I Knew You Were Trouble, An Oxford Novel, Lauren Layne
Genre: Romance, Humour
I’m always wary when a book is classed as Humour, too often I find its overdone and forced, but Lauren’s books aren’t like that, they’re perfect for me with lots of humour but of the more subdued type. The sort where words and undercurrents provide the laughs, where its what’s left unsaid that is often the part that makes me smile.
Its often clever, subtle snark, not in-your-face, dumbed down comedy. Its not laugh your head off humour but the gentle sort that makes me smile, feels so satisfying and provides a counterpart to the the emotions floating round the story.
This one was typical, full of drama and action, people with real issues, hard backgrounds, sad stories, who just knuckle down and get on with life and don’t give up, don’t turn it into drudge and bitterness, where the humour shows us they can still smile, can still appreciate the lighter side of life.
I loved Nick back in Lincoln and Daisy’s story, and here we get the full-on Nick experience.
Part time Oxford worker, part time fiction writer and part time bartender, he’s a busy man and yet still finds time to help others, appreciate his freinds. I felt he and Taylor were just perfect together.
If only they could see that…Taylor is prickly though and something about Nick rubs her the wrong way, she snarks at him and he’s reciprocates in a similar vein. Methinks the lady – and the gent – doth protest too much. Its kind of how their freinds feel too.
Taylor though is about to move to a new apartment with the love of her life…until she finds a note at the flat in place of Bradley. The jerk dumps her by a note on moving day. What a first class burke he was, gone back to his old love.
Taylor has a sad past, orphaned young, brought up by a career driven aunt and now she’s no-one left.
She very focused on her career, knocked hard by Bradley’s actions, and feels lost. Lucky she’s got her good friends who can see the attraction between her and Nick, and are on hand with some advice!
Its a fun story, lots going on, great characters that are very believable. You can feel this story, these people could be real, imagine it happening to people you know.
Life is a b itch sometimes, we do get cut back just when it looks like things are going well, and that’s where good friends come in.
I love the whole Oxford crew, Lincoln has a special place in my heart, he and Daisy are my favourite couple, but Nick comes close to Linc, he’s such a lovely man, can see under Taylor’s act, supports her even when he thinks she hates him.
His actions towards the end were hard to take but I understood how he felt, loved the way that played out, the deep emotions that plot engendered.
Have to mention Twinkle (Twinkie?) I adored her, a great character, fitted the story really well 😉
Its another great read, and I know it Should be the last…but Lauren, what about Hunter and Brit? I’m sure there’s loads of us rooting for them too.
Stars: five, a fabulous story, not quite up to Lincoln and Daisy, but very close.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
Walk of Shame, Lauren Layne
I loved Lauren’s Oxford sereis, so really looked forward to this one. For me though it was a disappointment. Looking at early reviews I see lots of readers love it yet quite a few like me didn’t.
Georgie, she’s not the usual type of heroine. I liked her cheery outlook, her friendliness and her general kindness to others. This character in books is usually the opposite to all that, though I’m not complaining, its what makes many books special 😉
I think for me Georgie lacked any real character though, she seemed all light and fluffy, no real depth to her, just partying along, spending time shopping, lunching, gossiping, its all so vapid and hard to make a character with any depth of of one like that.
Then there’s Andrew, totally her opposite, and again we could see why he was that rigid persona, but it made it very hard to see what the connection was between the two, how they could make a relationship work. The colour red is a very tenuous connection…
I liked Andrew in the same way as I liked Georgie, but didn’t see how either of them would work in a relationship, they have little in common, don’t really know anything about the other, and I didn’t feel that magic crackle of attraction.
I love the slow build up, the gradual dawning that each likes the other, then slowly they meet more and more and that deepens. None of that here. just some snark and lust and that doesn’t make a relationship.
I didn’t dislike the book, just found it a hard read, didn’t get properly engrossed in it and kept putting to one side.
I know its not one I’ve really enjoyed when I find myself glad I’ve reached the end…One of those reads that’s well written but where the actual story just doesn’t cut it for me.
Stars: Two. 😦 Sorry Lauren, loved other books of yours but not this one. Still, there’s lots of other readers for whom its perfect.
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
Someone Like You, An Oxford Novel, Lauren Layne
I’ve read a couple of Lauren’s books, would love to read more but its that old conundrum, time and money – mostly the money side 😦 I’d read one of the Oxford books, so the characters in this were familiar, and Oxford and Stiletto are series I’d definitely like to read more of…one day 😉
The original characters from each book come up in all the books, along with new ones to the group. Each book is stand alone, but reading this way is like meeting a group of friends, and though I’d only read one of the books, they were “real” people, ones I could understand, like, want to be with.
Lincoln has the playboy rep but he’s hiding a huge secret, something really heart-breaking, and even his closest friends don’t know that his outward appearance is all a false front.
Then Daisy comes into his life, at her twin sisters wedding. He’s worked with her twin for some time, is a good friend to her and her new husband, but hasn’t met Daisy. He gets warned off her, her sister sees Daisy as Fragile, Damaged, in need of protection as she’s been through a bad divorce. Daisy has her own secrets though, and when she meets Lincoln she recognises his front, that his public persona is fake, because she’s doing exactly the same.
Its a shock to the others but Daisy and Lincoln become friends, though Daisy lives in a different state and its a text only friendship. They get along so well, make each other laugh and Daisy is the only person to know Lincoln’s secret. Somehow in the couple of days of the wedding they fast forwarded friendship to where he trusts her, and lets her know about his past and why he’s not as everyone thinks he is.
