Release Day Review: Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne
Series: Love Unexpectedly #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Links: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Abbi Glines and Jessica Sorensen, USA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

Guys and girls can’t be just friends. Or not best friends, anyway.
Shit gets too complicated.

I absolutely love reading the friends-to-lovers trope, and add in the fact that Lauren Layne wrote this, Blurred Lines was a total win for me! (I always manage to enjoy this author’s books.) Fun, sexy, hilarious, and so, so sweet, Blurred Lines is a wonderfully heartwarming read about best friends who end up being so much more to each other.

Parker Blanton and Ben Olsen have been best friends since college, and six years later they now live together in an apartment. I loved their friendship – the banter between them is hilarious, but I also enjoyed the more serious, supportive aspect to their friendship. They’ve been through thick and thin side-by-side, and that’s never going to change.

Ben is an eternal bachelor and manwhore, and he’s very firmly anti-relationship. He’s also got some deep-set issues with feeling inferior to others, mainly because of the way his parents have treated him. I found this fascinating about Ben’s character, because it’s not often that I read about a hero who has an inferiority complex. Lauren Layne surprised me with the depth of Ben’s character, which she executed very well. I adored Ben, and my heart went out to him whenever he felt so inadequate at doing anything, especially long-term relationships.

Parker has just gotten dumped by her long-time boyfriend, and she’s looking for someone she can hook up with. She wants to be the girl version of player Ben, but when she tries out some guys, they just don’t work because she doesn’t feel comfortable enough with them. Then she realizes that maybe the perfect person is the player himself, the guy she feels most comfortable with in the world.

What if the right guy to scratch my sexual itch is the one who makes me laugh? The one I can talk to.
What if the right guy . . .
Has been right in front of me?

Parker and Ben begin a no-strings-attached sexual relationship that they can choose to end at any time, all while trying to maintain their friendship. And it does work… for a little while. The chemistry between them is hot, the sex between them is on fire, so everything is going smoothly between them… until Parker’s ex wants her back. Then both Parker and Ben have to confront their newfound feelings for each other or risk losing the most important person in their lives.

There are so many things I want to do to her. Things that I want her to do to me. But when her arms come around me, pulling me closer, all I can think about is being inside her. Being home.

I know when I pick up a book by Lauren Layne, I’m going to get a feel-good, funny, entertaining read, and Blurred Lines is exactly that. It was easy to read, in the best of ways. I didn’t want to put it down – I was invested in the romance and I laughed so much at the humor. My favorite thing about this book is how the friendship between Ben and Parker is so strong, yet their love grows to be even stronger. This book is definitely a must-read for fans of the friends-to-lovers trope!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Love Unexpectedly series

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne 

#1 ~ Blurred Lines: Ebook • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Good Girl: My Review • EbookGoodreads


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTERGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

Blog Tour + Author Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway: Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Blurred Lines tour banner
Click the banner to follow the tour.

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne! I have an interview with Lauren today, as well as an excerpt from Blurred Lines and a giveaway!

Author Interview: Lauren Layne

What are five words to describe Blurred Lines?

Sexy, LOL, Fun, Beach-Read, Romantic

What was the inspiration for Blurred Lines?

Back before I knew that the romance genre was a thing, I used to read this line of what was basically, YA category romance (no idea what it was called), and I used to be obsessed with best-friends-to-lovers stories. I randomly started remembering those early teen-year reads, and realized that I HAD to write one. So I did!

Who was your favorite character to write and why?

Ben. There’s a lot of pressure to write heroes a certain way in today’s romance climate. I ignored all of that with Ben. I simply wrote him how he was in my head, and I think he comes across as extremely real because of it. Although, I really have to say that I’m proud of how I wrote Parker. I wasn’t afraid to let her make mistakes—one BIG mistake in particular that pissed some readers off—but she too, feels real to me. Okay, I’m changing my answer. Ben and Parker are BOTH my favorite characters, because they are so, so far from perfect 🙂

What’s the best part about a friends-to-lovers romance?

