Author: Lauren Layne

Review: Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

Posted August 27, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Hard Sell by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2) by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #2
Also in this series: Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1)
Publisher: Amazon Publishing, Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 252
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
five-stars

Brilliantly hot Matt Cannon doesn't mind his "boy wonder" nickname. At twenty-eight, he may be the youngest--and richest--broker at his firm, but the constant string of women in his bed know he's all man. When Matt's boss insists he clean up his image to land a potential investor, Matt knows just the woman to pose as his girlfriend.Sabrina Cross is Wall Street's go-to "fixer"--a chameleon of a woman who can be anything, to any man, for any reason, with just one rule: no touching. Matt and Sabrina have always been like oil and water, but their new arrangement lights a match to the animosity and leads to something altogether hotter.

Hard Sell is the second book in the 21 Wall Street series by Lauren Layne and I was so looking forward to jumping right in. Matt and Sabrina sure did make a splash in the first book, Hot Asset and I couldn’t wait to see the sparks take off in their own book.

So this book starts off with Matt arriving at work and finding out that his weekend of debauchery was captured and splashed all over the Wall Street Journal and his bosses want him to cool his heels, fix up his image or find another job. So what does Matt need to fix this mess? He needs a fixer and a girlfriend and he finds both of those in Sabrina Cross. Matt and Sabrina are close in the sense that they’re both in the same circle of friends but they don’t like each other so their interactions are always spicy. They have a colorful history and they hate-bang on occasion so really, their book was bound to be a good one.

Matt is a young numbers whiz and he’s good at what he does. Unfortunately for him, he’s also a really young kid that his clients find it really hard to stay loyal. His playboy attitude doesn’t help his cause so he needs to get his act together quickly so that they can stop trippin’ on giving him their money. Matt was my favorite in Hot Asset and I couldn’t wait to get to know him better and I thought Lauren Layne did a great job with his character. He was strong, he was sexy and oh so smart and he just really hit all of my happy buttons.

Sabrina is just as strong and capable and sexy as Matt is and I really enjoyed getting to know her as well. It would have been so easy for her to come off as cold but once again, Lauren Layne did a great job of making us readers connect with Sabrina’s story. I loved that she was completely aware of why she was the way that she was with Matt, even though nobody, Matt included, understood why she was so testy, she did and I completely got it.

As much as I enjoyed both Matt and Sabrina on their own, I really enjoyed seeing them together. It was like, they were better together or as that song says, “I like me better when I’m with you”, that’s how I felt with these two. The chemistry between them was off the charts but also the loyalty that they had for each other was pretty great. Seeing their relationship change from fake to real and their friendship really grow made for a pretty fantastic book and I was here for it all.

Hard Sell brings together two people that were not fans of the other but grew them into a pretty strong and solid unit and Lauren Layne did a rather fabulous job of giving us the goods on these two while at the same time, teasing us with more goodness to come with Kennedy and Kate. I can’t wait for Kennedy and Kate. Gah, I’m so gone for these characters. I love it and I definitely recommend it.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

21 Wall Street

five-stars


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Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne

Posted July 18, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Summer Reading Challenge Review: The Trouble with Love by Lauren LayneReviewer: Holly
The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #4) by Lauren Layne
Series: Sex Love and Stiletto #4
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 237
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

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.

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

For our Summer Reading Challenge, Rowena and Casee chose 5 books for me to read. This was one of Rowena’s picks. It’s been awhile since I read a straight contemporary and I’ve never read a Lauren Layne novel before. I’m glad Rowena chose this one. It was really good.

Emma and Cassidy have a pretty messed up past. They were once engaged, but he left her at the alter. Despite the murky details, however, they’ve managed to exist in the same social circle for years by mostly ignoring each other. Now, Cassidy is suddenly the acting editor-in-chief at Stiletto, the magazine where Emma works. As her direct boss, he’s in charge. His first assignment for her? Write about all her exes, himself included. Emma accepts the job, but she’s not too happy to be revisiting the ghost of relationships past. As she looks back at old relationships and explores her deeper feelings, she can’t deny things aren’t finished yet with Cassidy.

This was a really well-written, fun contemporary. I enjoyed getting to know Emma, Cassidy and their circle of friends. I felt their leftover pain from their past, and cheered for them to find a way to come together in the present. I struggled a bit with the pacing toward the end, and I thought Emma and Cassidy both acted the fool on occasion, but overall I really enjoyed their romance. I may go back and read the rest of the series now.

4 out of 5

Sex, Love and Stilettos

four-stars


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Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne

Posted July 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5) by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #5
Publisher: Random House, Loveswept
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 200
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A game of seduction between two best friends goes deliciously wrong in an irresistible Oxford Novel that brims with wit and sexual tension. Library Journal hails Layne’s work as exemplary contemporary romance.”

