DGR Fave Review: Walk Of Shame by @_LaurenLayne

WALK OF SHAME
Series: Love Unexpectedly #4
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: April 18, 2017

Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

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.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Despite the high temps of that swampy July morning, the encounter had been the start of an epic cold war. Me, the socialite in apartment 86A against the uptight esquire in apartment 79B. I’m not entirely sure I’m winning the war, but I’ll never tell him…

Where has this book been all my life?!! Where?!! I don’t have the words to describe all the love I had for this story! It was addictingly delicious and wickedly funny! Walk Of Shame is a book that will leave you with a full heart and a goofy smile on your face. It will make you swoon and make you laugh. It’s a book that you’d be incapable of reading without smiling the entire time. It was, in a word, PERFECTION.

I’m a sucker for a good enemies to lovers and this was utterly delicious! Witty banter, snarky sarcasm, ah-mazing characters, and enough chemistry to zap your finger with electricity each time you turn the page. So. Dang. Good.

I don’t like games, Georgiana.”
“Which is why you need to play them, Andy.”
He blinks. “It’s Andrew.”
“Hmm. How about Drew?”
“No.” The word is a growl. “Georgiana.”
“Yes, Andy?”
He exhales. “I’m going to kill you.”
I can’t help the laugh. “See, I don’t think so.”
“Don’t you?”
“Nope,” I say, sucking sugar off my thumb. “You don’t send flowers to someone you’re going to kill.”

Georgie is no stereotypical socialite. This is a heroine that’s absolutely impossible not to love. She’s warm-hearted, genuine, witty and sweet. There’s no catty friendships and silly drama with her. Can I just say what a breath of fresh air that was for me? Because GAH! I loved that! Being the daughter to two moguls leaves her wanting for nothing, but she’s not spoiled in the very least. She truly cares about people and I adored the easy friendships that she developed and drew people to her with her presence. Even the doormen to her building weren’t immune to her easy charm. The one person that was, however, was the stuffy divorce attorney that seems to go out of his way to either ignore or insult her.

What exactly did you do for exercise, Georgiana?” he says, giving me a skeptical look. “Twirl your hair?”
“If I do it vigorously, it counts as cardio.”

Andrew Mulroney, boy genius, now successful and most sought after divorce attorney is the definition of routine. Up at 5 am, exchange snarky sarcastic barbs with Georgie, work, sleep, repeat. He was so adorably awkward that you can’t help but like him. He’s not your stereotypical playboy hero. Yes, he’s successful now, but he’s not the life of the party. He’s been on the fast track to success since high school, and he’s not about to let a party girl distract him…even if the party girl is a lot more than first meets the eye.

I loved the banter between these two and the slow burn of sexual tension. Between every barb and insult these two exchanged, there’s a crackle of attraction and I absolutely loved the pacing of their relationship developing. It goes from frenemies to a reluctant friendship to so much more.

The man whose head moves insistently between my legs is nothing like the buttoned-up lawyer who has spent the past few months ignoring me. This man is raw and primal, his touch sure and possessive, as though every part of me is his and he’s always known it. 

I adored every single page of this book. Every. Single. Page. The friendships between Georgie and her girlfriends, the witty banter between her and Andrew, the slow burn, the crackle of attraction, EVERYTHING. Everything just flowed effortlessly to make for one unputdownable read that left me with a goofy grin from beginning to finish. I can say with utmost certainty that this may have been my favorite book by this author to date. If you’re looking for a witty rom com with a dash of enemies to lovers, you seriously can’t go wrong with this book!

He palms my ass before his fingers explore, tracing the upper elastic of my underwear. “Georgiana. Are you wearing impractical undergarments?”
“Yes. One might even call them . . . ridiculous.”
He pulls back, eyes gleaming. “I’ll be the judge of that.”


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

BLURRED LINES | GOOD GIRL | LOVE STORY | WALK OF SHAME

DGR Fave Review: Someone Like You by @_LaurenLayne

someone-like-you-reviewSOMEONE LIKE YOU
Series: Oxford #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: December 6, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

someone-like-you

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.

Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKSReview-DGR5 starssomeone-like-you-dgr-teaser

If I did it, Wallflower, if I felt that way again, it would be about someone like you.”

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve been both eagerly anticipating and dreading Lincoln’s book. Anticipating it because you love those irreverent playboys, and dreading because you’re afraid that you’ve been building up your expectations in anticipation. Lincoln’s story was the one I’ve been waiting for since Irresistibly Yours. It’s been a long, painful wait. But after finishing this book in one sitting, I can tell you that it was every single minute, hour, day, and month of the wait. It didn’t meet my expectation. Heck no! It blew them away. Lincoln Mathis took everything I had thought I knew about him and took me on a rollercoaster of emotion. I laughed, I cried, I freaking swooned! I adored everything about this story. EVERYTHING.

And tell me, Daisy Sinclair,” he said, “why is it that you’ve been dubbed off-limits?”
She batten her eyelashes, looking every bit the Southern belle she sounded like. “Isn’t it obvious? Divorced, damaged, and ever so fragile. You? Why is it that you’re to be avoided?”
He leaned forward slightly and lowered his voice.“Consummate playboy, intriguingly unattainable, with just a dash of dangerous secrets.”

If there’s one thing I can tell you is to go into this book ABSOLUTELY BLIND. You don’t want to know the smallest detail. Trust me on this. You’ll appreciate the emotional punch that much more. What I can tell you is that you’re expecting for this to be the typical playboy meets the right girl and changes his way sort of story, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Lincoln couldn’t explain how he knew it, but he and Daisy Sinclair got each other. Their respective walls had been acknowledged, a silent agreement passed that neither would try to scale the other’s.

Daisy is Emma’s (from THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE) twin sister. Coming off of a bitter divorce has left her a little cracked, but not broken. This was a woman with so much internal strength and it just took her a bit to get it all backed. Daisy was such a powerhouse of a heroine…in a perfectly understated way. She was exactly what Lincoln needed. She was patient, kind, understanding and never pushed beyond what she knew the boundaries were. She has her own past demons that she’s trying to recover from, and it just made her that much more endearing.

As for Lincoln? Man oh man, I never thought it’d be possible for me to love him even more than I already did. Still waters certainly run deep with this man and he’s so much more that what first meets the eye.

We’re all a little cracked, honey.”
“You ever wonder?”
“Wonder what?”
“What will fill your cracks? How to get better.”
“All the damn time.”

