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.
Each book in the Kissed in the Sand series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Keeping Mr. Right Now
Book #2 Blame it on the Kiss
Book #3 The Best Friend Bargain
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Best Friend Bargain
A Kisses in the Sand Story
By Robin Bielman, Wendy Chen, Stacy Abrams
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Robin Bielman
All rights reserved.
"Will you marry me?"
"Hey Danny, want to get hitched?"
"Hi Danny. I know this sounds crazy, but marry me maybe?"
Ugh. No matter how Olivia Lincoln proposed it to her best friend, he was going to think she'd lost her mind.
She kind of had. That saying, pregnancy zaps you of brain cells? She'd been zapped. And little baby Lincoln was only a very new part of her. This didn't bode well for future brainpower.
Which might not be a bad thing considering she had a broken heart to go with the pregnancy. The less she thought about, remembered, and dreamt of her baby's daddy, the better.
She stood outside the Happy Harpoon in White Strand Cove and ran her hands down the knit black skirt she'd splurged on during London's Fashion Week last month. After first trying to find Danny at home, a neighbor had told her he was at the restaurant celebrating Midge's seventieth birthday. Olivia remembered the spunky senior vividly from her last time here eight months ago.
One more party guest didn't matter, right? Liv wasn't a complete stranger to the Cove, but she still felt uneasy. A little selfish, too. Danny had made a life for himself in the small California beach town. What right did she have to ask him for the biggest favor ever?
He wouldn't tell her no. He never told her no. She'd counted on him since the sixth grade when he'd defended her against the girls who teased her about her weight. From that day forward he'd protected her, made her feel like her full-figure didn't define her, and helped fix the never-ending string of messes she found herself in.
But this was different, and Danny didn't like different. He had his future mapped out, his goals set in unmovable stone.
She pushed through the doors of the restaurant and loud, happy chaos greeted her. The surf and sand might only be a few hundred feet away, but under this roof stood a sea of people — all wearing funny hats. Liv smoothed down her shoulder-length hair. Too bad it wasn't a crazy hair party. After flying the friendly skies for ten hours, her new blond tresses, cut and styled around her shoulders now, were mad as a hatter. She chuckled. At least she still had her sense of humor.
Danny liked her sense of humor.
It matched his own ridiculous brand.
No one noticed her at the reception desk, but nerves gripped her all the same. Nausea, too. She put a hand to her stomach, not that it ever helped, and slipped past partygoers in search of something to settle her queasiness. The bar came into view with plenty of room to lean against.
"7 Up please," she told the bartender before turning to scan the room for Danny. No doubt he had on his captain's hat. It was his go-to for any dress-up occasion. But with so many bodies and hats in different colorful shapes and sizes, her eyes crossed. She'd just sip her soda and send him a text in a few minutes. Guess who's here and wants to buy you a drink, sailor? The marry-me part she'd leave out. Some things needed to be said in person, even though an electronic buffer would make it a million times easier.
A super-sized cake atop the bar caught Olivia's attention, and she went for a closer look. An edible picture of Midge decorated the left side of the white icing and Happy 70th Birthday written in tiny frosted stars was on the right.
Liv put her face a little closer to breathe in the sugary sweet scent. Good to know her sense of smell had yet to be affected by pregnancy hormones. She took another whiff and sighed. Cake made everything better.
A commotion sounded from behind her, but before she could turn around to check it out, someone bumped her. Someone tall and solid, because the jolt knocked her off balance, and she face-planted into the cake.
Yes, she did.
Her nose actually hit bottom.
It was her face now alongside Midge's. Damntastic. She froze for a second. Since she couldn't see anyone, maybe no one could see her.
Firm but gentle hands took her by the shoulders and lifted her off the cake. "I'm really sorry. Are you okay?"
Olivia knew that voice anywhere. She hadn't heard it in the six months she'd been in Europe and, even with cake and frosting all over her face, hearing it now brought instant comfort. She licked her lips and swallowed the delicious taste of chocolate and vanilla buttercream before turning to say hi to her best friend.
His lips were pressed together, but his dimples were on full display and his eyes were laughing their ass off. He glanced down at the cake, back at her, then out toward the party. Whoever had pushed him had pulled a disappearing act and, unbelievably, no one else seemed to take notice of the girl wearing cake instead of a hat. Except the bartender. He put down her drink and said, "I'll grab you a clean towel."
Danny tipped back his skipper's cap. "I'm sorry," he said again. "But if it's any consolation, chocolate is a good look for you."
So he wanted to bypass the "Liv, what are you doing here?" question and banter instead? Fine. Liv could do that. She couldn't blame him for not wanting to get messy. Or for taking her sudden appearance with some cold shoulder. She'd left with barely a good-bye and few words since, too busy giving herself a European makeover and falling in love.
