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BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne

An Ex for Christmas became my new favorite Christmas romance! So check out my 4.5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY – An Ex for Christmas by Lauren LayneAn Ex for Christmas (Love Unexpectedly #5)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

Review:

If you’re looking for a book that will put you in the perfect Christmas mood, then definitely pick up An Ex for Christmas!  Not only was it fun, flirty and sexy, but I found myself humming Christmas songs for days after I finished that last page.  It was impossible not to since we got to witness them decorating for the holidays, there was Christmas songs playing in the background and the story even took place in a setting that felt like a winter wonderland.  An Ex for Christmas became my favorite Christmas romance, and I hope you end up loving it just as much as I did!

I turn back to Mark’s house and look up at the second floor, even though I know his bedroom window faces the opposite way. As expected, there’s nothing but still darkness, and I can’t stop the sinking sensation that things are somehow changing between us. And I don’t know why, and I don’t know how to stop it.

Kelly Byrne was a character I definitely haven’t met in a book before.  She used Magic 8 balls, horoscopes and tarot cards to help determine where she should go in life.  I liked her quirky, friendly ways, especially since she was a huge ball of happy energy.  On her way home at the train station, a woman beckoned to Kelly that she had news for her.  She told Kelly that she’d already met The One, and he’d come back to her before Christmas.  Taking it as the honest truth, she made a list of her exes and slowly started meeting back up with them.

The last thing I need when I’m trying to hunt down my exes is to start getting sexy thoughts about my BFF.

When Kelly started meeting her exes I was either a laughing, cringing, or desperately needing to cover my face kinda mess.  Oh my gosh, count on being more than entertained each time she met a different ex lol.  I felt bad for her because each time her hopes were so high.  She was always so optimistic!  But then when disaster would strike, she’d be reminded all over again why that man was definitely on her ex list.  Thankfully Kelly always had a constant in her life, no matter how horrific her meet-ups were.  And that was her best friend Mark Blakely.

He doesn’t meet my eyes. Not once. Not until he lowers his hand, his fingertips brushing over my lips at the very moment his gaze lifts to mine.
It feels like an electric shock.
The touch of his fingers on my lips, the heat of his gaze, the weight of his body pinning mine to the ground . . .
Somehow all of those combined is creating the most intense, unexpectedly carnal moment of my life. My eyes flutter in confusion.
No, that can’t be right. “Carnal” isn’t a word I associate with Mark.

Kelly and Mark had been best of friends for the last ten years.  They shared a dog, a backyard and they were extremely comfortable around each other.  Yet I couldn’t help but melt during so many of their interactions.  And the thing was, Kelly started to be affected during some of those moments too.  Which she shouldn’t be, because he was just her bff right?!  Well it didn’t help that gruff, sexy Mark was kinda hard to read.  You see his actions, words or even eyes would come across in an ever so sexy way, but then the next second he’d go back to being just Mark.  So I found myself smiling and sighing out loud a lot of the times when Mark was in the picture.  I was all for Kelly taking that step to see if Mark was into her too.   Yet she didn’t want to risk their friendship and tumble down that path.  I got it, in real life I would have acted the same way that Kelly did, but since this is a book I found myself wanting to bonk her over the head ever so lightly with her Magic 8 Ball and say go after Mark.

He steps even closer, a slight smile playing at his lips. “Kell?”
“What?”
“Shut up.”
He sets a knuckle to the bottom of my chin, tilting my face toward his.
My heart’s still pounding, although now it’s not so much about panic as . . . want.
I want nothing more at this moment than his lips on mine, his hands on my back pulling me close . . .
Mark’s lips brush my cheek.
My cheek.
He pulls back slightly, eyes locking on mine for one heated heartbeat.
And then he steps away . “Night, Kell.” His voice is rough.
“Night.”
He turns and walks into the raging blizzard, leaving me staring after him, mostly oblivious to the snow that’s getting all over my kitchen floor, soaking my borrowed pajama pants.
I’m ignoring the storm outside because I’m too aware of the storm within . . . and the startling realization that I want a do-over on that mistletoe kiss.
Because a part of me wishes it had gone very, very differently.