What you see is not at all what you get with him and soon the pieces begin to click together towards the heartrending secret that he keeps. My heart went through a ringer with him. It’s impossible not to fall for him, not to feel his pain, not to want to soothe and heal him. In between the easy friendship that Lincoln and Daisy instantly develop, there was such a deep emotion interspersed with a hidden craving. God. GOD but I loved these two together.

…I have nothing to give back, Daisy. Oh, I’d give you pleasure. We’d give each other that. But I’d take absolutely everything- I’d fucking consume you. You’d want something in return, and I’d have nothing. I’m hollow inside, and you deserve so much more.”

Someone Like You was an incredibly powerful, poignant and emotional romance. It was a story of second chances and healing. It was a stunning story of finding your strength again and moving on. It’s a story of courage and love. It was absolute perfection and reminded me all over again why I first fell in love with Lauren Layne’s writing. The woman can make you feel, laugh, and love all in 228 wonderful pages. If you’ve enjoyed the rest of the Stiletto and Oxford series and you’ve been anticipating Lincoln’s story as much as I have, this is a must read. But have a box of tissues ready, because you won’t come out of it unscathed. Be ready to shed some tears and swoon over the perfect imperfection that is Lincoln Mathis.


THE OXFORD SERIES

IRRESISTIBLY YOURS | I WISH YOU WERE MINE | SOMONE LIKE YOU

PRE-ORDER- Releasing June 13, 2017
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE

Review: ★From This Day Forward★ by Lauren Layne

DGR Review- From This Day ForwardFROM THIS DAY FORWARD
Series: The Wedding Belles #0.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: June 6, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

from-this-day-forward-DGR

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in this prequel to USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s The Wedding Belles series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Up-and-coming wedding photographer Leah McHale’s career is on the rise–thanks in no small part to the Wedding Belles, the elite New York wedding planning agency that always throws top-tier business Leah’s way. So when one of the Belles asks Leah to fill in at the former First Daughter’s wedding, Leah is overjoyed to say yes–until she finds out who she’ll be working with.

Jason Rhodes is the one man who was able to capture Leah’s heart and, once he had it, promptly stepped all over it and left her broken. Now he’s working side-by-side with her at the biggest wedding of the season and Leah is determined to give him the cold shoulder. Despite his persistence, she is not going to fall for his charming, impish ways again. Not even if he still has that killer, irresistible smile…

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N Review4 stars

Contrary to the delusions in your head, you’re not every woman’s fantasy.”
“I never wanted to be every woman’s fantasy. Just yours.”

I have no idea why I thought this novella would be a prequel, so don’t ask me. But boy was I pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be a fully finished romance with a HEA that perfectly kicked off a series that I already know I’m going to love! It’s rare that I’d read a novella that’s under 100 pages that would leave me this satisfied and have such fantastic character development, and I’m not surprised that it came from the fabulous Lauren Layne

Nothing had burned hotter than him and Leah together. And nothing had been quite so cold as the year that followed, when Leah had iced him out of her life entirely.

From This Day Forward is a sweet and sexy second chance romance. Leah McHale and Jason Rhodes had a blossoming relationship a year ago, until Jason broke Leah’s heart and caused her to run.

Her heart had gotten tangled in it, and what had started as a dangerous knot had turned into a noose that had nearly strangled her. It had taken a year to get over him.

Leah and Jason are both photographers, and when a mutual friend that owns a successful wedding planning business gives them the chance of a lifetime to work the wedding of the daughter of the former president of the US, neither can turn it down…even if it means working together.

Neither Jason nor Leah ever got over the other, but a misunderstanding and stubbornness on both their sides stops them from confronting their issues. Typically this would bother me a lot in books, but because of the short length of this one, it worked. I absolutely loved Jason, and Leah was a fantastic heroine as well. The sparks between them are instant and only burn hotter as the story progresses.

Sweetheart, by the time I’m done with you, sleep will be the last thing on your mind. I guarantee it.”

This was the perfect little taste to set the tone of the series and I loved it to pieces. It had just the right amount of romance, steam and story to make for one ridiculously satisfying read. It introduced a few secondary characters that I can’t wait to get the story for and I simply can’t wait for the rest of this series.


THE SERIES

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD (The Wedding Belles #0.5)
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD (The Wedding Belles #1)
 FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE (The Wedding Belles #2)
 TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH (The Wedding Belles #3)

New Release Review & Author Interview: ★Cuff Me★ by @_LaurenLayne

Review-Cuff MeCuff Me
Series: New York’s Finest #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: March 29, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

814qP2KUVEL

Meet New York’s Finest-three hot brothers sworn to protect and serve the city they love… and the women who’ve stolen their hearts.

ARRESTED BY LOVE

Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD’s top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl’s heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he’ll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&NReview4.5 starsCuff Me-DGR

Vincent Moretti was more than her partner.
So much more.
What he was to her, she didn’t know how to name. Or wasn’t ready to.

If there’s one thing that Lauren Layne knows how to do, it’s to write a swoony, feel-good, and super sexy contemporary romance. Cuff Me just may be my favorite in the series and of course the grumpy Vince is definitely my favorite Moretti brother…so far anyway.

Vincent and Jill first caught my attention in Frisk Me. Vincent and Jill are partners and homicide detectives for the NYPD, but that’s not what intrigued me. What intrigued me was the hate/lust current that practically sizzled between them. Though it’s not quite hate, more as it is denial. You just know that these two are attracted to each other and try to mask it with barbs and insults, and you simply can’t wait for them to realize it. This was friends-to-lovers but with a little bit more to it and I enjoyed every page of it.

It’s refreshing to get a hero that has his issues but they’re not rooted in some deep emotional scars or anything like that. Vin is a regular man with no OTT issues but he just doesn’t happen to believe in a HEA for himself.

He believed in love. He did.
He just didn’t believe in it for him.
Not because he had any gory emotional wounds, not because he had some brokenhearted past.
He was just…he didn’t feel like other people did.

It was a nice change of pace from the typical broody and tortured hero that you normally find in romance these days. After two books of wondering what made Vin tick and made him the man that he is today, I can certainly say I was not left disappointed with the way the author handled it.

Quiet. Reserved. Broody.
It’s not that he didn’t feel. Of course he did. He just didn’t feel out loud.

Jill is the exact opposite of Vin. She’s sassy to his grumpy, she’s sunny to his broody, she’s smiley to his scowly…well you get the point. If anything I liked Jill even more in this book.

