USA TODAY BESTSELLER • 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 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.
Praise for Love Story
“WARNING: This book will cause unexpected outbursts of laughter and massive amounts of swooning. Prepare your family and friends—you’re about to become obsessed with Reece and Lucy!”—Cassie Mae, author of Pillowtalk
“A sweet and satisfying second-chance romance. Reece Sullivan is destined to be your next book boyfriend!”—Delancey Stewart, author of Mr. Big
Lauren Layne’s New York Times bestselling Oxford Novel series can be read in any order:
I WISH YOU WERE MINE
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
I THINK I LOVE YOU
Don’t miss any of Lauren Layne’s hot reads:
The Love Unexpectedly series: BLURRED LINES | GOOD GIRL | LOVE STORY | WALK OF SHAME | AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
The Sex, Love & Stiletto series: AFTER THE KISS | LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | JUST ONE NIGHT | THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE
The Redemption series: ISN’T SHE LOVELY | BROKEN | CRUSHED
The I Do, I Don’t series: READY TO RUN | RUNAWAY GROOM
Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
About the Author
Her hobbies include maintaining a designer purse addiction and observing cocktail hour. Lauren lives with her high school sweetheart in midtown Manhattan, where she writes romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush.
Read an Excerpt
“You’re being weird.”
I shove at the suitcase I’d just loaded, but it doesn’t budge far enough for me to close the trunk. “You’ve been saying that all morning,” I mutter.
“Because you’ve been weird all morning,” my sister says, joining me in trying to move my suitcase. Only she weighs all of, like, a hundred pounds, and the thing doesn’t budge. Not with the other suitcases, moving boxes, and general amount of crap I have already stuffed in there.
I stand back up and blow out an irritated breath, pulling the hair tie from my wrist and twisting my hair into a messy bun. “I guess it’s just hitting me that I’m really doing this. I’m moving to another state. Another time zone.”
Brandi turns, leaning against the suitcase protruding from the trunk, and crosses her long, skinny arms as she studies me. “Nah.”
“What do you mean ‘nah’?”
“You’re all on edge because you’re about to spend two weeks with Reece. In a car. Just the two of you.”
Just the sound of his name sends something through me. I bite my lip and resist the urge to pull my phone out of my back pocket and check the time. We’d agreed to be on the road by seven a.m., so he should be here any time.
“I still can’t believe he agreed to this after what went down between you.”
I narrow my eyes. Brandi is the only one—and I mean the only one—who knows about our history, and only because at the time Reece and I had been doing whatever we were doing, she was fourteen to my eighteen, which is just about the most annoying, prying age in the history of adolescent females.
Although I suppose in some ways, it worked in my favor that she was the one who had caught us kissing once. My brother would have beat the crap out of his friend. My parents would have been . . . I don’t know . . . I think their brains would have exploded.
But Brandi had been in ninth grade when she’d walked in on us, and though she’d been wide-eyed and shocked, she’d also been totally eager to keep a secret “just between us sisters.” I’m pretty sure the sheer drama of it had fueled her for most of high school.
Six years later, she’s kept my secret, although I’m almost wishing she hadn’t. Maybe if the fam knew about just who and what Reece actually was, they wouldn’t have come up with this ridiculous plan.
“You could have warned me, you know?” I mutter.
“There wasn’t time. Truthfully I didn’t know what they were planning until the day of. I mean, I knew they were giving Reece the car, but I didn’t know that he was headed to California or that your car had bit the dust.”
“Well it’s not like you needed enough time to send a freaking telegram. A quick text, ‘Hey, sis, Mom and Dad are going to try to send you and the biggest dick on the planet on a two-week expedition together,’ would have been great.”
Brandi looks away, and I narrow my eyes.
“Tell me,” I say.
She shrugs and looks back. “I don’t know, I guess I just thought . . . maybe it’ll be good for you guys. Work things out. Nothing’s been the same since whatever it was went down with you two.”
Now it’s my turn to look away. Brandi knows that Reece and I were together, but doesn’t know why we broke up. That’s one piece of the puzzle that nobody knows.
Well, Reece does. Seeing as he was the cause of it.
“It’ll only be ‘good for us’”—I put this in air quotes—“if one of us ends up dead, and that person is him,” I mutter.
Brandi merely looks at me, her eyes appearing wiser than seems fair for a twenty-year-old.