I’ve always found it easier to believe in the HEA when the couple’s known each other for years as friends. When they walk off into the sunset, you know it’s not a whirlwind romance that might hit the skids once they start living together. These are two people who KNOW each other, quirks and all. I don’t think there’s anything more romantic than someone who knows you at your worst self and loves you anyway.

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
Add to Goodreads

In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Abbi Glines and Jessica Sorensen, USA Todaybestselling author Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

Buy Links:
Amazon • B&N • iTunes • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from Blurred Lines! ❤

excerpt button

Most of the time, having a girl for a best friend is awesome.

Among the highlights:

(1) My color-blind self never has to worry about going out the door looking like a sad clown.

(2) The Brita water filter is always replaced on time.

(3) Parker actually likes doing laundry for fun, and she only complains when I sneak my stuff in with hers about 30 percent of the time.

Oh, and as this morning’s adventure displayed, she’s an excellent excuse when a person needs to rid himself of clingy one-night stands.

But then there are the not-so-great parts. Like when she’s spent thirty-five minutes looking at lamps.

“Just get that one,” I say, lifting my arm to point at a random floor lamp as the noisy, child-filled scariness that is IKEA threatens to choke me.

She barely glances at the one I’ve selected. “It looks like a uterus.”

“What the fuck does a uterus look like?”

“Like that lamp. And honestly, for as much time as you spend rummaging around in women’s panties, you really should get familiar with their parts.”

“Isn’t the uterus the—” I break off, looking for the right word to describe the random memories from eighth-grade sex-ed class.

Parker lifts her eyebrows. “The baby cave?”

Like any normal guy would, I wince. “Christ. Why would I need to know about that? I use a condom.”

“Several of them, judging from the state of your bedroom,” she says, tilting her head to study the lime green lamp shade in her hands. “Do you think this would clash with my bedspread?”

“You’re asking the color-blind guy? Like I have any clue what color your bedspread is.”

“Seriously? Don’t act like you’ve never seen it. Two nights ago you flopped onto my bed in your sweaty gym clothes and it took me two washes to remove the man stank.”

I shake my head. “Poor Lance. Do you make him wear a plastic bag when you guys hook up so he doesn’t get his man stank on your sheets?”

“Lance doesn’t have man stank.”

I frown. “Hold up. If I have man stank, Lance has man stank.”

“No.”

I open my mouth to argue, but instead I shrug. That’s another thing you learn having a girl best friend. You pick your battles.

“You have two more minutes to pick your lamp,” I say. “I’m starving.”

Parker adjusts her purse strap on her shoulder. “Oh, I’m not buying a lamp. I was just browsing.”

I inhale deeply to rein in my women suck rampage when I catch her smirk.

“Oh, I get it,” I say as we move toward the end of the store where we’ll pick up my dresser. “This is payback. You’re mad because I made up that story about you having a creepy doll collection.”

“Actually, it was more punishment for destroying the house rules. I’m totally laminating them next time.”

“Or you could just create an online version and keep them in the cloud like normal people born after 1980.”

I see a little lightbulb go on in her head and almost regret giving her the idea. Not that it matters much. I’ve never really followed her fussy rules anyway, although for the most part I try to not be too much of a dick. The towel incident this morning notwithstanding, it’s like I said, Parker loves laundry. I knew she had extra clean ones stashed away.

“Seriously, don’t get that color finish,” she says, shaking her head at the dresser box I’m about to pull off the shelf.

“Wood is wood,” I say with a shrug, starting to maneuver the huge box onto our flat cart.

“No, there’s old-man wood and there’s modern wood.”

I raise my eyebrows. “Old-man wood, huh? You and your kinky fetishes. Do you make the dolls watch?”

She ignores me, and uses her hip to push the box I’d started to move back onto its shelf. “That one.” She points.

“Espresso?” I ask, reading the label.

But Parker is now typing away on her phone. I shrug, pushing her out of the way so I can get at the box she indicated.

“How about tacos?” she asks, glancing up briefly from her phone.

“I just had Mexican last night,” I say through a grunt as I move the box into position.

