Lips That Touch Mine
Lips That Touch Mine is third in Lindstrom’s Grayson brothers series. Although its leads were likable and their romance sweet, the storyline itself had a rather stale air.
Claire Ashier made the biggest mistake of her life when she defied her parents and married the man she loved. She should have listened when they told her he was no good, because all too soon Claire found herself in a marriage to a drunk who only wanted her for her inheritance. After years of pure hell with the abusive man, her life changes when her grandmother dies, leaving Claire the deed to her home. And when her husband drowns in an accident, she is finally free. Intent on surviving on her own, she opens a B&B in her new home. But with the local saloon right across the street, Claire realizes she may never have enough business to stay open and support herself. There is only one thing she can do, get the local saloon to close down and outlaw drinking altogether.
Boyd Grayson is shocked when a beautiful woman shows up at his saloon with a gun in hand, insisting he shut down. Although he admires her audacity and her lovely features, Boyd will never close his bar. That does not mean he can’t try and seduce the beautiful Claire. Boyd has a sentimental reason for owning the saloon, and he just can’t let go. But Claire has secrets of her own. She is sure that all men who frequent saloons are abusive drunks. How can he get her to understand that the saloon is a place where men unwind and bond? To make matters worse, she gets other women of the town involved. Suddenly, local establishments that sell liquor are being overrun by meddling women demanding they put an end to their sinning ways. Claire thinks that she is out to save woman and children from alcoholic husbands, but Boyd knows that she is fighting a losing cause and making enemies in the process.
Claire knew her fight would be difficult, but she had no idea that someone would make it their mission to kill her because she wants to clean up the town. Claire is being threatened and there are many suspects on her list. The only person who she trusts and who can help is the man whose saloon she is trying to close down. Boyd is the complete opposite of her, so how can she be so attracted to him? Worse is that Boyd makes it obvious that he is attracted to her. With no other person or family to help, Claire realizes that she must lean on him, whether she wants to or not. But how can they ever get along with such opposing views?
Reading a Western amidst all the Regency-set historicals is always welcome, and the lead characters are likable. Given all the recent talk about virgin widows, it was nice to read about a previously married woman who actually enjoyed her introduction to sex. Not only is Claire not a virgin, but we find out that she can’t have children, which means there is no surprise baby at the end. Boyd, too, was charming, albeit somewhat one-dimensional. Although there was nothing particularly wrong with his character, he just didn’t read as deep and complicated as I’m sure the author intended.
Though it had moments that set it apart, the people and the plot in Lips that Touch Mine were generally too familiar and predictable, and at times I felt the book was a overly dramatic, especially throughout the whodunit aspect. The villains were obvious, just one of the book’s many aspects that lacked surprise. Indeed, I predicted most developments before they happened, and though I enjoyed parts of the book, it was all too easily forgotten.
|Review Date:||April 20, 2005|