Lauren Layne took an interesting turn in order to get these two to finally see what’s brewing between them and at first I wasn’t sure that’s a particular direction I would enjoy. I had my doubts because it’s not something that normally works for me. However, Miss Layne did such a fantastic job with it then I ended up enjoying it a whole lot more than I thought. I think a huge part of that is due to Jill. She’s so bubbly and endearing, it’s impossible not to like her. She says what she means and she means what she says, and I definitely loved the way she went after what she wanted.

She wanted Vincent Moretti desperately, consequences be damned. And so Jill did the bravest thing she could think of. She went on her toes. And kissed him.

I loved watching Vin’s inevitable fall. It wasn’t instant. Heck, it was basically six years in the making since that’s how long they’ve been partners. But I really appreciated that the author still made it a slow burn and didn’t just throw them together at the very first opportunity. It made it that much more enjoyable and realistic for me.

I excepted more of my beloved hate lust, but this was more friends to lovers and you’ll get zero complaints from me. It was humorous, steamy, and super cute! A guaranteed win for any contemporary romance lover that enjoys their heroes extra broody and their heroines down to earth and with a smart mouth. I sincerely hope that the author continues on with the series because I’m not done with these Moretti siblings yet.

Graphic is stock purchased and created by me for DGR blog. 


Author Interview

DGR: Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for being here today!

LL: Oh gosh, thanks for having me!!! We authors practically preen when we get the chance to talk about our book-babies 🙂

DGR: Let’s start simple. Can you introduce yourself to readers that may not be familiar with your books?

LL: Definitely! So, my name is Lauren Layne, I was born in on a sunny April morning in San Diego in the early 80s … 🙂 For real though, I write what I like to call “sexy romantic comedies.” Basically, I like to think about my work as as the book equivalents of your favorite romantic comedies, with plenty of sexy time. My goal is always to make readers laugh and swoon, in either order.

DGR: Now let’s talk about your New York’s Finest series. Can you tell us a little bit about it?

LL: Yes! Hot Cops. The end. Oh wait, not enough? Okay, so … New York’s Finest is about a family, first and foremost. The Morettis are NYPD royalty, meaning that their blood quite possibly runs blue! Each story is about a different brother, all deliciously sexy in their own way 🙂 I also feel the need to mention Nonna, the outrageous grandma who steals almost every scene she’s in.

DGR: Cuff Me is book 3 in the series and all about the grumpy Moretti brother, Vin. What can readers expect from his book?

LL: Longing. I don’t know how else to describe it other than this book, for all its joking banter, has an undercurrent of longing and want. Vin/Jill have known each other forever, wanted each other for at least that long, but they’re completely unaware of the other’s feelings. (stubborn, these two!) Of all the books in the series, this one’s perhaps the most, “hey, I’m the author and I’m going to rip your heart out.” 🙂 You’ve been warned!

DGR: I loved the hate/lust thing that Vin and Jill had going on through the previous two books. But Cuff Me wasn’t quite what I expected. It was more of a friends-to-lovers vibe. I loved that! Were they a fun couple to write?

LL: Oh thank you! You know, they WERE a fun couple to write, but tricky, too. I love their banter in the earlier books, and love it here too, but as I settled down to really get to know them, I realized how much trust they had to have in the other person. Yes, they’ve got their bickering thing going on, yes, they drive each other nuts, but they quite literally, put their life on the line for each other every single day. The foundation of their relationship was really much deeper than even I knew!

DGR: Jill is such a spitfire! All the heroines in the series are, in their own way, but I have to admit that Jill is probably my favorite so far. How would you describe her?

LL: Oh man. Jill makes me laugh. Ava (book 1) was very much a ball-buster, ambitious almost to a fault. Maggie (book 2) was much sweeter, but not quite soft, as she knew when it was time to stand up for herself. Jill is a whole other creature entirely. Jill has a really strong sense of self, which I think is rare in the romance genre. Often we see strong heroines, but quite often they’re hiding something, or they have a secret soft spot, that they reveal only to the hero. And that’s lovely, but it’s also not Jill. More than any other heroine I’ve written, I think she perhaps is the most “what you see is what you get,” and I really love that about her.

DGR: Did you have a favorite scene to write in Cuff Me?

LL: A couple, actually. I’m a sucker for that doughnut scene (no spoilers here, but you’ll know it when you get to i!) It was actually a late addition to the story, added in the final round of revisions on a whim, and I sort of knew it was perfect and crucial to the book the minute I put it in there. The other is the “motel scene.” That one was there from the very beginning, and I think it’s the first time we see Vin at his weakest, getting to see how he really is when he doesn’t think Jill’s watching. It’s a heart-melter, if I do so say so myself 😉

DGR: What about the hardest scene to write?

LL: You know, I would have thought it would be the “murder plot” stuff, as I’m not a romantic suspense writer (at all), but I was pleasantly surprised by how easily the “mystery” part came. Not that this is a mystery novel by any means, but there’s a tiny element of “who dunnit” that I enjoyed more than I thought I would! As far as what was hardest, I’d say it was as we got to the end and I had to figure out how the hell I was going to get Vincent “out of his shell” while still staying true to his character. I don’t want to say too much, but there’s this scene towards the end where Vincent’s heart is literally breaking, but Jill doesn’t know it, and getting that one just right took me a few times!

DGR: Let’s talk Moretti brothers; can we expect for the fourth Moretti to be getting a book in the series? And what about that Moretti sister?

LL: Oh man. I’ll have to say “TBD” on fourth brother (Marc) as well as the sister (Elena). 🙂 I will say that I have Marco’s story VERY clear in my head, and Elena’s “not at all.” Man, that girl is secretive!

DGR: What’s up next for you?

LL: Haha, I feel like my answer to this question is always: lots! 2016 is a huge year for me! 7 releases for me, plus a novella, and CUFF ME is only the second in that set 🙂 Next up, I have Good Girl in May about a Nashville pop princess on the run from the paparazzi after a “cheating” scandal, followed by a brand new series about Manhattan wedding planners in the summer, and then I’ll be wrapping it up with Someone Like You in December, which LL fans likely know simply as “Lincoln’s book.” 🙂

DGR: Anything you’d like to close with?

 LL: Just that I so appreciate you allowing me to stop by and talk about Vincent and Jill, and that if you’re a sucker for romantic comedies and grumpy heroes, you’ll love CUFF Me. Promise 🙂

 

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Steal Me★ by Lauren Layne

stealme_edited-1Steal Me
Series: New York’s Finest #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: November 24, 2015
Foreveradd-to-goodreads-button-2

STEAL ME_cover

 IN HOT PURSUIT

Being a cop might be in Anthony Moretti’s blood, but protecting and serving the city of New York has always been more than just the family business. If that means his love life stays locked up, well then that’s just another sacrifice made in the line of duty. That is, until he sets eyes on the gorgeous new waitress at The Darby Diner and suddenly Anthony’s morning coffee is leaving him a whole lot more hot and bothered than usual.

