Series: Sex Love and Stilettos

Review: The Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne

Posted April 13, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Trouble with Love by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
The Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne
Series: Sex Love and Stilettos #4
Also in this series: Love the One You're With, Just One Night
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: March 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 237
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.

The Trouble with Love is the last book in the Sex, Love & Stilettos series and it was hands down my favorite book in the bunch. It was a second chance romance that just had me swooning all over the place. Alex Cassidy is everything, at least for me.

I don’t even know where to begin with this review.

Emma Sinclair is the last of the Stiletto girls to fall in love. While everyone is falling in love and known for all things love, Emma is the resident break up girl. She’s all about letting Stiletto girls know how to move on after a bad break up. She has the experience and the bad break up that ruined love for her and she’s not ashamed to share her wisdom with others who need it. Her experience with the whole break up thing centers around her ex-fiance’ Alex Cassidy.

Alex Cassidy is the head man in charge over at Oxford magazine and when the head of Stiletto magazine takes a sabbatical, Alex takes over at Stiletto to help them out. It’s a little awkward considering his ex-fiancee works over there and is not his biggest fan. What’s even worse is that same ex-fiancee just moved in next door to him. Alex has always regretted the way that their relationship ended but he wasn’t completely blameless in the whole thing which is something that Emma won’t acknowledge. Emma is working on a story about her ex boyfriends and an interview with Alex is on the horizon and Alex can’t wait. He’d like to clear the air once and for all but the more time he spends around Emma, the more he remembers. She was the one that got away and he’s never gotten over it and with them working so closely together, he can’t help but wonder if it’s not too late to try again.

You guys, this book had me wrapped up from the very beginning. I needed to know what happened between Emma and Alex. The whole deal, not just what Emma said or what Alex said happened because they both said different things and when we finally get it, I was so glad. I knew that there were still feelings involved because throughout the entire series, they don’t like each other. How can you have moved on from what happened if the rage is still alive and kicking every time you’re around each other?

And then Alex said this:

“You want to know what I remember,” he said quietly, his fingers fiddling with his cuffs as he rolled the sleeves up to his elbow, his eyes locked on the view before them.

She nodded.

He shoved his hands into his pockets and dipped his head just slightly, glancing at the floor before lifting it and staring out at the night sky.

“I remember everything.”

“Ask me what else I remember.”

She started to run away, but his hand touched her arm.

“Ask me,” he commanded.

Emma shook her head feeling both terrified and the most alive she’d felt in years.

He waited patiently until her eyes met his. “I remember us, Emma.”

Holy shit, I about swooned into a puddle of lust after reading this scene. I loved Alex in all of the other books that he’s in but I loved him the most after reading this book. I’m sitting here writing this review with a big ass goofy grin on my face remembering everything that I loved about this book. I loved Alex. I loved the Oxford guys. I loved the Stiletto girls. Hell, I even loved the Stiletto girls boss that took off with her Australian lover boy.

But as much as I loved this book and everyone in it, there were times when I wanted to knock Emma the hell out. She held on to so much hatred for so long that I wanted to shake some damn sense into her. Even when she knew in her heart of hearts that it was time to let go of the past, she didn’t. Not really and that drove me crazy but I still loved the hell out of this book. I was sad to be done with these guys until I remembered that we get the Oxford guys and then I was happy all over again because Lincoln is next!!! I can’t freaking wait for Lincoln!

This was a great story of two old flames coming together again and it was an emotional journey that hit all the right spots for me. I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: Just One Night by Lauren Layne

Posted April 12, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Just One Night by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Just One Night by Lauren Layne
Series: Sex Love and Stilettos #3
Also in this series: Love the One You're With, The Trouble with Love
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 240
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

In Lauren Layne’s sizzling Sex, Love & Stiletto series, New York’s hottest “sexpert” has been living a lie—and it’s up to one man to keep her honest…all night long.

Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed. After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.

Just One Night is the third book in the Love, Sex & Stilettos series by Lauren Layne and it was yet another delightful read. It was cute and fluffy and just my kind of romance.

Riley is the sex goddess at Stiletto. She’s the go to for sex advice. You name it, she’s written an article on it. Nothing embarrasses her and she’s game for anything. At least that’s what everyone thinks. She’s got quite the reputation and she’s not ashamed of it. What she is a little embarrassed about is that all of that experience her reputation claims, she doesn’t really have it since none of her articles are written from personal experience. The anniversary issue for Stiletto magazine is coming up and the reporters are asked to write articles a little more personal and Riley needs a partner for the article she’s been assigned. Who better to turn to than your best friend? Or well, your brother’s best friend that you’ve been in love with since you were a school girl?

Sam Compton has been around Riley’s family since he befriended Riley’s older brother (by two years), Liam. He’s noticed Riley since the first time he laid eyes on her but a promise to her brother (his best friend) keeps her strictly off-limits. He may be the guy that she turns to for every little thing under the sun (a flat tire? Sam will change it. In need of a designated driver for you and your friends? Sam’s your man, etc…) but when she asks him to be her little sex toy for an article she’s going to write for work, he’s not on board for that. He can’t be. He made a promise but sometimes you can’t keep promises and before Sam knows what is what, one night turns into another night and another night until Sam can’t walk away. Doesn’t want to walk away.

