Review Tuesday: Love Story by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is one of those authors that I just buy. I don’t even need to know usually what the book is about, I know that I’m at least going to enjoy it and more than likely fall in love with it. Love Story by her, however, was one of those books that I enjoyed but didn’t love – still good read, but not one of my favourites by her.

love-storyFrom Goodreads:

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.

This book alternatives points of view (POV) every chapter, and it’s not my favourite way to tell a story. I find that most of Lauren Layne’s non-series books are like this. (Which is maybe why I’m not in love with any of her books that aren’t part of a series…).

Reece’s story is a heartbreaking one. He had a very traumatic childhood that has impacted his emotional wellbeing harshly. I spent this book simply wanted to give Reece a hug and protect him from the world. No one should have to go through what he has gone through. One of the things that I love about Lucy is that she wants to do the same thing. She wants to love Reece and protect him and be there for him in a way that no one else ever has. I love her for that.

These two run aground because of Reece’s emotional baggage, Lucy not quite understanding that baggage, and because the two of them simply cannot communicate well enough (or at all) to articulate their feelings, and what they are thinking. That was frustrating because I spent most of this book just wishing, demanding, and finally yelling at my Kobo screen, that they would just talk to each other and be honest.

One of the great things about this book is that it shows you that even though you’re in love with someone, it takes a lot of work to get onto the same page sometimes. It takes a lot of work and energy and effort to love someone. And it also takes a hell of a lot of trust – in order to be vulnerable in front of the person that you love. It takes Lucy and Reece a long time to get to that point. But when they do, my heart did a little tap dance because these two definitely deserved their happily-ever-after.

Like I said at the beginning of this review, this isn’t a book I’m in love with, but it is very good. It’s a quick read (with some potentially yelling at characters part way through) and well worth it.

My Favourite Books of 2016

If you’re looking for some book inspiration to start of 2017, here are my top 3 favourite books that I read in 2016.

aeronauts windlassNumber 1: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher.

This book is without a doubt my favourite from 2016. My bestie Jay recommended it to me – and without his recommendation I would never have picked this one up. I didn’t like Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series and have stayed away from him, but Jay told me to give this one a go, and I’m so glad that I did. This book was epic. It was an amazing fantasy story, with a very well  built and thought out world, and consisted of characters that were unforgettable. I cannot wait for book two! Which reminds me I should go check the publishing date for that…anyway, you can check out my full review here.

 

Number 2: For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne.

I read a lot of romances this year (though truthfully for the last couple of years I’ve been reading a lot of romances) and while I have a couple of favourites this one is without a doubt my favourite. Lauren Layne has become for me one of the those authors that I just buy without evefor better or worsen needing to know the story because 9 times out of 10 the story is amazing and I fall head over heels for the characters. This book was no exception. The banter and chemistry that existed between the two main character was swoon worthy. I inhaled this book. More like this please Lauren Layne. You can read more about what I thought of the book here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

melting-pointNumber 3: Melting Point by Kate Meader.

I never wrote a review for Melting Point because it’s a short novella, but this book made my heart sing. The characters are simply so wonderful and have gone through so much that when they get their happily-ever-after it was just perfection. This book is part of the Hot in Chicago series (which is an amazing series, and which Lauren Layne actually recommended in her Weekly). And while the series was incredible, this little novella is my favourite part. It is a love story about 2 men, which I don’t read often – mostly because I just don’t come across very many of them – but it was such a moving story. Gage and Brady. Two characters who have gone through their own version of hell (and seriously, was that ever heart breaking) to eventually find each other. Now, I would most definitely recommend that you read the Hot in Chicago series because it’s SO good. And definitely read Melting Point. It’s one that packs a hell of a punch.

 

What were some of your favourite books of 2016? I’m on the hunt for good reads because the last two books I read I really didn’t like. (You’ll be hearing all about them in the coming weeks!)

 

Review Tuesday: For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne

For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne is book 2 in her Wedding Belles series. I really liked the first book in this series – To Have and To Hold, but this book, book 2, I absolutely loved.

for better or worseFrom Goodreads:

Will a budding wedding planner and her bad boy neighbor stop banging heads and start hearing wedding bells in the sexy second novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Lauren Layne’s irresistible new series that marries Sex and the City with The Wedding Planner?