Though waitressing at The Darby isn’t exactly Maggie Walker’s dream job, it pays the bills and gives her time to work on her novel. Now if only she could stop fantasizing about gorgeous Anthony Moretti every time he sits down at her table, she’d really be in great shape. But when he needs her help identifying a criminal threatening The Darby—and Maggie recognizes her ex-husband—she fears her fresh start might be a pipe dream. Faster than a New York minute, Maggie and Anthony find themselves in one perilous pursuit that only gets hotter with each and every rule-breaking kiss.

Buy Links Amazon | B&N | Google Play | iTunes | KoboSteal Me Teaser 4

Excerpt

“So what did you mean, you don’t want to talk about it?,” Tony Moretti repeated, glancing down at Anthony’s plate, and scowling to see the bacon supply completely depleted.Anthony scooped a mouthful of Swiss cheese omelet into his mouth before sitting back and reaching for his coffee. “It means that Ma doesn’t like cop-talk at the table.”

Riiiiight,” Elena Moretti said from Anthony’s left side. “Because you guys always respect Mom’s no-cop-talk rule.”

Anth took another sip of coffee and exchanged a look and a shrug with Luc across the table.

Their sister made a good point.

In a family where four out of five siblings were living in New York, and three out of those four were with the NYPD, cop-talk was likely.

And when the family patriarch was the recently retired Ppolice Ccommissioner?

Cop- talk wasn’t just probable, it was inevitable.

Still, it was worth a shot to throw up his mother’s token rule of “no cop- talk.” Especially when he didn’t want to talk.

About any of it.

It had been a long time since he’d been the one in the hot seat, and he wasn’t at all sure that he cared for it.

Scratch that. He was sure.

He hated it.

But his father could be like a dog with a bone when it came to his sons’ careers. And today, like it or not, it was Anthony under the microscope.

He surrendered to the inevitable.

“Dad. I told you. It’ll get handled.” He went for another cup of coffee, only to find it was empty. Diner fail.

He scanned the dining room for the waitress, partially because he wanted more coffee, partially because he wanted a distraction. Partially because—

“You’ve been saying it’lls getbe handled for weeks,” Tony said, refusing to let the matter drop.

“Yeah, Captain. You’ve been saying that for weeks.” This from Anthony’s other brother Vincent. Two years younger than Anth, Vin was a homicide detective and the most irritable and irreverent member of the family. And the one least likely to kiss Anth’s ass.

If Anthony was totally honest, he was pretty sure that most of his younger siblings respected him, not only because he was the highest- ranking active family member, but simply because he was the oldest. He was the one they’d come to when they needed to hide that broken vase from Mom, or when they were scared to death to tell Dad about that D in Cchemistry, or in the case of his brothers, when it was time to learn their way around the female anatomy.

But Vincent had authority issues and was always the first to jump at the chance to gently mock Anthony’s status as Captain.

A title that had been hard -earned, and still felt new. As though it could be ripped away at any time.

Which was exactly the reason his father was on his ass right now. Anthony had passed his Ccaptain’s test three months ago, and his father had every intention of him climbing the ladder all the way to the top. The very top.

It was a path Anth had never questioned. A path that, up until recently, had been remarkably smooth.

And then…

And then Smiley had happened.

Review4 starsSteal Me-DGR

His eyes were wild as they looked down on her, and the last thought Maggie had before his mouth slammed against hers was that Anthony Moretti completely out of control was the sexiest thing she’d ever seen.

I have a rule when it comes to Lauren Layne books: she writes them, I read them. Period. It doesn’t matter what she writes, because each and every time I know I’ll be in for a treat. Her New York’s Finest series has quickly made its way onto my favorites list as well. I loved Frisk Me, and after the little peek that we got at the end of it into Anthony Moretti, I couldn’t wait to see what the police Captain will bring.

The character that immediately caught my attention was the middle Moretti, Vincent. What can I say? I love the broody grumpy assholes, and Vincent sure fits the bill. What I didn’t expect was for Anthony to give him a run for his money. The newly promoted Captain has no interest in relationships ever since a tragedy changed his outlook on mixing his career aspirations with a woman. He knows the two will never mix and he doesn’t even want to try. So what if the beautiful waitress at the diner his family frequents instantly catches his eyes. It helps that she can’t seem to help but dump food on him each time she sees him, bringing out his temper and loosing his filter so he can’t help but be a grade a asshole.

Maggie Walker has dreams, and a waitress at a diner isn’t it. But it pays the bills while she tries to make her dream of becoming an author come true. Having left everything behind to move to NY, she’s starting over fresh. In her tiny apartment, with her adorable dog, she doesn’t mind that it may not be the lap of luxury, because for once in her life it’s all hers. But she can barely seem to do her job when the intimidating Captain Moretti seems to bring out her inner klutz. But when she just may be the witness to help him with a career making case, Anthony has no choice but to get to know the little waitress better. And that’s when things get interesting…

He pulled back, just slightly, his breath hot and heavy against her face. “Say you want this.”

I loved Maggie’s sweet but sassy personality. At first I thought she’d be another introverted little mouse, but she really grew into her own as the book progressed. Anthony was the epitome of an a-hole for much of the book, which is actually, what ultimately brought my rating down slightly. It took him a bit too long for my taste to finally remove his head from his ass. And let me tell you, when it came to relationships, it was very firmly planted up there. You have to know it’s bad when Vincent was giving him relationship advice.

The chemistry between Maggie and Anth was scorching. What I love about Lauren Layne, is nothing is instant. No insta-love or insta-lust to be found here. She really makes it stretch and burn, and it makes it that much more delicious when the sparks finally ignite. So as frustrating as Anthony was for me at times, it took barely anything away from the book. I enjoyed it thoroughly and can’t wait until the next one….ESPECIALLY after that sneak peek at the end.
About the Author

Lauren_LayneLauren 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.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Irresistibly Yours★ by @_laurenlayne

irresistibly-yours-virtual-tour-1
Irresistibly Yours
Series: Oxford #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Lovesweptadd-to-goodreads-button3IY_Cover

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

 Buy Links Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

 

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Excerpt

“First game?” he asked.

Brown eyes flicked to him, barely. “What?”

“First baseball game?”

That got her attention. For the first time, she seemed to really look at him. Her eyes drifted over him slowly, before returning to his, her tone just slightly annoyed. “No. Not my first game.”

