Thank you, NetGalley, for introducing me to Lauren Layne and this incredible new series. I can hardly wait for book 2, even if most of me wants it simply to see more Sophie and Gray. Granted, Will and Brynn are pretty steamin', so I suppose I'd read for them too.
But anywho, getting way ahead of myself. Let's start over.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an e-copy of Only With You. What I'm loving about NetGalley is the ability to try new authors that I typically wouldn't read. What can I say, I'm a creature of habit. Unfortunately, my reading habit generally gets way ahead of the books I have available, and my authors of choice's publications.
This was one of those books where I could find myself up until 2 a.m. When I had to wake up at 3 a.m. Thank goodness I had the thought to read in the afternoon hours. What I love about Lauren's writing style is that it's quirky. She writes like I write (when I try to, anyhow). I love the thoughts inside of the thoughts.
Beyond that, I love Sophie. I love how she's insecure in herself, but covers it up extremely well with quirk and sarcasm. I love Gray. I love how he's introverted and prefers the keep to himself, but slowly finds himself thawing toward Sophie.
I found myself falling more and more in love with the characters; at Gray's first smile to Sophie, to when he worried about her when she got hurt ---- even though he botched that. My heart clenched for the first time between these two opposites the first time he intertwined his fingers with her... but then he botched that too. What didn't he botch? The Castle. He could race me in The Castle anytime...
Every time they'd start to progress in their relationship (if it could be called that for the majority of the book), either Gray became hard headed and took a step back, or Sophie doubted herself and doubted Gray, and took her own step back -- covering it up with sarcasm and loud comments that irked Gray.
I love that Gray is open enough to tell Sophie it took him courage to ask her out. There's not a doubt in my mind that that poor man's conscious was telling him that it was an inappropriate relationship, that she was too much like his ex, etc etc, but he took the breath and he sucked it up.
In one particular scene, the first time Gray and Sophie go on a true "date", Gray is exceptionally warm towards Sophie -- showing he can be open and warm and caring when in the correct company. Sophie finds some information out, and she turns cold toward him (mainly because she goes back to doubting Gray and his motives). By this point in the story, Gray is good at reading Sophie. He understands that she hides behind her sarcastic, self-degrading humor, which irritates Gray. He understands that they were having a good time, she was her happy go-lucky self that he truly likes, but when she comes back from the restroom, she begins hiding behind her walls again. At the error of quoting something that may not be word for word in the final publication.... "....'You were there with me at dinner...and then dessert came out and you were...gone.'" That line, to me, shows he's on unsteady ground when it comes to Sophie. In his mind, everything was going well, he was truly enjoying himself in her company (which he typically did, but shh, don't tell Sophie), and then the flip switched.
I don't know. Bottom line, I loved this book. I give out 5 of 5 stars very rarely to authors I don't know.
Well, Gray and Sophie stole my heart. 5 of 5 it is.