The way the story ended *happy screaming* awwww it was the best ever!  So if you adore happy quirky females, guys that give off the gruff and sexy vibe, and a cute story line that will give you all the Christmas feels,  then definitely check out this book.  LL did a fabulous job writing this festive and fun Christmas story, and I’m hoping you’ll love it too!

*ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 
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About Lauren Layne:
 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies.  She lives in New York City with her husband.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she’s written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

 
 
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BOOK REVIEW – Good Girl (Love Unexpectedly #2) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW – Good Girl (Love Unexpectedly #2) by Lauren LayneGood Girl (Love Unexpectedly #2)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

Prejudices. We all have them.

We can deny it all we want, and perhaps you’re Mère Thérésa, but I’m not free of them. That doesn’t mean that I’m judging people according to them, and I mentally slap myself more often than not, but they exist. I started this novel with a shit tons of them : I’ve read many reviews for Good Girl in the past year and apart from a selected few (yes that’s you Chelsea, yes you were right, alright alright alright), they made me expect an awful male-lead, a doormat heroine and an ill-conceived plot.

So you can imagine my shock when I realized that… It wasn’t what I was getting. Far from it, actually.

Prejudices. Both Noah and Jenny are full of them.

“I deserve nothing less than a slap right now, and I’m well aware of it.”

– Noah Maxwell, ladies and gentlemen!

Seriously though… Noah’s not the Bluebeard I expected? At all? Flawed as hell and absolutely infuriating, sure, prejudiced and sometimes mean-spirited, but that doesn’t mean he’s a complete asshole. God, I’ve read far, far worst and these pricks were competing for the book boyfriend of the year on here. Noah’s not even really mean. The most horrible things come out of his mouth, especially in the beginning, that I’ll gladly admit, but he’s aware that he’s going too far and he apologizes? So? I wouldn’t go as far as saying that he’s my type, but come on now. He calls himself on his shit. How is he different from say, Josh from I’ll Meet You There, who was beloved by so many?

Plus he calls double-standards out, and that’s still way too rare for me so excuse me if I wanted to high-five the guy. He might be kinda hot too, but don’t take my word on it (he totally is).

Also, why nobody told me that Jenny was able to hold her ground? The girl’s no damsel in distress.

“You know that feeling you get sometimes? Well, okay, rarely. That feeling when you meet a stranger’s eyes and something inexplicable and intense sizzles between you?
That.
That’s what happened between me and Noah Maxwell, at least on my end.
And then…
And then he had to go and open his mouth.”

See, to some extent, I understand why many readers dismissed her as a doormat, because she’s easy-going and oddly persistent in her quest to see the good in Noah. Yet she respects herself. She puts a stop to their interactions when he’s being a jerk. She doesn’t let go of her desires, whether sentimental or professional. Why are we so ready to dismiss strength when it’s not expressed in the way patriarchy taught us it should be? There’s endless strength in optimist and kindness, and one does not need to fit a certain mold to be strong, dammit. I love a kickass female-lead as much as the next person, but that does not mean that we don’t need to see different portrayals of women.

“Her gaze narrows slightly, and I expect her to get pissy that I’ve just outed our sexual status in front of Finn, but instead she leads forward, running a nail down the front of my shirt. “I think we’re a little confused about who seduced whom, princess.”

As it is, I could never find in me to despise her. She’s way too likeable for that.

Now, as I’m sure you know, there’s a difference between not hating and loving. There’s nothing groundbreaking in Good Girl and as often with contemporary romances, I have a hard time giving 3+ ratings out because I feel like I’ve already read a version of them a million times already. So, what does it take to go to 4 stars?

1) Hilarious internal monologues and well-written dialogues, which are Lauren Layne‘s biggest strengths – as are her final grand gestures, just admit it already.

2) The dog! I wholeheartedly recommend the dog. Dolly was perfect to diffuse the tension, because how am I supposed to go all angsty-angsty when I’m laughing out loud at the dog’s antics? Huh? More seriously, it’s so rare for a pet to feel like a real character, fleshed-out and not merely a bone thrown here and there. Trust me, you cannot forget that Dolly’s here, all the way, and that was so damn refreshing!

3) The chemistry, and how much the author makes me root for the characters : for a long time, that’s where the story fell short for me. I could feel Noah and Jenny’s attraction, I wasn’t bored, but it was certainly lacking something for me to believe in their connection. I didn’t quite understand what they saw in each other, and during the first half, on that aspect Good Girl missed the mark for me, keeping my rating at a 3 : I enjoyed my read all right, but it wasn’t enough. The sex scenes were hot, the banter was fun, but I wanted more. If Jenny’s life interested me, I sure didn’t care about Noah’s whatsoever, except for his friendship with Finn. It didn’t help that I found the plot points regarding his ex-fiancée completely unnecessary. However, it did get better : I thoroughly enjoyed the last 30% and that’s why I’m rounding up my rating to 4 stars ; both Jenny and Noah took my breath away and made me smile so big I can’t ignore it. I read the last scenes clutching my kindle, grinning like a maniac, and now that’s what I want when I read romance novels.

► I’ll get more of that, now and thank you. Flaws and all.

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Walk of Shame is my FAVORITE Lauren Layne book to date! So check out my 5 Star review below and enter the giveaway! Enjoy!

REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Walk of Shame by Lauren LayneWalk of Shame (Love Unexpectedly #4)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

Review:

Walk of Shame was crazy addicting, laugh out loud hilarious and continually pulled at my heartstrings. And when I closed the book, I couldn’t stop the happy tears! Here’s a few reasons why this is definitely my new favorite LL book!

✮Fabulous Heroine –

I put on my widest, sparkliest smile, only because I know it drives him crazy.
As always, I see a muscle in his jaw twitch as I flutter my eyelashes.
“Good morning, Andrew,” I say sweetly.
“Georgiana.”

I loved Georgiana Watkin’s voice, aka Georgie, and that her happiness and friendliness was infectious. She was this honest, bubbly, hilarious women who had the most generous heart. She was such a good person…..even though she loved to get under Andrew’s skin. But besides all that, she talked directly to us readers, sporadically. It made me feel like Georgie was my bff and I happily listened as she poured her heart and soul out to me. I loved everything about Manhattan’s famous party girl!

✮Rigid Yet Sexy Hero –

I pop another piece of donut in my mouth and smile. “It’s fine. I won’t tell a soul you checked me out.”
“I wasn’t—” He clears his throat. “Forget it. You’re ridiculous.”
I’m grinning outright now, because that’s two you’re ridiculouses this morning, and when he takes to repeating himself, I know I’ve successfully gotten under his skin.
Georgie, one; Andrew Mulroney, Esquire, zero.

Andrew Mulroney, Esquire…a famous divorce attorney…. was structured, rigorous and completely no-nonsense. Yet he captivated me, especially when he had his morning squabbles with Georgie. It was so much fun watching Georgie push Andrew’s buttons, and getting glimpses into the other sides of him. Even if I was always left wanting to desperately know or learn more about the allusive Andrew. Because even though it seemed as though Andrew was always in control, he wasn’t always on his game and he was insanely hot when jealous! And I have to put this out there, but I truly believe that fans of Michael from After the Kiss, will fall just as hard for Andrew!!

✮Fun and Flirty Vibe –

If I had even a lick of sense, I’d forget him and this weird game we’re playing. Instead I keep coming back for more.
I’ve been thinking about why, and, well . . . I’m simply not used to people not liking me. And yes, I know how that sounds. Diva much? But really, usually people at least want to be my friend. He hated me on sight for no reason, and I seem to be having a wee bit of a difficult time letting it go.

Georgie’s party girl routine rubbed Andrew’s off to the gym and then the corner office vibe at 5am the wrong way. Their morning confrontation in their lobby was always entertaining and the electricity running between the two of them was scorching hot. Well actually anytime they were near each other I always found myself smiling, laughing and then wanting to shove them together lol. Besides Walk of Shame being so much fun, LL writes some of the best banter, and she hit gold with Georgie and Andrew!

This book about polar opposites had me a giddy, laughing, crying mess! And I don’t think I have ever happy cried so much, this book, oh, it made me a ridiculously emotional girl! *sigh* Walk of Shame was absolutely perfect! I loved it so much and I hope you do too!

*ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

About Lauren Layne: 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

 
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BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren Layne

I’m so happy to be on the Love Story Tour because this book was beyond adorable! Check out my 4 Star Review below and enter the fabulous giveaway! Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren LayneLove Story (Love Unexpectedly #3)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Review:

I quickly devoured Love Story in one sitting, and absolutely adored Lucy Hawkins and Reece Sullivan.  Their friendship was volatile, hot and filled with history that we got to witness through flashbacks.  It was all centered around a road trip which made for a cute, fun read, that left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside when I finished that last page.

He laughs, and my heart hurts at the flood of memories. Of how we used to talk so easily, how we used to laugh so much . . .

Lucy and Reece have known each other almost their whole lives, since Reece is Lucy’s brother’s best friend.  After his mother died, when he was a little boy, he became an even bigger part of Lucy’s world.  Her family took him in, to a certain extent.  But from the beginning, Lucy couldn’t help fall for Reece.  Even if she knew he only saw her as his best friend’s little sister.  They were the truest of friends, until they pushed their relationship past the friendship boundary.  And from that point on, they barely spoke to each other.

“Not at all,” I say sweetly. “See, I just watched the way you attempted to juggle multiple girlfriends and failed, and then did the exact opposite.”
He glances at me then, a mocking smile on his face. “Oh, sweetheart. When did I ever claim you as my girlfriend?”
I suck in a quick breath, because it’s one of the more hurtful things he can say— dismissing that summer as though it were nothing.

Years later, they’re both headed to California for new jobs, and they end up getting stuck together for a road trip.  A two-week road trip.  Oh this made me so giddy!  Because from just those first few minutes being together in the car, I couldn’t stop smiling.  Sexual tension and friendship simmered and exploded between the two of them.  So emotions definitely flew high, and it made for an exciting trip that was filled with tears, jealousy, anger, and lots of desire!

I glance down at my towel, considering throwing some clothes on first, but then I shrug. It’s just Reece.
My inner skank rolls her eyes. There’s never been anything just Reece about what’s between us.
A fact I’m reminded of when I open the door and his gaze rakes over me.

My favorite thing about this story was definitely the characters.  They were the reasons I read this book in one sitting!  First off, Reece.  I love tortured men, and Reece played the part perfectly.  He was highly jaded from his past, since everyone he loved except Lucy’s family left him in one way or another.  Yet he seems to harbors so much anger and hatred towards Lucy.  And I was dumbstruck why.  Things she would say or do would set him off so easily, he was so explosive towards her.  Which felt ironic to me, since it was his fault their relationship blew up in a fiery inferno.  So Reece was a fun mystery to unravel!  And his moments of tenderness that alternated with want towards Lucy made me easily fall for him.

When she held out her small hand expectantly for the card, he took a deep breath and handed it over, meeting her eyes. “Thank you. For staying with me.”
Lucy blinked , looking a little confused, as though it was the most obvious thing in the world that she’d spend an afternoon with a crybaby.
Then she gave him a small smile, looking a little shy for the first time since going to him, as though she’d just realized something. “I’ll never leave if you don’t want me to.”

I liked Lucy from the get go.  She was driven and knew exactly what she wanted in life.  Whether it was her future job or Reece.  But what made me really connect to her were the flashbacks.  I loved watching their friendship unfold right from the start!  BUT the flashbacks didn’t feel seamless to me.  Each and every time I desperately wanted to stay in the present, even though I loved the moments the flashbacks showed.  I just wish they would have fit in a little differently to the story-line.