“Ah,” he said, already mentally maneuvering into a backpedal. “Bad assumption of me. You were just so into the game . . .”

“So you figured I must be trying to figure out how it all worked?” she asked. “That I must be trying to understand why some of the field is green and some is brown, and whatever could those white squares on the dirt be, and why-oh-why are those men running toward the white squares, but only sometimes . . .”

“All right,” Cole said with a laugh. “I’m an ass. You know baseball.”

Her smile was quick and easy, and he was relieved to see that she wasn’t one of those snippy, hold-it-against-him-forever types. “I know baseball.”

Is that what’s in your notebook? Baseball stuff?

She took a huge bite of her hot dog, completely unabashed at her bulging cheeks, and Cole hid a smile, pretending instead to be fixated on the game.

Hell. When had he ever had to pretend to be fixated on the Yankees?

“You were partially right,” she admitted, after swallowing.

He glanced at her. “Oh yeah?”

She grinned. “This is my first Yankees game.”

“I knew it,” he said, matching her grin full on. “I knew there was something virgin about you. But tell me, how come a baseball fan like you never made it to Yankee Stadium until now?”

“Well . . .” She licked a spot of mustard off her finger, but not in the slow, deliberate way that most women he knew would have done it. “It’s a long way from Chicago . . .”

Cole tore his eyes away from the way her lips closed around her thumb, sucking off that mustard. “You’re from Chicago?”

“From there, yes,” she said. “But let’s just say that as of two weeks ago, I’ll be spending a lot more time here than at Wrigley.”

“Ah. You’re new to New York.”

“Quite.”

“How do you like it?”

She hesitated. “It’s . . . intense.”

“Meaning . . . we New Yorkers are scary as hell?”

She smiled. “Well, it’s not as hostile as I’d been warned, but yeah. We Chicagoans are a bit more openly friendly than you New Yorkers.”

“I’m friendly,” he countered.

Tiny Brunette laughed. “No. You’re just incredibly charming. And a smidgen good-looking.”

He gave her his best bedroom look. “Am I?”

She smiled. “You know you are.”

Their eyes held for a moment, and Cole was startled to realize it was the most relaxed—the most himself—he’d felt around a woman in . . . hell . . . he didn’t know.

Mostly he was used to throwing out a couple of witty lines, a few slow smiles, and watching women counter with moves of their own.

There were no moves with this woman. She merely was.

Cole realized he didn’t even know her name.

“So tell me, as a Chicago baseball fan, are you Team Cubs or Team White Sox, Ms. . . .”

“Pope,” she said. “Penelope Pope. And both.”

Cole’s subconscious acknowledged that Penelope Pope was somehow exactly what this woman’s name should be. Perky and alliterative. His consciousness, however, latched on to another fact. “Both?”

It was not a typical answer. Most people had one baseball team, even if you were from a city with two teams, as Penelope was.

She shrugged. “Baseball’s not about who wins. It’s not even about who’s playing. It’s about the game. The consistent flow of it, the smack of the ball against the glove when you’re lucky enough to be sitting along one of the baselines, instead of stuck up here in this stuffy box—”

He stared at her. The words so closely echoed his own thoughts from just moments before that he wanted to kiss her.

She might just be his dream woman.

“That explains the hot dog,” he said.

“What?”

He nodded his chin at the last bite of hot dog, ignored in her left hand. “The hot dog. You’re in a luxury suite in Yankee Stadium with a whole buffet of gourmet foods, and yet you went and fetched the most basic hot dog you could find.”

She grinned. “Guilty.”

Cole turned his body all the way toward her now. “Tell me, Penelope Pope, what brings a Cubs and White Sox fan all the way to New York where you’ll face a whole new dilemma of choosing between the Yankees and the Mets . . .”

Tiny Brunette never got to answer.

The shadow of someone coming up behind their seats caused them both to turn. It was Alex Cassidy, Oxford’s editor in chief, looking down at them with a half-amused, half-worried expression.

“Cassidy,” Cole said. He lifted an eyebrow and silently added, Nice of you to show up.

“Sorry I’m late,” Cassidy said, not really sounding sorry at all. “I got held up.”

Automatically, Cole’s eyes scanned the luxury suite until he found the pretty woman he knew was likely to be somewhere around here . . .

Yup, there she was.

Emma Sinclair, Cassidy’s long-ago runaway bride, with whom he’d recently reconciled, was surreptitiously wiping smudged lipstick from the corner of her mouth.

His eyes returned to his boss, this time looking closer . . .

“Third button, dude,” Cole said wearily.

The always polished Cassidy glanced down, and without so much as wincing, fixed the misaligned buttons of his shirt.

Cole should have known. A naked Emma Sinclair was the only thing that could throw Alex Cassidy off his rigid timetable.

But Emma and Cassidy’s sex life was where the predictable part of the evening ended, because Cole was absolutely not prepared for Cassidy to reach out a hand to Tiny Brunette, a polite smile on his usually impassive face.

“Alex Cassidy. I’m so sorry I’m late, Ms. Pope.”

Cole glanced between the two of them. They knew each other?

“Not a problem,” she said, turning an easy smile on Cassidy. It was the exact same friendly smile she’d given Cole, and it very much made Cole want to punch his friend in the mouth.

“It’s refreshing to see you two playing so nicely,” Cassidy said with a droll look at Cole.

He narrowed his eyes at his boss, not sure what he was missing, but certain that he was missing something.

Cassidy answered Cole’s silent question with his usual professional businessman smile. “Cole, this is Penelope Pope.”

“We’ve met,” Cole said slowly.

“Excellent. So then you know that Penelope is our late-stage applicant for the sports editor role at Oxford?”

Very slowly, Cole turned toward Tiny Brunette. Took in her friendly smile even as he took in the sorry-not-sorry glint in her eyes.

This was his competition. This was the person standing between Cole and the job he so desperately wanted.

“I suppose I should have been more thorough when I introduced myself,” she said sweetly. “Penelope Pope. Sports editor.”

Plus side? At least now Cole knew what was in her damn notebook.

The downside? Everything else.

Review4 starsIrresistibly Yours- DGR

I will treat you with the respect you deserve at work, and then I will use your sweet body for sex AFTER work, but Penelope Pope, I give you my solemn promise not to fall in love with you.”

Lauren Layne is my go-to author whenever I’m in the mood for a light-hearted, sexy and witty romance, and this book is exactly why. There’s one thing that’s guaranteed when I read one of her books; I’ll read it with a happy smile on my face the entire time. While I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading her Sex, Love & Stiletto series, of which this is the spin-off, I had absolutely no problems keeping up with all the wonderful secondary characters or the story itself.

