The Leaves in Autumn

Liking Barbra is not a small gift in my life. But loving her is so much more.

Leslie Pike
The Leaves in Autumn


Publisher’s Synopsis:
A man saddled with grief, who isn’t looking for love…

A fiercely independent single woman…

And a friendship that should never become more…


I’m not looking for love. Hell, I can barely see my way through to the end of every day, but I do it for my son. What choice do I have? Not exactly what I planned for my life, but this is where things ended up.

The one bright spot is my best friend, my favorite sparring partner, the funniest person I know, and the only woman who seems able to accept me without demanding more than I can give. Barbra.

And yeah, she’s sexy. But she’s leaving, and friends is all we can ever be.


Being Aargon’s sister-in-law’s sister doesn’t make us blood. But it does mean we’ll be in each other’s lives… pretty much forever.

And that’s only reason number one why giving in to our desires would be a terrible idea. Reason number two? I’m months away from the trip I’ve been planning my whole life. I’m moving to Europe, and I have no plans to return.

But now? Europe’s shine has faded next to the spark and joy I feel igniting between us.

Point of view:
1st person. Alternating between Aargon & Barbra’s perspectives.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
This is book 5 in the Lyon Family series. While Aargon & Barbra’s relationship is fully covered in this book – there are a lot of characters and events referred to from previous books. The series is best enjoyed in order starting with The Beach in Winter.

Another emotional ride with Leslie Pike and the Lyon Family. I was laughing so hard during most of this book. Not only the regular family antics and banter – but Aargon and Barbra have such a fun friendship. Their verbal sparring and over the top capers are delightful. Pike contrasts this with some serious emotions, feelings, and dealing with past trauma. I also want to share how impressed I was with how Pike handled Aargon going to therapy. He was not “cured” or “fixed” in a single session or with a few pithy phrases. It was hard work interspersed over the length of the book.

While these two have been friends for a few years, I like the way that Pike spreads their evolution to lovers… and more.. over six months. It’s also a subtle way to catch up with all the Lyon family members while solidifying Aargon & Barbra’s relationship. Family gatherings, big surprises and changes for everyone, not just the MCs. Especially poignant are Aargon’s conversations with his grown son, Teddy.

There’s a little epilogue for their HEA that was a total surprise to me. Where they ended up, not that it was an HEA – these two definitely belong together. No idea whether Pike is planning to continue the series or not, and while this would be a lovely conclusion, I wouldn’t mind getting to read some of the now-grown Lyon grandsons finding their own HEAs.

Content Warning (spoilers):
Suicide of Aargon’s wife/Teddy’s mom (past), death of Aargon’s sister (past), Barbra’s dysfunctional mother/upbringing (including a drunken scene)

I received an advanced copy of this ebook from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

About the author:
USA TODAY bestselling author, Leslie Pike, has loved expressing herself through the written word since she was a child. The first romance “book” she wrote was at ten years old. The scene, a California Beach. The hero, a blonde surfer. The ending, happily forever after.

Leslie’s passion for film and screenwriting eventually led her to Texas for eight years, writing for a prime time CBS series. She’s traveled the world as part of film crews, from Africa to Israel, New York to San Francisco. Now she finds her favorite creative adventures taking place in her home, in Southern California, writing Contemporary Romance.

You can connect with Leslie Pike here:

My Favorite Quotes

“She is not afraid to speak her mind or tell me, in a hundred creative ways, to fuck off.”

“He was already shaped by grief when we met that day at the lake.”

“I don’t want us to be different with each other. I like who we have always been.”

“I’ve never known women who so aggressively believe in each other. Our friendship is like a religion.”

“I am losing adjectives to describe her appeal. They are never good enough.”

“My love for Teddy has always been indisputable. But right now, at this moment, it stands on the highest peak of the tallest mountain.”

“Liking Barbra is not a small gift in my life. But loving her is so much more.”

Published by rellimreads

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