Lindsey Hilliard flees her charmed life in New York, searching for answers after her fianc s betrayal fills her with self doubt Unfortunately, her rented Malibu home is next door to Levi Hardy, the sexy but insufferable man who humiliated her years agoHardened by a grim past he keeps concealed, Levi prefers maintaining a comfortable distance from folks, especially a nosy princess like Lindsey But then a motorcycle collision brings him to his knees, forcing him to accept her assistance with his recovery Sparks begin to fly when the woman who doesn t believe in herself teaches the cynic how to have faith in others Levi realizes his body will recover, but his heart won t if Lindsey returns to the ex who wants her backIn the biggest gamble of his life, Levi teaches her to trust her own voice, and hopes she ll use it to say good bye to her past and hello to a future with him This book surprised me It was well written, had a decent plot, and a realistic HEA Lindsey flees to a beachfront condo after her fianc tells her he cheated and there was an STD involved She realizes she s been allowing her parents and her fianc to dictate her life choices A bit of geographical distance helps her start figuring out her own wants and needs Lindsey discovers that Levi, a guy who gave her a mean set down as a teen, is her neighbor He s cranky and emotionally constipated She This book surprised me It was well written, had a decent plot, and a realistic HEA Lindsey flees to a beachfront condo after her fianc tells her he cheated and there was an STD involved She realizes she s been allowing her parents and her fianc to dictate her life choices A bit of geographical distance helps her start figuring out her own wants and needs Lindsey discovers that Levi, a guy who gave her a mean set down as a teen, is her neighbor He s cranky and emotionally constipated She s enthusiastic and cheerful He can t stand her.Levi winds up in the hospital having major spinal surgery after a hit and run accident He literally has no family or friends, and Lindsey forces him to accept her help during his difficult recovery He was such a jerk Lindsey didn t come off as a total doormat, so yay She had zero romantic interest in Levi, and recognized he had issues that kept him from relying upon anyone She came to realize that caregiving made her feel emotionally fulfilled, and that kickstarted a search for a different career She believed that there was a reason she and Levi had ended up neighbors, and that it meant they each had something to teach the other It was so great that she didn t interpret that to mean they were meant to be soulmates I enjoyed seeing them slowly become friends.There was a bit of angst, and a few misunderstandings as they gotinvested in each other, but these episodes were resolved quickly and didn t devolve into any BIG MISUNDERSTANDINGS.I wanted to clap when Lindsey asked Levi to get professional help dealing his deep emotional issues I hate it when characters are healed by love or by the right person He was seriously dysfunctional, and there was no realistic way he d suddenly be capable of having a healthy relationship She didn t give him an ultimatum, and he was able to recognize it was the only way he could move forward and share his life I think there were two sexy scenes towards the end They were brief and not overly descriptive No crude talk, and I can t remember if there was any swearing 3.5 stars What a surprising read What I thought would be a light romantic tale turned into a thought provoking romance with a few unpredictable twist and turns along the way As both Lindsey and Levi find themselves facing startling challenges, circumstances bring them together, resulting in a slow building, touching love story. I picked this up because a friend mentioned something I ll get to later And I found it surprisingly good, so that worked out well.From the start, I knew that Levi would be what made or broke my engagement He s closed off emotionally, but not without good reason Abandoned by his mother and left with his grifter father, his emotional landscape is rather bleak It almost makes it worse that he abandoned his father s lifestyle and ethical flexibility as soon as he could, choosing instead to use t I picked this up because a friend mentioned something I ll get to later And I found it surprisingly good, so that worked out well.From the start, I knew that Levi would be what made or broke my engagement He s closed off emotionally, but not without good reason Abandoned by his mother and left with his grifter father, his emotional landscape is rather bleak It almost makes it worse that he abandoned his father s lifestyle and ethical flexibility as soon as he could, choosing instead to use the skills and talents his father taught him in legitimate ways Okay, semi legitimate in that he turned his reading people and risk assessment to make a ground stake at poker in Vegas that he then turned into a livable resource through the stocks and bond markets So he s a variety of wish fulfillment in being so capable and rich in such a way that still leaves him rather broken.Fortunately, Beck does a really good job of making his emotional landscape feel very real and present I mean, it still functions as a negative motivation because of its