Not Since You by Fiona RileyNot Since You by Fiona Riley is a second-chance, vacation romance that shows time really can heal the heart, and show you the path to a love you thought was gone.

Charlotte Southwick always had a plan. Get a job, get married, live happily ever after. She got the job, and for a while she had the perfect girl, Lexi Bronson. But circumstances pulled them apart. Charlotte moved on, found another love, and was all set to get married. That is, until she caught her fiancée in bed with another woman. Now she’s boarding her honeymoon cruise alone, which was definitely not her intention. Neither was running into Lexi. Ten years have passed since they last saw each other. Lexi looks so confident, and so hot, and so…irresistible. Just the sight of her stirs a longing in Charlotte she hadn’t experienced in a long time and desire the dreams she thought she’d let go.

Lexi Bronson hasn’t had a permanent address in almost a decade and couldn’t be happier. Life is good bartending for a luxury cruise line. Open seas, warm beaches, great friends, and a promotion on the horizon. Things couldn’t be better, until the woman who broke her heart shows up on her ship. Suddenly, everything is changing too quickly. Lexi finds herself reminiscing, and all those dreams of forever come rushing back.

When passion flares, will Charlotte and Lexi give in to the storm of desire? Or is the pain from the past too much to leave in their wake?

The Characters

What’s great about these two women is they’ve matured, but they still see the woman they fell in love with.

Charlotte is a woman born into wealth. Because of her family, she felt her future was dictated by her name and her heritage. However, she is not an ice queen. She is smart, loving, compassionate, and hurt. Her fiancée cheated on her, and now she’s on a non-honeymoon honeymoon in the hopes of gaining clarity about her life and find her happiness again. Luckily, the universe knows exactly what she needs to be happy again.

Lexi is a bold and confident woman. Growing up, all she had was her father, and for a time she had Charlotte. She’s had a hard road the last ten years, losing both within a matter of months of each other. But Lexi doesn’t let heartache fester. She learns from it and knows life is too short for regrets. So, she takes off for adventure. For a while, Lexi is able to find happiness among the waves and the interesting strangers that come in and out of her life. But now, she has an itch to settle down, to finally be still. She didn’t expect seeing Charlotte again would be the start on a path to that new happiness. But if there’s one thing Lexi has learned over the last few years, don’t let opportunity pass you by.

The Writing Style

This is the first book I’ve read by Fiona Riley (I know, that’s blasphemous to her fans, I apologize), but I know it won’t be the last. Riley’s descriptions of the ship, the ports, and all the amenities were so vivid. I felt like I was on the boat, experiencing everything along with Charlotte and Lexi. I laughed with them, I ached for them, and I cheered for them thanks to Riley’s ability to submerge me in all the glorious details and go along the same journey as these two women.

My Favourite Parts

I was glad Riley didn’t dwell on Charlotte and Lexi’s past. Yes, it is there in the beginning, but Riley allows them to have the necessary conversation early on to get that proper closure. Then they can look at each other with fresh eyes and see endless possibilities without it hanging over their heads. To me, this really made it a vacation romance and I was so happy to experience it firsthand.

Heads Up

There are some scenes involving sex toys. I know this isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, so just be aware it’s in there.

The Conclusion

This was a great, relaxing, passionate story. Riley gives us vivid details that place us right beside Charlotte and Lexi and watch them deal with the past, embrace the present, and be hopeful for the future. If you’re wanting a sexy, vacation romance, this one is great to pick up.

Excerpt from Not Since You by Fiona Riley

“Charlotte?” Behind a mass of red roses, Lexi Bronson’s expression matched what Charlotte was currently feeling: shock, surprise, disbelief. Definitely disbelief.

Charlotte felt faint. Sick. Like she was having an out-of-body experience at the very tippity-top of a too high roller coaster and she was going to pass out on the ride and be pitched off the coaster into oblivion. That kind of sick.

“Who, Charlotte, hang on.” She became aware of Lexi’s hand gripping her shoulder, steadying her in place. But only vaguely. Because this was a dream, right? Her ex-love was not delivering flowers to her non-honeymoon honeymoon suite. On a ship. In the middle of the ocean. Because that stuff didn’t happen. Nope. Not a chance…

Lexi helped her to the edge of the nearby bed, juggling the oversized and rather obnoxious bouquet of roses. Which looked heavy. Very heavy. Or maybe Charlotte was still feeling weak from the near fainting.

Charlotte took in a few steadying breaths, her body shaking a bit from the surprise of it all. She leaned forward on her elbows and rested her head in her hands. “This is some kind of sick joke, right?”

“For which one of us?” Lexi’s voice sounded like a mix of sarcasm and nervousness.

She looked up at her. “I was talking for me. But I could see why you would feel that way, too.”

“Harrumph.” Lexi hummed and Charlotte felt bad. They hadn’t broken up on the best of terms and she knew that was entirely on her. But that was a long time ago. She was different now, and she wondered if Lexi was, too.

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