BOOK TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

BOOK TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne has not-so-slowly became my absolute favorite author. From the first book I picked up and the many that followed, I have never once read a story that hasn't made me smile in contentment and sigh with satisfaction. Each and every character she creates is unique and quirky, always burrowing a permanent place in my heart. If you haven't read a story by this amazing author, you are missing out on a truly enriching and heart-warming experience. When you pick up a Lauren Layne book, you know that, if nothing else, you will be smiling and laughing all day as the warm fuzzies envelop you. We are so glad to be a part of the Blurred Lines tour and hope you choose to give this one a try-Look below to see my review, a giveaway, and a hilarious excerpt from this beautiful novel.

BOOK TOUR + REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Blurred Lines by Lauren LayneBlurred Lines by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Abbi Glines and Jessica Sorensen, USA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

Review – An adamant 5 stars!

We begin walking, and the tension seems to fade, and I think we’re back to normal. Back to where we should be.
But then…
Ben slowly reaches out a hand toward me, and I’m confused right up until the moment his fingers brush mine.
The gesture is tentative. Sweet. And maybe just a little desperate for something that neither of us want to name.
Ben-my best friend in the whole world-is holding my hand.

Sigh. I’m biased. So so sooo biased…except I’m not. Every time I go to pick up another Lauren Layne novel, I get extremely nervous. I’ve even gotten to the point where I don’t even read them as soon as I get the ARC (‘cuz you know I’m a stalker for that shit) because I am excruciatingly nervous that ‘this book will be the LL book that doesn’t do it for me.’ Imagine that-My favorite author writing a book that doesn’t make me swoon or giggle or cry. That would surely be the end of me. So, while this book sounded EXACTLY like what I needed, I didn’t rush to read it right away when I received it. I’m weird like that. But, when my two great buddies asked me to read this with them, I literally couldn’t say no. I mean, I can’t say no to an LL book, right? They picked it up and were so excited….but lo and behold, guess who came out of this one with the largest smile on their face and no regrets?? That would be moi…naturally.

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When I saw this was a story about friends with benefits, I knew that it would either go strongly one way or the other: I’d either love it or hate it. I’ve never been huge on friends-to-lovers romance-it’s just not something I seek out. I don’t dislike it, per se, but I mostly enjoy when the people don’t know each other at first. But, from the moment I picked this up, I knew it was a winner. I was laughing, smiling, and had so many feels just from two chapters. The dialogue, AS ALWAYS, was so realistic and on point that I could barely contain my ridiculous urges to bust out laughing. The characters were people that I immediately became obsessed with, which isn’t that easy to do-I’m so picky with my leads. And the story was just extremely…lighthearted and effortless. The most genius thing about Layne’s novels isn’t that her stories are as sweet as cotton candy-it’s that within that fluff there are real emotions and tough situations that never fail to make my heart ache and my eyes to well up. The angst is never over done and there is just enough that you don’t feel like you are reading a snooze-fest of a happy book (Because, come on, admit it-books with zero angst these days barely stand a chance-we lubbs the drama). And while my two cynical Sally wonderful wonderful friends found more that aggravated them with the characters and their decisions than joy, I thought it was perfection. But don’t I always?

She’s already moving up the stairs. “Suddenly that D you got in biology is making total sense. You apparently missed the entire section on how hormones work.”
“It just so happens that biology is a specialty of mine,” I call up the stairs.
“Earlier today, you didn’t know what the uterus was,” she calls back.
“I knew,” I mutter.
Mostly.

And here’s what’s funny about that: It’s not like I go in all balls to the wall and say, ‘No matter what, I’m giving this a 5-I mean, it’s Lauren Layne!’ No. I actually am the opposite. I am a fair reviewer and I go in with an open mind for each and every story for each and every author. I don’t play favorites-My mind is strong. But I can’t help what the heart wants.


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I feel like Lauren Layne takes thoughts directly from my mind and writes exactly like I would if I had even a little ability to do so. She inserts humor in the most wonderful places to soften harsh blows and….Sigh. Will there ever be a universe where I’m not obsessed with LL? I don’t think that’s possible. Which makes me wonder-I have no idea why 20,000 people don’t jump on this woman’s books immediately upon release. I don’t get it. Certain authors, and I certainly won’t say who, release a book and all of a sudden there isn’t one person on my feed who isn’t reading it-and the sad thing is, I think [some of] these authors don’t have half the heart that Layne does. But that’s just me.