I really enjoyed getting to know both Riley and Sam. I really liked seeing them around their friends and I absolutely adored how well Sam fit in with the other guys from the Stiletto group. I loved seeing the girls come together even when they were bickering about things and all up in Riley’s business. They were such a fun bunch and the same goes with the guys. I love how they hound each other and give advice and then run away when the girls come around. They had me laughing and sighing and just enjoying the ride.

One thing that didn’t make sense to me was the whole work softball game. Riley invites Sam to play on her softball team and he does. But…who wears jeans to play softball? Is that a NY thing? It wasn’t one of those things where the guy shows up to watch the softball game and ends up filling in for a no show. Jake (who played baseball in high school and college, if I remember correctly) and Sam both showed up to play softball in JEANS. Who does that? I mean besides Jake and Sam? I found it really odd. So odd that I kept asking Ames and Holly about that all day…and even my sister who plays softball every weekend.

Aside from the whole softball in jeans thing, I enjoyed this book. Maybe a little less than the other books in this series because as great as Sam was, I wanted to punch him in the nuts a time or two. Still, this was a fun read and I was so amped to start Alex and Emma’s book. This was a solid romance.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Review: Love the One You’re With by Lauren Layne

Posted April 11, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Love the One You’re With by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Love the One You're With by Lauren Layne
Series: Sex Love and Stilettos #2
Also in this series: Just One Night, The Trouble with Love
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: October 28th 2014
Genres: Romance
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Her mission: six-months without men. But he has other ideas.

As Stiletto magazine's foremost relationship expert, Grace Brighton should have seen it coming - her boyfriend has been having an affair right under her nose.

Jake Malone is one great story away from editor, and the company challenges him to a little friendly competition with Grace Brighton - who has a better read on the opposite sex?

Only Grace isn't the pushover that he anticipated, and Jake sees something in her he never expected. Can the city's number-one heartbreaker convince a woman who's given up on love that he's worth the risk?

Lauren Layne hit it out of the park once again with Love the One You’re With. Jake and Grace were characters that I came to love the hell out of. Their battle of the sexes shenanigans had me laughing, happy sighing and just flat out loving the both of them. I’m competitive by nature so seeing these two battle it out for their jobs was such fun.

Grace Brighton is the relationship expert at Stilettos and when she finds out that her boyfriend has been cheating on her for a long time, her confidence in herself and in her work is shattered. What better way to get all of that back by competing against the men’s magazine Oxford in a battle of the sexes competition?

Jake has the travel bug and he’s getting antsy to take off for parts unknown. When the magazine that he works for adds a travel section which could definitely help him get out and see the world, he wants the job but in order for him to get the job, he’s got to join up with Oxford’s sister magazine Stiletto for a battle of the sexes article.

This was such a fun book with characters that wrapped their way around my heart and dug their heels in. Lauren Layne has definitely become one of my auto buy authors because I can’t stop wanting to read her stuff. She’s got a lovely writing style that I’ve fallen in love with each and every time I’ve opened up one of her books. She writes cute and fun exceptionally well and this book was no exception. Jake and Emma were great leads and I loved seeing the both of them grow in their love for each other.

When Jake shows up in the end even though he hates the Yankees…I loved it. I damn near swooned with delight. This was a good book and I recommend it to everyone. Great stuff!

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Review: After the Kiss by Lauren Layne

Posted April 7, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: After the Kiss by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
After the Kiss by Lauren Layne
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 180
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Goodreads
four-stars

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and "I do"—she'll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie's "research." But what Julie doesn't know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he's looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he's exactly what she wants.

I knew the minute I finished Irresistibly Yours in the Oxford series that I was going to go back and read the Stiletto books. I also knew that I was going to love the hell out of each girl because I loved them in the Oxford books.

First up is Julie Greene. Julie is the fling girl. She’s all about the beginning of a relationship. The first date. The first kiss. You need to know what to wear on a first date? Where to go on a first date? Julie is your girl. Anything beyond the beginning of a relationship makes Julie nervous but when she’s assigned a story that makes her think beyond that first date, Julie starts looking around for a subject.

Enter Mitchell Forbes.

Mitchell is Mr. Stable. Mr. I’m always in a relationship but after ending his relationship with his girlfriend of a few years, Mitchell decides that it’s time for a little fun. He decides that he’s not going to jump into another relationship and Julie Greene, Queen of the First Date is the perfect woman for what he wants.

Lauren Layne took a job in romances that I’m just not a fan of and turned it into a romance that I loved anyway. I’m not all that fond of heroine reporters but I loved the hell out of Julie and the rest of the Stiletto girls. I loved seeing Julie jump into this relationship with Mitchell and fall in love with him as each day passed. I loved seeing her squirm at the idea of actually writing this super personal story with a man that she is falling in love with and I loved the way that her story ended.

Mitchell was one of those nerd heroes that completely rocked my socks. I adored pretty much everything about him until he behaves like a jackass. The way that he hurts Julie when shit hits the fan, I wanted to knee him in the balls ten times but he’s lucky I loved him just as much as Julie did cause I forgave him for being a jackass. I would probably forgive him over and over again because I enjoyed his character.

I loved the romance between Mitchell and Julie. They have their own issues that they’re working on throughout the book but when they came together, it was too freaking cute and steamy at the same time. Lots of great stuff in here and I couldn’t start the second book quick enough. This was a fun story and I definitely recommend.

4 out of 5

four-stars

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