction was too strong to resist. The connection they had from when they were kids caused that they had an easy-going relation, and they could chat and joke for hours, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. Each one brought a relief and relaxation to the other that no-one else could. Since Harper had a cousin’s wedding where she was a bridesmaid, Levi was a convenient escort, so that ensured they were together a lot.

So there you have it, sexual fun and reluctance to get involved. And Levi had a bet with one of his besties, Neil, that he could get Harper to bed a second time. As Levi’s feelings for Harper intensified, the bet was a bad idea that he tried to nix but Elliot didn’t let him. Another conflict for them.

The past in the form of the psycho ex-girlfriend came to complicate matters, their work was also an issue since they worked together in a Public Service Announcement. They both had goals and Levi was very supportive of Harper’s goals and helped her choose her direction.

I liked the story and liked both characters, but there were a couple of things that threw me off. One was the constant innuendos of sex, in conversations, in gestures, in their thoughts, occurring at the beginning of the book. They really felt insatiable and for me, it retracted from the story. At one point I considered not reading any more because it was getting a little too much. Later on, things got better and the author got more invested in the story and I liked it much more. Then Harper got too stubborn in her refusal to date Levi and ran scared several times, to the point I wanted to swat her. She played hot and cold with Levi, sleeping with him, and later running and keeping away. I loved one scene where she went to Levi’s house and there was a pretty woman just leaving and kissed Levi goodbye. Harper was devastated and was about to run away until Levi told her it was his sister. Serves her right for being so stubborn!

The reading was light-hearted except for a couple angsty moments and was an entertaining read. I liked the author’s writing style because there’s no excessive prose and she combines humor and with some angst and lots of family time, the excess sexy times at the beginning notwithstanding.

About Luisa Rivas-Martinez

Newly retired, lover of romance novels. I've been reading since early childhood, loved those fantasy tales with Princes and Princesses. As I grew, my love for romance blossomed into romance novels, beginning with Harlequin romances. I hope that through this page, I can share my experience and joy on reading my romance novels and make friends.
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