*Lauren is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $50.00 Amazon eGift Card.
I am a Lauren Layne fan. I would not deny that. Ever since I read her Stiletto series, I just devoured everything she wrote since then. My favorites are actually her NA novels but I’ve got to say that this one brought me all the feels and it might just be her most emotional yet, for me, as far as her contemporary romance novels go.
What worked for me?
This is one of the best enemies to lovers stories. Ever. What I loved most about it is that it wasn’t tame at all. At some point, there was real antagonism, a whole lot of emotional hurt, and general dislike (at least one-sided). And to truly transition from that into affection and love, well, that would be magical and was totally nailed by Lauren Layne.
Brynn and Will have been at each other’s throats since high school and the intensity of their barbs and verbal exchanges did not let out even in their adulthood. It didn’t help that Will is the best friend of Sophie, Brynn’s younger sister, and sort-of like an adoptive son already to her parents. So their lives were pretty much entangled with each other. That is, until Will suddenly decided to move to Boston. Only after three years did he come back and their first meeting during Brynn’s 31st birthday party was already full of so much feels. I can’t even…
Brynn might be the type of character that is not easy to love or root for. She has her life lists (yes, that’s a plural) and life plans in which she bases all her decisions in life. She’s lived a very structured, planned, and in some way a rigid life but this was because she learned to use this method in order to rise from the ashes of her difficult childhood and adolescence. But at the same time, it’s also making her feel unhappy and dissatisfied. Add to this the very confusing feelings that kept hounding her when it came to Will. Others might see her as a bitch or a selfish person but I can completely understand where she’s coming from in terms of her insecurities, the walls that she’d put up so no one can bring her down again.
As for Will, I’d like to say that he’s perfect, but he’s not. At all. But who needs perfect when you can have imperfection in the best possible ways, right? Will has had a secret even his best friend did not know. When he moved to Boston to get away from it all, or more specifically, to get away from one person, to heal his wounds, he moves back to execute a plan that might give him more heartbreak or finally get him the one thing he’s wanted for a long time. Moving back was the first step. Moving in as a next-door neighbor is the next, followed by every possible way to ingratiate himself into her life and spend time with her. What I appreciate most about Will as a character, other than his steadfastness, is that he’s just as flawed as Brynn. He makes decisions that may or may not work or may or may not be right but it all comes from a very good and very sincere place.
I loved the small and quiet moments between Brynn and Will when they aren’t going at each other’s throats. I love most the scenes where Brynn slowly comes to know the true Will, without the antagonism and the anger between them. Like the story will say, it seems that Will already knows Brynn so it’s basically Brynn’s turn to get to know Will as a person and not just as an enemy.
Their chemistry is a little gritty and a little raw because aside from the sleeping-with-the-enemy theme, I think a lot of the heat comes from the things that are still unsaid between them, their thoughts and feelings about each other that have not found any outlet yet other than through the physical. And this adds to that whole combustible chemistry between the two.
And I was just basically in love with the flow of the story especially towards the end. I loved those intense and emotional scenes and if I could have pictured those scenes even prior to reading the book, it would be like the almost perfection that Lauren Layne gave in this one.
What did not work for me?
I only had very minor issues with some of the decisions that Brynn and Will made and the extent of the ‘bad blood’ between them. It was just a bit disturbing for me that Will seemed like a bully during high school even though Brynn pretty much retaliated with her own stunts. But I was glad that Lauren Layne was able to address this in the latter part.
My over-all take on it?
This was an amazing enemies-to-lovers story. When I first ‘met’ Brynn and Will in Book 1, I knew there was something more with these two. And their story just blew my mind and tugged at my heart. I was so happy to have been a part of, even just as a reader, their great love story. Because, that’s what it is. Greatness in all its rawness, vulnerability, and flaws. It’s a great opportunity to fall in love with completely flawed characters. Don’t miss out on this one.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.
About the Author:
Then she was like, nope, changed into her pajamas and started writing romance novels.
She believes in sarcasm, weekday happy hours, and happily ever after.
Connect with Lauren Layne:
Lauren is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $50.00 Amazon eGift Card.
Other books by Lauren Layne on the blog: