ARC review: Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Goodreads   Amazon

Socialite Georgie Watkins is the kind of person that brings donuts to her building’s doormen.  The kind of person to buy a Burberry onesie for an acquaintance’s new baby.  The kind of person that donates her time to one charity after another rather than settle down in an actual paying job. Andrew Mulroney, Esquire is the kind of guy to think that’s ridiculous.

Georgie and Andrew are sworn enemies – but running into him every morning is the best part of her day.  Georgie is determined to make the cynical, stodgy Andrew fall for her charms, just to prove that she can.  See, Georgie is a sunshine and rainbows kind of girl.  She believes in love.  She chases the happily ever after.  Andrew, though?  As New York City’s most sought-after divorce attorney, Andrew spends his days dividing up the assets for happily ever afters that didn’t work out.  To say that he and Georgie are polar opposites might be an understatement.

I’ve read a bunch of Lauren Layne, and this is the sort of story that I’ve come to expect from her.  It’s well-written, super cute, and so easy to read that I flew through it within a few hours.  I absolutely loved the tension that built up between Georgie and Andrew as they fell harder and harder and yet refused to admit it.  Slow burn doesn’t always work for me, but I absolutely loved it here.

When I first picked up this book, it was exactly what I needed to forget about the stress at work and at home and just get completely sucked into Georgie’s sparkling personality and sunny outlook on life. I can’t wait to see what Lauren comes up with next.  I will surely enjoy it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC!

Final rating: ★★★★☆

    Goodreads    Amazon

Jenny Dawson is the popular country singer.  She’s 22 years old.  She has tons of hit songs.  And she’s hit a roadblock.  She cannot for the life or her come up with any new music.  Add to that the fact that married men that she’s never met have, for some inexplicable reason, decided to claim that they’ve slept with her, and Jenny is in serious need of a change of scenery and a break from reality.

Enter Noah Maxwell.  The son of the man who owned the rural Louisiana retreat where Jenny wrote some of her first good songs, Noah reluctantly agrees to let her try to recapture some of the magic.  Noah is a first class jerk, quick to insult her, belittle her, let her know that she’s no better than what the tabloids are calling her.  Because this is a new adult book, of course the next thing that happens is Jenny finding herself impossibly attracted to Noah and his “alpha male” ways.

Good Girl is my third or fourth book by Lauren Layne in the last year or so, and it’s more or less what I expected from her.  It wasn’t enough to wow me – Noah was a little too over-the-top for that, but it was good enough.  Jenny reminded me a lot of Taylor Swift (who I am a huge fan of, by the way) back in the day when every man on the planet claimed to have been dating her, and I sympathized, because who ever knows if tabloid rumors are true.

So here’s the thing.  Was Jenny a strong character?  Not really.  She ran away instead of facing her problems.  But that’s okay, and I get it.  At 22 years old, I would have probably done the same thing.  (I’d still be tempted now, just saying.)  My problem with this book solely lies with Noah.

He decides to be a jerk from the beginning, starting with not telling Jenny who he really is.  Then he decides to insult her in literally every way he can imagine.  He seduces her and then slut-shames her.  He plays with her emotions and you know what? That’s not “alpha male” behavior.  It’s not cool and it’s nothing to aspire to.  That is not the way that someone should treat their partner and it really threw off the whole book for me.  Sure, he apologizes and she forgives him and then they just repeat the whole cycle and I felt bad for her.  Jenny deserved better.

I’m still a fan of Lauren Layne’s, and I’m still most likely going to read whatever else she comes out with, but I was more than a little disappointed with this one.  Still, I’m giving it three stars because I read it all in one sitting and the plot kept me intrigued.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free review copy.

Final rating: ★★★☆☆

For my 2016 reading challenge, I’m crossing off #25: a book that takes place during the summer.

Goodreads  Amazon

For six years, Parker and Ben have been fighting the notion that it’s impossible for men and women to just be friends. The two have been best friends since they met at freshman orientation, and their friendship has only become stronger through the years. In fact, they even live together. With no issues. Parker is in a long-term relationship and Ben has made it his mission to sleep with every eligible bachelorette in the Portland area. Their setup works. Why question it?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – probably a thousand more times. Friends-to-lovers is my favorite romance trope. And in Blurred Lines, Lauren Layne has handled it very well. There’s no insta-lust. It’s not like Parker and Ben wake up one morning to find that they’re inexplicably attracted to each other. I was worried it would go the way of the regrettable drunken hookup, but that didn’t happen either.

And, even better, Parker and Ben didn’t forget about their friendship once the benefits arrived. No, they still hung out just like old times. Still had heart-to-hearts just like before. Ben still tagged along to come visit Parker’s parents on the weekends. It was great! I really appreciated that they didn’t turn into a couple of idiots once sex was involved.

However, there was one thing I couldn’t get on board with, and that’s Parker’s stupid decision at the end. I get that she was scared, I get that she was falling back into what was easy and comfortable, but I seriously wanted to shake some sense into her! For a book that had been otherwise low on the angst and idiocy scale, I was disappointed that Parker would make that kind of decision.

Anyway, overall, this book was really cute! I read it in one sitting on a Saturday night because I just couldn’t go to bed without knowing what happened next. This was my first book by Lauren Layne, but I will definitely keep an eye out for what she comes up with next.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy!

Final rating: ★★★★☆