Friends to Lovers

Friends to Lovers

by Christi Barth

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Friends to Lovers by Christi Barth

Book three of Aisle Bound

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…

96,000 words

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426896507
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 10/14/2013
Series: Aisle Bound , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 149,882
File size: 556 KB

About the Author

  • Christi Barth writes sassy, sexy and smart contemporary romances. She earned a Masters degree in vocal performance and embarked upon a career on the stage. A love of romance then drew her to wedding planning. Ultimately she succumbed to her lifelong love of books and now writes contemporary romance. Christi is lives in Maryland with her husband.

Read an Excerpt

Daphne Lovell loathed working on New Year's Eve. Other days certainly vied for a spot near the top of her craptastic workday list. The day after a bout of food poisoning. Birthdays (which everyone ought to get off as a personal, government-sanctioned holiday). Any day when the coffee maker malfunctioned. As a wedding florist, she worked most holidays. Just gritted her teeth and focused on the hefty surcharge they levied on all Aisle Bound clients who scheduled events on holidays.

But New Year's Eve trumped them all. Most of the time she could handle standing on the edges of a wedding, watching everyone party like crazy around her. Party jealousy never bit her in the ass, because she rarely knew any of the wedding guests. Far better to collect her vases, head home and stretch out on the couch with a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Except that the whole world—literally—partied on New Year's Eve. Working this night felt like a punishment. Like Fate had grounded her for bad behavior. Daphne believed there was something magical about midnight on New Year's Eve. Her father always said you should start the year the way you meant to continue. So most people did it right. Eating fabulous party food, drinking like crazy, spending the entire night with their favorite people and then kissing a loved one at the stroke of midnight.

Tonight Daphne was managing two out of four and last time she checked, fifty percent wasn't considered a passing grade. She looked around the crowded ballroom of the Cavendish Grand hotel at the drinking, laughing, thoroughly happy people and bit her lip to keep it from unfurling into a full-on pout. The DJ pounded a fun dance beat that had half the guests on their feet, and the delicious scent of spicy food hung in the air.

Her best friend and business partner, Ivy Rhodes, swished up next to her in a silver taffeta dress with a cap-sleeved lace jacket. "I can't thank you enough for working this wedding with me."

Daphne shrugged, making the ruffles on her gauzy white shirt flutter. "It didn't feel right to ruin anyone else's New Year's Eve. We own Aisle Bound, so we should have to do the dirty work. And to be clear, this does qualify as dirty work. You owe me for this one. Big. You know how epically big the final battle scene was in Return of the King? Think twice as big."

"What if I promise you don't have to dance with my handsy cousin Lewis at my wedding?"

"Please—that's a given. You love me too much to subject me to him. I'm going to have to mull the possibilities for a while." Daphne drummed her fingers along her cheek. "There is a good chance it will involve you letting me choose all your songs the next time we do karaoke." Ooh, that was good. Ivy loved to watch karaoke. She hated to sing, and did a side-splittingly bad job when shoved in front of a mic. Just worrying about the possibility would keep Ivy on edge for weeks.

Ivy wrinkled her nose, then laughed. "I get it. Trust me, I knew before I begged you to help that there'd be a price to pay. But because this is a traditional Filipino wedding, there are just too many people for me to handle by myself."

No kidding. The elegant, gray, silk-covered walls of the ballroom were bursting at the seams with hundreds of guests. "I wanted to ask you about that. Why the heck are there forty-five people in the wedding party? That's bigger than the last three royal weddings put together. I just about crippled myself wiring the boutonnieres for this one." She flexed her hand, remembering the claw shape it had cramped into by day two of prep.