She blinked a bunch of times and slid her tongue across her bottom lip. Then, because humiliation didn't hurt quite as much with an accent, she went British on him and said, "There's a first time for everything."
He grinned and his brows rose in that charming way of his. He couldn't help himself. Accents were his weakness with every female but her.
"Done right, first times are better than any other time."
"And if it's done wrong?"
"Then you have to do it again. And second times can be tricky." He leaned his elbow on the bar, looking all relaxed and not the least bit contrite, like he was really enjoying seeing her covered in cake. The jerk.
"How'd I do?"
"I'd say you nailed it." His lips pursed together in an annoying grin. "You could stop here and be satisfied." He leaned a little closer. "Did I say chocolate was a good look for you? I meant great look."
"Aren't you the sweet talker." Olivia glanced over her shoulder for the bartender. What was taking him so long? She was about ready to climb over the bar in search of cocktail napkins.
"So I've been told," Danny said.
"By countless women, I know."
He cocked a brow at that. "I should tell you the accent makes the cake on your face even better."
"Imagine how good I taste."
"I'm all for taste tests," he said, his voice going deeper. Huh? He lifted his arm and gently rubbed the pad of this thumb across the corner of her mouth.
"What are you doing?" she asked, dropping the accent and taking a step back.
Danny stiffened and also took a step back. "Liv?"
"Yes, it's Liv. Who did you think I was?"
"Miss?" the bartender said, drawing her attention. He handed her a towel, which she gratefully accepted and covered her face with.
What in the world had just happened? And why was the spot Danny had just touched tingling? She took a deep breath, in through her nose — ack! Bad idea. She snorted cake and choked out an unflattering cough.
Danny's hand covered one of hers. "Let me help." He took over cleaning her face, careful not to rub any cake into her eyes. Once through, he tossed the towel onto the counter and studied her. "Hi."
"Your hair is blond now. And shorter."
She pried a piece of it off her sticky cheek. "Made a few changes while I was in London." Including her attitude. Optimism, she'd discovered, did more good for her body than any diet ever had and she'd lost a few pounds without trying. Morning sickness had more recently made a contribution.
"You look good."
"I think we already established that." She gave a shy smile and giggled.
"C'mere," he said with his usual affable tone, arms opened wide. His hug took them right back to where they'd always been. "What are you doing here? Is everything okay?"
Olivia pulled back. "Can't a girl pay a surprise visit to her best friend?"
"Of course she can." He eyed her with his super perceptive hazel know-it-all gaze and she had no doubt he knew a surprise wasn't her only reason. But he also knew she'd tell him when she was ready.
"I've missed you." She hadn't realized how much until right now.
"Yeah, that's why I heard from you so often," he only half teased. She winced. She'd ignored him for months and here she was, hoping he'd jump into marriage and parenthood with her. "You back for good or have I lost you to the British capital city?"
"I'm back." She left off the "for good," hating the hesitation that sat in the back of her mind. If Will showed up unexpectedly and wanted her back, she'd probably go. She still foolishly loved him.
"You need a place to crash?"
That would make marriage a lot easier.
Olivia had grown up without a father until her mom married when Liv was nine. Her mother had never wanted her. Certainly not out of wedlock, and only marginally afterward. Liv was a mistake that Joy Lincoln Marshall's faith prevented her from remedying. Liv still struggled with feeling a sense of security and finding where she fit in.
Did she really need to ask this of Danny? At twenty-seven she could do and act however she pleased. But no way could she tell her rigid mom and conservative stepdad about the baby without being married. She'd yet to do anything that didn't disappoint them.
Absently, she put her hand on her stomach. She knew Danny had no plans to get married and she'd do anything to maintain what little connection she had left with her mom. She was the only family Liv had and, regardless of her mom's resentment and detachment, Liv needed her in her life. Asking for Danny's help might not be the right thing to do, but it seemed worth a try. Being alone right now hurt through every layer of her skin.
Maybe she'd left London too soon? Will had freaked when she told him about the pregnancy. "I thought we were just having fun," he'd said. "No strings attached." Her heart had deflated at his words. She'd given him a week to change his mind. He didn't get in touch or come find her to declare his undying love and propose, so she left London. Going back to the States, she'd texted him in lieu of another face-to-face that would only bring the sting of his rejection back to the surface.
The long flight had given her time to think about her options — and Danny. And how a marriage between best friends could work to their advantage. Okay, pretty much only to her advantage, but she hated the thought of Danny being alone when —
"Earth to Liv." Danny waved a hand in front of her face. "Do I need to get you a drink or get you out of here?"
