Monday, February 23, 2015

review || TROUBLE WITH LOVE { blog tour }













Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne

Publisher: Loveswept (3/3/2015)
Series: Love, Sex and Stiletto, book 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: NetGalley / Tasty Book Tours
Purchase links || amazon | bn | kobo | itunes || add to goodreads

Rating: ★★★★1/2









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 fiancĂ©e . . . 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.










about Lauren  || Lauren Layne writes contemporary romance for Grand Central Publishing (Forever) and Random House (Loveswept).

After dabbling in an e-commerce career in Seattle and Southern California, Lauren moved to New York City where she now writes full time.

Lauren graduated from San
ta Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. She lives with her husband and plus-sized pomeranian in a tiny Manhattan studio.




Connect with Lauren Layne || Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


{ excerpt } .
“Explain?” Julie said.
Emma sighed. “The apartment above me had some sort of water disaster. My entire apartment looks like the set of Titanic, minus the nubile Leo.”
Julie eyed Emma’s wet hair. “So, is your hair wet from, like, dirty pipe water?”
“No,” Emma said, taking a last sip of Julie’s coffee and handing the cup back as she located her badge. “Fortunately, I’d showered before the pipe burst and I managed to dodge the worst of the spray. Unfortunately, drying my hair wasn’t an option.”
“Right. That whole electrocution thing,” Julie said as they swiped their badges and headed to the elevators.
“Um, yeah, I couldn’t have gotten electrocuted even if I wanted to,” Emma said, punching the Up button. “The power went out.”
Julie’s brown eyes bugged out. “Seriously? Flooded and you have no power? Is everything ruined?”
“Of course not. I still have this lovely dress,” Emma said, pulling the hem of her dress out to the side, curtsy style. She pretended not to notice the way the two girls who had been gossiping happily as they crossed the elevator lobby immediately quieted when they spotted her.
The dress would have been a distraction all by itself. The drippy wet bun was also atypical for a swanky office building in which sophisticated and polished was the unofficial dress code for women.
But a lack of makeup made everything worse. Much worse.
Not that Emma was really a glam type of girl, but she had a distinct disadvantage of having very fair eyelashes, despite her medium brown hair. And her eyes’ shape made it worse. They were both large and tilted upward in a semi-distinctive manner. Bambi eyes, her mother had always called them.But without eyeliner and mascara, she was more Lord of the Rings’ Gollum than adorable baby deer.
“You know, it’s a good dress, if a bit out of place for work,” Julie mused, as they followed the two gossiping girls and a middle-aged man yapping into his phone onto the elevator. “Sexy. A little slutty even. Go you!”
“That’s great, Jules. Slutty was just what I was going for on a random Wednesday morning at the office.”
“Well then, you should have called me. We’re the same size–ish. I could have lent you something.”
“I’ll be taking you up on that tomorrow,” Emma said as Julie hit the button for the twelfth floor. “Everything I have will need to be dry-cleaned at best, burned at worst. But this morning, I couldn’t make it from Upper East over to Upper West in the middle of traffic and still make it to the office in time.”
The elevator doors had just started to close when a male hand stuck between them, activating their sensors so that the doors reopened.
Great. Really freaking fantastic.
A lesser woman would have groaned in dismay at the sight of the man in front of her.
Emma merely straightened her shoulders, ignoring Julie’s softly uttered “Oh, dear.”
It was him.
{ review } . 
If there's anything we've learned in the previous SERIES NAME books, it's that there's some negative history between Cassidy (...Alex) and Emma.

No worries, though, you can read this as a stand alone... But watching all the friendships and whatnot is half the fun in this series.

Regardless if you've read the other books, you know that most of Emma's hatred is fueled by hurt... But you kind of get a glimpse of hurt on Alex Cassidy's part right from the get-go, from oh, I don't know, the adolescent-esque badgering...

He mimicked her posture, his eyes also focused on the spot where the L became 1, then 2 as they ascended. 

“Emma,”he said politely, not looking at her. 

“Cassidy.”

“You’re looking well.”

“And you,”she said, her tone smooth. Monotone. 

“You didn’t get dressed up on my account, I hope.” His voice never lost its casual politeness. 

She didn’t so much as glance at him. “Oh, do you not like it? I’ve been so hoping a fancy dress is all it would take for you to ask for my number.”

The elevator stopped on the seventh floor, and Emma and Cassidy stepped to the side so the man in the back corner could exit. In sync, they moved immediately back into their previous positions as the door closed. They still had not looked at each other. 

“You know, it’s a little bright for my taste,”he mused, as though they’d never been interrupted. “I like more subdued colors on a woman. Say . .  . white. I always like to see a woman in a white dress. Do you own one?”

Or even...

Of course she didnt look back.

She never did.

Eek, can you feel the hurt? The hatred? Some-certain-bodies need to have a talk...

They've managed to do a decent amount of avoiding over the years, but when Emma's boss takes a three-month sabbatical, she puts Alex, editor-in-chief of Oxford magazine, in charge.

Before Camille leaves though, she wants ma to do something -- get over her writing rut. She even offers up a man for her, one she says even Alex states is her type. Camille says she can get a story out of it, and oh, while her flooded apartment is getting fixed, she should just stay at hers while she's out of town.

Oh, but Camille had an agenda...

This wasn’t about setting Emma up with Benedict. The blind date had merely been a red herring. The real agenda was right in front of her. In the form of Emma’s ex-fiancĂ©. Who was with a woman. 

“What are you doing here, Cassidy?”Julie asked, her voice half-horrified, half-amused. 

Cassidy’s eyes locked on Emma’s for a half second, and she somehow knew the answer before he spoke. “I live here,”he said, pointing to the door next to Camille’s. “I moved in last month. Camille never mentioned it? She was the one who connected me with the previous owner.”

“No,”Grace said, pressing her lips together in delight. “No, she did not.”

Emma barely heard any of this. Her brain was repeating one thought over and over: Alex Cassidy would be her neighbor for three months. This was not good news. At all. But, incredibly, that wasn’t even the worst of it. The worst part wasn’t even that Cassidy’s fingers were casually linked with those of a pretty, shy-looking brunette. 

No, the worst part was the brief pang of something Emma had long thought dead. 

Jealousy.

These two...

If there were ever two characters fighting their past and attraction, it would be these two. Granted, Riley and Sam did their fair share of fighting, too, but I must say I enjoyed watching these two squirm. When a friend/coworker suggests it, Alex has Emma write an article about an ex. As Cole says (gah, I can't wait to watch him fall someday...), it's the perfect opportunity into his ex's mind... So the article that gets put into place is along the lines of 12 exes in 12 days, and when the time comes for Alex and Emma to talk... He's decidedly nervous/uncomfortable/so damn cute.

Now, I have to say... Seven years is a long time to go without discussing past hurts! That's a long time to hold a grudge... When Alex and Emma get along, you can FEEL how right they are for one another. They were young, stupid, impressionable... They made mistakes.

But who's to say what they had would have carried them through the years? Sure, the seven years in between garnered more hate and jaided each of them in their inability to settle down, but that's just it -- they couldn't settle down because they were always meant to be together. 

It just took some growing up on both their parts.

My favorite part justay be after their Fakesgiving dinner... True, full emotion. Realization. Closure...

So now you may be asking, is there anything more for this series? The entire team has gone and hubby'd up! Oh, but don't you worry... The Oxford men are coming to a book near you soon...!

{ giveaway } .

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