“Where is everyone?” I ask, changing the subject before she can psychoanalyze me the way she does everyone since heading off to college.
Brandi ticks off with her fingers. “Mom’s in the kitchen, packing a cooler for you and trying not to cry. Dad is pretending to fix the perfectly fine shelf in the bathroom, also trying not to cry. . . .”
“Oh boy,” I mutter on an exhale.
She nods solemnly. “You broke the family.”
“Where’s Craig? He can say something stupid and distract the ’rents. His specialty.”
She shrugs. “He promised to see you off before he headed to work, but since he’s always running late, I wouldn’t be surprised if he meant he’d pass you on the freeway and wave. Is this all your stuff, or is there more upstairs that’s not going to fit?”
I push Brandi away from my suitcase and resume trying to shove it into the trunk. “I’ve got one more duffel and my laptop bag that need to get in there somewhere.”
“I’ll get ’em,” Brandi says, all but sprinting into the garage.
Two seconds later, I realize why she was so eager to be helpful.
“Nice of you to leave room for my stuff.”
I take a deep breath and turn, annoyed to see that Reece looks well rested, perfectly calm, and not the least bit frazzled about the fact that he’s about to move across the country.
He’s wearing jeans and a white T-shirt, both of which should be boring, but instead look incredibly good on him. He’s gotten bigger since he was nineteen and I mean that in the best way possible.
Reece has always been fit, courtesy of high school sports he’d never cared about but always been good at.
But he’s filled out even more in all the right places: shoulders broad, hips and waist narrow, arms tanned and strong. There’s an unfamiliar tattoo peeking out from the sleeve of his right arm, and my fingers itch to reach out and push up the cotton to see what it is.
Once, I could have. Once when we were best friends. Once when we were a good deal more than friends. But now . . . now I’m pretty sure his skin would burn me. Brimstone, and all that.
“Is that all you’re bringing?” I ask, my eyes skimming over the cross-body bag slung over his shoulder and the canvas duffel by his feet.
“A good thing too,” he says, glancing into the overstuffed trunk.
“We’re relocating,” I say, my voice just a little bit whinier than I want it to be. “We’re supposed to bring all this stuff.”
“Yeah, well not all of us that are relocating have all this stuff,” he says, a gruffness to his voice.
I instantly feel the sting, extra-sharp because I suspect Reece is speaking a simple truth rather than trying to piss me off.
My family’s not wealthy. Not even close. We’re middle-class in the most solid sense of the word, and Christmas gifts often came from secondhand stores.
Reece didn’t even get that much.
Dinner might never have been fancy the nights Reece ate with my family (which was often), but the spaghetti, or leftover chicken, or whatever out-of-the-box meal we were having was more than his dad or sister remembered to feed him back home.
“Move,” he mutters, jerking his chin to gesture me out of the way.
I don’t budge, and our gazes clash, a silent battle of wills that he wins only by physically elbowing me out of the way.
Without another word, he begins hauling out everything I’ve put in the trunk.
“Hey! I need all this,” I say, dodging the garbage bag stuffed with bedding.
“Well then, shut up and let me figure out how to fit it all in here,” he says, hauling out an enormous suitcase like it’s nothing.
The sleeve of his T-shirt rides up a little higher, distracting me, but I can’t quite see what the tattoo is.
“Why’d you agree to do this?” I ask, relenting and helping him pull the last of my haphazardly packed stuff out of the car so we can reload it.
“Agree to what?”
I roll my eyes. “The car trip.”
“Well, way I see it,” he says, resting his hands on his hips as he surveys the stuff that is now all over the driveway, “you crashed my trip. Your folks offered me the car if I could fix it up, and I needed a way to get out of here. Wasn’t counting on you.”
I bite my lip, feeling a little stab of guilt. My parents love Reece, almost like a son, but it bothers me a little that they think nothing of foisting their daughter on him. It wasn’t quite reneging on their promise to him, but it’s sort of a bum deal.
“I can back out,” I say quietly. “Get a plane ticket.”
He bends down, picking up the largest of the cardboard boxes and easily setting it into the trunk before maneuvering it toward the seats I’d folded down. “You wouldn’t get to see your boyfriend then.”
It’s more than alarming that I’ve barely thought about him in the two days since learning that Reece and I’d be making this trip together. Heck, half the reason I wanted to do the road trip in the first place was to stop by Miami, and now I’m just . . . I don’t know.
