I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lips That Touch Mine by Wendy Lindstrom
Series: Grayson Brothers #3
Narrator: Julia Motyka
Published by Rustic Studio Publishing on November 5, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
Length: 12 hours, 47 minutes
Audio | Goodreads
Saloon owner Boyd Grayson is intrigued by his new neighbor, Claire Ashier, and considers her temperance crusade to shut down his noisy tavern nothing more than a game. While matching wits with the beautiful, aloof widow, he uncovers her torturous secrets that shock him to the core. Her pain affects him deeply. He wants to free Claire from her self-imposed prison, but she guards her heart with a gun and memories she can't forget. As the battle intensifies, so do their feelings for each other. Their unexpected friendship changes the game-and also Boyd. Can he disarm Claire with his love and show her he is a man worthy of her trust...and her love?
Claire Ashier runs a respectable boarding house located near Boyd Grayson’s saloon. She’s a widow trying to support herself but can’t keep boarders because of the noise from her business neighbor disturbing her customers late into the night. She wants to shut down the saloon. Boyd is sympathetic and taken by the lovely Mrs. Ashier but has no plans to close down his thriving business.
There’s so much more going on here than a noisy saloon. Claire’s deceased husband was an alcoholic and an abuser. When a group of women from the church begin talk of a temperance movement, Claire’s enrolled into leading the effort. When the campaign strengthens, she’s threatened and Boyd takes steps to ensure her safety. As they grow closer, they are at an impasse on how to move forward with a relationship while Claire associates alcohol with spousal abuse and marriage as a loss of independence.
What I enjoyed
There were so many layers to this story. What starts out as a simple issue regarding the noisy saloon evolves into situations regarding spousal abuse, the inequities between men and women’s rights, alcoholism and family secrets. These subplots were seamlessly interwoven, making this a rich reading experience. Claire and Boyd’s romance was complicated by her past and her baggage from her marriage. While there were moments where her stubbornness was irritating, it was true to her nature and the story. Boyd has his own issues, despite his affable and charming outward nature, and they have a place in this conflict.
The bottom line
I don’t often find meaty and tough issues in historical romances that have contemporary relevance. This story offered so much more than the traditional romance and it was very well presented without burdening the love story. The narration continues to be subtle and understated, not overpowering a riveting story. Each book in this series seems to best the last so I’m excited about starting the next one. The Grayson brothers keep surprising me.
I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!
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