“You said I could pick.” She gives me a challenging look, her goldish brown eyes practically daring me to argue with her.

“If it was a unilateral decision, why’d you even ask?”

Unilateral. Good word. And it was a test. You passed,” she says, trotting to catch up with me as she replaces her phone in her purse. “So how did you and Airhead meet? The Beta Phi party last night? She looked like she was eighteen.”

“Airhead?” I ask.

“It was written on her pants. Literally.”

“Oh, right. Those weren’t her pants. Lindsay left them last week.”

She makes a disgusted face as she pulls her long dark hair into a messy bun. I don’t notice most things about Parker as a girl, because, ya know, it’s just Parker, but she does have some damn good hair. It’s all Victoria’s Secret model–-like, long and dark with lightish streaks running through it.

The rest of her is kind of Victoria’s Secret-ish, too, but other than an initial moment of whoa when we first met, there’s never really been anything between us. I guess you could say I like her too much.

That and she’s dating Lance, and I like the guy. I mean, we’re not best friends or anything, but it’s impossible to live with Parker and not have some sort of friendship with her significant other.

Lance and I stop short of braiding each other’s hair, but we watch games together on occasion. I’d never make a move on his girl—even if I wanted Parker.

Which I don’t.

“So let me get this straight,” she says, as I swipe my credit card through the self-checkout machine. “One of your booty calls leaves her pants, which is weird, by the way, and then a week later, an underclassman sorority girl willingly puts them on?”

I shrug and give her a look out of the corner of my eye. “What’s wrong with that?”

Parker closes her eyes and sort of scratches at her eyebrow. “You don’t tell your mother any of this, do you?”

“Sure, we actually have a family blog, and I list my sexual activity for the week every Sunday. Is that weird?”

She ignores me, pulling out her phone again.

about the author button

Lauren LayneLauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren’s gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

giveaway button

One Loveswept Mug
One Flirt Mug
Ebook copies of:

  • JUST A LITTLE CRUSH by Renita Pizzitola
  • CRUSHED by Lauren Layne
  • AGAINST THE CAGE by Sidney Halston
  • POSSESS by Laura Marie Altom
  • AFTER MIDNIGHT by Kathy Clark
  • MAKE YOU BURN by Megan Crane
  • MY HIGHLAND LOVER by Maeve Greyson
  • BREAKING NOAH by Missy Johnson and Ashley Suzanne
  • A FASHIONABLE INDULGENCE by K.J. Charles
  • FORBIDDEN by Jacquelyn Frank

a Rafflecopter giveaway


FOLLOW BOOKLOVERS FOR LIFE ON:
FACEBOOKTWITTERGOODREADSPINTERESTBLOGLOVIN’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Cover Reveal: Let Me In by Erin McCarthy

Let Me In by Erin McCarthy

Let Me In by Erin McCarthy
(Blurred Lines #3)
Publication date: September 25th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Add to Goodreads

A girl in danger…

Aubrey Walsh never dreamed that she would find herself in an abusive relationship, but after her boyfriend hits her so hard he breaks her tooth, she flees the University of Maine to hide on a remote island with her best friend.  Only to discover that she is pregnant.  Terrified of what will happen if Jared finds out, she is walking along the rocks, deciding her future, when she slips.

A guy with a secret past…

After a job gone wrong, Riker has left the assassin business and is incognito as a ferryboat operator off the shores of Maine.  It’s a lonely life, and when he sees a young woman almost fall off the rocks, he doesn’t hesitate to save her and take her in, though he’s determined to stay unemotionally uninvolved.  But when the truth about her situation is revealed, he will do anything to protect Aubrey and her unborn child.

Even marry her. Even kill for her.

When Jared comes looking for the only girl who has ever rejected him, Riker won’t allow it.  And Aubrey is torn between protecting herself and her child, or protecting the mysterious husband she has come to love.

And when chance brings them together but fate tears them apart, can their love survive the storm?

