Tag: Lauren Layne

Review: Someone Like You by Lauren Layne

Posted November 1, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Someone Like You by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Someone like You (Oxford, #3) by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #3
Also in this series: I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5), Irresistibly Yours (Oxford, #1), I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford, #2)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: December 6, 2016
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 228
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

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.

Lincoln Mathis. Yes, Lincoln. Sexy as sin. Hot as a mother. Sex incarnate. Men want to be him and women want to do him. All his friends are mystified about the fact that he doesn’t have a string of angry exes lined up at his door, but everyone just loves Lincoln. He even has a tiny white dog to go along with the cuteness. Who wouldn’t want a man whose masculinity isn’t threatened by walking a 4lb dog down the street, wearing a pink shirt, or drinking a girly cocktail?

It’s a a carefully constructed lie. Lincoln hasn’t slept with a single woman since he moved into New York City. He’s an engaged man. It doesn’t matter to him that his would-be bride is brain dead and in a health center for people that can’t take care of themselves. Lincoln knows he’s responsible for Katie’s accident. She was trying to answer a text from him, one he sent when he knew that she was driving. It’s only a matter of time for Katie. No one in her state can live a long life.

Daisy Sinclair has been warned about Lincoln by her sister, Emma. The moment she lays eyes on Lincoln she knows that everything she’s been told needs to be thrown out the window. Lincoln is not the man that all his friends think he is. He hasn’t slept around and she doubts he even dates. She doesn’t know why and doesn’t want to make it her business. Lincoln makes it her business when he decides to tell her his deepest, darkest secret. Daisy is devastated for him because she knows that his ending won’t be happy.

When Katie dies, Lincoln is broken. He goes through the motions, but his boss and friend, Alex Cassidy, forces him to take a leave of absence. Where does he get sent? To North Carolina where Daisy lives. Cassidy tells him that he’s going to be doing a set of articles on dating in the South. Lincoln goes because he has no choice. When he gets there he finds that Daisy is exactly what his battered heart needs.

After two short weeks, Daisy has fallen for Lincoln. It doesn’t matter though because in his heart Lincoln is still engaged to Katie. Daisy herself is still stuck in the past and in a physically abusive relationship that broke her. After Lincoln rejects her, she makes the decision that she’s not going to watch life go by. She’s going to live her life.

I simply loved Daisy. I read in the Acknowledgements that LL had a thought about giving Lincoln a mousy copyeditor for a heroine. That would never, ever have worked. Lincoln needed a strong woman like Daisy. Someone that stood up to him, that accepted him and didn’t back down. Their road was a rocky one, but in the end it was worth it to both of them. Daisy never got jealous, never had any ill feelings toward Katie. She always just accepted her as part of Lincoln’s life. That made me love her even more.

My favorite part was at the end when Lincoln was begging Daisy for a second chance. I admit that I got a little teary eyed.

“I’ll go,” he whispered. “But Daisy, if I can ask a favor, as a friend . . .”

She nodded, her heart squeezing at the thought that she might really let him go. “Anything.” 

“Tell me you love me.”

Daisy gasped in pain, and his gaze was tortured but steady as he looked at her.

“Lincoln—”

“I know you love me,” he said, his voice desperate. “Or at least you did before I screwed it up. Let me have the words just once, Daisy. Lie to me if you have to, but give me something to replay when I’m old and all alone and loving you so much it hurts—”

Daisy let out a strangled sob as she launched herself at him, arms going around him as she buried her face in his neck. “I love you,” she whispered. “I love you so much.”

Slayed.

Rating: 4 out of 5. (5 out of 5 for the ending)

Oxford

four-stars


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Review: I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne

Posted October 31, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford, #2) by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Lucy Malone
Series: Oxford #2
Also in this series: I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5), Irresistibly Yours (Oxford, #1), Someone like You (Oxford, #3)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 260
Length: 8 hours, 43 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

I’ve only read the first three books of this series, but this is my least favorite of the three. It wasn’t that I disliked the characters, because I didn’t. I liked Jackson. I liked Mollie. I liked Jackson and Mollie together. Until I remembered that they used to be in-laws. Then it kind of gave me the ick factor. I don’t know why. It just did.