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Friends to Lovers 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book 3 did NOT disappoint! I've always like Gib and Daphne's characters in the other 2 books so to finally get them together was great! And then to get to the end and learn there is gonna be a book 4...golden!
JillianReadLoveBlog More than 1 year ago
Friends to Lovers is the third book in Christi Barth’s Aisle Bound Series and admittedly the first in this series that I have read.  Well, clearly I have been missing out because this book was so enjoyable! Successful business co-owner and florist Daphne Lovell has been admiring her best friend, Gib, from afar for quite some time now.  She has promised herself that one of these days she will make something out of it.  So when the lights go out on New Year’s Eve at a wedding she is running at the hotel Gib manages, she knows with a clear certainty that THIS is the moment she has been waiting for.  Without a moment’s hesitation, she grabs Gib and kisses him senseless.  The only problem is, when the lights go back on, he has no idea it was her that had just rocked his world.  Will she get up the courage to tell him he’s what she’s been longing for all this time….without the anonymity of the darkness? Known for his prowess with the ladies, Gibson Moore’s world is completely rocked with the kiss that happened during the power glitch at a wedding being held in his hotel on New Year’s Eve.  He’s never had a kiss affect him like that.  Now it’s his mission in life to find his Kissing Cinderella and make her his.  The question is, will finding out it was his best friend Daphne ruin everything? Once the mystery is solved and the Kissing Cinderella has been revealed, Gib and Daphne decide to go with the attraction they feel and make the move from friends to lovers.  But, with everyday stressors and when issues beyond their control arise, will they be able to stay the course and give their relationship a real shot? The thing I like best about Christi’s writing is that the story always plays out really well and feels like you could be watching it as a movie with your girlfriends on a Saturday night.  Gib and Daphne’s story is no exception.  Daphne is a really relatable and likable gal with an honestly about her that I enjoyed.  She takes a chance with Gib and I really admired that.  Gib is dashing and handsome with a cheeky sense of humor and strong loyalty to his friends.  He’s got a really effed up family life and has learned to appreciate his friends as his family now and genuinely cares for them.  Together, the sexual longing and tension between Gib and Daphne is palpable and was done really, really well.  Their first kisses were as hot as some sex scenes….total yum. My absolutely, positively favorite part though was the very end….talk about an emotional high and a cry your eyes out moment!  Totally lived up to every expectation for a happy ending I had for Gib and Daphne.  Simply perfect!! If you’re looking for a feel-good, true-blue romance, then get this book on your list.  You will not be disappointed!  Thank you, Christi, for a fun, flirty and enjoyable read!
JackiesBookWorld More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Friends to Lovers, it's definitely not your typical friends falling for each other kind of thing. At least it's not that way at first. Daphne Lovell and Gibson Moore have been friends for a while, they both have successful careers and amazing friends. As a florist and co-owner of a successful Chicago wedding planning business, she has always seen love in her job. But she hasn't been lucky in finding love for herself, or to make her crush turn into something more. But went she finally gets the chance to take a step forward, she kisses Gibson when the lights go off in one of her weddings and to her surprise, he doesn't even think it's her who has kissed him.  British expat Gibson Moore is not the type of guy to settle down, always surrounded by beautiful women, he doesn't know what to do when he receives the best kiss of his life. When he searches the room for the woman that kissed him in the dark, he overlooks his best-friend that he standing right next to him. His relationship with Daphne has always been great, they both have a lot in common so when the two are put in a situation where they have to pretend that they're in love, he realizes that she is the one that kissed him and maybe a relationship with her is not a bad idea.  As the two start to spend time with each other, the more they realize that they can be more than friends after all. Overall, the relationship that the characters have is realistic and enjoyable to read. I found myself liking Gibson's personality, although he does make mistakes along the way. Daphne is strong headed, but her situation is understandable. The story is well-written and it has a good amount of romance to keep one reading wanting for more. I highly recommend it, it's worth picking up.:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is for you read. I love you sister
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks into the room having heard about tge child. !"if im cant be the father, nobody can and kills the child before running off"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He waches then walks out. " yah."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sup yo
The_Book_Queen More than 1 year ago