She blinked back to the present. "Out of here, please."
"Wait." She looked down. "What about the cake? I feel horrible. We can't just leave it like this."
Danny leaned over the bar looking for something. "Hand me that knife?" he asked. Then he cut off the half of the cake that she'd smashed with her face. It was smaller now, but none the worse for wear. She let out a relieved breath. "Toss this for us?" The bartender nodded.
Us. That one teensy tiny word injected life back into her aching heart.
"Thanks, man. And would you call over to the Beach Café and ask Rachel to send over all the cakes and cookies she's got? I'll square things up with her tomorrow." Danny turned to her. "Ready?"
Olivia wasn't sure how to answer that, so she didn't. Instead, she quietly trailed behind her best friend, hoping beyond hope that what she wanted to ask of him didn't ruin their friendship.
* * *
Danny had missed the hell out of Liv, but seeing her didn't entirely erase his agitation. He hadn't expected her to hop on a plane for London six months ago with barely a goodbye and then practically suspend communication. And he hadn't expected her to stroll into White Strand all these months later with something bothering her, and looking ...
He'd just forget about those moments when she'd had cake on her face and he'd had no clue who she was. That moment when, for the first time in a while, he'd wanted to take a woman home with him. The absurdity of the situation and her coolness had been damn appealing. She hadn't yelled or made a scene, she'd jumped into conversation. With an accent. If he were honest, though, he'd been intrigued by more than just the accent and even-temper. He liked the new hair color, the new curves, and a certain twinkle in her pretty green eyes that he'd never noticed before.
And here he was, taking her home, but for entirely different reasons. Liv had something on her mind he needed to get to the bottom of. They didn't keep secrets from each other. She'd left the country right after being humiliated and fired from her job. The few times she'd texted, she'd sounded good. Her occasional emails had been brief, but positive.
So it bugged him he didn't know what her deal was.
She followed him the short distance home in her rental car. He parked in the garage, tossed his captain's hat onto his passenger seat, and met her at the sidewalk, eager to show her the house he'd been renting and planned to buy. With no other homes available in the area, he'd lucked out landing this one. Sweet, little old Mrs. Landry owned the property and lived in the back guesthouse. Rumor had it she was getting ready to sell and move to Florida to be near her daughter and her family. He couldn't wait to make the house his.
"Let's head inside and I'll come back out to grab your stuff," he said.
"You really like it here," she answered, picking up on his enthusiasm.
"Yeah. There was a minute or two when I wasn't sure leaving the sports agent world to design furniture had been a smart thing to do, but business is finally taking off and being able to work with my hands and make something feels great."
"How are Bryce and Zane?"
Danny smiled at the mention of his two other best friends. "You know that Zane and Sophie had their baby and named her Hannah?" Liv nodded. "Wait until you see Zane. He's so stoked he's got a perma-grin going on that's wider than his surfboard. Bryce signed a new surfer since Zane is cutting back now, and Bryce and Honor are still shacked up and happy as ever."
"You're still okay being the fifth wheel?"
"You know I'm not in for anything else." Ever. Liv knew about his disease and that he'd never marry or have kids because he refused to be a burden to someone else later in life. It didn't take away how happy he was for his friends, and he rarely had trouble finding a warm female body when he wanted one for a night or two.
"Never say never," Liv threw out in a feisty tone he didn't recognize.
Something was definitely up with her.
They arrived at the front door at the same time Mrs. Landry came around the corner. "How was the party?" she asked.
"Fun," Danny said. "How are you feeling? Any better?"
"Not really," Mrs. L. said, joining them on the stoop, "but I needed some fresh air. Dr. Flynn stopped by to check on me, bless his heart. He wants me to come in Monday for a chest x-ray. I told him if he wanted to see the goods, all he had to do was ask." She winked, then coughed. One of those wet, barking dog coughs that Danny hated hearing from her. "And who is this lovely creature?"
"This is Olivia." Danny put his arm around her. "Liv, Mrs. Landry, my landlady."
"Nice to meet you," Olivia said.
"You, too. There's something in your hair."
"Oh, uh ..." Liv lifted a hand and, sensing her discomfort, Danny squeezed her tighter. "It's cake."
"Did you miss your mouth?" Mrs. L. teased.
"No, actually. My mouth was in on the action, too." Danny couldn't see Liv's smile out of his periphery vision, but he felt it.
Mrs. L. gave one of her I-understand-I'm-a-grandmother grins. "I like this one," she said to him.
"I do, too," he answered easily.
"I was going to stop by on Monday, but since who knows how long Dr. Flynn will want to examine me, there's something I need to tell you."
"I've decided to put the house up for sale."
