Format: pdf (Provided by author in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: October 14, 2013
As florist and co-owner of a successful Chicago wedding planning business, Daphne Lovell has been there for the happiest days of other people’s lives. As for her own life? Well, it’s hard to be perfectly happy when you’re carrying a torch for your sexy, womanizing and oblivious best friend. So when the lights go out on New Year’s Eve, she seizes the opportunity to kiss him senseless.
British expat Gibson Moore has a lot on his plate. The hotel he manages is being bought out, his family is crazy and someone just kissed him in the dark. When the lights go on, he searches the room, trying to find the mystery pair of lips. Only, he never thinks to ask the woman standing by his side. He’s shocked when he discovers that Daphne is the woman he’s been searching for. But Gib’s also eager to act upon the attraction for her he’s always fought to ignore.
It takes trust to move from friends to lovers, and as Gib’s work situation worsens, he is no longer sure he can risk the friendship he relies on most. It’s up to Daphne to convince him that some things are worth fighting for.
There are two kinds of man whores. The unlikable, arrogant ones that lie just to get a woman in bed and the likable, honest ones who make women feel attractive and appreciated, even if it's just for one night. British expat Gibson Moore is the likable kind. Sort of. He isn't cruel to the women he's with, he just never stays with them long enough to form a relationship. Ironically, for a womanizer, Gibson is oblivious to the woman in front of him, his best friend Daphne Lovell.
As a florist and wedding planner, Daphne is used to being around loving couples on one of the happiest days of their lives, so it's no surprise that she wants that for herself as well. The only problem is that she has her sights set on her best friend Gibson. When the chance presents itself during a blackout on New Year's Eve, she boldly kisses Gibson in the dark and is promptly crushed when the lights come on and he begins looking for his mystery woman, never once thinking she could be right in front of him.
Two friends who have long denied the attraction to each other make the decision to go from friends to lovers and find out it's not as easy as they thought. It may not even be worth it.
Friends to Lovers was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I enjoyed both Gibson and Daphne, and though it is book 3 in the Aisle Bound series, I didn't feel lost, nor were the previous books spoiled for me. In fact, I hope to be able to read the first two books in the series someday, that's how much I enjoyed this book.
Usually I'm skeptical when the heroine works in the wedding industry, I have found that there are just too many cliches or the heroine herself is some wedding obsessed creature that I have zero in common with and even less interest in. Not so with Daphne. Her job didn't define her, it was just that, a job. She had other interests outside of her business and thank goodness that she wasn't a prissy, frou-frou female either! She was a guy's girl without losing her femininity. She's a good friend and obviously a good person because her friends adore her. She's confident about her job but self conscious about her changing relationship with Gibson. Her insecurities were reasonable without being annoying and whiny. She is fully aware that she isn't the most beautiful woman that Gibson's been with but she's hoping that because he knows her as a person, it will be enough to make him fall in love with her. Major points to Daphne for not only being able to maintain a friendship with a man like Gibson, but for being the one to initiate change.
Okay, now on to Gibson. I loved him. Yes he was a womanizer, yes he could be dense when it came to Daphne, but the fact that he was unsure about risking his friendship with Daphne even though he was attracted to her went a long way towards winning me over. It wasn't about another score, and he never once had the attitude of "Sure, what the hell, I'll give it a shot" where the new relationship with Daphne was concerned. That showed me that he was capable of feeling more than just lust for a woman, and that he cared more about his and Daphne's friendship than most men would.
The switch from friends to lovers shouldn't be easy. For two people who are truly great friends, the transition should be awkward and challenging, there are big changes happening and if it were easy for these two then I would have said that they weren't that great of friends to begin with. Where Gibson and Daphne shared EVERYTHING as friends, they now had to learn what to share and what not to share as lovers. Daphne the friend didn't have a problem with Gibson sharing details of his latest conquest but Daphne the girlfriend did. Gibson had to learn NOT to share those things. Both of them had to learn to be vulnerable around the other as well, which was a huge problem for Gibson.
Author Christi Barth created a lovely, warm, feel good story with quick, entertaining dialogue and very likable characters in Friends to Lovers. She didn't overdo it with the wedding theme (thank you), nor did she weigh down the story with a drawn out conflict. The pacing is great, and easy to follow. I'm insanely curious about the previous books in the series and anxious to read Tabitha and Drew's story.