Brit Robbins knows that dating in New York City is hard—she just hoped to have it mastered by age thirty. But after yet another promising suitor says they have no sparks, Brit decides it’s time to torch her dating game and try a new plan. And who better to coach Brit through the art of seduction than the guy who first gave her the “let’s be friends” card?

Hunter Cross has always figured there’s nothing his best friend Brit can do to surprise him. But Brit’s request is a surprise he doesn’t see coming—and one he’s definitely not prepared for. Hunter and Brit have always been careful to keep things perfectly platonic, but the fake dates and faux flirting are starting to feel like the real deal. And soon Hunter realizes he has taught Brit too well. Not only has she become an expert at seduction, the man becoming thoroughly seduced is him.

I Think I Love You is the final book in the Oxford series by Lauren Layne. It feels like the end of an era. I’m super sad that we won’t be getting any new books in this series because I’ve enjoyed every single book and have come to care about all of these characters that I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do with my life now.

I Think I Love You follows Brit Robbins and Hunter Cross as they make that emotional love journey from best friends to more than best friends.

Brit has once again been dumped by her boyfriend because he thought they were better suited in the friend zone and Brit is tired of always being friend zoned so she concocts a plan to get her best friend Hunter to show her how to seduce men into wanting to be more than her friend.

Hunter hasn’t gotten into a long-term relationship because he always thought that he’d move back home to Kansas City and settle down there. Starting something with someone in New York just didn’t seem like a good idea to him and he’s never thought about Brit in that light since they’ve always been such good friends but with this whole love coach business, Hunter is seeing Brit in a different light and he has no idea what to do with these thoughts, these feelings and the more time he spends with Brit, the more he realizes that maybe she doesn’t see him like that.

Lauren Layne writes my favorite kind of contemporary romances. The big city romances with strong, big city characters that you can’t help but cheer for because her writing style is so engaging. Brit and Hunter wormed their way into my heart and I enjoyed getting to know them and seeing them fall in love with each other. The other thing that this book had going for it was everyone else from the Sex, Love and Stilettos and Oxford books. I enjoyed the heck out of the previous books in both of those series so seeing everyone come together in friendship and support in this book made me happy. This series ended on a high note and though I’ll miss everyone, I thought this book was a great send off. I definitely recommend.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Oxford

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne

Posted July 15, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Lauren Layne is one of my favorite authors of all time and she’s got a new book that I’m so excited about. It’s a best friends to lovers story and it’s the last book in the Oxford series so while I’m super excited about it, I’m also really sad about saying bye to these charming characters.

We’re pretty stoked to be featuring I Think I Love You on today’s Sunday Spotlight because Brit and Hunter are awesome and you’ll get to see them in action below.

Check it out.

Sunday Spotlight: I Think I Love You by Lauren LayneI Think I Love You (Oxford, #5) by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #5
Also in this series: I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 200
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

A game of seduction between two best friends goes deliciously wrong in an irresistible Oxford Novel that brims with wit and sexual tension. Library Journal hails Layne’s work as exemplary contemporary romance.”

Brit Robbins knows that dating in New York City is hard—she just hoped to have it mastered by age thirty. But after yet another promising suitor says they have no sparks, Brit decides it’s time to torch her dating game and try a new plan. And who better to coach Brit through the art of seduction than the guy who first gave her the “let’s be friends” card?

Hunter Cross has always figured there’s nothing his best friend Brit can do to surprise him. But Brit’s request is a surprise he doesn’t see coming—and one he’s definitely not prepared for. Hunter and Brit have always been careful to keep things perfectly platonic, but the fake dates and faux flirting are starting to feel like the real deal. And soon Hunter realizes he has taught Brit too well. Not only has she become an expert at seduction, the man becoming thoroughly seduced is him.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

“I want you to teach me.”

The silence stretched on and on, until finally Brit forced herself to look up at Hunter.

“Teach you what?” His voice was kind but completely confused.

“How to seduce a guy.”

His head snapped back, and he inhaled through his nose. “No way.”

“Why not?” she said, giving an impatient little bounce of irritation on the couch. It was what she’d expected, but it was frustrating all the same. “You’re the perfect person.”

“How you figure?”

Ah. Now, this she was ready for. She and the girls had talked out this part of her argument, and Brit was armed and ready with her answer. Setting her glass aside, she began to count out the reasons on her fingers.

“For starters, you apparently have some sort of innate charisma. You said it yourself—women are physically attracted to you, even when you don’t want them to be. It’s the very opposite of my problem, and I want to figure out what the difference between us is.

“Second,” she continued. “You date. A lot. You’ve got a ton of experience, and you’re a guy’s guy. You know what makes them tick, especially in the dating world.”

