Author: Lauren Layne

Review: Hard Sell by Lauren Layne

Posted August 31, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Hard Sell by Lauren LayneHard Sell
by Lauren Layne
Series: 21 Wall Street Series #2
Published by Amazon, Montlake Romance on September 4, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 252
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-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.

Lauren Layne is at the top of my favorite author’s list. I will read whatever she puts out because I’m that big a fan of hers and lately, she’s been knocking shit out of the park. It’s no different with Hard Sell. Matt and Sabrina’s romance was just as awesome as I hoped and I completely adored the both of them. So, Hard Sell is the second book in the 21 Wall Streets series and it was another rollicking good time. I enjoyed Ian and Lara’s story in Hot Asset but the bickering and angsty love of Matt and Sabrina really worked for me. I thought Lauren Layne did the fake relationship turned real relationship thing between Matt and Sabrina really well and everything just worked for me. When we first meet Matt and Sabrina, you just know that there’s a history between the two. They bicker constantly and are always having to be separated because of their bickering. They belong to the same circle of friends and while they don’t seem to like each other, they tolerate each other for the sake of their shared loved one, Ian Bradley. Matt works with Ian and Sabrina is a fixer who is Ian’s oldest friend. When Matt needs a fake girlfriend to fix his image for a potential investor, who better to fix this problem for him than Sabrina? She fixes problems and he has a problem that not just anyone could help him with so even though he doesn’t get along with Sabrina, he does trust her. He also desperately needs her. They both knew that the situation was a weird one and that it wasn’t going to be easy. They barely get along and having to pretend to love each other is going to take a lot out of them and I laughed and laughed because Lauren Layne’s humor game in this one is strong.
“How’s the Sabrina thing been going?” “I’m exhausted.” “It’s only been two days.”
I enjoyed the way that they both understood how they felt about each other and I enjoyed seeing them work through their seperate issues to come out on top. They were a great couple with amazing chemistry and I thought Layne did a fantastic job of telling their story. Matt Cannon is my book boyfriend for this week because he was flat out the bomb. I loved his cocky attitude, his witty personality and I really adored the way that he came to love Sabrina. The passion was always there for them but everything else was new to him and seeing him come to realize that was so good. I loved seeing him get so jealous and then going after what he really wanted. A jealous Matt Cannon is super sexy.
I’ve been thinking the hardest part of this whole thing will be faking being in love when I don’t even believe in love. Now I know better. The hardest thing is going to be keeping my hands off the only woman I’ve ever wanted.
Here’s my Matt Cannon. Overall, it’s another winner for me. I enjoyed the characters, the romance, everything and even though there were times when I wanted to junk punch both Matt and Sabrina, in the end, I just flat out loved them. I cannot freaking wait for Kennedy and Kate’s story.
Final Grade
4.5 out of 5
Buy the Book
Hard Sell by Lauren Layne September 4, 2018 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
21 Wall Street Series
four-half-stars

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Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne

Posted July 13, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: I Think I Love You by Lauren LayneI Think I Love You
by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #5
Also in this series: Irresistibly Yours, I Wish You Were Mine
Published by Random House, Loveswept on July 10, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating Third Person
Pages: 200
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Add It: 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 Lauren Layne’s Oxford series and on one hand, I’m super sad about that but on the other, another Oxford book! Lauren Layne strikes again with a sweet contemporary romance that I couldn’t put down. So this story follows Hunter Cross and Britt Robbins as they take their best friendship into forever love land. Britt has just been dumped again and she starts to wonder why every man on the planet seems content to keep her in the friend zone. Her friends are starting to pair off with their love matches and she’s feeling a little alone and wants to find her own person to settle down with. Or, she wants to make guys stop seeing her as their bestie and start seeing her as the girl they’d like to bang. Who better to help her learn the ways of lovin’ than her best friend, Hunter. Only Hunter doesn’t want any part of helping Britt learn how to seduce random men, especially since he’s starting to see her as more than friend. Seeing these two fumble their way from best friends to more than friends was fun and it was funny and I completely adored them. Hunter Cross is my book boyfriend of the week because I adored every single thing about him. I loved seeing him fall in love with his best friend. I loved seeing him with his family. I loved the brother he was to Malik and I really loved that he was the one that fell in love with Brit first. Sure, he was a complete bonehead in the way he dealt with those feelings and then the way that he tried to play the martyr where Brit was concerned at the end made me want to kick him in the nuts but holy cow, the way that these two came together made me so happy that I forgave Hunter for being dumb. I believed in him and his feelings for Britt and I knew that he loved her with all of his heart and that hit me right in the feels. Thanks to Lauren Layne’s awesome Pinterest boards, I didn’t have any trouble picturing Hunter in my head because this was her inspiration behind his character and holy cow, he’s perfect for Hunter. Super duper perfect. If you’re a fan of the Oxford and Sex, Love and Stilettos series then you should read this one because you’ll get a lot of those folks in this book and the story itself is a good one. Lauren Layne knows how to write the heck out of a romance and this one isn’t to be missed.
Final Grade
4.5 out of 5
Oxford Series
four-half-stars