I’d told Oscar the good news that the road trip was back on, but I’d deliberately misled him on the timing. I want to surprise him. I’ve been planning it for weeks, although nowhere in my imagined scenarios of seeing Oscar’s happy, surprised face was there Reece Sullivan lurking in the background.
Reece picks up the box near my feet, then gives me an incredulous look as he manages the weight easily. “What the heck’s in here? Air?”
“Yup, just stuffed a whole lot of air in there, Reece. Never know when you might need it.”
He rips open the top flap, then gives a grunt of disgust when he sees the pillows inside. “Take them out.”
“They were expensive. Down. They’re coming.”
“Your down pillows can still come, but there’s no reason they need to be in the box. We can shove them around the other stuff.”
“Have you thought about the sleeping arrangements?” I blurt out, ignoring his command about the pillows, and watching as he continues to load the trunk, somehow making everything fit a hell of a lot better than I did.
He doesn’t pause, doesn’t even look at me, which is mildly insulting. “When I planned the trip, I saved up enough for cheap motels. I’m assuming you did the same.”
He’s right. I did save up, but it’s a little jarring the way he doesn’t even seem to joke about us saving money and sharing a room.
Sharing a bed.
I chew my lip again. “I just feel bad, knowing you probably planned for a few nights on the road, and I planned for two weeks.”
“What Lucy wants, Lucy gets. Isn’t that the way it works?”
“I’m trying to be decent here, Reece,” I say. “I’m saying I can help pay for your room, some of the nights, since I know it’s my fault we’re extending.”
His blue gaze is murderous when he glances over at me. “I don’t want your money. I don’t want anything from you. Haven’t in a long time.”
My own temper snaps right along with his. “Yeah, I picked up on that. Because what I was giving out, you could find from some other girl if you wanted to, right? Oh wait. You did want to.”
He tosses his own stuff in the trunk before slamming the station wagon hatch shut. “Go tell your family goodbye. Let’s get this nightmare on the road.”
Right. Right. Because heaven forbid we put off the inevitable of finishing what we started years ago: destroying each other.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The story is engaging and quick to read. Perfect for readers who have yet to sample a book from Lauren Layne, Lucy has finished university, and is getting ready to move to California Wine country to start her new life as a marketing guru for a vineyard. Planning a 2 week journey across the country from Virginia to California, she’s working to her endgame. But then, her ancient Craig’s list car purchase dies a horrible death, and her parents, always thinking and helpful, offer her the old family station wagon as transport to her new life. Only one issue, it comes with Reece, her brother’s best friend, her lifelong crush, the man who broke her teenaged heart. Reece never had things easy: from his mother’s unexpected death when he was 9 to his father’s depression and alcoholism, his older sister’s withdrawal and absence: the Hawkins family has been his safe space, his shelter, and his retreat. Not going off to university, he’s watched as Lucy plans the next move, the next step, her next big thing: all while leaving him behind. Everyone leaves him behind. But with his own skill with the grapes, he’s worked himself into a position as a winemaker: earning praise and an offer in Napa as well. The station wagon was to be his – for fixing it up it would get him across the country, and to and from his job. He didn’t expect, nor want, to be GPS’d by Lucy and her ‘road trip’ plans, and he certainly doesn’t want to be cooped up with a woman he can’t stand. Well, except for the glances, and the wishes, and the memories. A cute and clever story that replayed in alternate POV with flashbacks from Lucy and Reece as they were growing up, and their relationship was playing out. From the lashing out from fear and hurt through the friction of the undeniable chemistry, the two bicker, laugh, and struggle through the rather indirect route to their new lives. With a crisis point that brings them both to realize that “have a nice life” is not how their story was meant to end, the story is engaging and quick to read. Perfect for readers who have yet to sample a book from Lauren Layne, this brings the emotion, the humor and the underlying heart that is common to all her books, with a few moments of steam that keep things interesting. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
No one writes second chance romances quite like Lauren Layne, so when I heard about Love Story, I of course gobbled it up. Not only was this a second chance romance, but it was also a friends to lovers with an enemies to lovers twist. From the moment I encountered Reece and Lucy, I was sucked into their story. You could tell that these two cared deeply for one another at one time, but something went terribly wrong along the way. And if you’re like me, you couldn’t read the pages fast enough, trying to discover what happened. Reece and Lucy’s story took me on one heck of a roller-coaster ride. There were a lot of ups and downs, as well as hair pulling, frustrating moments. But, as you got deeper into the story, you saw that there was a lot more than meets the eyes. There was a strong love between Lucy and Reece, but they were both afraid to make the leap and go after what they both wanted and needed. Overall, I found this to be an enjoyable read. It was quick and easy read. This story, while frustrating at times, had just the right mix of romance, drama and sexy good times. And in the end, I was left with a happy heart and a smile on my face. I look forward to seeing what adventure this author has in store for us next.