How had this happened? How was it this sweet, feisty tomboy could turn him on just as easily as she turned him completely inside out every time she looked at him?

Cole Sharpe is a sports editor that has been a freelancing for Oxford magazine for years. All his friends work there, and he happens to be friendly with the boss. So when a staff position opens up on the staff, he’s got it in the bag…or so he thinks…

Penelope had no illusions about her place in the world of men: the friend zone.

Penelope Pope has always been seen as one of the guys. Her slim, boyish figure and love of sports pretty much guarantee it. When a man breaks her heart and steals a job that she was dreaming of in Chicago, she runs to New York to start fresh. And what’s a better way than with the coveted position of sports editor at Oxford Magazine? She just has to beat out the devilishly sexy Cole with the position.

…what are you after?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m out to be an expert on Penelope Pope. Because, despite your efforts to prove otherwise, I don’t believe for one second that you don’t want me.

Penelope is nothing like Cole’s usual type; of the blonde and leggy variety. So why is it he can’t stop thinking of the petite beauty that seems to stir his blood just as much as she puts a smile on his face?

This is just one of those friends-to-lovers romances you can’t help but love. Cole and Penelope develop a friendship all the while having this undercurrent of lust that runs like electricity between them. I loved how he calls her “tiny”. And Penelope, although not a ravishing beauty and with her share of hangups was such a fantastic heroine. She’s witty, funny, and adorably endearing.

You should know…I’m not very good at this,” she said.
He smiled and ran a finger over her lower lip. “Don’t worry. Because I’m VERY good at this.”

All the secondary characters add to the story while the main focus remains on Penelope and Cole and their budding romance. We still get a taste for past characters, as well as Lincoln who I was clearly intrigued by (because I do so love me the broken manwhorish ones) but it never takes away from the story, only adds to it. It read like the perfect romantic comedy.

The chemistry between Cole and Penelope was utter perfection. Penelope doesn’t want long term because she doesn’t think Cole would be interested. Cole is adorably confused by the whole thing because his feelings for Penelope completely blindsided him. So they agree to be friends and coworkers on the weekdays, and work out their inconvenient lust for each other on the weekends. It doesn’t take long for both of them to realize that they’re far more than mere friends with benefits.

He didn’t know exactly what THIS was.
But whatever they decided to call it- or not call it- he could all too easily get used to it.

If you’re looking for a light, sexy, and witty romance, you can never go wrong with Lauren Layne. I’m hooked on this series and can’t wait for more (ESPECIALLY if it’s Licoln…because hello! Broken manwhore!)
A fantastic start to what’s looking to be an even better series. Me likey!

I thought you said you were no good at this,” he growled.
“Guess I just needed to do it with the right guy.”


About the Author

Lauren Layne is a 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.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Review: ★Blurred Lines★ by Lauren Layne

Review Blurred LinesBlurred Lines
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: August 25, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

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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.

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Review

3 starsBlurred Lines-DirtyGirlRomance

Ben and my no strings attached relationship?
Yeah. Turns out that there are suddenly strings after all.
And I’m completely tangled in them.

I adore all things Lauren Layne, so it was an absolute no brainer decision when I saw she was coming out with a book for one of my favorite tropes; friends to lovers, to dive right in. Lauren is my go-to author whenever I need a light and easy read filled with swoony romance and endearing characters. Blurred Lines certainly fit that and then some. It was the perfect afternoon read. I simply adored Parker and Ben together. I always seem to have a weakness for the manwhores, and Ben definitely hit the spot for that. Their friendship had a solid foundation, which I really appreciated. I loved their banter the most

I think we should hook up.”
I would just like to state- for the record- that I should win a goddamned medal for not laughing, fainting, or straight up walking out of the room.

While the chemistry was definitely present between these two, they spent so much of the book denying and not seeing what was happening between them, that it became difficult even for me to see it. I struggled to see beyond their friendship to the romantic entanglements. Sure they burn up the sheets together, but I just didn’t get that butterflies in the stomach kind of connection. Usually in a friends-to-lovers book, I always sense the undercurrent of romance and sexual chemistry between the couple even when they don’t, but that wasn’t the case here. I can understand given the many years of solid friendship they had how they may fail to see it, but it just lasted too long for my tastes. Perhaps if both of them began to noticed it at least in the middle of the book than towards the end of it? For whatever reason, I just didn’t get that sense of crackling chemistry I usually get with a Lauren Layne novel.

Don’t get me wrong, this was still a lovely romance and one I’d recommend for any lover of a good friends-to-lovers trope, it just wasn’t my favorite by this author. Then again, considering I’ve absolutely loved all her other books, that’s not exactly a rough criticism. Blurred Lines was an enjoyable and steamy romance that’s easy on the angst, had great character development, but just fell a little flat on the all-encompassing romance for me.

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Crushed★ by @_laurenlayne

Crushed
Author: Lauren Layne
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: April 14th, 2015
Loveswept: Flirt
Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need.Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is dating Michael’s new half-brother, Devon.Kristin’s mouthy, curvy sister Chloe has always been in love with Devon Patterson. So when Michael offers to help Chloe break up Devon and Kristin, Chloe agrees to a deal that seems too good to be true. Before long, Chloe finally gets her man, only to make a startling discovery: She no longer wants the guy she had to fight for—she wants the one who stood by her side.

After all he and Chloe have been through, Michael swears he’s damaged goods. Can Chloe convince him that love is worth the risk?

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Excerpt

I’ve been in love with Devon Patterson since I was eight.

And I know what you’re thinking . . .

That I didn’t have hormones when I was eight, so it wasn’t real love, or even real attraction.

You’re wrong.

I love him.

And I know he could love me back, if only he’d look at me.

But ya know? I can’t even blame Devon for not seeing me.

It’s probably hard for him to be aware of his surroundings when my Disney Princess sister has her tongue in his mouth.

I mean, why would you want the funny sidekick when you can have the heroine?

And that’s the type of person Kristin is. Or at least thinks she is. She’s the heroine in every story.

Even other people’s.

As if he reads my mind, Devon slowly pulls back from his reunion kiss to join the land of the living where the actual people do not have eyelashes the size of small bats and a waist the size of a toddler’s.

But, actually, it’s not fair to pick only on Kristin for her blinding good looks.

Of the four of us here on this godforsaken tennis court, I’m the only one that’s not outright beautiful.