He frowned. “I could name a half dozen other guys who also fit into those categories. Ask one of them. Hell, I’ll ask them for you.”

“There’s one more reason,” she pressed on, ignoring his objections. “You’re you. We’re us. I trust you in a way I don’t trust anyone else. Plus, you’re single. I can’t ask Lincoln, or Nick, or Cole. They could give me advice, probably, but they’re all married or involved with some of my closest friends. I can’t practice on them.”

Hunter choked on his drink. “What do you mean, practice?”

“We’re talking the art of seduction here,” she said practically. “I’m not an expert, obviously, but I know it means more than just words. It’s about looks, and touch, and … moves.

“Don’t you dare laugh at me,” she said quickly, lifting a finger in warning when his lips twitched.

“Moves?” he said, trying to hide the impending smile and failing. “Is this high school in the nineties?”

She leaned forward and gave him a not-so-gentle punch on the arm. “Will you help me or not?”

“Not.”

Brit scowled. “You said you’d do anything for me.”

“Yeah, but not teach you how to … mate.”

“Mate? Okay, that’s worse than moves. And it’s not so tawdry as that. I just need some pointers on how to get guys to stop viewing me as a pal. That’s all.”

“Oh, is that all?” He said it sarcastically, dragging a hand over his face. “It’s weird, Brit.
You’re my friend. My closest friend.”

“Exactly the problem. Every other guy wants that role too.”

“Do I have competition in the friend department?” He smiled as he said it, but she noticed he was watching her as though he cared about the answer.

“Of course not. You’re still my number one.”

“You’re flattering me now.”

“Is it working?” she asked hopefully.

“Nope.”

Awesome excerpt and because I know what’s coming, this is what I look like right now:

I’m so here for this!

Oxford

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Gleam widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: July 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Lauren Layne

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than two dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies, in nine languages. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.


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Review: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Posted May 16, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Hot Asset by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Hot Asset (21 Wall Street, #1) by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street #1
Also in this series: Hard Sell (21 Wall Street, #2)
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 266
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

A sexy agent hounds Wall Street's hottest new wolf in an exhilarating novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he's met his match in Lara McKenzie-a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case-the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading-could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one, and Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She'll do anything to prove he's guilty. He'll do anything to prove he's not. But it's only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It's become a pleasure-and there's more at risk than she ever dreamed.

Hot Asset is the first book in Lauren Layne’s new 21 Wall Street series. It features a hotshot broker who is being investigated for insider trading and the SEC investigator who is digging into his entire life. Sparks fly whenever they’re together so you know this was going to be a good one.

Ian Bradley grew up with nothing. No family, no money, no handouts so he worked really hard to make sure that he doesn’t have to worry about money or need any handouts now. He knows that he’s fortunate to have the life that he has now and he plays just as hard as he works. He lives the life of a bachelor and tries to live without regrets but when he comes into the office and is blindsided by an insider trading investigation on him, he needs to get his shit together and figure out a plan. And just as soon as he stops staring at Lara McKenzie’s long legs and fine ass, he’ll get right on that. Haha.

Lara McKenzie has a dream of joining the FBI, just like her parents. Her dream job is within reach but she has to get through her present job in order to get the recommendation that she needs for the FBI gig. She’s hoping that this latest investigation will lead her to a big case that will lead her one step closer to the FBI. She’s investigating a broker on Wall Street who thinks the world rises and sets with him. He thinks he’s above everything and she’s not surprised that he might be a little shady. Anything to get to the top, right? But the further she digs into this case, the more she realizes that Ian Bradley is not the guy that everyone seems to think he is.

Both Ian and Lara battle their attraction while she’s investigating him. It’s thrown them both off of their game because they don’t know how to handle it. Nothing can come of the attraction, not now anyway but the more they get to know each other, the more they want each other.

Lauren Layne did a great job of meshing both the Wall Street and the SEC worlds in this story and I really enjoyed it all. The characters, the romance, the dialogue, it all worked and I am so here for the next book.

Lara was a fun heroine because she knew what she wanted and she worked hard to achieve all of her accomplishments. She acted on what she felt was right, no matter the cost and how can you not respect someone like that? She was confident in her work and she was also confident in herself as a person and I just really enjoyed getting to know her.

Ian was a great hero and I enjoyed getting to know him. The bits and pieces of him that made him the person that he grew up to be, seeing the family he created for himself and seeing him take care of the one man who was as close to a father figure as he could get just warmed my heart so much. He wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t polished but he was real and I dug him. I also really enjoyed seeing him fall for Lara and that was completely believable. It happened organically and seriously, Lauren Layne is really good at bringing couples together. She delivers the goods and I will definitely have ants in my pants until I can read the next book in this series.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

21 Wall Street

four-half-stars


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