When small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner, she’s determined to make it as one of Manhattan’s elite Wedding Belles. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days quickly become a flurry of cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums. But what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbor’s apartment all night.

Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street, complete with the penthouse and the migraines. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. If only he could convince his pretty, workaholic neighbor to let loose, too. As Heather lets down her guard, Josh is surprised when he starts falling for the sweet, vulnerable woman hiding beneath those power suits. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

Heather and Josh are amazing characters. You’re in their corner from the get-go. They’re hilarious and hard-working, and you want them to succeed.

The best part of this story for me was the banter. Oh my goodness, the banter. I loved it. There was such great chemistry, and fun between Heather and Josh. I loved that they had good nicknames for each other, that they teased each other and that they were there for each other.

Also the end of chapter 18…I got goosebumps. And I might have squealed a little bit, and then read the section again because it was just so good.

Overall, this was a fantastic book. I read it in about 4 to 5 hours. I stayed up until 2 am finishing it because it was just so good. Totally loved it. Read it. Read it now.

Review Tuesday: To Have and to Hold by Lauren Layne

There are some authors whose books I buy without evening needing to know what it’s about. Lauren Layne has become one of those authors for me. She has a book releasing, and it’s marked down in my calendar to buy. To Have and to Hold is book 1 in a new series by her called Wedding Belles, and it did not disappoint.

to have and to holdFrom Goodreads:

Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin’s business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya’s fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning… is theirs?

This was an incredibly cute and lovely story. When we meet Brooke, life has kicked her harshly in the pants, and while she’s down, she’s definitely not out for the count. Brooke is fun, sassy, and has a never say die attitude. It was awesome watching her find her place in a new city, at a new job, and connect and build relationships with her coworkers who are most definitely going to become/are becoming her new set of girlfriends.

I had read that Seth was a take on the Mr. Darcy character (also, by the way, Mr. Darcy is most definitely one of my favourite characters, ever.) and as I was reading this book I could most definitely see it. Seth is a control freak. There’s probably nicer ways to put it, but it all comes down to the same thing. Control freak. And unfortunately, this comes across often as trying to micromanage people rather than that he cares – which he very much does. I ached sometimes for Seth because he cares so much, he has just a different way of showing it, and he has to learn how to show he cares in different ways.

Put Brooke and Seth together though, and they’re a show stopper. The passion and sizzle between them are awesome, as well as the banter. (You have to have good banter, otherwise, a romance book is a bust, in my opinion). You want them to work out, and you’re rooting for them from the beginning. Also the ending – be still my heart. It was so wonderful.

This was a great first book in a new series, and I can’t wait to read the next two. This is a definite must read if you’re in the market for a romance story.

 

Review Tuesday: I Wish You Were Mine

Lauren Layne is quickly becoming one of my favourite go to romance authors. I don’t remember how I came across her, but I absolutely love her Stiletto and Oxford series and this new one in the Oxford series didn’t disappoint.

A lnaked couple embracing each other in the darkness

I Wish You Were Mine is book two in the Oxford series and is about Jackson, who you meet very briefly at the end of book one. Jackson is a pro football player who loses his career and his marriage in one fell swoop. His ex-wife is a conniving wicked witch who no one feels for even remotely because she definitely made her own bed and now has to sleep in it. Jackson moves to New York City and takes a job at Oxford magazine. Cue Mollie. Mollie is a wickedly smart, if slightly awkward woman who happens to be ex wife’s sister. Can we say drama. The catch of course is that Mollie is everything her sister is not. So we really like Mollie and Jackson.

stilettoI read this book in two sittings, and it took two only because it was 2:30 in the morning and I had to go to bed. However, as soon as I woke up again I promptly finished the book. I have to admit that this book isn’t my favourite in the series, but it is a fantastic read. Jackson and Mollie are extremely likeable characters who have both been screwed over royally by the same woman, and who have always been friends. I really liked watching Jackson learning to navigate his new life, and figure out what he wants. I also really liked watching Mollie come into her own, and finally stand up for herself and what she wants.

This was a great great that I couldn’t put down, and is definitely worth a read! Also, it sets up Lincoln a little bit more and I definitely cannot wait for his book (book 3 in the series) that is coming out in December 2016 (I can’t believe I have to wait that long!).

If you haven’t ever read Lauren Layne you should jump on that pronto, she does not disappoint!