Take Devon, for example. Blond. Blue-eyed. Chiseled jaw. Tall, but not too tall, muscular but not bulging. Yummy.

As for the new tennis instructor . . . I don’t even know what to make of him.

My first thought? Beefcake. It’s obvious why he was hired, and it’s not because he can make contact with a tennis ball ten times out of ten.

Nope, it’s definitely the way his biceps strain the requisite Cambridge Country Club polo, and the way his tanned skin contrasts perfectly with the crisp white fabric.

That and the sulky bad-boy gaze that I’m pretty sure he’s aware of. Maybe even practiced.

New guy is definitely gorgeous. And Kristin’s definitely noticed.

I shift my gaze to where Devon is tucking a lock of Kristin’s ever-silky hair behind her ear. We both have curly hair, but Kristin’s is the kind that can be blown out into all kinds of satiny shine. Unlike my corkscrews, where each curl is like its own rebellious teenager.

It’s clear which version Devon prefers.

And Beefcake, too, given the way he was practically undressing Kristin with his eyes when he thought she wasn’t looking.

I liked that about him. The way he didn’t let her know he was looking. He was playing games, but by his own rules.

But, anyway, who cares about tennis boy.

Tall, dark, and brooding isn’t my type.

I like them blond, smiley, and kind.

I like them like Devon Patterson.

Did I mention I love him?

Review

3.5 stars

I don’t think it’s about who loves you first. It’s about who loves you best.”

There’s a reason that Lauren Layne has become one of my favorite New Adult authors. There’s just something about her writing and her characters that never fails to reel me in and keep me glued to the pages. It also never fails to give me that warm and fuzzy feelings right in my tummy that I’ve come to adore about New Adult. There’s no insta anything and her characters are far from perfect and watching that progress and develop through the story is the best feeling in the world. I have to admit that I wasn’t too keen on Michael after first meeting him in Isn’t She Lovely. But then right around Broken that changed. My heart hurt for him and I couldn’t wait for the guy that fell in love with his best friend’s girlfriend only to be devastatingly rejected by her in the end to get his HEA.

Michael’s world changed forever right around the time his heart was shattered into a million pieces. First he gets rejected by the girl he’s been in love with for years. A girl that just so happened to be his best friend’s girlfriend at that he cheated with. So in the span of one kiss, he lost the girl AND his best friend. Then his world gets rocked when he finds out that his whole life has been a lie and his father isn’t his father. In the hopes to get to know the man that is his true father, he moves to Texas, but he’s no longer the boy that he was. He’s broody, he’s disenchanted and jaded. He no longer believes in love, but working as a tennis pro for the rich and the bored, he has no problem being the boy toy to the spoiled housewives. But he has ulterior motives to working there. He has his eye on a girl that happens to be his half-brother’s girlfriend. A half-brother that has no idea he exists. And while Michael has his eye on Kristin, the gorgeous and spoiled rich girl, her frumpy sister is in love with Devon.

On a good day I’m curvy. On a bad one, I’m plump.
Most of the days are bad ones.

Chloe is honestly what truly made this book for me. Her ability to laugh at herself and this lighthearted presence she had to her was a breath of fresh air. She’s so fun and quirky and just this girl next door that could be anyone’s best friend. Being the frumpy sister to the perfect skinny one is no easy feat. It’s also twice as hard being in love with her boyfriend for as long as she remembers. But Chloe knows she has no chance. So when Michael offers her a chance to make Devon “notice” her, she may be hesitant at first, but she takes it. What ensues is an unwilling friendship that slowly begins to turn into much more.

Michael might be sick of being “second choice.” But the rejected-woman part of me?
SHE’S tired of being the platonic sidekick.

These two were polar opposites but yet made perfect sense together. And the banter between them? Absolute perfection.

So, what’s the problem?” he asks.
“I just…it’s never like it is in the movies.”
Michael makes a strangled noise and turns toward my nightstand, opening a drawer.
“What are you doing?” I ask.
“Looking for a gun,” he mutters, before shutting it again. “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re one of those girls waiting for the movie kiss?”
I scrunch my nose at his disbelieving face. “They do exist.”

But then somewhere between the personal training and just hanging out together, their plans shift and it begins to turn into something much more.

With Chloe, it’s easy to forget that I’m nobody. Because she makes me feel like somebody.

I loved the slow burn element to the story. It’s truly brilliant when the reader discovers things right along with the characters. Chloe and Michael didn’t lust for each other at first sight, and that was evident. But somewhere along the way their feelings shift, and you get to experience that with them.

It was perfection.

It’s not often that this self proclaimed smut slut enjoyed a story that basically has zero sex this much. But to be honest, anything more would have been plain filler. The one and only scene is filled with so much feeling that it’s satisfying all on it’s own. Immensely so.

Did I also happen to mention the fantastic banter?

…at the lesson, the other day, she was…forward.”
“FORWARD? I swear to God, Beefcake, every now and then you slip in a word that makes me think you’re a nineteenth-century butler.”
“Yeah? You like? What if I slip a British accent in there?”
“Don’t you dare. I’ll swoon. I mean it.”

I adored this book. My only quibble was the somewhat cheesy-ish reunion at the very end, but then at the same time I was hoping for one, so I can’t complain much.

If you’re a fan of New Adult that has a witty heroine, a broody hero, a slow burn romance and incredible writing, this book is simply a must read!

About the Author

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.

Blog Tour, Excerpt & #Giveaway: ★The Trouble With Love★ by Lauren Layne

The Trouble with Love
Author: Lauren Layne
Release Date: March 3, 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

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Excerpt

“Why would I want to be editor in chief?” Riley asked.

“Exactly,” Camille said, looking pleased at the lead-in. “It’s a thankless, tiresome job, and one I didn’t want to wish on any of you while I’m gone for three months.”

“Three months?” Julie asked. “We’re leaderless for three months?”

“Not quite,” Camille said. “You need someone to steer the ship, of course. So . . .”

She made a dramatic flourishing gesture in Alex’s direction.

He waited patiently for everything to register with the Stiletto crew.

“No. A boy?!” Riley said, scandalized.

“I saw him without his shirt once,” Grace said, leaning over. “He’s not a boy.”

Emma leaned in toward her friends, speaking up for the first time. “I saw him without his shirt once, too. Boy’s actually not so far off. He’s a little scrawny, and the lower half . . . eek.”

Emma’s voice was little more than a whisper, but it reached his ears. It was meant to.

Alex didn’t take the bait. Hell, back when Emma had seen him naked, they’d been young. He had been little more than a boy.