Purchase Book 1:
You Make Me by Erin McCarthy
Amazon • B&N

Purchase Book 2:
Live for Me by Erin McCarthy
AmazonB&N

about the author

Erin McCarthyUSA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

Website • Twitter • Goodreads

Cover Reveal: Live for Me by Erin McCarthy

Live for Me by Erin McCarthy

Live for Me by Erin McCarthy
(Blurred Lines #2)
Publication date: June 23rd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Add to Goodreads

The solace she sought…

In and out of foster care her whole life, Tiffany Ennis has never had space or privacy, so housesitting a mansion on the coast of Maine with only the absentee rich owner’s dog for company is pure bliss. But her peace is shattered when the injured owner returns to his compound unexpectedly.  Tiffany finds him to be sexy and intriguing, showing an interest in her that must be mocking, given that everyone’s always told her she’s plain, nothing special.

Becomes an affair she never expected…

Devin Gold, known in the music industry as Gold Daddy, is usually in New York City attending drop parties and having men and women alike throw themselves at him, and Tiffany wishes he’d stayed there.  There’s no reason for a top producer to hole up in Maine in the dead of winter, and every time she turns around he’s asking her prying questions.  She finds herself starting to enjoy their intellectual conversations and clever sparring matches, and in a hot minute she’s falling for him.  Even knowing that he’s a decade older, filthy rich, and could only want her for his momentary amusement.

Yet even when he hosts beautiful and confident guests from the city, he still seems to prefer her company, and is protective when odd things start happening around the house, threatening her safety.  But how far is Tiffany willing to go with a man who is still very much married, estranged wife or not, just to feel special?

And all the lines between past and present and right and wrong are blurred…

Purchase Book 1:
You Make Me by Erin McCarthy
Amazon • B&N

about the author

Erin McCarthyUSA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

Website • Twitter • Goodreads

Book Blitz + Excerpt & Giveaway: You Make Me by Erin McCarthy

You Make Me Blitz Banner

You Make Me by Erin McCarthy

You Make Me by Erin McCarthy
(Blurred Lines #1)
Publication date: April 21st 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Add to Goodreads

The guy she wants…

Growing up on the coast of Maine with a revolving door of foster siblings, Caitlyn Michaud spent one intense and passionate year falling in love with her foster brother, Heath.  Then he left without a word.  The betrayal devastated Caitlyn and made her vow to forget the compelling bad boy.  But forgetting his sensual touch and their deep all-consuming friendship is easier said than done.

Isn’t the guy she needs…

Determined to move on, in college Caitlyn has risen above her small town impoverished roots and has joined a sorority, reinvented her appearance, and landed the right boyfriend.  Pre-law major and frat president, Ethan, is thoughtful and always laughing, and he makes her feel happy, calm.  He also gives her the social acceptance she craves.

But the perfect world she tried so hard to attain is ripped apart when Heath appears one night out of nowhere.  Caitlyn remembers all the reasons why she loves him, even if they don’t make sense to anyone but her.  Out of the military, Heath is as brooding and intense as ever, and he is determined not only to win her back, but to exact revenge on everyone who kept him from her…

And when one love allows her to breathe, but the other feels as essential to her life as air, how does she choose between them?

Purchase:
Amazon • B&N

excerpt

I blinked, sure I was wrong.  But I wasn’t.  It was him, with shorter hair and broader shoulders.

“Heath!” I yelled out, overcome with shock and joy that he was there.  Alive.  Not dead in a ditch or in prison.  “Oh, my God!”

Stepping away from Ethan, I squeezed his forearms to indicate it was okay.  Then without thought for the fact that everyone was still staring at me or that I had just gotten engaged sixty seconds earlier, I ran in my high heels the ten feet to Heath hovering in the shadows and threw myself at him.

“Hey, Cat,” he murmured, wrapping his arms around me and pulling me tight against his chest.  His lips buried into my hair.

I sank against him, breathing in deeply.  He smelled the same, earthy and masculine.  He felt different, bigger, more muscular, but his hands were just as I remembered, strong and tender, and his voice was low, casual.  A thousand memories assaulted me all at once, running along the coast, going out on the water in a stolen boat, laughing, talking.  Kissing.

