By: Lauren Layne
Releasing August 25, 2015
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.
Rating: 3 of 5
Cover comment: Kind of typical for genre
Book source: NetGalley
Can best friends be more and not ruin their friendship? That's the question raised while reading Lauren Layne's latest contemporary romance, Blurred Lines. A fun, flirty read, I liked it but found I didn't love it.
Parker and Ben have been best friends for six years and live together as roommates. Ben is the typical man whore we see plenty of in New Adult today. Parker has just been dumped by her longtime boyfriend and nursing her broken heart. Noticing how her bestie can have fun and move on to the next girlfriend, Parker wonders if maybe she should try this route instead. The guy she uses as her test subject is Ben. Of course, emotions will get in the way.
I liked the premise of the story and the author's writing. My problem in general was my lack of caring about either character. Yes, they were developed and grew over time. There just wasn't this sense of connection to either one. Told in first person with dual narrators in present tense, even this style didn't make the main characters click for me. Why? The stereotypical and formulaic behavior of the characters took away from the general sense of their story and the supposed romance just wasn't there. I also didn't like Parker slut shaming the girls who hooked up with Ben. Can we not pigeonhole gender into a particular way of behaving anymore, please? Can't both sexes live and act the way they want without fear of labels? I also didn't like how Parker turned hypocritical with her supposed best friend, Lori, when it came to Ben, the story line with her mother being ill seemed added for dramatic effect, and I also didn't get some of Parker's decisions (like her letting her ex back into her life). For a 'bad boy' Ben did grow on me.
I may not have bought into these two and their 'friends with benefits' scenario but I will say what kept me reading was the chemistry between them. Their banter just flowed and sounded humorous and natural. Their romance, though very hot, took some time to build and they seemed oblivious to what was going on for too long. This aspect took away from my enjoying the novel more and I didn't feel their love story as I have in other romances.
This is the first book I've read by this author. Despite my problems with the characters, I really liked Layne's writing style and her way with words. Now that I'm curious, I will definitely need to check out her other books.
Lauren 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.
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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
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