And she little more than a girl.

A girl who could take his breath away with little more than a smile.

And when she’d taken her shirt off, he’d all but lost his mind.

But that was a long time ago.

“Mr. Cassidy has graciously agreed to oversee both Stiletto and Oxford for the next few months,” Camille said, jerking him back to the present.

A present where he and Emma wouldn’t be seeing each other shirtless . . . ever.

“Starting next week,” Camille continued, “He will be the one you go to for story approval, PTO requests, relationship advice—”

“Wait, what?” Alex said, speaking up for the first time.

Camille patted him on the head like he was a child, and he caught Julie smirking at him.

Alex gave into a sigh. It was going to be a very, very long three months.

“Any questions?” Camille asked.

Julie’s hand shot up. “Um, yes. Like a thousand questions. Starting with, where are you going? Is everything okay? Are your ovaries imploding? Are you having a crisis? Can I come?”

Alex hid a laugh behind a cough. From the resigned look on Camille’s face, and the lack of shock on everyone else’s, it was clear this group was used to Julie’s unabashed prying.

“Perfectly healthy. It’s a personal matter,” Camille said, in a tone that indicated the conversation was over.

Julie made a grunting noise that indicated the conversation was not over.

“Now, I’m sure you’re all itching with theories you’d like to share with your colleagues, and I have plenty to catch Mr. Cassidy up on, so if there are no other inappropriate questions—”

“Wait,” a tiny blond woman next to Grace said. “That’s it? We haven’t talked about the next issue, or story assignments, and there are about a million letters to the editor thanks to that story we did about Botox, and—”

Camille held up a hand. “Mr. Cassidy will be holding a meeting on Monday morning to go over all of that, Dana.”

About the Author
Lauren Layne is a snarky cynic with a serious weakness for happily ever afters.Marrying her high school sweetheart was a good start. *cue Disney soundtrack.* But Lauren wanted all romance, all the time.

Now she writes fictional happy endings, and considers her job done well if you swoon while reading her books. Don’t worry. You will.

Once upon a time she lived in a Manhattan high-rise, but now she’s on the laid-back train in the Seattle area. If you ever find yourself in Issaquah, she’ll probably buy you a drink. Maybe.

Giveaway
Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 eGift Card to Choice Book Seller, Loveswept Mug and Romance at Random Nail Polish)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

ARC Review: ☆Broken☆ by @_LaurenLayne

Lauren Layne’s New Adult novel tells the story of a girl with secrets, a guy with scars, and a love that could save them both… or destroy them.

When Olivia Middleton abandons the glamour of Park Avenue for a remote, coastal town in Maine, everyone assumes she’s being the kind do-gooder she’s always been. But Olivia has a secret: helping an injured war veteran reenter society isn’t about charity—it’s about penance. Only, Olivia’s client isn’t the grateful elderly man she’s expecting. Instead, he’s a brooding twenty-four-year-old who has no intention of being Olivia’s path to redemption . . . and whose smoldering gaze and forbidden touch might be her undoing.

Paul Langdon doesn’t need a mirror to show him he’s no longer the hotshot quarterback he was before the war. He knows he’s ugly—inside and out. He’ll do anything to stay in self-imposed exile, even accept his father’s ultimatum that Paul tolerate the newest caretaker for three months or lose his inheritance. But Paul doesn’t count on the beautiful twenty-two-year-old who makes him long for things that he can never have. And the more she slips past his defenses, the more keeping his distance is impossible.

Now Paul and Olivia have to decide: Will they help each other heal? Or are they forever broken?

 Releasing: September 2, 2014
Pre-order:

4.5 Beauty and the Beast Stars


I almost want to laugh at how messed up we are.
Two completely shattered souls doing a weird approach-and-recoil dance around each other.

Remember Olivia from Isn’t She Lovely? She was Ethan’s ex girlfriend who broke his heart. Ring a bell? What started out with a lighthearted take on Pygmalion, now continues with an angsty and emotional take of Beauty and the Beast with Broken. This is the story of 2 damaged souls, Olivia and Paul. One is seeking penance while the other seeks oblivion. Can they heal each other without shattering their already broken pieces?

I wasn’t sure how I would like Olivia in her own book since saying that I liked her in Isn’t She Lovely would be an understatement. Lauren Layne certainly managed to redeem her in my eyes. With a deeper look into who she really is and the things that drive, you can tell that beneath the rich society girl is a also a girl that made a mistake and is looking for any way to redeem herself. She’s also running. Running from her daily life and her daily reminders of what she did and can no longer fix. So she takes a job in Maine caring for a war veteran. She just didn’t see Paul coming…

Paul is scarred and angry. He’s angry at the world, he’s angry at his life, and he’s angry at anyone that breaks his reclusive routine. So when his father announce that the new caretaker after the many before that he’s already run off is his last chance, he’s less than thrilled about it.

Ladies, let me just tell you, if you like your heroes to be colossal (and I mean COLOSSAL assholes) prepare to fall for Paul. Paul is the epitome of broken. He’s scarred inside and out, and his road to redemption is not a fast one. This is not someone that lays their eyes on Olivia and insto presto he’s smitten. Oh no. He was downright callous, but you still can’t help but fall for him. Your heart will hurt for him at the same time you will want to throttle the living daylights out of him and his treatment of Olivia.

The author gives the reader just the right amount of small tidbits and tiny morsels of the man that he can be, that will leave you almost torn between loving and hating him at the same time.

But don’t be fooled, because those few morsels are rare and few in between.


You want me?” he asks against my mouth. “You want my hands on you?”
Little alarm bells are going off in the back of my head. There’s no warmth in his words. No kindness, or even desire. He’s playing some sort of cruel game in which my body is definitely the playing board. And I’m a willing participant.

At times my head would be spinning between his rage and the small glimpses at the broken soul he hides beneath the cold and broken exterior.

Little by little Olivia begins to do what no other caretaker before her has accomplished; she begins to chip away at his walls. But will he let them down enough to let her into his heart?


Somewhere inside of me, a demon is telling me that I’m going to disappoint her. That I’m going to destroy her.

This book had a much more serious, emotional, and angsty undercurrent. And when I say angsty, I mean ANGSTY. But there’s also a small dose of steam to break it up

Soon followed by more angst.

What can I possibly tell you about this book other than it’s a must read? What else do you need? Read it and see for yourself. I know I for one cannot wait to see what this incredibly talented author has in store for the next book in the series. Dare I hope for Michael’s book next?

**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

All quotes taken from the Advanced Reader Copy of book and may differ from the finished published version

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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