I hold her. I pet her hair. I let her soak my T-shirt with her tears, and supply her with ample tissues to cry into. (She’s not a dainty cryer, this one.)
Whatever the cause, the tears always rip at me a little bit, like there’s this pressure on my chest that I don’t know how to relieve. I mean, all girls’ tears do that.
But Parker’s especially. She’s my girl.

Ben. Oh. Em. Gee. Ben. I didn’t know how I’d feel about my boy at first…but from the minute he held Parker as she bawled uncontrollably, I was hooked. He was mine. I’d totally be his. Even with all of his man-whorish ways, he still always put Parker first-always. Call me a sucker, but Ben Olsen pushed all the right buttons. Best friends from college on, he never let a girl get between him and the person that made him happier than any guy friend could. To sum up?? Ben made my heart flutter and my soul soar…And he really didn’t have to do anything but defend Parker. Man oh man I have problems.
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And then there was Parker. A lot of people, from what I can tell, didn’t like Parker and the way she handled many situations. I, on the other hand, felt connected to her. I felt like she was a super realistic character-And I know, I know we all like ‘flawed’ characters and we expect certain behavior, but I don’t think readers really all mean it when they say that. Because, yes, Parker was flawed. She had some issues when it came to making decisions and not being a total hypocrite-she was-but here is the kicker: So am I. A lot of you people might not like me that much if you really knew me, considering I can’t make a decision to save my life. And I am a total hypocrite. What’s good for the goose is certainly not good for the gander, for me, sometimes. I am so bad about that. And I know I’m being a tad extreme comparing myself to this character, but I’m trying to prove a point. Layne’s scenarios are completely realistic, at least to me, because not one of us is perfect. And I know in books we don’t want to read about ourselves, but just look at it from every perspective, ya know?

“There is too a rule about shirts in the kitchen,” I insist. “House rule number fourteen. Speaking of which, where are my house rules?”
“Hard to say,” he says, opening the fridge and glancing at it’s meager offerings before pouring a cup of coffee instead. “But I may have used them to mop up OJ the other day. Or maybe as a coaster for my beer.” He snapped his fingers. “Oh wait, no, I remember. I just plain threw them away the old-fashioned way.”

So…yeah. Another huge win for me. And it’s so shocking to me this isn’t more popular than it is, already, because this might be my absolute favorite by her. But, I say that a lot about her books. That says a lot about this author: No matter how many times I say nothing will ever top one of her books I just read, I always come out at the end of a new book gushing and proclaiming my love for it. So….as I was desperately hiding in the bathroom on my husband’s birthday trying to finish this beautiful, fantastic book, I realized how far I would go to get more Lauren Layne-Making time where there is none (seeing as how I was supposed to be done a half hour prior). So, Lauren, can we please have lunch sometime? I know we’d be the BEST of friends. Seriously. Besties. Call me. 😛