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Book Boyfriend of the Week: Gage Barrett

Posted February 23, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 0 Comments

Lauren Layne strikes again! She introduces another hero that made his way onto my favorites list with her new release, Runaway Groom. Gage Barrett was such a fun hero and there wasn’t much about him that I didn’t enjoy. Book Boyfriend of the Week: Gage BarrettRunaway Groom
by Lauren Layne
Series: I Do I Don't #2
Also in this series: Runaway Groom
Published by Random House, Loveswept on January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 217
Add It: Goodreads

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

Gage is the star on the Bachelor-type reality show called Jilted. He lost a bet and his best friend signed him up. He didn’t expect to actually fall in love with one of the contestants…but when he meets Ellie Wright, his world tilts. Trying to get her to realize that what he feels for her is real and not just part of the fictional show they’re on made for some great reading.
He blinks and I could have sworn I hurt his feelings. “I’m real, Ellie.” “You’re Hollywood,” I correct.
Gage brought the goods in this book and he’s definitely a hero that you’ll want to take notice of. He’s pretty great. Here’s who Lauren Layne has posted as her muse for Gage and that’s exactly how I saw him in my head. She’s so good at this stuff.

Buy the Book

Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne January 30, 2018 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Series Order

Until next week…enjoy!

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Buddy Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne

Posted February 21, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren LayneRunaway Groom
by Lauren Layne
Series: I Do I Don't #2
Published by Random House, Loveswept on January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 217
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy It: Amazon|Barnes & Noble
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

So, after not missing any months in 2017 and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done….we started off 2018 forgetting to do our buddy review so to make up for that, we’re reviewing two books together in February. Wish us luck! The first book of 2018 was Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne and it takes place mostly on the beautiful island of Maui at a beach resort in the thick of the reality show, Jilted. Jilted is a bachelor type reality show where one guy will date 20 girls over the course of the show and week after week, girls will be dropping like flies and going home. The last girl standing will be married to the Runaway Groom, Gage Barrett. Ellie Wright can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into auditioning to be one of the girls on Jilted. Gage Barrett can’t believe he lost a bet to his best friend, a bet that puts him right smack dab in the middle of a freaking reality show where girls will be competing to become his…wife. Both Gage and Ellie don’t want to be in Hawaii. They don’t want to be on the show and yet, somehow a friendship blossoms between them anyway. Will a fake romance turn into a real one? Rowena: Holy cow, this book was good. It was the perfect book to read after a really bad book because Gage and Ellie’s antics perked me right up and it was so good that I read the entire thing in one sitting. I can’t think of a single thing that I didn’t like about it. What about you, Ames? What did you think? Ames: Like you, I read this book in one sitting! I couldn’t put it down. The energy between Gage and Ellie was great and I had to find out what antics they’d get up to next. Their bantering and bickering was funny. I definitely lol’d a few times. So Ellie gets talked into the show as a way to promote her and her best friend’s t-shirt company. Right from the first episode that goal is met with visits to their website and sales of the shirt going up. So Ellie considers her job done and so she wants to go home. She really isn’t impressed by A-list actor Gage Barrett, his looks or his attitude, so she just acts like herself in all her interactions with him. And even though Gage himself doesn’t want to be on the show (he lost a bet!), Ellie’s don’t-give-a-shit attitude appeals to him. But it wasn’t only Gage and Ellie that made the book fun. I liked the other contestants on the show too. Of course they were a few crazies and cutthroat women who took the competition too seriously, but I liked how those other contestants balanced out the interactions between Gage and Ellie. And the humour. Really, that’s what kept me flipping pages. Quickly into the story Ellie tells Gage that she wants to go home and he promises her she’ll be on the chopping block to get eliminated…but things happen that make him break his promise and I loved Ellie’s rage every time that happened. LOL Rowena: Every single time that Gage sent someone home, I laughed out loud. I didn’t care that it was after midnight and my house was already asleep. I laughed out loud. The funniest one was when he sent Skylar home. Bwahahahaha, that poor girl got in the way so she had to go. You’re right. The energy between Gage and Ellie was fun and it was sweet and I ate it all up. YES! The other contestants cracked me up, too. From Evil Eden to Crazy LeAnn to side action Paisley, I enjoyed what each of them brought to the story. Oh man, the rage that Ellie had every time Gage couldn’t send her home was a freaking riot. Gosh, there was so much to like in this story that I’m pretty bummed we’re not getting another one. Normally, I can get pretty annoyed when characters don’t talk things out. In fact, in the last book that I read, I got really upset at the heroine for not opening her mouth and getting mad at the hero for things that happened before she came along but Lauren Layne did that in this book and she wrote it in a way that made me sit up and take notice. The first thing that came to mind was, “This is how it’s done. This is how you make a reader connect with how dumb the characters are acting right now” Layne did a great job of making us readers understand why Ellie didn’t speak up when she probably should have. She did a wonderful job of making it easy for me, as a reader to connect with Ellie’s character and her assumptions about Gage before she even knew him. I thought the way that she flushed out both Ellie and Gage’s personalities and their individual journeys made for a great reading adventure. I was seriously here for it all. This book drives home why I enjoy Lauren Layne books so much. Her stories are filled with humor, with fantastic chemistry and characters that can charm the socks off a dragon. Gage was such a fun hero and Ellie? Well, I want Ellie to be my best friend. I absolutely loved this story and there wasn’t one thing about it that I hated. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. You? Ames: I agree that Lauren Layne writes great contemporary romances. Her characters really shine and I love her humour. And she writes her heroines very well. I need to be able to connect to heroine and understand her motivations and she knocked that out of the park with Ellie. Ellie was fun and her loyalty and friendship defined her as a person. This was also apparent in her budding friendship with Paisley. With a show that pits women against each other for a man, LL did an awesome job of not making all the women villains. Kudos to her. I’m giving Runaway Groom 4.25 out of 5. Thoroughly enjoyable and I have to say, reading about a book in Maui during this cold winter of mine (seriously, it’s been hellishly cold – think -40) was a nice bonus too.
I Do, I Don’t Series
Final Grades
Ames: 4 out of 5 Rowena: 5 out of 5
five-stars

