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Monday, February 06, 2017

Release & Review - Love Story (Love Unexpectedly #3) by Lauren Layne

Image and blurb from Goodreads
Title: Love Story
(Love Unexpectedly #3)
Author: Lauren Layne
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: Loveswept

Over the course of one wild road trip, feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love in this charming rom-com—a standalone novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Good Girl.

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

Buy Links: Amazon
3 “Road trips and miscommunication” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Loveswept

This is my first Lauren Layne book and, yes, I can see the appeal. Although I had my fair share of problems with this story, I practically read this in one sitting, so there was definitely an element there keeping me interested.

This is a second chance love story involving road trips, tons of problems that could’ve been solved with better communication and two main characters who got on my nerve quite a bit.

Let me start with Lucy Hawkins, the woman who got a job across the country and planned on driving there alone, so she could stop on the way, visit some places she’d never have the opportunity to see otherwise and surprise her boyfriend. Yeah, the blurb fails to mention this boyfriend detail, except it’s not a detail when that same blurb hints at things getting hot and sexy between the two main characters while they’re still on the road.

When I first saw a mention of Lucy’s boyfriend, which was early on, I got angry. I didn’t want to go through a love story that was founded on cheating. Lucky for me this wasn’t the case. I guess leaving that part out of the blurb kind of made sense since it could’ve pushed away readers with the same fear as mine. Especially because the boyfriend wasn’t even in the story for too long. That raises the question: was he necessary for the story at all? I’d say no.

Anyway… Lucy faces a problem with her road trip plans when her car breaks down and she’s forced to travel in the company of Reece Sullivan, her brother’s BFF, her longtime crush, the guy who slept with her then cheated on her, therefore breaking her trust and heart.

You can see how I had a hard time warming up to Reece with an introduction like that, right?

Reece didn’t make things easier, because he’s pretty much rude and a jerk from moment on. I mean, okay, I can take that for a moment because he seems to be really angry at her for something, too. That something, I later learned, was leaving him like everyone else in his family did.

So, right away I get the sense that these two are really suffering from a serious case of “I-think-you-did-something-bad-but-you-actually-didn’t”. If only they sat down and talked about it.

Good thing they’ll have plenty of time to do that since they’ll be spending two weeks in a car with nothing else to do, right? Except they don’t talk at all. They bicker, fight over radio stations, dance around the reasons they resent each other, try to ignore the sexual tension. Anything but talk.

That’s when I start to lose my patience a little. The thing with a conflict based solely on lack of communication is that you have to find a way for the two people holding a grudge to be unable to communicate. Otherwise, why aren’t they talking? There has to be more than that. In Love Story there isn’t. The only thing keeping Reece and Lucy from learning the truth about their past is their own stubbornness.

This is especially jarring since the outcome of the conversation is pretty easy to figure out from moment one. We wouldn’t have a cheating love interest/main character, would we?

When we learn what truly happened all those years back, I’m afraid it doesn’t help Reece’s case at all. I was already not on Reece’s team because he continued to act a lot ruder than the situation called for, and the revelation only made him look worse. The whole thing behind the “cheating incident” was truly childish. To be completely fair to him, I can kind of see where he was coming from with all the things that had happened with his family, but it was still so immature of him to do what he did then. Even more immature to repeat the mistake when he was twenty-five years old. Didn’t you learn anything, boy?

Lucy wasn’t that much better. The girl had no backbone when it came to Reece, and that was even more clear toward the end.

In the end, Reece ended up doing the right thing, but he still didn’t grow on me. The way he acted in the prologue had me narrowing my eyes at him once again, which is definitely not the best way to end a story.

Despite these problems, the sexual tension was palpable. The initial hate and love thing made for an interesting and addictive dynamic, and when they gave in to their attraction things were extremely hot. This being a romance novel, the chemistry between the main characters is one of the most important points. For that reason, I’m choosing a positive rating for this book.
*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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