effect on the plot as a break on relationship progress but at least Levi knows that what he really wants is emotional security that he lacks which is a positive goal that can work around his fear of relying on others The thing is, he vacillates a bit, sometimes acknowledging that he really wants Lindsey to choose him even while making plans that he knows will push her away.Holding my engagement together through Levi s instability is how much I loved Lindsey I loved how kind and courageous she could be on her own and how natural it was for her to help Levi when she sees his considerable need The story really needed the drastic events of a traffic accident that largely incapacitates him to get that initial slide around his barriers, but I love how unashamed Lindsey was in jumping in even through his unkindnesses I liked that she was working on asserting herself with her friends and family, too, though that kind of doormat personality often drives me up a wall But since this is what brings the two together, I barely noticed what would normally really kill me Levi s self imposed emotional isolation gives Lindsey the space she needs to ask herself what it is that she wants, even when Levi isn t actively asking her the question though I loved how frequently he did So I really enjoyed seeing her blossom out of caring for Levi, even though he was kind of a pain about it.There was enough back and forth in Levi s I want her, she ll hurt me that I can t give thisthan four stars But I m really glad to give it all four of them because the ending just came together so well.What piqued my interest Tandie mentioned that she was glad when Lindsey encouraged Levi to get professional help for his emotional issues and I ll echo how well this works view spoiler It comes way near the end and after he s made lots of progress on his own, so it was exactly when most authors would have let it lie I loved hearing Levi think of what his brain doctor thought about things in the resolution some that he was ignoring, but in a healthy way and thought this was an excellent way to conclude the story hide spoiler.A note about Audiobook I listened to the audio of this, which was good, but oddly disjointed Will Damron does an outstanding job with Levi s perspective, but Amy Rubinate in Lindsey s, while good, just isn t up to the same quality It was an odd effect having the two be noticeably different quality levels, even though both were good enough that it didn t really effect the story.A note about Steamy There are a few explicit sex scenes that happen late and very clumped together putting this barely in the middle of my steam tolerance I like how well it worked, really, because it happened when it needed to and I liked the dynamic that intimacy brought into their relationship for both good and ill Negative Motivations I kind of hate that the term negative motivation isn t widespread, yet Since it isn t, I m going to save off this little jag to append to my reviews that feature the term Jennifer Crusie blogged about it a bit back or, if that link doesn t work, here s a cache of the original and it changed how I understand story The problem with the term is that if you ve never heard it before, you d assume it meant motivations that are harmful or immoral Not so What it refers to is motivations not to do something The thing is that many of us are motivated to not do things for a lot of different, perfectly valid and reasonable, reasons The problem is that in a story motivations to not do things are a huge drag on the plot particularly considering the fact that most negative motivations are overcome by the character simply deciding they don t care anyor, rather, that they do care and are now motivated to do the thing So not only do you have a counter to action but you also have a situation where to overcome it, all a character has to do is change their mind Which means eventually, the reader is rooting for the character to get over him herself already and do the thing we want them to do Conflict drives story Conflict between a reader and a main character drives readers away from story Lindsey has a trust fund, ivy league education and a perfect fianc Until he confesses he cheated and might have given her STD Needing time to think, she kisses NYC life good bye and rents a Malibu beach house And instanly recognizes her new neighbor, who embarassed her years ago Levi is a gambler He doesn t do uncalculated decisions and doesn t trust anyone, thanks to being abandoned by his mother and his recently killed con man for a father But an accident forces him to accept the help o Lindsey has a trust fund, ivy league education and a perfect fianc Until he confesses he cheated and might have given her STD Needing time to think, she kisses NYC life good bye and rents a Malibu beach house And instanly recognizes her new neighbor, who embarassed her years ago Levi is a gambler He doesn t do uncalculated decisions and doesn t trust anyone, thanks to being abandoned by his mother and his recently killed con man for a father But an accident forces him to accept the help of his beautiful neighbor, who s determined to get to know him First of all I hate the Cover But that s also the worst there s to say about this book I don t know what it was, but I liked