Then the guilt falls in, and Lincoln tails off the texts, poor Daisy is upset but understands. She really is a gem, a real Southern Lady, so kind, so always wanting the best for others, and though she’s feeling more than she ever expected for Lincoln she respects his decision and doesn’t text him. He never actually says anything, just lets time and distance do it. He’s got a kind of war going on internally about his feelings, so though its a cowardly way I do understand his actions.
Something big happens in his life that changes it, the secret comes out and its a time of rebuilding his life. His mind though and conscience are still troubled, he thinks he’s ok but really he’s not.
By chance he sees at first hand exactly what Daisy is hiding, and it makes him angry, makes him look at how he feels about it – and her….
I loved them both, such a lovely couple, get on so well, but with those secrets hidden in their pasts they have a couple of huge barriers to overcome.
I really felt for Daisy, she’s such a lovely lady and to have that happen….well, sadly its not uncommon, and I understood how her confidence had plummeted.
Lincoln, when we first meet him he’s almost a stereotypical gay, at least a very Metrosexual man, well dressed, chats easily with the ladies, happy to wear pink, loves frou-frou sweet drinks, had a tiny fluff-ball Maltese terrier who he loves….but he’s not, far from it, and he’s carefully cultivated that image as a kind of protective front it seems to me.
When we learned what he was hiding I was gutted for him, really didn’t know if or how he could get past that. Its a terrible thing to have that in your life, and an unusual storyline that was really heart wrenching.
When they were on-off-on with the contact, the texts, well before they got into a physical relationship I could see problems ahead, and then as the story moved on you just knew it was all going to blow up and in a big way.
Poor Daisy, I was so upset for her, she really didn’t deserve that and yet I understood Lincoln’s feelings.
Its one of those situations where Life happens, no-one is at fault, and even though they seem a couple perfect for each other you wonder if they can ever actually get there…I love that kind of drama, love some angst and heartbreak, as when it all gels and comes right it feels so much more sweeter.
Its a perfect read, a little shorter than I’d like, but still pack a huge punch and is one I’d be happy to reread.
Stars: Five, one to keep, to savour rereading and one day to read the rest of the series…
ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
A new to me author, and I’ll love to read more from this Oxford series – might get round to book one too. Each book is stand alone but people from earlier books feature – it doesn’t matter if like me you hadn’t read book one.
So we meet Jackson, jock star who’s now retired thanks to a serious car injury. He’s on the surface fine, but under it still in pain both physical and mental from the loss of his career. Football is what has defined him since a child so he’s lost without it. Throw in a nasty divorce and its been a nightmare year. Now he’s joined the Oxford team and moved to NY to try to start a new life. Who’s in NY though but non other than his Ex’s sister, the delectable Mollie. They’ve stayed good friends, texting and calling but Mollie, wow Mollie, has grown up and in a dangerous way.
They’re a great pair, I loved Mollie, devoted sister even though Madison is nothing but a bi tch, she still sees the sister who was there for her when she was a teen and needed her. Mollie is super intelligent, loyal to her friends, and a bit of a geek. Now thanks to a lost bet with a friend and a makeover she’s a super hot geek, and Jackson can’t stop his feelings for her. But its wrong isn’t it? To feel this way about a close friend, someone who’s sister to his Ex, or is it? There’s no real bar except the mind.
Mollie thought she’d got over her crush, but meeting Jackson and being so close she’s solely tempted all over again. Can she hold out though when Jackson makes it clear he feels the same. And what about Madison who despite all the things she did, the lies and bad publicity, now wants Jackson back….what a triangle. It’s got some great sensuality, two fabulous people in Mollie and Jackson, some great characters among the Oxford crew ( and I look forward to who’s next!) and of course Madison, a woman unlike no other, perfect foil to Mollie, someone who puts her own wants and needs first every time, all the time. I love a person like that in a story, adds such drama.
Its a read I really enjoyed, sexy romance with some cutting edges and I look forward to meeting more of the Oxford gang finding romance.
Stars: Five, a really fun read with some cracking drama.
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
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Only with You, Lauren Layne.
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
This sounded a fun read, and it was to a degree. I loved Sophie, felt for her with her family expecting her to live up to her perfect older sister. But we’re all different and poor Sophie – that critisism led to a sucession of different career starts and jobs, further backing her families views. It’s become a self fulfilling prophecy, and Sophie thinks she’s really reached the bottom when mistaken for a prostitute on the way to a Batchelorette fancy dress party – the brief was trashy/tacky and then poor Sophie gets stuck in a lift with Mr Uptight, Grayson Wyatt, who makes the prostitute comment.
Then by a series of circumstances she becomes Gray’s new assistant. Somehow her chirpy, happy personality wears away at his dour outlook, though on the surface they are both still very antagonisistic to each other. Constant sniping becomes the order of the day, and later it’s intermixed with scorching makeout sessions…that quickly get labelled as A Mistake…never to be repeated – until the next time…
Sophie I loved, Gray, well I knew he had his reasons but TBH at times I wondered just why she bothered, he was so rude and ungrateful for such a spurious reason. Still, slowly he won me over along with Sophie.I loved the corporate fun day/party she arranged. There’s some neat snippets about her best friend Will, and his nemesis, her sister Brynn. They’re the subject of the next book.
I loved the humour, loved Sophie, loved the Will/Brynn interludes but Gray – well I know he needed to be opposite to Sophie but his personality was so dire, so dull, that he brought the book down a bit for me.
Stars: three and a half, a good book, humourous and a HEA, but not one I’d re read, and I did get a bit bored by Gray’s brusqueness and Sophie’s attempts to cheer him sometimes. Just moments when it felt a bit OTT.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.
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.