Book Review – Not Just Friends

First, a Sneak Peek

As Alyssa opened the book to chapter one, her phone chirped, letting her know she’d received a text. She decided to ignore it. She never liked to be disturbed when she read. But whoever it was didn’t want to be ignored, since her phone chirped again.
Alyssa groaned, dug it out of her purse, and read the two messages.

Can I come up? – Connor

Put the book down and let me in. *wink wink* – Connor

She giggled and wondered what he stopped by for, especially since she’d just seen him on a date. The new book he wanted didn’t come out until next week. She made her way back downstairs to the bookstore, where she saw Connor standing at the door, smiling while holding two paper cups she assumed was coffee. God, he was a sight. Dark, almost black hair that he always wore with that just-out-of-bed look, with ice-blue eyes that bore into one’s soul.

She unlocked the door and let him in. “Hey, Connor. What can I do for you?”

He handed her a coffee. “It’s Sunday evening and you’re closed tomorrow, which means you’ll be on a reading binge tonight. Figured you could use some coffee.”

She grinned. He knew her so well. Too bad he’d never see her the way she did him.

“I picked up a historical romance.”

“Did you try the book I recommend yet?”

Sci-fi wasn’t for her. She had tried it, but couldn’t get into it. “Soon.”

“I don’t believe you. Maybe we should take a bet.” He leaned against the wall.

“A bet? Are you serious?”

“Dead serious. I bet by the end of the week you still haven’t read it.”

She took a sip of her drink. Ah, her favorite. Mocha with a splash of raspberry. “What are the terms of this bet?”

“If you have, dinner’s on me. If you haven’t, dinner’s on you. And I warn you, I have expensive taste.”

Alyssa’s heart fluttered. Dinner? A meal together? They’d never gone anywhere. In fact, she didn’t know if anyone knew they were even friends.

Connor reached out, touching her shoulder. “Do we have a deal?”

Oh God, she was supposed to speak. She wasn’t sure that part of her was working any longer. “Uh-huh.”

Connor grinned at her, a dimple forming on his cheek. “What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

No, a cat did not have her tongue. In fact, if a cat did, she was pretty sure she’d be screaming right about now, not being mute.

“You kinda threw me off, asking me to dinner.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Was that something you weren’t interested in?”

Ha ha, there wasn’t a woman around who didn’t want to have dinner and more with Connor Phillips. She just never thought it would be her. “We have a deal.”

“Good.”

Alyssa wondered if this meant he might be interested in her. That he could possibly have eyes for her. As she stared at him with a God-knew-what kind of smile on her face, she didn’t notice at first the blonde bombshell she’d seen earlier was now standing outside waiting. Alyssa glanced back at Connor, who caught her focus and turned to glance at the woman.

“Crap, I forgot about her.”

Alyssa raised an eyebrow. “Date?”

“For this evening.”

Her heart sank. Connor wasn’t interested in her. She would never look like blondie out there. He wanted to take her out as a friend. That was it. It was time she realized it and the fact they would never be anymore than they were. And after tonight, the woman standing out in the cold would know the same thing.

Review

This is a short, sweet romance that you can read all in one sitting – at least I did while taking a relaxing soak in the tub.  Alyssa Duncan is small-town Brookfield’s independent bookstore owner. Like you’d expect, she and her cat live a pretty solitary life – full of historical romance and microwave meals.  But Alyssa has one thing, besides good books, keeping her up at night. And that’s her crush on the so-called town playboy Connor Phillips. Alyssa is thrilled when it turns out Connor has a crush on her too.  Though it takes her a bit to realize he’s genuinely interested.  Like any good romance there are a couple of wrenches thrown into the mix involving Alyssa’s ex Matt and her wayward sister Diane, not to mention the heroine’s trust issues –  trusting Connor, and trusting herself.

Cover

What I liked about the book:
There wasn’t a lot of game playing. I like it when a hero and heroine know their own mind and act like adults.

What I didn’t like about the book:
The heroine’s insecurity. I wanted her to be as sure of herself as she was of her feelings.

Would I recommend this book?
I’d recommend this book to fans of light, small-town romance.

This review was a stop on the Tasty Review Tour.

Learn more about the author and buy the book: Author | Amazon | B&N

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