Isn’t She Lovely. Flirt New Adult Romance. Lauren Layne.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.
The New Adult genre is a fairly recent phenomena, and I think an inaccurate label; fun romances such as this one appeal to all ages, and I’m certainly long past the New Adult label 🙂 Anyway – this was a fun, romantic, easy to read novel. The description tells you pretty much how it shapes out – for me it was a fun way to spin an old topic. I’ve read books that are very similar to each other and this Pretty Woman/Pygmalion ( read the G B Shaw one years ago at high school ) theme is one that’s been done over and over and still appeals when its done well.
Stephanie – grunge girl in Goth black, spiky, prickly, and at times almost rude meets Ethan. They’re both just out of a breakup, and at film studies together when the tutor gives the class an assignment to do with a partner – of his choosing. Of course they get partnered and learn a lot about each other over the next few weeks. They decide to do a Pygmalion screenplay based around their experience where Stephanie pretends to be Ethan’s new girlfriend when he has to attend several family functions. She has to get “dressed up” to play the part, the hair gets cut, the make-up gets lighter, the black Goth clothes and piercings go, and slowly more than just her appearance changes. He needs a girlfriend to stop his mother matchmaking and trying to get him back with his ex, long term girlfriend and daughter of parents long time friends and business acquaintances. Stephanie is temporarily homeless, so he offers his second bedroom. Game on, and they play the part so well they begin to convince themselves. Is there more to it than that though? I love the way both are afraid to come out and say they care, for fear the other one doesn’t. Ethan’s mum; at first she’s a real classic bitch in the clever ways she tries to put Stephanie down, but Stephanie is tough – she’s faced greater enemies that his mum and she’s very clever at the game played. I loved that part, a good bitch is always an asset in a romance.
They’re both hiding secrets that slowly come out as they get closer. When things go wrong -as they need to in a good love story IMO, we readers need the angst and tears 🙂 can they pull it back? They’ve both made mistakes and Ethan’s mum has some surprising advice for him. I just loved the way it all fell together in the end. Perfect, and a satisfying ending. Its sweet but not sickly, has enough drama not to make it that way, and is a really pleasant read to escape from reality for a couple of hours.
Stars: not quite deep enough for a five from me but a very well deserved four.