I blow out a breath. “Thanks.”
“For?”
I pluck at the hotel comforter. “For yesterday. For coming after me and holding me, even though I know you hate me.”
I hold my breath, waiting for him to confirm that he
doesn’t hate me. Which is stupid. He has no reason to hate me. He’s the one who ruined things.
I hold my breath anyway. Deny it. Say you miss me like I miss you.
There’s a rustling noise, then the creak of a crappy couch. “Night, Lucy.”

So Love Story was an enjoyable, quick read that I easily devoured.  While I guessed how a few things turned out, it didn’t take away from how much fun their story was.  And just so you know, each book in this series is a standalone and the characters don’t interact with one another from book to book.  Except they did listen to a Jenny Dawson song on the radio woohoo, which was a shout out to Good Girl.  If you adore road trips and hate to love stories, then there’s a good chance you’ll like Love Story too!

PS The nicknames were kinda different…. Spock, Horny ummm okay lol.

*ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

About Lauren Layne: 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL’s ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

 

 

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BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Good Girl by Lauren Layne

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Good Girl by Lauren Layne

Good Girl has become my FAVORITE Lauren Layne book and I can’t wait for you to meet Jenny & Noah! It was definitely one of her sexier books, and it contained all of the laughter, smiles and heartfelt moments that I’ve come to love from her writing. So please check out my 5 Star Review below, read an excerpt that made me smile and enter a fabulous giveaway. Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Good Girl by Lauren LayneGood Girl (Love Unexpectedly #2)
by Lauren Layne
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In this steamy novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines, country music’s favorite good girl hides away from the world—and finds herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

Review:

Lauren Layne has done it again!  Good Girl was sizzling sexy, laugh out loud funny and pulled at my heartstrings!  Upon closing that last page I knew that Good Girl was easily one of my favorite books of this year.  I mean, I read it in one sitting.  And that happens once a blue moon for me.  But I couldn’t put it down.  I didn’t even fake promise myself the ‘only one more chapter’ line.  Nope.  I devoured this story!

Good Girl played out in my head as though I was watching a movie.  And out of all of Lauren Layne’s books, I would absolutely die if this were to get optioned as a movie, it would be fabulous.  You see, Jenny is a country singer who had been dubbed as America’s good girl.  Yet she got thrown under the bus, and instead of fighting it, she stepped away from Hollywood and off the grid.  Jenny ended up staying in a house that captured a moment in time of her childhood.  In Louisiana.  And while Noah was the owner of the house, that’s not how he really played it.  He painted himself as the caretaker, which had me smiling huge. Being on a rural property lead them into some very passionate, hilarious and heartfelt moments.

Jenny had such an adorable voice.  She was funny without even trying, she talked to her Pomeranian named Dolly, and put chocolate chips in her supposed to be healthy smoothie.  She was so easy to relate to, especially since all my family and childhood friends call me Jenny, I always talk to my two little Havanese babies and I’ve tried the whole chocolate chips in a spinach smoothie, because while it sounds great, yeah, it doesn’t really work out.  But any who, I loved Jenny from the get go!  And as the story progressed, she earned my respect by being a woman who had a heart of gold and always saw the best in anyone or any situation.  I loved how positive she was!

I can’t wait for you to meet Noah!  And in case you don’t know, the jerky dickheads always tend to be my favorite!  So I loved Noah completely and whole heartedly!  Noah had a jaded past, and he knew that he didn’t want to go down that same road again.  Especially with a woman like Jenny.   So he called her princess and pushed her away.  Yet Noah could only push her so far away, because the sexual attraction between the two of them pulled them straight back to each other.  And their attraction and banter was toe curling and probably one of the sexier books that I have ever read by Lauren Layne. I loved it!  The scenes between them were SO hot.  Who knew pink zip ties could be so sexy?

Noah always seemed to push Jenny away after they had a moment of being close, whether it was physical or emotional.  He was hurtful.  He was the biggest jerk.  Actually, jerk is too nice of a word.  He was the biggest asshole.  YET, I never once disliked Noah.  Since the chapters alternated between the two of them, I got to be in his head.  I watched as he struggled.  I watched as the realization would hit him with what he just did to hurt Jenny.  And it hurt to watch him and Jenny suffer.  Still, he always apologized.  Those apologies left me with hope that he would work past those issues he struggled with.  That he was redeemable.  And that hopefully Noah deserved our love.