With a title like Friends to Lovers, it's clear what kind of story you will find. Sometimes the best romances come from a friends-to-lovers situation. This was indeed a good romance, a solid story that I very much enjoyed, and left me wanting to read the rest of this series. From the beginning, I spent a good deal of the book with a smile on my face, from something one of the characters would say, or the way they would interact with each other. It was, in short, a fun romance. But it wasn't all smiles, and it was a bit of a journey for Daphne and Gib to work things out, which I appreciated, as it's not always easy to make the switch from best friends to something more, especially when the hero is a notorious playboy. The chemistry between these two was great, and I loved the build up. But, sadly, when they did finally make it to the bedroom, some of that heat vanished, and I was a bit disappointed by the sex scene. I wanted to love Gib. Of course he was handsome, and the fact that he's English, and from a titled family (though he doesn't care about his family or title – long story), only added to his appeal. But he had his ups and downs. The fact that he was such a player left a sour taste in my mouth. And the way he ruined his first date with Daphne by treating her like every other bimbo he's slept with, taking her to the same restaurant, where they basically have the Gib Special that they roll out each time he brings a woman in, only made me want to kick him. Hard and in a very sensitive spot. Also, I just couldn't see why he acted the way he did. He says he thought about her as more than just a friend, but always pushed that feeling away and continued sleeping through the entire city's female population. Then, after just one kiss, he's ready to throw himself into a relationship with Daphne. even if he's not yet willing to admit that it is, in fact, a real relationship he wants from her. But, I have to admit, he also had his good moments, where I could see why Daphne fell for him. Personally, I'm not sure if I would have fallen for him, and then forgiven him so easily, but oh well. All in all, Friends to Lovers was a very charming and sweet read. It may not have been perfect, but it was still very enjoyable. I will definitely be continuing this series! If you are looking for a fun romance, where a deep friendship turns into something more, I am confident that you will like this book. 4 STARS! ~ * ~ * ~ For my full review, including favorite quotes, please visit my blog, TBQ's Book Palace. I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. TheBookQueen 
Bitten-By-Love-Reviews More than 1 year ago
Right off the bat I fell in love with these characters, both completely locked in to only seeing things their way but instant attraction that can’t be denied. Daphne and Gib are meant for each other, but even though they are in love, things sadly happen in the last quarter of the book that forces one to possibly hurt the other one, in order not to see them get hurt in the long run.   This is a romance pure and simple but this story is about all kinds of relationships and that makes it special. The story line is amazingly complex and interesting, the dialog moves at a good pace and it’s funny when appropriate and serious when it needs to be, but it’s the entire cast of characters that makes this book so intriguing. This is absolutely a group of people that I would like to know and spend time with. If you want to read an enjoyable series, with wonderful couples, then Friends to Lovers which is the third book in the Aisle Bound series is a wonderful addition to this series.Friends to Lovers offer's up everything I have come to expect from Christi Barth.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Looking for a warm and entertaining contemporary romance that is going to make you feel good? Friends to Lovers by Christi Barth has it all without angst overkill! Two best friends cross the invisible line to become lovers; can they make the transition without losing each other completely? Gibson has always been a “lady’s man.” When Daphne, a seemingly self-confidant and strong woman decides not to fight her attraction to her best friend, will he admit his own attraction to her? Is it worth the risk of exposing her feelings to a man who appears incapable of having a real relationship? Will his past revolving door dating history be too much for Daphne to overcome? Christi Barth writes contemporary romance as it should be written, with a light hand, a touch of humor, warmth, pain and a little personal growth for the characters. With flaws just like "real people" etched in, Ms Barth has given real personality to Daphne and Gib, as well as a group of "real friends" that bring more depth to the story with their own subplots blended in, because just like "real life," there is always something going on for someone, all the time. I received a review copy from the author in exchange for my honest review. I honestly liked it!
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