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Excerpt
 Most of the time, having a girl for a best friend is awesome.
Among the highlights:
(1) My color-blind self never has to worry about going out the door looking like a sad clown.
(2) The Brita water filter is always replaced on time.
(3) Parker actually likes doing laundry for fun, and she only complains when I sneak my stuff in with hers about 30 percent of the time.
Oh, and as this morning’s adventure displayed, she’s an excellent excuse when a person needs to rid himself of clingy one-night stands.
But then there are the not-so-great parts. Like when she’s spent thirty-five minutes looking at lamps.
“Just get that one,” I say, lifting my arm to point at a random floor lamp as the noisy, child-filled scariness that is IKEA threatens to choke me.
She barely glances at the one I’ve selected. “It looks like a uterus.”
“What the fuck does a uterus look like?”
“Like that lamp. And honestly, for as much time as you spend rummaging around in women’s panties, you really should get familiar with their parts.”
“Isn’t the uterus the—” I break off, looking for the right word to describe the random memories from eighth-grade sex-ed class.
Parker lifts her eyebrows. “The baby cave?”
Like any normal guy would, I wince. “Christ. Why would I need to know about that? I use a condom.”
“Several of them, judging from the state of your bedroom,” she says, tilting her head to study the lime green lamp shade in her hands. “Do you think this would clash with my bedspread?”
“You’re asking the color-blind guy? Like I have any clue what color your bedspread is.”
“Seriously? Don’t act like you’ve never seen it. Two nights ago you flopped onto my bed in your sweaty gym clothes and it took me two washes to remove the man stank.”
I shake my head. “Poor Lance. Do you make him wear a plastic bag when you guys hook up so he doesn’t get his man stank on your sheets?”
“Lance doesn’t have man stank.”
I frown. “Hold up. If I have man stank, Lance has man stank.”
“No.”
I open my mouth to argue, but instead I shrug. That’s another thing you learn having a girl best friend. You pick your battles.
“You have two more minutes to pick your lamp,” I say. “I’m starving.”
Parker adjusts her purse strap on her shoulder. “Oh, I’m not buying a lamp. I was just browsing.”
I inhale deeply to rein in my women suck rampage when I catch her smirk.
“Oh, I get it,” I say as we move toward the end of the store where we’ll pick up my dresser. “This is payback. You’re mad because I made up that story about you having a creepy doll collection.”
“Actually, it was more punishment for destroying the house rules. I’m totally laminating them next time.”
“Or you could just create an online version and keep them in the cloud like normal people born after 1980.”
I see a little lightbulb go on in her head and almost regret giving her the idea. Not that it matters much. I’ve never really followed her fussy rules anyway, although for the most part I try to not be too much of a dick. The towel incident this morning notwithstanding, it’s like I said, Parker loves laundry. I knew she had extra clean ones stashed away.
“Seriously, don’t get that color finish,” she says, shaking her head at the dresser box I’m about to pull off the shelf.
“Wood is wood,” I say with a shrug, starting to maneuver the huge box onto our flat cart.
“No, there’s old-man wood and there’s modern wood.”
I raise my eyebrows. “Old-man wood, huh? You and your kinky fetishes. Do you make the dolls watch?”
She ignores me, and uses her hip to push the box I’d started to move back onto its shelf. “That one.” She points.
“Espresso?” I ask, reading the label.
But Parker is now typing away on her phone. I shrug, pushing her out of the way so I can get at the box she indicated.
“How about tacos?” she asks, glancing up briefly from her phone.
“I just had Mexican last night,” I say through a grunt as I move the box into position.
“You said I could pick.” She gives me a challenging look, her goldish brown eyes practically daring me to argue with her.
“If it was a unilateral decision, why’d you even ask?”
“Unilateral. Good word. And it was a test. You passed,” she says, trotting to catch up with me as she replaces her phone in her purse. “So how did you and Airhead meet? The Beta Phi party last night? She looked like she was eighteen.”
“Airhead?” I ask.
“It was written on her pants. Literally.”
“Oh, right. Those weren’t her pants. Lindsay left them last week.”
She makes a disgusted face as she pulls her long dark hair into a messy bun. I don’t notice most things about Parker as a girl, because, ya know, it’s just Parker, but she does have some damn good hair. It’s all Victoria’s Secret model–-like, long and dark with lightish streaks running through it.
The rest of her is kind of Victoria’s Secret-ish, too, but other than an initial moment of whoa when we first met, there’s never really been anything between us. I guess you could say I like her too much.
That and she’s dating Lance, and I like the guy. I mean, we’re not best friends or anything, but it’s impossible to live with Parker and not have some sort of friendship with her significant other.
Lance and I stop short of braiding each other’s hair, but we watch games together on occasion. I’d never make a move on his girl—even if I wanted Parker.
Which I don’t.
“So let me get this straight,” she says, as I swipe my credit card through the self-checkout machine. “One of your booty calls leaves her pants, which is weird, by the way, and then a week later, an underclassman sorority girl willingly puts them on?”
I shrug and give her a look out of the corner of my eye. “What’s wrong with that?”
Parker closes her eyes and sort of scratches at her eyebrow. “You don’t tell your mother any of this, do you?”
“Sure, we actually have a family blog, and I list my sexual activity for the week every Sunday. Is that weird?”
She ignores me, pulling out her phone again.

 

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About the author – Lauren Layne

 
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.
 
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.
Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.
 
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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for hosting BLURRED LINES! Great review!
    Tasty Book Tours recently posted…Marriage Under Fire: Grayce Walters #4 by Jacki DeleckiMy Profile

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