Monday, August 8, 2016

REVIEW: "The Best Friend Bargain" by Robin Bielman (Contemporary Romance)

The Best Friend Bargain
by Robin Bielman

Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC (Lovestruck)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: August 8th 2016

Series: Kisses in the Sand, #3
Standalone: Yes

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Other Books by Robin Bielman

Kisses in the Sand #1 Goodreads

Kisses in the Sand #2 Goodreads

Description from Publisher:
Olivia Lincoln has a plan guaranteed to get her life back on track. A plan that involves her best friend, Danny. And he’s on board, too…until she blurts out that they’re engaged and expecting a baby, and the news spreads like wildfire.

The problem? Danny doesn’t do marriage. Or family. And everyone knows it, including Olivia. As irritated as he might be, protecting Olivia is what Danny does. But put best friends under one roof, add house rules begging to be broken, accidental nakedness, and pancakes in bed, and what started as a marriage between friends threatens to turn into the real deal…which would ruin everything.

My Rating:
Heat Rating:

My Musings:
This just may be my new favorite Best Friends to Lovers story. It had everything you could want in a romance - humor, off-the-charts chemistry, heart, depth...

Our main hottie, Danny, is not only sexy, but a sweetheart, and hardworking, and creative, and selfless. From that first smirk at the hot-girl-with-cake-on-her-face-turned-Liv, I was smitten.

And Liv is one of my favorite types of heroines: she is genuine and feels like a real person. She isn't exaggerated in her messiness, or her emotional responses, or how she handles hard issues. There are some more flighty personality traits referenced in her past, and she does decide to fly halfway across the world, while pregnant, to marry her platonic best friend, but that still felt pretty natural to me. Especially in light of the fact that Danny has no intention of marrying or becoming a father, due to his worsening vision. I love how little doubt ahe expresses when it comes time to make a decision.

I thought that the pregnancy was dealt with well. As a mom, I did wrinkle my nose at the "What to Expect..." reference, but it's an iconic book, so I can let that slide. Her pregnancy symptoms weren't used much as comedic relief (at least, not any more so than they would be in real life), and the way that her belly was cherished by Danny rather than ignored was wonderful.

The small-town setting was great, as were the supporting characters. I look forward to reading some of their stories (this was my first Robin Bielman book, but certainly not my last!)

There are e-mails exchanged between Liv and Danny several times and I really enjoyed the format. The nice thing about e-communication is being able to hide behind your computer and be honest. The way the tension continued with what was essentially chat added a fun, and believable, layer to it all.

And about that tension. Yowza, these two were scorching! Basically from the beginning, you get this frenetic but slow building heat that ramps up deliciously. They try to fight it, which adds wonderful anticipation. It never felt out of place that these friends were attracted to one another, and there wasn't a trace of InstaLust.

The humor is outstanding and blended in expertly. I adored that these two, like real couples, were able to make each other laugh so much.

Overall, I seriously loved this and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of contemporary romance, especially involving best friends!
I received a digital ARC from the publisher for an honest, unbiased review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is my 100% own.

About the Author: Robin Bielman
When not attached to her laptop, USA Today Bestselling Author Robin Bielman can almost always be found with her nose in a book. A California girl, the beach is her favorite place for fun and inspiration. Her fondness for swoon-worthy heroes who flirt and stumble upon the girl they can’t live without jumpstarts most of her story ideas.

She loves to go on adventures, and has skydived, scuba dived, parasailed, gotten lost in the wilderness (and only suffered a gazillion bug bites for it) hiked to waterfalls, and swam with dolphins. In her spare time she also likes to put her treadmill to good use while watching her favorite TV shows, take hikes with her hubby, indulge her sweet tooth, and play sock tug of war with her cute, but sometimes naughty dog, Harry.

She dreams of traveling to faraway places and loves to connect with readers.
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