"I'll buy it," he said quickly. He didn't care about the asking price or the escrow length. He'd made this house his home and he wanted to keep it.
Excerpted from The Best Friend Bargain by Robin Bielman, Wendy Chen, Stacy Abrams. Copyright © 2016 Robin Bielman. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved this story. The characters felt real and compelling. Well written.
Very enjoyable read. A solid 4-star and could have been 4-1/2. How far will a friend go to help another? In this case, all the way even though he never planned on getting married because of a secret he is hiding from most people.
Robin Bielman is back bringing us another sinful taste of desire, friendship, and love. When Olivia blurts out she’s engaged and having a baby with her best friend, Danny, all hell breaks loose. Danny, while a great friend to a woman, doesn’t do relationships and never wants to have anything to do with children. But when their fake relationship turns more real than either of them expected, they shock themselves more than the people around them. Bielman gives us a witty and sexy man to fall for in Danny. Not without flaws, Danny is not hardhearted and cares for Liv more than I anticipated in the beginning. The obstacles Liv has to overcome tugged on my heart. Sometimes the most imperfect couples are the ones best suited for each other. For a fun, sexy read, The Best Friend Bargain should be next on your TBR list. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
While The Best Friend Bargain was a cute story with likable characters, it's neither my favorite from the author nor from the series. It was a pleasant way to spend my time, but definitely didn't blow me away. Throughout the book, it felt like Olivia did a lot of things without either really thinking about the consequences (like asking her best friend to marry her to smooth things over with her mother but never considering how his parents, who supposedly were more "parent" to her than her own, will take it) or paying attention to what is right in front of her (like when the baby's father comes to see her--he barely acknowledges her pregnancy, and she notes to herself that he's acting very detached and noncommittal, yet at the same time she's seriously considering that they might get back together and thinks that he truly wants her? What??) and it was frustrating. Danny was way too hung up on his determination to live his life alone because of his degenerative eye disease. Honestly, he needed to get over himself. People manage to live happy, fulfilling lives with disabilities all the time. I guess I can understand not wanting to pass it on if it's genetic, but that's obviously not a problem with Olivia's baby, so... The two of them went awfully quickly from "just friends" to something more--it didn't seem like either one of them had had those kind of feelings about each other before, so it felt a little abrupt. Only one of them could claim to be affected by pregnancy hormone horniness, after all. ;) The email exchanges between the two of them were very cute, though, and one of my favorite parts of the book. They reminded me of Meg Cabot's Boy series, and I was happy to see them pop up frequently throughout. I am generally a huge fan of the friends-to-lovers troupe; however, while The Best Friend Bargain was sweet, it isn't going to be making my top ten list for the genre. Though it's the third in the series it should work just fine as a standalone. Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+ I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 stars This was probably my least favorite out of the series but it was still great. I enjoyed it very much. My favorite was the second book in the series. Read it if you haven’t! The only issue I had was with Olivia needing to get married to appease someone that’s not worth appeasing. But hey that’s my personal preference! Other than that, I found this book enjoyable and I got through it very quickly. It had me chuckling out loud throughout and had me shed some tears. I really liked how slowly they realized they were meant for each other and I really liked their email correspondences. I like that the author brought awareness with the disease that Danny struggles with. So I could see his hesitancy and what he did at the end made the ending perfect. Cue squeaking. So yea, wonderful series and I would love a “where are they now” book with everyone in it. *I received this Arc for a honest review*
Friends to lovers is a trope I don't think I'll ever tire of. There's that longing, that wanting to be more than friends, the angst of always being passed up for someone else, the hurt of not being able to say what's truly on one's heart. That's not really this story though. Danny and Olivia's friendship really is just friendship. There isn't a one-sided facet to it at all. Neither secretly wants the other. Neither silently waits in the wings in hopes the other will eventually see them. Nope. Danny and Olivia love each other as friends. They support and protect one another as friends. The place they could create together if they ever married would be amazing because they had this incredible friendship to keep them grounded. But could they actually make that jump without ruining their friendship in the process? Million dollar question and it stayed there throughout this entire story. The journey from friends to lovers wasn't easy for either of them. Olivia was trying desperately to save face in front of a mother who regretted having a child (Olivia) out of wedlock. Unless Olivia and Danny married, Olivia was going to repeat her mother's history. Danny's demon wasn't a disapproving parent but a disease that would eventually rob him of his sight. It was a fate he didn't want to pass on to children of his own. Working through those issues took a lot of handling and the process couldn't be rushed. They had to admit them then deal with them. Their friendship helped in ways I didn't think possible as they struggled together. Ms. Bielman did a great job of having them grow into love that was firmly rooted in friendship. And that love wasn't friend-like at all by the end. It was the honest to goodness, you are my everything, you make my world so much better, kind of love. It really was. Received from publisher for an honest review
