Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Once a Charmer by Sharla Lovelace

Title: Once a Charmer
Author: Sharla Lovelace
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Charmed in Texas #3
Main Characters: Allie and Bash
Release Date: October 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Charmed, Texas, is a close-knit small town where people’s dreams of love can come true. That’s not to say that some people aren’t still waiting, and dreaming . . . 
By day, Allie Greene stays busy with her family diner, and keeping tabs on her teenage daughter. What’s really exhausting Allie, however, are the nights. Not that she minds Bash Anderson unbuttoning her naughty desires—if only in her dreams. But what was he doing there at all? He’s her best friend, and a father figure to her girl. Talk about awkward. Talk about OMG-heat-and-fireworks that are flipping fifteen years of normal upside down. And now, when Allie needs him as a friend more than ever, logic doesn’t stand a chance against his lips and irresistible deep-blue eyes . . .
Sure, Bash has fantasized about Allie, but there’s no way he’d act on it. She and her daughter are the closest thing to family he’s ever known. With the exception of one drunken moment fifteen years ago, he and Allie have stayed on this side of the line—until that impulsive kiss of hers knocked him on his butt. That’s just one hurdle. Not only does Allie need Bash’s help to save her diner, but his apiary is in trouble, too. To stir the pot further, they’ve been roped into vying for the town’s Honey King and Queen contest—a sweet event that’s making them closer than ever. Something’s bound to come undone. Bash just hopes it’s not the friendship he’s worked so hard to hold on to.

My Review:
Ooh, I am a sucker for a good friends to lovers story and this one was fantastic. Bash has always been gorgeous and personable. Even in high school, he would have been much to cool for Allie, except they worked at the diner together and became friends. He was the one person who stood by her when she got pregnant at seventeen. He even delivered her baby and they've been best friends ever since. Although they have flirted with something more a couple of times, they both treasure their friendship too much to really pursue a romantic relationship. They both realize their friendship wouldn't survive a romantic heartbreak.

But as this book begins, things are changing. In one of the previous books, Bash was in danger and the relief over him being okay meant Allie kissed him. Ever since then she's been having erotic dreams about him. Those nightly visuals are making it weird between the two of them. But there's a whole heck of a lot of other drama going on in their lives too which is straining their relationship, including Allie's 15 yo daughter who they both love and adore. 

I loved the relationship between Allie and Bash. I love a good friends to lovers story. What I missed in this book though was his point of view. I really would have loved to have seen some of the story and emotions from his perspective. Because that wasn't there, I just didn't feel like I got to know him as well as I wanted to. 

But Allie is awesome on her own, too. Honestly she's a bit of a mess. She's always felt like she's judged in this small town because she got pregnant so young, but I think she has a skewed vision of how the town really sees her. But it does feel like she's constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown. And, well, she may be right about that because pretty much everything in her world that can go wrong is on the precipice of collapsing and she's not dealing with the stress too well.

This is the one thing I love about Sharla Lovelace's heroines...they feel real and vulnerable and so deserving of a break. And most of them haven't had many breaks. 

This has been a great series and I really did love Bash and Allie's story! I highly recommend both it and the entire series. (Note: you can read any of the books as stand alones.)

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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