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Week in Review (78)

Posted February 12, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 0 Comments

This week was for, you guessed it, basketball. Bren and Ken played on Wednesday and Friday and Meghan played on Thursday and Saturday, and I went to all of their games. Bren and Ken won both of their games this week but Meghan’s team is struggling so they went 1-1 this week. This week, I also babysat for my brother and his wife who went to Vegas for the weekend to celebrate my sister in law’s birthday. I was babysitting this little guy here. We spent the day on Saturday in Costa Mesa for Meghan’s basketball game. He’s a giant ball of energy and he’s so smart and so funny. Caleb: Aunty! Did you know that April Ham Lincoln’s birthday is coming up and we don’t have school? Me: Who? Caleb: You know April Ham? He’s on the dollar bill. Bwahahahaha, he now says Abraham correctly but I had a good laugh at that one. On our way to breakfast yesterday, we had this conversation. To premise the conversation, Friday night, me and the kids fell asleep in the living room, on the couches. Saturday night, I didn’t sleep there because my back was hurting. Caleb: Aunty, so I was thinking. Do you know why your back hurts when you sleep on the couch and mine doesn’t? Me: No, why? Caleb: Because, my back is smaller, I’m young and I’m strong. You’re old and you’re weak. Me: Hahahahaha. Caleb: I’m serious. Bwahahahaha. This kid, man. Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading

Week in Review (78)Runaway Groom
by Lauren Layne
Series: I Do I Don't #2
Also in this series: Runaway Groom
Published by Random House, Loveswept on January 30th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View:Alternating First Person
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads

For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!

Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .

Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.

Ames and I missed reading our January book for our buddy review so we’re doubling up this month and the first book we’re reading is Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne and so far, I’m enjoying it a lot more than I enjoyed Ready to Run so I’m hopeful that this will continue to be awesome.

What I Read

So Over You (Chicago Rebels #2) by Kate Meader | 4.25 out of 5 Undone by You (Chicago Rebels #3) by Kate Meader | 4 out of 5 The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory | 4 out of 5

What I Reviewed

Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls #2) by Julie Cross

What I Posted

Week in Review (77) Top Ten Tuesday: Books Still on My TBR Pile Movies I Want to See: February 2018 Throwback Thursday (29) Book Boyfriend of the Week: Rex Galbraith

What I Got for Review

Hot Response (Boston Fire #5) by Shannon Stacey Rumor Has It (Real Love #4) by Jessica Lemmon
There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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