Olivia Lincoln needs her best friend's help. She's was rejected by her boyfriend when she told him she was pregnant. She doesn't want to be alone. Can she ask Danny to marry her? Olivia is struggling to get her life back on track after a string of bad luck. She went overseas to escape and unfortunately fell for a man who cared only for himself. Danny is sweet guy that she's known for years. He wants to take care of Olivia but is afraid to commit. Olivia is loving and enjoys people. Her baby will be loved. Danny is a keeper. He just needs to face his fears. Now that they are together, the temptation to be more than friends is always there. I loved seeing them interact. There banter is flirtatious and funny. I loved their texts. They made me laugh. These two are perfect together. The setting adds a romantic background. White Strand Cove is a small town filled with interesting and caring characters. Robin Bielman made me feel as if I were there. I wanted Danny and Olivia to get their HEA. I loved the special twist on this friends to lovers story. I've enjoyed this series (Kisses In The Sand). I received a copy in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
1.5 stars? The BFF to more trope is one of my favorites, so I was pretty excited just from the title. I liked Olivia and Danny well enough. They seem to have a decent friendship, but there was definitely a spark missing. I didn't see any sort of chemistry between them. And there was mention of them being friends for 15+ years, but it was all tell and no show. I was a bit disappointed to find out that the main motivation was that Olivia needs a husband because her mother won't approve of her pregnancy. The drama and push and pull that followed got really old really quick. I guess I just mostly felt lost in this story. There was never a backstory or explanation of the connection to pretty much any character introduced. Perhaps if I would have read the other books in the series. From the reviews that are already up, I'm in the minority. Sadly I missed the amazing things that everyone else saw. **Huge thanks to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Robin Bielman is simply the best. As I set down to write this review, I know there are no words to fully convey how good The Best Friend Bargain is. Robin Bielman is one of my favorite authors because she has this ability to write characters who worm their way into your heart. Olivia and Danny are no different. Every girl should be so lucky to have a best friend like Danny Ellis. He’s sweet, kind, funny, compassionate, and sexy. If it’s good, it’s him. Olivia and Danny have been best friends for fifteen years. They have celebrated ups and downs with each other. They know that when there is no one else, they have each other’s backs. “I’ve got you. You know that, right? I’ve always got you.” So, when Olivia finds herself pregnant and unmarried, she turns to Danny. Danny has his reasons for never wanting to get married or have kids, but there isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for Olivia. The Best Friend Bargain shows what can happen when you meet the one and you don’t even know it. Olivia and Danny are like two sides to a coin. They go together like peanut butter and jelly. They know each other like no one else and are truly each other’s best friend. I don’t know how Robin Bielman does it, but she has once again written characters you can’t help but wish were real, so you could know them. I loved the playfulness between Danny and Olivia, from goofy knock, knock jokes to middle of the night emails, to watching their romance blossom and grow. Robin is the queen of the romantic grand gesture and she manages to make you need a tissue just when you think you’re safe. I don’t know if this is the end of the Kisses in the Sands series, but I hope it isn’t. All the characters in this series are simply amazing. The Best Friend Bargain is a standalone read with the previous couples making appearances. **Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
4.5 stars I'm a huge fan of Robin Bielman's writing and once again she's given us a beautiful, heartwarming read with The Best Friend Bargain. From the first page I knew this was going to be another winner for me. I connected with both Olivia and Danny. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop from friends to lovers. The Best Friend Bargain was a well written, heartfelt friends to lovers story that will bring out all the feels. I highly recommend this book and the Kisses in the Sand series.
After an unexpected pregnancy with a man who she only knew for a few months after a fling went bad, Olivia Lincoln finds herself back in the arms of her best friend Danny. The relationship has always been strictly platonic as Danny has a no commitment rule, whereas Olivia has always been wanting more. When Olivia finds herself blurting out that they are engaged and having a baby, the limits between the two start to really blend. The relationship between friends and lovers is often pushed in both real life and romance and Robin Bielman does a fantastic job in pushing those boundaries in her latest novel, The Best Friend bargain. The chemistry between Danny and Olivia cannot be over looked, as years of friendship have the two finishing each others sentences. However, after one too many pushing the envelopes, hormones increasing and a kiss that will change everything, the two may have bargained more then they signed up for. If you are looking for a quick, fun, romantic read, then The Best Friend bargain is the book for you. You will find yourself laughing out loud and turning the pages as Robin Bielman did a great job in creating a storyline that was both fun and romantic. Make sure you add the Best Friend bargain to your To-Be-Read Shelf .
