Today, I’m hosting author Shirley Goldberg’s latest release A Little Bit of Lust, book three in the Starting Over series, a contemporary romance. Be sure to read my review. And don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Blurb: Love-cynical Lucy Bernard delights in her independence. Baking, all things Instagram, the occasional fling, and most of all hanging out with best friends Deon Goldbloom and Phoebe Karis. But when Deon kisses Lucy at the beach on a chilly afternoon, the two friends jump into a lust-filled romantic weekend. So what’s with slotting her into “ignore” status afterward? Too embarrassed to confide in Phoebe, she silently buries the humiliation.
Deon Goldbloom is a widower who can’t move on after his wife’s death. Is he a little crazy spending a sexy few days with Lucy and calling it the best time he’s had in four years? Yeah. Except blue Monday comes calling, and Deon isn’t ready for the guilt.
Lucy wonders how a smoochy weekend turns into a friends-with-benefits disaster. And Deon wonders if he’s made the biggest mistake of his life. Using all his nerdy charms, he launches a campaign to bring Lucy around. Maybe they can chart a course back to one another if Lucy will only forgive him.
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“You know,” said Steve, “you and your friends are like The Three Musketeers. Always together.”
Together indeed. Lucy loved their routine. Arrive early while the band set up, grab seats, and make the rounds among their dancing friends. The band quit at eight, and they went home and got up early the next day to wrestle with classrooms full of middle school kids.
Steve leaned an elbow on the bar. “I’ve been here half a dozen times––”
He jerked back as Lucy’s best friend, Phoebe, trotted up and plonked her bag on the bar, startling them both. “Deon’s late. I don’t see him,” she barked.
Lucy sniffed and cleared her throat in a loud ah hem. “Mrs. Interruptus why don’t you?” she growled. “And hello to you, too. This is Steve. Where’s my hug?”
“Sorry, darling.” Phoebe bobbed her head in Steve’s direction, said a quick “hi,” and wrapped both arms around Lucy. “Better? By the way, interruptus sounds sexual.”
“I was trying to be snotty.”
Steve stood and gave Phoebe his seat. “Thank you, very thoughtful.” She shot Steve a quick smile and reached for her bag. “I’m stealing this dating idea from an ad for eight-minute dating. Some restaurant in Stamford.” She opened her bag and peered into its depths. “Can’t remember where I put that ad.”
“Dibs on Deon for ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo.’” Lucy raised a hand to signal the bartender. “I think Travis is impressed by my vast knowledge of Glenn Miller tunes.”
“I’m certain he is.” Phoebe, riffling through her handbag, gave Lucy a doubtful look. “You’d better alert Deon. He just came in. There’ll be a ton of good dancers here today with this band. Competition.”
Lucy glanced over at the stage where Deon stood talking to Travis, in Buddy Holly glasses and a porkpie hat.
“Got it.” Phoebe brandished her phone and scrolled. “I forgot it was in my photos. Look.” She thrust her phone at Lucy.
“Can’t read it; the print’s too tiny.” Lucy flung her arm in the air and waved in Deon’s direction, eventually catching his eye. He wandered over wearing his customary smirk, and Lucy handed him Phoebe’s phone. “Read this, would you?”
Deon cleared his throat and launched into his favorite accent. Elvis. “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen––”
“Hah, it doesn’t say that,” Phoebe protested.
“Meet your dream gal or guy. Only eight minutes to your SoulMate IRL! Here’s your chance. Ages forty-two to fifty-five. Follow the link for more information and your choice of evening.’”
“That sounds like torture,” Deon said, dropping the Elvis. “IRL? What’s IRL?” He cocked his head. “Code for I’m really likable?”
This book is part of the Starting Over series, and that’s exactly what Lucy and Deon are facing. Divorced for ages, and having come out of a disastrous relationship, one she ended, because, well, Lucy Bernard will leave them before they leave her, she believes she’s found the one when bestie Deon shows her the most magical weekend she’s ever had.
Deon is full of guilt, though. He had the perfect marriage and the perfect wife in his soulmate before she died in a car crash. On his own for the last four years, a wild night at the bar turns into so much more with one of his besties: Lucy. But he’s not ready to let go of his deceased wife yet, or is he?
Starting over happens at all ages, and for the characters in this novel, it’s about the thirties. Lucy’s on the hunt, and she’s trying it with dating apps and her BFF Phoebe. Deon isn’t truly into the app. He’s simply along for the ride to keep an eye on the ladies during their wild nights out at the bar. Basically, anything to escape the four empty walls of his lonely house.
The writing is great. It’s very “voicy” and true to character for the main leads Lucy and Deon. I find readers who are into social media, pop culture, and all that other fun stuff will relate to the world created by the author about being single and in your thirties, while on the hunt for that perfect someone.
Deon, I felt for, since he took a big step, and with the wrong person to take such a step with (his bestie) when he’s not ready. Letting go of grief and moving on isn’t easy, and loaded with tons of guilt and fears. As for Lucy, I did feel she could’ve shown Deon some more compassion when it came to the “ignored texts” situation. I mean, the guy’s a widower. Of course, he’s scared. But Deon did say some things during their weekend together that warranted Lucy’s anger.
It’s a ride of speed dating, jealousies, and reassessing their friendship that keeps this novel rolling along until the end. It’s a nice light read, not too heavy, and perfect for those who love rom-com’s.
Her website http://midagedating.com offers a humorous look into dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. A Little Bit of Lust is her third book in the series Starting Over, although all her books are standalone. Her character believes you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.
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