FRIENDS TO LOVERS by Christi Barth is an interesting Contemporary Romance set in Chicago. #3 in the "Aisle Bound" series, but can be read as a stand alone. This was my first read by this author, but it will not by my last. Join Daphne Lovell,Wedding Planner and Gibson Moore, British expat, Hotel Manager on their journey to learning what is really important, and what love is truly all about. I enjoyed the engaging,and sassy characters. What happens in the dark on New Year's Eve, doesn't always stay in the dark. As Daphne and Gib, soon learn. They have been friends for years, but one kiss is soon to change that by leaps and bounds. A fun, light-hearted story which is fast paced and passion filled. Although, you may need some tissues along the way. I did not feel lost by not having read the other two in the series first. Although, I intend to go back and read them too, someday. I don't feel by reading "Friends to Lovers" first, the other stories was spoiled in anyway. For a fun and thoroughly entertaining story of friendship and love, pick up "Friends to Lovers". Well worth the time to read! A true romance story. Received for an honest review from the author. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: MILD REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the third of the Aisle Bound series. I love the characters and their friendships. They are very enjoyable romances that have a lot of substance. I can't wait for the 4th one that is coming out it February.
Sargon1 More than 1 year ago
I have read all this series and loved them but this one was the frosting on the cake satisfied my reading tooth really well..
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
Friends to Lovers is the 3rd book in Christi Barth’s wonderful Aisle Bound series. Not sure why I thought that this would not be as good as the first two books, but I was very wrong. Friends to Lovers was such a fun and sexy story, with two super leading characters. This book belongs to Daphne and Gib, and what a couple they made. Daphne is a partner with Ivy, our heroine in book 1 of this series. She has secretly had the hots for Gib, but they were also best of friends, not allowing anything to ruin their wonderful friendship. All this changes on New Year’s Eve, when Daphne decides to kiss Gib when the lights go out. Of course, whatever she imagined kissing Gib would be like, it was 10 times better for her. When the lights come back on, Gib is bewildered, trying to see who kissed him; since this kiss was like no other. This is something for the biggest playboy in all of Chicago. One night, a few days later, Mira, the heroine of the second book, plots to help the couple along with an aphrodisiac food testing survey. During that test, Daphne and Gib kiss, and he now knows who his mysterious benefactor was on New Year’s Eve. They both decide to take a chance and see where this possible relationship will take them, without ruining their friendship. What follows is a fun romance with mistakes along the way, some very funny, and others very sad. But most important, when they decide to take it to the next level, that is one hot steamy, long sex scene. I loved Daphne and Gib together, as they made a fun and fabulous couple. Another wonderful thing about the Aisle Bound series is that we get to see all the other couples or secondary characters throughout the book, such as Ivy, Mira, Ben, Sam. Their friendship and love for one another makes this series so special and fun. Daphne and Gib are meant for each other, but even though they are in love, things sadly happen in the last quarter of the book that forces one to possibly hurt the other one, in order not to see them get hurt in the long run. But this is romance, and Christi Barth’s wonderfully written stories are pure romance, with HEA. If you want to read an enjoyable series, with wonderful couples, then Aisle Bound series is for you. Friends to Lovers is a wonderful addition to this series.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kim for Read Your Writes Book Reviews FRIENDS TO LOVERS is why I love Christi Barth. This book so reminds me of PLANNING FOR LOVE, the first book in the series. Reading this book was like putting on a comfy pair of pjs. This is a book I couldn’t wait to read. I loved it from beginning to end. Daphne Lovell is the florist and co-owner of Aisle Bound, a Chicago wedding consulting company. Gibson Moore is the suave British playboy and manager of the Cavendish Grand Hotel. They have been friends for years and know each other pretty well. Things for them change at a New Year’s Eve wedding, when the lights go out. Daphne takes the opportunity to give Gib a kiss that will ruin him for other women. When Gib finally learns Daphne was his kiss goddess, he convinces her to give him a chance. Unfortunately for Gib, he doesn’t think things through all the way. Initially, he misses seeing the unique person in front of him. Gib’s world gets rocked to its core. He’s forced to do something he doesn’t want to do. But through it all, Daphne is his biggest supporter. When its time to be strong and have faith, she manages to have enough for both of them. I love that Christi gave us background on both Gib’s and Daphne’s past. At times, that background is unbelievable and heartbreaking. I can’t even begin to explain how much I just love all the characters in this book. As a unit, Ivy, Ben, Sam, Mira, Gib and Daphne truly show you what friendship and loving someone is all about. Together they have all formed a strong bond that can never be broken. Daphne and Gib are so great together. This book will make you laugh, cry and be glad that you are a reader of romance. Bottom line....FRIENDS TO LOVERS is a book truly about friendship and love. Realizing that you need them both to be happy. And knowing that when you have both love and friendship that you are home no matter where you are. Source: Author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He kissed the top of her head, and sat down on a chair.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its aightt. Yo i gtg. Gnite!