ARC kindly provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Review 'The Best Friend Bargain' was a fantastically cute, romantic and uplifting novel about true love and its hidden roots in the most complicated of friendships: those between a man and a woman. After having to read so many average, nondescript novels that I absolutely (nearly) died of bored, I was READY with an R to launch into something that would lift me up and fly to me cloud nine. I wanted humour and love, romance and passion. And I can always find that in a romance novel where the poor victims are a man and woman with best-friendship between them. I was so excited to read this novel because I strongly hoped that it would give me all that I wanted – and it did just that! I loved the way the story was told! Such beautiful, flowing language that made the entire novel a pleasure to read is not something I as a reader come across every day. Every book is an investment were I trust that the author will leave me satisfied and yearning for more. Robin Bielman gave me exactly what I wanted and with such simplicity, too, that tearing myself away from the page became a hardship I tried not to attempt. The characters were so natural and real, too, that reading about them and from their point of view gave me something to look forward to. As I read, I got to know these lovely people who touched my soul with their troubles and their happiness. Danny and Olivia had such great chemistry on page that I gave them FIVE hot, blazing stars. Their romance was so touching to me! I loved that they progressed from their insecure selves to people who trusted themselves and each other to love and to trust. Danny is probably the epitome of my favourite male archetype in romance novels: he was caring and considerate, kind and trusting, compassionate and sympathetic, loyal and protective. He made my heart beat just that little faster! I enjoyed that the author touched on those little everyday issues that fill out lives. Olivia had to battle with finding herself as a soon-to-be-single-mother. So many women find themselves alone and afraid that they will not be able to care for themselves and their child. Olivia's issues captured that with an unfiltered lens and compassion. I loved following her story as she grew from a woman afraid and unsure, to one who knew her independence and worth. She realised that she would be okay by herself and didn't need a man to care for her and her baby. Danny also had an issue which made the novel so much more realistic, tangible and touching. He was born with a genetic disease that slowly took away his eyesight. His struggles to accept love when he would be at his most vulnerable made me feel so blessed with what I have today and the realisation that everybody fights a hard battle. The pace was set so well! It was brisk but steady. Every moment was something fun or new and I never felt like I could zone out and fall asleep. The emotions were so well conveyed! I loved it, I loved it, I LOVED it! My first experience reading Robin Bielman's books was absolutely amazing! I can't wait to read the rest of the series! I really regret having not picked up books 1 and 2! Congratulations to Robin Bielman on publishing the fantastically romantic volume THREE in the 'Kisses in the Sand' series!
This is a best friends to lovers romance that pair Olivia, who returned from London pregnant and with out a job. She returns to her hometown and is determined to stay in her parents good graces by convincing her best friend Danny to marry her. He is a committed bachelor, but agrees to help her. Their feeling for each other change as this story plays out. This is one of my favorite romantic troupes, but unfortunately this book was somewhat disappointing because I didn't like the character of Olivia for the majority of the book. I liked Danny and was happy that things worked out. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
"The Best Friend Bargain" is a fast paced Friends-to-Lovers / Roommates / Arrangement Troped Romance, laden with loveable characters and an addictive storyline. The Heroine, Olivia Lincoln, is strong but due to unfortunate circumstances has returned to her best friend because she's in desperate need of his support and help. She left the country in humiliation and is returning heartbroken and pregnant. The Hero, Danny Ellis, has been Olivia's best friend since they were kids and has always promised to do anything to help and protect her. He also promised himself that he would never marry or have children - but that's exactly what Olivia needs - soon he learns he needs the same thing. Danny is suffering from CHM a degenerative eye disease that will eventually leave him blind and he doesn't want to be a burden on anyone. Ironically, Danny is the first to take on Olivia's burdens with barely a question. The storyline of "The Best Friend Bargain" seems to move along quickly - although there is some inner turmoil the angst is kept to a minimum. The fall from Friends to Lovers is relatively quick and steamy. Robin Bielman creates funny, engaging, and sympathetic characters who are loving friends and extremely randy lovers. The key to salvaging their relationship is that one of them must learn that they can stand on their own and the other needs to realize that they cannot stand alone forever. Robin Bielman creates a storyline which is a wonderfully balanced combination of humor and pathos, romance and sex. The characters in "The Best Friend Bargain" are witty, charming, and complex with backstories that range from trying to tragic. The pace is brisk the sexual tension is high and although the main characters try to fight their desires their passions do get the better of them midway through the book. But they do make up for lost time. Their "stupidity" isn't so great that I had the desire to back hand anyone out of irritation - always a plus! Their internal conflicts were justifiable. This novel was a delightful read! To read the entire review please visit: http://wp.me/p4XqxF-1iJ This novel was provided in exchange for an unbiased review
The Best Friend Bargain is a sweet and sexy book that sucks you in and gives you the major feels. A light and easy read, the book is loaded with hot anticipation and innuendo that begs for completion. While the theme is somewhat typical, the writer has taken it over the top with in depth emotion that you connect with and embrace. With wonderful detail and hot as hell writing, you can just envision that steamy first kiss, that touching, trembling embrace, the scorching look as the eye travels up his and her bodies. YUM! And if that is not enough, the author have given us characters that you actually like and work perfectly together! Danny is a caring, generous soul that you just fall for – sigh. For a sexy and delightful read that sucks you in, you have to check out this book. One of a series, but a complete stand alone, you will fall for the writing style of Robin Bielman!