the story from the very start It s such a good story with enough drama but no overwhelming angst.Levi had me instantly with his sexy smile, the dimples and the gravelly voice, I mean he loves to cook and reading, how good is that guy And with time Lindsey grew to me also, her development is great I was all in for her, when she went over, after he was a prick for her birthday, showing she cares Both of them seem somehow lost He doesn t have anyone to trust, is all about analyzing and reading people but not giving away anything She lets her family dictate what she s to want, lacking courage to take on her own life but so determined to help others There were so many scenes I loved Like her jealousy over the surfer girl, hilarious, him becoming her hero in front of her mother and telling her that helping the unfortunate is no waste of education And of course, her slapping his There were some that made me mad, I mean, it was her birthday And pretty much everything including her mother and Rob Same as Lindsey, I knew it.Their issues are transported so well, you really get to understand why he can t trust and is afraid to feel You get her conflict, to forgive or to get over her perfect match, the life she was supposed to have Then their respective problems with each other were perfectly woven into this Her snob mother would never approve of him and when her fianc of years cheated on her, why wouldn t the cynic she just met But they always came around Each time there was an issue, they somehow got around and talked their way through it I enjoyed that there was back and forth, both of them making mistakes but also being able to get over it I also really appreciate the normal ending, it didn t drag through additional drama but just was Congratulations to Jamie This genre is one I don t normally read, but I should I was hooked immediately er I worked hard to avoid being the poster child for a stay at home Mom reading and popping bon bons and was incredibly impressed by her beautiful writing I even underlined some very insightful passages I would recommend this for a fast and fun read p.s Did anyone else envision a young Rob Lowe as Levi This book had potential but never quite got there I failed to fathom why heroine continued to speak to her disapproving mother Also, until the very end she hasn t taken a decision on whether she is going to take her cheating ex back I also didn t find the romance very romancey Yes, the book tackles growth for h H but it didn t click much with the romance. I m a sucker for a drama romance I just get so caught up in them, and give them all 5 stars Lindsey has an ivy league education, a trust fund, and the perfect fianc That is until she discovers her fianc had a fling with a woman he met at a bar and might have given her an STD Heart broken she leaves New York and rents a beach house in Malibu hoping to make some life changing decisions Levi is a gambler by nature who made his money by pushing his luck at the card tables in Vegas and shrewdly investing his winnings Having a con man for a father and being abandoned by his mother has Lindsey has an ivy league education, a trust fund, and the perfect fianc That is until she discovers her fianc had a fling with a woman he met at a bar and might have given her an STD Heart broken she leaves New York and rents a beach house in Malibu hoping to make some life changing decisions Levi is a gambler by nature who made his money by pushing his luck at the card tables in Vegas and shrewdly investing his winnings Having a con man for a father and being abandoned by his mother has left him with trust issues and a reluctance to form attachments When Lindsey moves in next door his world views are immediately challenged She somehow manages to keep breaking down the walls he built to protect himself Then after a motorcycle accident he finds himself depending on herthan he s depended on anyone since his mother abandoned him I really loved this book I was expecting a lot of angst and was pleasantly surprised when it didn t materialise It s contemporary romance and the story is typical in one sense but with quite an interesting take on things I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review Did not finish Stopped at 51%I just didn t want to read any I made myself read to 50% The story isn t holdingy interest at all Not sure what the hold up was to ramping up their story I don t care for Lindsay and grew to not care for Levi either There is zero spark or chemistry between these two The issue with Rob shouldn t take this long to deal with and was leading me to think this book was going in I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review Did not finish Stopped at 51%I just didn t want to read any I made myself read to 50% The story isn t holdingy interest at all Not sure what the hold up was to ramping up their story I don t care for Lindsay and grew to not care for Levi either There is zero spark or chemistry between these two The issue with Rob shouldn t take this long to deal with and was leading me to think this book was going in a different direction than a HEA Guess I ll never know Their first encounter, that was all there was to it No guy would have remembered her based only on that So that didn t work for me I just wasn t a fan