You Didn't Love Me Then (Riviera View Book 1) by Lily Baine
You Didn't Love Me Then Book Cover You Didn't Love Me Then
Riviera View
Lily Baines
New Adult, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Independently Published
September 27, 2021
Kindle, Paperback

Growing up twenty-five yards from each other in a small beach town, Luke Delaney was Libby Latimer’s best friend. He was a haven in her tumultuous life. They were inseparable. Until she developed feelings that shattered the boundaries of their friendship.

Fifteen years later, Libby is a social worker who has strived to build herself a drama-free, heartache-less life. She’s content and intends to keep it that way. When Luke lands back in town, her heart and mind turn into a battlefield. She never forgot what kissing him felt like or how it ended.

Air Marshal Luke Delaney thinks he has his life under control. After spending fifteen years literally up in the air, he returns to his hometown. A chance meeting with his former best friend rips the smooth veneer off his life, revealing essential parts of himself he thought he could live without.

Old feelings brew to the surface with each unavoidable encounter. New ones simmer. As their past and present collide, can they get a second chance, or is it years too late?

Libby & Luke’s story is perfect for readers who love: slow-burn romance with mild steam, childhood best friends to lovers, second chances, a small town setting, a touch of emotional angst, a relatable heroine, and a swoony hero with a heart as wide as his shoulders.

“Some things are inevitable”

Lily Baine kicks off her new series, Riviera View, with the poignant and palpable contemporary romance, You Didn’t Love Me Then. Libby Latimer was in love with her childhood best friend, Luke Delaney. She took a chance when she revealed those feelings to him only to find that Luke did not love her enough to take their relationship to that next level. Fifteen years later, after life had taken them down different roads with different relationships, Luke finds he is drawn him from his travels as an Air Marshall, back to Rivera View. Meanwhile, Libby has found solace and purpose as a social worker while trying to fill the void Luke carved in her heart as a teenager. Even though she has never stopped thinking about him, he is the last person she expected to see while helping a client at the local police department. But life seems to be pulling Luke back to his roots and after seeing her he quickly realizes that “home” was, is, and always will be Libby. Yet, Libby may never again be able to risk her heart with him.

I love the story and dynamics of Libby and Luke, who had an abiding friendship through their preteen and teen years which carried Libby through some of the hardest moments of her childhood. Luke’s presence was the anchor to her tumultuous life, which was marked with pain and hardship after her father betrayed his family and skipped town. Luke was a great friend, yet still a child, when the pull of a world outside their small town caused him to reject the deeper love that Libby offered him. When years later, he realizes that the completeness he has been seeking all this time is right where he left it in Libby, it may just be too late. Yet, he won’t give up without a fight telling her that every bullet has an address,

“they are already aimed at something that you can’t always see, and you just follow the trajectory, no matter how far or convoluted. You’re mine, and I’m yours. We’re each other’s trajectory. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe we’re more alike now than we were then. Maybe we wouldn’t have made it through then. It doesn’t matter. Things happened the way they were supposed to happen. I was supposed to be away, and come back, and fall in love with you.”

And he will do everything in his power to restore the trust they once shared, even pulling in favors and connections as an Air Marshall to deal with the wake of destruction constructed by her father, that is threatening to destroy the stable life she has finally created for her and her family.

Lily has become another one of my favorite “feels” authors, but she really upped her game with You Didn’t Love Me Then. I had to laugh when I read the blurb on Amazon that it was for readers who loved “a touch of emotional angst”. This was more like a big bear hug than a touch as she has you feeling every gut-wrenching loss, glimmer of hope, and exhilaration of love. She will totally captivate you with a larger plot woven around Libby and Luke’s intimate and entangled relationship. I guarantee you will lose yourself in this well-written romance and won’t put it down till you make it to the unique and heart-warming happily ever after.