I absolutely love friends to lover romances and The Best Friend Bargain certainly did not disappoint! I thoroughly enjoyed this new installement to Robin Beilman's Kisses In The Sand Series! Such a great little light and fun read!! Danny and Liv make such a sweet couple and I loved watching them fight their attraction and losing! :) A great read and that you don't want to miss!!!
Friends to lovers is the main theme of this lovely romance. It also has all the hallmarks of a stereotypical small town romance. There are the local best friends who are there to prod the couple towards each other. There are the gossipy older ladies, one in particular (Danny’s landlady) who takes it into her head to get the wedding planned, leaving Danny and Liv to go along with the flow. There’s the town festival, in this case a Halloween carnival, with cute costumes and contests. In short, it’s fun but doesn’t really have anything to make it stand out from the other small town romances out there. It’s on the safe and predictable side as far as story settings go. Obviously Danny is pretty clear hero material. Stepping up for his pregnant best friend, willing to marry her and raise her child and do anything to help her out – well, that’s very sweet and generous (and his two best friends, Zane and Bryce aren’t above calling him out on it and pointing out the fact that he could support Liv without marrying her). In truth Danny suddenly isn’t so keen on Liv being married to anyone else which is a surprising revelation, since it had never bothered him before. The idea of the father of the child suddenly showing up to claim his fatherly rights twists him up inside, and before you know it, he’s making it clear that he’s going to be a father to this child no matter what happens in his and Liv’s future. Danny’s genetic condition, choroideremia, is already starting to affect his peripheral vision and he sometimes practices moving around his home with his eyes shut, getting ready for the inevitable blindness. These scenes are poignant and make it clear that Danny is determined not to be a helpless burden in the future. Liv is a sweet and generous woman. She’s best friend material, whether for men or women and she and Danny have always had each other’s backs, hence her faith that he’d help her out in this situation. While her pregnancy was unplanned, she is excited and understandably nervous about raising a child, but fully prepared to do her best. Her own relationship with her mother is tenuous at best and she wants to do better than that with her own child. She has some conflicted feelings where the baby’s father is concerned. At first she’s still carrying a torch for him but the more time she spends with Danny, the less she thinks of the other guy. Of course, as expected, the baby’s father isn’t quite out of the picture and part of the conflict throughout the story is waiting to see what impact he’ll have on Danny and Liv’s relationship. If you’re a fan of the Kisses in the Sand series and you’ve been waiting for Danny and Olivia to get their happy ending, then you’ll be pleased with how things work out for them. If you like small town romances and their general predictability, you’ll enjoy this, too. With friends to lovers and marriage of convenience tropes, The Best Friend Bargain delivers a solid, easy read.
This is a true friends to lovers story. Robin Bielman gives the readers a story with chemistry, humor, and heartfelt situations. "The Best Friend Bargain" by Robin Bielman is book number three in the "Kisses in the Sand" series. This is Olivia Lincoln and Danny Ellis' story. Danny and Olivia have been best friends for years. They have always been there for each other until Olivia runs off to London. She hasn't been in contact with Danny for six months. She's back now and pregnant. Olivia is hoping Danny will marry her. Danny has his reasons that he vowed he would never marry. But, Danny has always protected Olivia so that's just what he does. Despite all that Danny and Olivia are going through they are able laugh and offer comfort to each other. As time goes on the lines between best friends and lovers start to blur. Will they cross that line? I just fell in love with Danny. He is such a sweet and caring guy. I liked Olivia too. Olivia is dealing with so many emotional issues on top of hormonal changes. Will Danny and Olivia be able to take a chance on love or will all the emotional issues prevent them? FYI, includes mature content. This book can also be a standalone. I want to go back and read the others in this series. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley/Entangled Publishing.
Loved, loved this book by Robin Bielman. Best friends to lovers, is one of my favorite troupes to read. I always believe, friends first make a better relationship. This book will have you sighing with happiness, and laughing out loud with their knock/knock jokes. Loved the emails between them. They both have fears, as their relationship goes forward in the romance department, that will need to worked out. It was great to catch up with the other characters from the previous books. I highly recommend this book for a lazy summer afternoon of reading, you will not be disappointed. This book is part of a series, but can be read as a stand alone
This is the 3rd book in the Kisses In The Sand series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. To avoid spoilers and enjoy, please read the series in order. Olivia & Danny have been best friends since way back. They both avoid getting messy by crossing over that line. Now she needs him more than ever. Danny knows his future is bleak. He wants to spend it alone, as to not hurt anyone else. Unfortunately, those around him who care, wants him to be more present in his and their lives. Can he get past the issues and move on with the girl? I am truly moved by sincere friendship. I loved this story for many reasons. This is a great series. The characters were just complex enough to be interesting. The sexy times were hot enough to bounce sparks over the room. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley & its publishers, in exchange for an honest review.
I have now read the entire Kisses in the Sand Series and this is by far my favorite. Olivia has a bad habit of running away when things get tough. She ran away to London after she got fired and now she's running home to her best friend, Danny, after she finds out she's pregnant and the guy who is the father broke up with her. When she returns to the states, she has a plan - she will tell Danny the situation and ask him to marry her and be the father to her baby. No big deal. Right? Friends to lovers is one of my favorite tropes and this may be my favorite of all the friends to lovers books I've read (and there are a lot of them). The writing is fantastic. The story is well-written, not overdone or over dramatic. Danny has this medical issue (you have to read the book to find out what it is) that I think is a seriously clever twist and provides a perfect reason for his hesitations. Liv is fun and real and I liked her. Oh and the end of the book (not the epilogue, that's great too, but...) was so freaking romantic, I swear there were tears in my eyes. Go buy this book like right now! (
Friends to Lovers & Lies to Truth ⭐ ⭐ ARC Provided by NetGalley in Exchange for an Honest Review ⭐ ⭐ Judging a Book by it's Cover: A couple, in bed and fully clothed, lends a flirtatious air to the cover. Synopsis sounds light and fun. Looking Deeper: Best friends since childhood, Olivia always knew she would be able to count on Danny to be there for her. So, when she discovered she was pregnant and the baby daddy bailed on them, she ran to Danny with a crazy plan. Boundaries were crossed, medical issues stood in the way and self-doubt clouded judgement. It was evident that there were books in the series prior to this, however, it did do a great job of informing you of enough so you did not feel that you are missing anything vital to the current situation. The characters were mature enough to be over the young adult angst. There were some hurdles, but those were understandable and handled in a believable manner. The secondary characters did not compete for attention, but rather supported the leads nicely. The dialogue and cast interaction felt natural. The plot lacked the depth and dimension that I prefer and fell a little flat with only the minor dynamics that were introduced. While the plot went as expected, there was really no major points of predictability nor were there any fun surprises. There is a "flash-forward" epilogue that's rather cute and wraps things up nicely in a "for now" type conclusion. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Rating: [R] ~ Score: 3.95 ~ Stars: 4 -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 through NetGalley.com for an honest, unbiased review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is my 100% own.
This is a sweet friends to lovers romance with lots of twists and turns en route to their happy ever after. Though this is the third book in the series, it is a standalone and you really don’t need to read the earlier two to appreciate this one – though you may well be tempted to go back to read them as this is so good! Olivia and Danny had been best friends throughout their childhood after Danny saved her from some mean kids. She’s hung around with Danny, Bryce and Zane, as one of the boys ever since, well until she disappeared after being humiliated and fired from her job. When Olivia found herself pregnant, with a boyfriend who’d done a disappearing act after finding out, she flew home to ask Danny to marry her and be the child’s father – but fate stepped in and she ended up announcing they were planning to marry and that she is pregnant to his landlady, Mrs Landry, without first discussing it with Danny . . . . and Mrs Landry just happens to tell everyone else! Poor Dan doesn’t stand a chance! He, however, had no intention of ever marrying because he has Choroideremia, a rare inherited disease that will result in him being blind and doesn’t believe anyone will want him then and he is wary of passing it on should he father any children. Will he agree to help her? Can they overcome their fears of spoiling their friendship to find romance together? Can he learn to face the future without sight but with hope? Don’t expect an event free journey with this brilliant author, you just know there’ll be plenty of obstacles in the path of the potential couple. They already love and trust each other as best friends but attraction is developing dramatically. Should they resist temptation? What will happen if they don’t? As they start to reveal their feelings online to each other, will they dare to do so face to face? A great friends to lovers romance with well developed characters and a roller coaster ride plot packed with twists and turns to keep the reader enthralled. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.