You Weren't Mine Then (Riviera View Book 3) by Lily Baines
You Weren't Mine Then Book Cover You Weren't Mine Then
Riviera View
Lily Baines
New Adult, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction
Independently published
August 8, 2022
Kindle, Paperback

Once they had it all. Now they want it back. Finn Brennen, swim team star, and Anne Drecher, the wallflower who tutored him, sparked an unlikely friendship that turned into a love so breathtakingly deep that they couldn’t imagine life without the other. But their happiness was short-lived. Torn apart by horrible timing and a twist of fate, for over a decade they are forced to hide their mutual past. Devastated by a love neither could forget, Anne built a life away from it all while Finn strove to give his son a stable home. But every family gathering brought them into the same room and served as a torturous reminder of what-ifs and could-have-beens. Now Finn is divorced and ready to fight for what his heart wants and needs. Anne tries to resist but yearns for the love she thought she’d lost forever. Family is forever, but what if love is, too? Is a second chance even possible when their love could tear a tightly-knit family apart?

I love you, and I know you love me. I love you so f**king much, and I don’t intend regretting more time without you than I already have.”

Book three,You Weren’t Mine Then, in Lily Baines Riviera View Series is a second-chance-at-love story that makes you feel every loss, regret, reintroduction, and restoration. To Finn Brennan, Ann Drecher will always be Jane, her first name that she went by until heartbreak pushed her to start going by her middle name. For over a decade they have tried to do “the right thing” in the eyes of everyone else at the expense of their own happiness. But, theirs was and is a love that runs deeper and only keeps growing stronger with time and Finn is done living with regrets. He is committed to doing whatever it takes to be able to openly love and be with his “Jane”.

(As a side note, even though we met Ann in previous books and she is referred to as Ann more frequently in You Weren’t Mine Then, as I learned the backstory she just settled as Jane in my head, just as she is always Jane to Finn.)

Lily Baines established herself as an author with a gift for characters who really connected and the ability to convey the emotional mood to her readers in a very tangible way in her debut Of All Hearts Series. She has taken this gift to the next level in the Riviera View Series, with stories that run your heart through a wide range of feelings. Lily perfectly alternates between past and present as she creates a deeper understanding of the connection shared between Finn and Jane, the circumstances that tore them apart, and the anguish that their separation continued to foster. Even if they are resolved to alwasy be together there are others who would like nothing better than to make sure that never happens.

She sighed. “Remember when he (her father) said you were like my brother?’

Finn came over and crouched in front of her, putting his hands on her thighs. He looked at her. “Would a brother do what I just did?” he rasped.

She expelled a breathy chuckly, “We’re so going to hell.”

“I’ll take you to heaven first.”

As a contemporary romance, You Weren’t Mine Then finds the perfect balance between storyline and romance. Lily has created a captivating story that mimics the real life struggles found in acrimonious divorces, blended families, and hurtful pasts. Lily seems to understand that life can get messy and things don’t always just magically fall in place, which makes her stories both realistic and relatable. She also gets that family dynamics can be complicated and sometimes the people who are “family” are not always the ones who are good to you or want what’s best for you. But, probably my favorite thing about Lily’s style is her ability to write not only physical heat but a soul-level attraction. Finn and Jane have a smoking hot physical connection that is stoked by all the different shared moments and private understandings from high school as well as a sincere appreciation and respect for each other. It’s a good thing Finn still spends so much time in the pool or they just might combust!

You Weren’t Mine Then is written to be a stand alone but you will enjoy it even more by gettin a fuller picture of life in Riviera View from books 1 & 2 in the series: You Didn’t Love Me Then, You Didn’t Know Me Then. Also, if you haven’t already read her other books grab them as well. Lily is quickly establishing herself as a consistently great contemporary romance author and as a reader I can’t wait to see what she will create next!