Jackson Burke was a first round draft pick, all star, loves the game of football, football player. That all changes when a truck hits a car he’s in when he is heading to practice. Now he is stuck with an injury that forces him out of the game he loves and into a new life that he doesn’t love. Moving from Houston to New York is only a temporary thing. Working for Oxford as the editor of their Fitness column is only something he is doing until he can go back and coach the Redhawks.

Mollie Carrington fell in love with Jackson the day her sister married him. She was only eighteen at the time, but she knew he was the only one for her. That didn’t change during the time he was married to Madison. Not blind to her sister’s faults, Molly knew it was Jackson that was responsible for the invitation for her to move in during grad school. Knew it was Jackson that bought her Christmas gifts. As much as she loved her sister, she knew exactly who she was.

When his career ending injury brings him to New York, Mollie doesn’t see it as anything other than a chance to reconnect with a friend. Then she finds herself moving into his apartment. Being the roommate of Jackson Burke is the last thing she ever thought she would find herself being. Now she has a front row seat to her sister trying to win Jackson back while she falls even deeper for the man himself.

As Jackson and Mollie find themselves more attracted to each other each day, neither can deny what they feel for each other. As they start an affair, Jackson knows he needs to tell Molly that he’s not in New York for good. Mollie needs to tell Jackson that she feels more than lust for him.

Then it all blows up. Of course it does. There were a few things. Although Mollie knew Madison’s faults, she was blind to a lot of things. Like Madison looked at Molly as a burden. She was a raving, selfish, shrew. Omg, I wanted to smack the bitch. Seriously. Jackson did come to his senses faster than I thought he would, which was a relief because if he didn’t, it would have dropped my grade for this book. The narrator was pretty good, so that was also a plus. All in all, I would suggest you don’t skip this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Oxford

three-half-stars


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Review: Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

Posted October 30, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Irresistibly Yours by Lauren LayneReviewer: Casee
Irresistibly Yours (Oxford, #1) by Lauren Layne
Narrator: Lucy Malone
Series: Oxford #1
Also in this series: I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5), I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford, #2), Someone like You (Oxford, #3)
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 236
Length: 8 hours, 4 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

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

After the win (for me) that was the Summer Reading Challenge, I decided that I needed to ask Rowena about a few of her favorite authors. I’ve been over historicals for a long time, so I had to think about a contemporary author that she’s raved about. One stuck out in my mind. Lauren Layne. Rowena loves her. Loves, loves, loves her. So I asked her which book I should try. When she told me that Irresistibly Yours was free right now on Audible, I jumped at it. And I am so glad I did.

Cole Sharpe is a free lance writer for mens magazine, Oxford. That’s going to change soon. The sports editor position is available and Cole is the man for the job. Alex Cassidy, who runs Oxford, not only knows Cole personally, but he knows that Cole has what it takes. Then he finds out that there is another person in the running. He doesn’t know who this guy thinks he is, but there is no way that he is taking the job that Cole desperately wants. And needs. Little does he know that the he is actually a she.

Penelope Pope loves sports. Every sport. She can spout off sports facts like a pro. After a disastrous almost-relationship in Chicago where her would-be love stole her job and broke her heart, Penelope jumped at the opportunity to move to New York. She knew she was perfect for the job at Oxford, but it was a mens magazine after all. And she knew Cole Sharp would have been good for the job, but she also knew she would do better.

They are both surprised when they are offered the positions of co-editors of the sports section. Now they have to work together. Penelope has never lied to herself about the type of woman she is. She knows she’s plain and frankly, she doesn’t attract men. She never plays games and always tells it like it is. Cole, on the other hand, can’t stop thinking about Penelope. He finds her attitude refreshing. She says what she’s thinking and there is no ulterior motive behind her actions. Although she isn’t his type, Cole soon finds that she is exactly his type.

I really enjoyed these two. I especially liked how Cole was determined to make Penelope see that she wasn’t plain in his eyes. She was the sexiest, most attractive woman that he ever met. Not to mention that she loved watching any game of any sport with him. She even liked drinking beer and eating hot dogs. Penelope was just amazing. I loved her from the beginning all the way to the end.

I didn’t understand how she pined for her would-be love. It seemed a little overdone. They never had a thing. Penelope acts like it was her great love, but it is obvious that it was just an infatuation. I just didn’t get that part at all. Then again, she was very naive. So it was excusable.

I just liked everything about this book. The end though? Cole tells her this:

“Penelope, it’s always been you.”

Sigh.

Review: 4 out 5.

Oxford

four-stars


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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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