Review of ‘Not Since You’ by Fiona Riley
Charlotte Southwick is boarding her honeymoon cruise alone after catching her fiancée in bed with another woman. To her complete surprise, her first love and woman she left behind for college works on the cruise ship. Lexi Bronson has been running away since Charlotte left her behind ten years ago. Bartending for the cruise line, going from one tropical location to the next has been managing her disquiet. That is until she sees Charlotte again. Can this first-love get a second chance?
This is a hard one for me to rate. I have read a couple of other novels by this author and enjoyed them both. Her ability to create chemistry is excellent and the reader will find that she succeeded again in this book. The light touches and flirting make Lexi and Charlotte a good couple. That said, Lexi is a very forgiving woman to not require much of an explanation for Charlotte leaving her 10 years ago. The reason is ok and well, things happen when you are young. I’ll be honest, I wish I had Lexi’s ‘moving on’ mentality. There are a few explicit sex scenes that will not disappoint those readers that have come to expect that from Ms. Riley.
The second big hurdle is Charlotte’s failed engagement. I liked that her breakup happened months before as the honeymoon was not planned for immediately after the wedding. Acceptable fix for not having a main fall for someone else right after breaking an engagement up. The fact that they share a history also helped.
Cruise life got a little boring for me. I appreciate the effort the author made to bring the mains together as no employee is allowed to romantically interact with a guest. Unfortunately, that meant many cruise ship activity descriptions that lost me. The older woman Charlotte met was intrusive and seemed wasted effort as the character faded to nothing. The other disappointing part was the big conflict in the story. All of a sudden the end of the cruise week is such a horrible thing and defining issue but the reality is the cruise was going to always end. I feel the real conflict of the story was how to continue the relationship beyond the cruise time and things were not developed on that front. Felt like a missed opportunity to delve into something more critical and what really matters in a forever love story. That also meant some skimming on my part to reach the final resolution.
Overall an okay lesbian second chance romance. 3 stars
ARC generously provided to me by BSB via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.