Lauren Layne continues to write stories that find their way into my heart, make me laugh, make me cry and make me fall in love with all of the characters she creates.  This is why she is one of my favorite authors.  So if you’re a fan of bad boys or reading books that play out in your head like a movie then definitely pick this book up!  I have a feeling you’re going to fall head over heels in love with this story too!

PS I loved all the dog scenes!  And how they played such a large part in their owners lives.  Loved, loved, loved.

*ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

 

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Excerpt:
Noah

“What time did you say this chick was arriving?” Finn asks around his cigarette.

“Tomorrow morning,” I say, rapping my toe against a funny-looking floorboard and wincing when it buckles.

“Huh.” Finn exhales and looks out the window.

I know that tone. “What?”

“Seems she might have gotten here early,” he says, a second before the quiet afternoon erupts with the sound of my dog losing his mind, mingled with the shrill piercing yap of a much smaller dog.

“Seriously?”

Finn shrugs and nods. “There’s a girl outside.”

“Shit,” I mutter as I head toward the stairs, dodging the two broken ones.

Ranger’s about as good a dog as they come, wouldn’t hurt a fly. But he’s a big dog with a big bark, and one serious weakness: gleefully humping smaller dogs. He’s a rescue, and though he was fixed after they brought him in, he’d already gone through canine puberty, or whatever. He’s still got the fierce urge to hump, although it’s more habit than hormones.

I exit out the front door just in time to see my big brown Lab leap forward, his clumsy paws finding the shoulders of a blond girl who lets out a shriek, holding a cat above her head like that scene from The Lion King.

“Ranger, no! Down.”

I run forward, my hand finding the collar of my dog and yanking him backward as I search the ground to find the source of the small-dog barks still piercing the air.

Then I register that the sound is coming from above, and realize . . .

The cotton ball isn’t a cat.

That orange piece of fluff is a dog, and Ranger is apparently in love.

“What the heck is wrong with your dog?” the girl says as she slowly lowers the puffball from over her head, cradling the hideous little monster against her chest as it continues its high-pitched bloody-murder yips.

“At least my dog is actually a dog,” I say, staring in horror at the pointy face of a canine that could fit in one of my hands. “I’ve seen dust bunnies bigger than that thing.”

“Dolly’s a Pomeranian,” she says, setting a hand on top of the monster’s head. “She’s supposed to be this tiny.”

“Well, Ranger’s a Lab. He’s supposed to be this normal.”

“He attacked me,” she says, giving Ranger a wary look as his tongue hangs out the side of his mouth, his eyes locked lovingly on Dolly.

“He didn’t want you, he wanted the . . . dog,” I say, forcing myself to acknowledge that the creature in her hands might be part of the canine family.

“For what, dinner?”

I don’t respond, because now that the crisis is averted, I’ve managed to shift my attention from the dogs to the girl, and . . .

Holy shit.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been sucker-punched by equal waves of lust and disdain before.

Jenny Dawson is hot as hell.

I knew that going in, but up close she’s even more mouthwatering. Her white skirt is short and tight, her legs long and toned.

She’s wearing some billowing pink top, so I can’t get a good look at what’s happening there, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ve always been a legs man, and I can’t stop looking.

The legs are a 10.

The face is a 10.

And the long blond hair spilling over one shoulder definitely begs to be spread over a man’s pillow. My pillow.

And yet even as my cock says yes, my brain is saying hell no.

Gorgeous as she is, she screams diva from the pink toenails to the sky-high stiletto sandals and all the way up to the carefully made-up face.

I just turned my entire life upside down trying to get away from a woman exactly like this one, so this is definitely a look, don’t touch situation.

But I’m looking. I’m definitely looking.

 
About Lauren Layne:

Lauren LayneLauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.

Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).

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