“Oh, God,” I whispered, pulling back to study his face, to cup his cheeks and outline his bottom lip with my thumb.  I couldn’t believe it was real.  He was real.  “You’re alive.  You’re here.”

The corner of his mouth turned up.  “I am.”

“Caitlyn, who is this?” Ethan had come up behind me and his hand landed on the small of my back.

I suddenly realized how close I was to Heath and I jerked back, cheeks flushing with heat.  My hands shook and my voice sounded high-pitched and breathless.  “Ethan!  This is Heath, my…

There was no way I could explain who Heath really was to me.  How much he had meant.  How I thought I wouldn’t survive when he left.  What it meant to have him punch a hole in my perfect world now and walk back into it.

“My brother,” I finished.

As Ethan’s eye’s bulged, Heath gave a soft snort of derision beside me.

“You have a brother?” Ethan asked, sounding completely astonished, as he should.  “I didn’t know you have a brother.”

I did.  A biological one that I no longer spoke to and who I didn’t acknowledge, but Ethan didn’t know that, and I never wanted him to.

“Is that what I am?” Heath asked, sounding both amused and annoyed.  “A brother from another mother, Cat?”

“He’s my foster brother,” I added.  “My family always took in foster kids and some stayed longer than others.  Heath stayed long enough that we got close.”  In a manner of speaking.

“I didn’t know that.  You never mentioned foster siblings.”

Shit.  Ethan was looking at me like he didn’t know me.  But he did.  He knew the me I wanted to be, the me I could be.  I didn’t want to drag him through my past.  But here was Heath.  My past.  And who I had once considered my present and my future.

Speaking of…

“Where the hell have you been?” I asked Heath, my initial excitement turning to frustration as I realized that he had just appeared out of nowhere and hadn’t even bothered to speak to me first.  Let alone any sort of text or other contact.

He shrugged.  “Around.”

Seriously?  I went straight into pissed off.  Four fucking years.  Four years and not a word.  “That’s not an answer.  I thought you were dead!”

“Not dead.  Though I wasn’t aware you would care either way.”

Was he crazy?  Confusion made my breath shallow, my palms sweat.  I had suffered when he left.  I had cried until I threw up.  I had taken off after him, only to walk two miles and realize I had no idea when he’d left or where he was going.  I had stalked him online, never finding anything.  I had stopped eating.  Stopped showering.

And he was going to stand there and act like I hadn’t cared?

“How could you say that?”  My voice shook.

But his eyes just studied me, dark and angry.  “Maybe this isn’t the time or the place to discuss it.”  He took my hand into his.

My frustration faded at his touch.  A deep, intense longing rose up in me.  God, I had missed him.  But he merely turned my hand so that my new engagement ring was visible.

“Congratulations, Cat.”  A mocking smile crossed his face.  His jaw was tense.  He took my hand and gave it to Ethan, who laced his fingers through mine.

“I’m Heath, Cat’s foster brother, like she said,” he told Ethan, and I could hear the edgy irony in his voice.  “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Ethan Walsh.  Nice to meet you, too.  It sounds like you and Caitlyn have a lot of catching up to do.  Maybe tomorrow we can all grab some coffee.”

“Sure.  Sounds delightful.”

That was attitude.  Plain and simple.  My eyes narrowed at Heath and I shook my head slightly in warning.  What the hell was he doing?  Why was he even there?

“I didn’t mean to interrupt a big moment,” he added.  “I’m heading downstairs.”

A million questions were racing through my head, but there was no way to ask them.  Not where we were.  Not with who I was with listening.

Ethan stuck his hand out, because Ethan had good manners.  For a second Heath just stared at it, but then he took it and shook briefly.

I’d never seen him in a suit before.  He looked… dangerous.  Very James Bond.  He was even better looking than I remembered and I had spent a lot of time coaxing his image out of my memory banks.  Especially alone in my bed late at night when I was lonely and my body ached.

“See ya,” he told me casually, before turning and leaving.

about the author

Erin McCarthyUSA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance. Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

giveaway

one (1) ebook copy of You Make Me

a Rafflecopter giveaway