This was a great quick, fun, swoony read. A couple that are broken up forced on a cross-country road trip by meddling family sounds like it would be full of clichés, but not Lauren Layne. I loved these two. Their banter, fighting over the radio station and even though Reece was a bit of a jerk at times you can't help but fall hard for him. Even though these two fight and bicker through most of the first half of the book you can't help but see how perfect they are for each other and you want to root for them. As you are reading you get to follow their friendship, previous relationship and their new budding relationship. I loved seeing all of the pieces come together the way that this story was told. I highly recommend picking this one up, it brought a huge smile to my face the entire time I was reading.
Oh, Lauren Layne, how I love thee. When I want a guarantee that what I’m about to read will be worth the time I put into it, Layne is an author that has become a no-brainer. I see her name on the cover and I know that I’ll end up with a satisfied smile on my face, but that wasn’t the case with Love Story. You see, rather than having a smile by the end, I found myself smiling at various points in the story, along with lots of commentary as Reece and Lucy stumbled their way back into each other’s hearts, though I doubt that they ever really left. The anger and hurt that remains six years on is a testament to how palpable the connection is between these two. Their feelings were deep enough for them to still be experiencing the aftereffects of the fallout while secretly reminiscing everything they miss about one another, and readers have a front-row seat to the milestones of their friendship turned something more through some poignant flashbacks. As is the case with quite a few second chance romances, there was quite a bit of miscommunication and lack of actual speaking and listening that was going on with Reece and Lucy. They both made assumptions (and you know what they say about people who assume), leading them to holding on to their negative feelings far longer than necessary. There were a couple of surprises along the way, though nothing major. Still, I appreciated those little nuggets of unexpectedness because then Lauren Layne truly made this story her own, a feat in and of itself considering the vast number of tales of love lost and found once again. There’s resistance and hesitation coming from both ends and there’s nothing token about it. Reece and Lucy’s story had the love, but it also had a fair amount of hate and lust and everything in between, which I liked. Even with the heartache and arguments, their Love Story deserved its restart. Five stars. ♥
Lucy Hawkins has just landed the job of her dreams working as a hospitality manager at a winery in Napa Valley. She has also planned a two week road-trip from home in Charlottesville, Virginia to Napa, detouring to see her boyfriend in Miami. But when her car breaks down it looks like her dreams have gone up in smoke. Until her parents offer her their old beaten up station wagon. But there's a catch, her brother's best friend Reece Sullivan has fixed up the station wagon because he was going to use it to drive to California to start his dream job as winemaker. Now Reece is stuck sharing his car with stuck Princess bratty Lucy for two weeks, instead of a few days. And Lucy is facing the joy of spending two weeks in a car with the boy who married her when she was nine, gave her her first kiss and stole her virginity then immediately cheated on her with another girl. Reece thinks Lucy is a snob, Lucy thinks Reece is a manwhore. Told in a series of flashbacks interspersed with the present day road-trip, we see that Lucy and Reece have always been opposites. She's a woman with a five year plan, he's a seat of his pants kind of guy. He travels light with only a rucksack, she's got suitcases and bags galore. She's got a close, loving family, Reece's family life is a mess. He makes wine, she sells wine. He likes rock, she likes country. What can I say? From the very get-go Lucy and Reece and their love-turned-to-hate relationship grabs you and doesn't let go as they spend two weeks in each other's company trying to make sense of what happened between them. I love Lauren Layne and everything she writes and this is no exception. Her characters are vibrant and sassy. The dialogue bristles with zippy one-liners and the emotions grip your chest tightly. Loved it. I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This book is great if you like endless melodramatic childish bickering.
Lauren Layne has done it again! She has written another New Adult romance that pairs interesting characters with realistic problems. I don't know how she can keep creating these awesome romances.... This book features Lucy and Reece as a star crossed couple that grew up together. They have a very complex history and when Lucy's parents throw them together for a cross country road trip, neither is thrilled. Will they be able to work out the problems to find their happily ever after? If you didn't notice, I am a huge fan of this author and would recommend this book to anyone that like new adult or contemporary romance. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
Lucy fell in love with Reece at a very young age. One day, she learned the love and affection wasn’t one-sided, but mutual. She and Reece began a brief but consuming love affair that ended badly. They went their separate ways but fate and family meddling have brought them together again for a cross country road trip to start the next chapter of their lives. There is so much tension involved in this story. I wouldn't say it rises to the level of angst but there are some heartbreaking bits where the characters go back and forth about their feelings for one another. In the end, their desire for one another and wish to be together is stronger than the personal issues that have kept them apart. Love Story is the tale of two people searching for their place in the world and with one another. It is full of both tension and light-hearted-moments in equal measure and it’s an enjoyable read. I am a big fan of Lauren Layne's writing and this is another solid story added to her catalog of great romances. An advance copy of this book was received from the author. Receipt of this copy did not impact the content or independence of this review. BFF Book Blog also uses a set of icon ratings. This book received additional icons for: romance, steamy, sweet and tension.
What would you do with a second chance at the love you dreamed of for a lifetime? Would you jump back in full steam ahead knowing that he cheated? Would you jump back in knowing it could destroy you even more the second time around? Lucy and Reese had to answer these questions and make some tough decisions on their two-week road trip, they now had to share to get to where they are going. Lucy was finally leaving behind all that had held her back. She was heading off to start a new life with a new career. All she had to do was get there. The problem was cars have a mind of their own and do what they want. So thus comes an alternative offer of transportation. Lucy never would have guessed in a million years that her alternative would require her to be confined with the one man that turned her world upside down. Reese has now gotten his life back on track. He was leaving the town, the bad memories, the stifled existence. He was getting out. One catch. He way out comes with extra baggage. This journey to Californian came with fun times, witty banter, and some extra compensation during those long nights. This road trip was long and time consuming allowing for Lucy and Reese to work through some issues and find that together they had the chemistry. Communication for this couple was the key to opening doors and breaking down walls. This was something they both had to learn Lucy more so.
A Valentine Day released with parents maybe playing cupid or were they not thinking at all to encourage these two to go on a road trip cross country. Lucy and Reece definitely have as much emotional baggage as their due physical baggage in Love Story by Lauren Layne. It is true that this needs to be resolved before either can move forward in their love lives like they are doing in their professional lives. Ms. Layne’s fast pace keeps this trip traveling swiftly. Through Lucy’s and Reece’s POV the past together is revealed. Their conversations are sometimes harsh but it does move the story long to where they can find resolution. At times I wasn’t sure if I wanted them to wind up together. Basically that is because I liked Lucy more than Reece. However, what I can always count on is for Ms. Layne to always deliver a captivating story where I have strong feelings about the characters. Love Story was no different. An ARC of the book was given to me by the publisher through Net Galley.
This is book # 3, in the Love Unexpectedly series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. All the books in this series are great, I recommend reading them in order. Lucy and Reece have a history she would rather not repeat. Thanks to her parents, she has to spend time with him going across country. Even visit her boyfriend. Reece is not sure how to approach Lucy other than to just take it day to day. He has loved her forever, but being her brothers best friend seemed to set them apart. Now they have separate lives heading in the same direction. Could this be a sign? Such a thrilling series and this book is no exception! I love how the characters really are like magnets. This story makes you feel all sorts of things and makes a great bookclub read. I really enjoyed every page as I devoured it. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher in return for an honest review.
Sweet 2nd chance "Love Story" w/ one of kind Road Trip This is a sweet romance story written by Lauren Layne which is the 3rd novel in the Love Unexpectedly series. This is a story about two childhood friends who end up going from friends, to lovers, to enemies before they left each other’s lives due to all the angst and pain. Suddenly they ended back in each other’s obits years later and each one blamed the other for the pain of the breakup. And neither of them has ever moved on from their relationship, short as it was. What seemed to be meddling family members, is truly fate when the hero and heroine aka the MC- Reece and Lucy, end up stuck together on a forced two-week road trip, destined to either kill one another or fall in love all over again. It started off a little slow yet with a strong flow yet seemed to waiver in the middle of the book. Its like neither MC wanted to own up to their miscommunication and the fact that they still loved the other one. It took majority of the book to finally get to the bottom of what went wrong which basically took us to almost the end of the book. So about 90-94 % of the book was done before we saw the MC make headway. Not to say their make up wasn’t awesome. There was a lot of angst, anger but there was a lot of heat, passion and in the end, we finally get to see that love- and they say, the flip side of hate IS LOVE which is what lead me to believe is why Reece treated Lucy so bad a lot of times in this story. Lucy doesn’t come away looking angelic. She needed to have worked on her communication skills. Two people who have a lot of pain and anger built up needed to have worked on a way to get out why they felt the way they did and finally by the end, it came out but my gosh, it took so long. I would have liked to see more put in place than the miscommunication. The characters do make this story- they are interesting and some of the pet names are outrageously awesome. My rating: 4.0 stars **** "I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
I'm a bit of a Lauren Layne fan girl. I picked up one of her books in a previous series and have stuck with her ever since. She gives you that happy build up of emotions that you love in books. All the good, bad, happy, sad, in one. Lucy and Reece are traveling cross country together, neither wants to, but it has to be done. I enjoyed the banter in this one. Sassy is a word I would describe on Lucy. Reece is very shielded. Their previous attempt at a 'relationship' went up in smoke. Each blames the other. No one really knows the truth. Stuck in a car for hours, stopping god knows where and meeting the new boyfriend are all forks in the road. The road trip has to end, but their relationship as it stands will change forever.
Passionate, emotional and fun! This is a second-chance romance about loss, friendship, heartbreak, miscommunication, forgiveness, trust, family, good wine and love. The characters are young, hard-working, stubborn and dependable, The writing is clear. And the plot is a literal road trip that starts with friction and hostility in Virginia and ends with commitment and romance in San Francisco. Overall, I found this story to be an easy, charming, sweet read that is perfect for Valentine’s Day and for all those who love happy-ever-after endings!
4 stars I really enjoyed reading Love Story. The storyline was entertaining, the plot and characters captured my interest from the very first page and held it until the last. Watching Reece and Lucy's relationship unfold was like riding an emotional roller coaster. They made me smile, they made me laugh, they frustrated me with some of the things that came out of their mouths (especially Reece, I wanted to slap him a few times for the hurtful way he spoke to Lucy) and they made me swoon. I loved the way author Lauren Layne switches from the past to the present, we get to see how their friendship started, how their loved developed and then how it imploded leaving them both hurting and lashing out in the present. From the beginning I could feel the attraction/chemistry between Reece and Lucy. Even when they were arguing over the smallest things I felt the sexual tension slowly sizzle and I loved it when they finally gave into it. The road to their HEA wasn't easy, but with time, a few tears, open and honest communication Reece and Lucy finally get there and I was thrilled for them. Overall, Love Story by Lauren Layne was a beautifully written second chance romance that will bring out all the feels and leave you with a smile on your face.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book, given by Netgalley and it was as good as I was hoping for. thesecretworldofbooklovers.blogspot Lucy has loved Reece for as long as she can remember and he broke her heart in such a harsh way that she can't find a way to forgive him and move on. Even though she has a new life and a new guy, when she sees him again she still feels this incredible rage. The pain he inflicted has turned into this huge wall she has built around her and she is not letting him in again. Reece was a mystery for me at first, he didn't seem like this guy Lucy described. He still had feeling for her so it didn't make any sense why he would have pushed her away all those years ago. And the weirdest part was that he was mad at her too, and the reasons where unknown for her. They loved each other for so long and they have been putting roadblocks every time they got close because they are scared. They though that by pushing the other away they could prevent the heartbreak. Because love is hard and scary, most of the time you feel like your heart will be torn out of your chest. But when it's good and you find your person you realise that everything was worth it. Even if you had to go through painful times, being with that person, even if it was for a second, was better than not having them at all. Fighting for love is the best kind of fight there is because you can get the gold or you can learn from the pain and grow as a person too. Time might take to back to this person if you're meant to be. Or you will eventually find your way to the person that was made for you all along. It was a beautiful book and a sweet love story that will make you believe in love again.
Another Fantastic, Beautiful and Adorable Romance by Lauren Layne. This had it all and I couldn’t and didn’t want to stop reading. Ms. Lanes writing manages to bring you right into the scene with the characters. Her descriptive use of language makes each scene very realistic and the emotions the characters are feeling, believable. Written in dual POV that I love. The reader is also gifted with the history of Reece and Lucy’s entire past together in flash backs, getting to experience their first conversation, first kiss, and other firsts, some very special as well as horrific times making their story truly unforgettable and deepening their real connection. They say there is a thin line between love and hate. So when Reese and Lucy are thrown together on a two week road trip across the country it is only fair to expect lots of twists and turns as well as ups and downs. Especially with a chemistry that is still off the charts. But could their hate, they have been holding onto due to young love insecurities and a lack of communication, give way to possibly a never ending love with redemption and a deeper connection? You need to read this Fantastic, Adorable, Charming, and Completely Enthralling Romance! I highly recommend that you read this story! After receiving an ARC through NetGalley I voluntarily wrote a honest review.
Love Story by Lauren Layne.....Love and Hate is the perfect ingredients for an amazing romance story. Lucy and Reece have known each since childhood, Reece is Lucy's older brothers best friend. They are attracted to each other and know they should never cross that line. Now crossing the line and keeping it a secret, can they make it work. This is my first book by Lauren Layne and she is an amazing storyteller I can't wait to read more. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book from publisher via NetGalley.
I enjoyed this sweet little romance. I am amazed by how consistantly good Lauren Layne's romance have been and this book is no exception. This was a really quick read for me. I read the whole thing in just a few hours but it didn't feel like a small book. There was really a lot going on in this story and it all worked well. I had a really nice time learning Lucy and Reece's love story. Lucy and Reece have known each other forever. Almost forever at least. Reece is Lucy's older brother's best friend and he has been almost like an extra family member since he was in grade school. Lucy is only one year behind her brother and Reece in school so they really grew up together in a lot of ways. This story was filled with scenes from their past together which were a lot of fun to read and brought a lot ot the story. Lucy and Reece were a couple back when they were teenagers. It didn't last long and ended very poorly when Lucy found Reece kissing his ex. Their relationship has never recovered and they both still have a hard time getting along with each other. Lucy and Reece are both moving to the West Coast and Lucy's parents push them into making the drive together. Lucy has a detailed plan of all the things she wants to see on the way to California and wants to take two weeks to make the trip. I liked Lucy and Reece. They obviously had a lot of strong feelings about everything that had happened in their past. At the start of the trip, they were very angry with each other but as they spent more time with each other the chemistry became obvious. Reece was a good guy and the more we learned about him the more I liked him. Lucy was a lot of fun. I could tell how much pain she still carried due to her break up with Reece but she has worked hard to move on with her life. I really could see them as a couple and thought that their relationship seem authentic. I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This is a quick and incredibly satisfying story that was a lot of fun to read. This book is listed as the third book in a series but the books in this series aren't really connected so this book reads as a stand alone story. I can't wait to read more from Lauren Layne soon! I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley.
I'm a minority here but having said that, this book just wasn't for me. It barely held my attention. While I did finish it, the end wasn't much different than the beginning. I'm not sure what this book is rated, maybe YA, but honestly these two characters Reece and Lucy could have been high school students. The plot line was solid, that is was, but the characters lacked depth, of any sort. I couldn't count their constant bickering and picking at each other as anything other than immature juvenile behavior that was just redundant and annoying as hell. Everyday was the same for two weeks cross country. Yup, I get the history, I get what he did. I get her hurt. I understand that. It's the dialogue or lack of between the two. I'm belaboring my point. It didn't work for me. I gave it three stars and I feel that was generous considering. **arc from NetGalley and publisher in exchange for a fair review.**
She thinks he cheated. He thinks he isn’t good enough for her, but making too many wrong turn during their cross country road trip they finally make a right turn and find themselves getting a second chance at love in this agonizingly sweet story. Lucy Hawkins is ready to start the job of her dreams in San Francisco she only has to get there, she only has one problem: her car died and the only way to get there is taking her family’s old station wagon along with her older brother’s best friend. The same friend she’s known since they were children, the one she had a crush on, the one no one knew she’d been in love with. The same friend who after taking her virginity shattered her heart six years ago. After burying his father, Reece Sullivan has no one left and his small town only holds sorrow. Anxious for a fresh start in wine country California, he agrees to go on a two week road trip that promises long torturous days with the only person who’s ever seen past his surly façade and is now likely to kill him in his sleep. But the familiar connection he’s always felt with Lucy soon comes to the fore along with their explosive attraction. Can they forgive the heartache they’ve inflicted in the past to carve a happy future together? I love Lauren Layne’s books. I haven’t missed a single one knowing they’re guaranteed entertainment because she’s adept at writing from fun, flirty and hot, to heartbreakingly tragic, to drive you crazy with antagonistic banter. I really enjoy a frenemies to lovers story especially when there’s a shared history between the couple. I find the back and forth sparing and animosity wholly amusing and that it’s a good source for sexual tension. Right of the bat Reece and Lucy bicker like nobody’s business. The anger between them is palpable. They have a lot of unresolved feelings for each other but they also care deep down for one another and have an undeniable attraction. They’re perfect for one another, they just can’t see past their hurt feelings. Even though they drove me a bit nutty with so much bickering, I couldn’t help but like both Reece and Lucy. I felt so much for all of Reece’s loss. He never had an easy life, but was happy to know that he had Lucy and her family there for him, of course he kept everyone at arm’s length to save himself further pain hiding behind a thick wall of stubbornness with a coat of hurtfulness which Lucy easily threw back at him with equal force. As they travel through the country in close quarters they slowly let their guard down and begin to open up once again and through flashbacks that go way back to their early childhood we learn how their friendship developed and just how deep their connection is and eventually they learn navigate their turbulent relationship into a the beautiful one it was always meant to be. As an aside that has little to do with the story but a lot to do with my personal enjoyment, I LOVED Lucy’s totally nerdy nickname: Spock. Yes, based on Leonard Ninmoy’s Star Trek character. Love Story is book #3 in the Love Unexpectedly series by Lauren Layne. It is a standalone contemporary romance. Told from both points of view and has a happy ending.
Romantic reads that are scheduled for release on Valentine's Day seem to be extra special. Love Story by Lauren Layne, is the perfect addition to the most romantic day of the year. This friends to lovers and enemies to lovers novel is passionate, angsty, and full of hope. The two main characters rediscover each other as they drive across the country in a classic station wagon. Lucy Hawkins and Reece Sullivan have been friends since childhood. When Reece's mother died, he spent most of his time at the Hawkins's home. In addition, Lucy's older brother is Reece's best friend. Lucy has been in love with Reece for years, even after he emotionally hurt her before she left for college. Reece has always harbored feelings for Lucy, but he never felt good enough, so he never pursued a relationship with her. Lucy and Reece grew up in the Virginia wine country and immersed themselves in various aspects of the business. Now they are both looking forward to their new careers in the California wine region, and Lucy's parents provide the transportation for them to make the trek. Two weeks on the road together is not something either of them is looking forward to, however, the trip results in unexpected pleasures and discoveries. Love Story is another winner from talented author Lauren Layne. This slightly emotional romance captured my attention from the very beginning with its engaging plot and lively characters. The sex scenes are both hot and sexy. Lucy and Reece are well-defined, which made it easy for me to form a connection to them. I liked their taunting banter and the way they handled their different tastes in music. This is the third book in Ms. Layne's Love Unexpectedly series and it can be enjoyed as a standalone. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Let me just get this out of the way: I love Lauren Layne's books. She tells Hot Romance stories in a way that makes you sigh, swoon, and squeeze your thighs. And you'll laugh some, too. Lucy loved her brother's best friend Reece for years. He was The One, even though he dated other girls and only hung out with her in secret. She loved him the way you love someone when you're sixteen and convinced that you will never love like this again. Reece, though, made sure that Lucy knew that, despite the plethora of mixed signals he sent her way, he would not choose her. And so Lucy left home and went away to college, set on achieving her dream of running a vineyard. More content to let life happen to him as opposed to charting his own course, Reece continued working for a local winery, not particularly driven to look beyond today. He and Lucy maintained exactly zero contact. Having graduated from college now, Lucy is set to head out west, leaving behind her Virginia home and, she thinks, all residue of Reece. Ah, but Lucy, this is a Lauren Layne book, so you know you won't get too far without your true love, right? Lucy's parents have arranged for Reece to accompany her on her drive to Napa, where he, too, has a new job. Over the course of those 14 days, Reece and Lucy fight and argue, argue and fight, and then do it all over again. They also realize that maybe - just maybe - they still care about each other. Lauren Layne sort of gives away the ending with her title, but this book is about more than Lucy and Reece's feelings for each other. The titular love also reflects the love of ambition, the love of family, the love of friendship, and even the love of a shared history. Yes, there is some hot headboard rocking. Oh, YES, THERE IS. Lauren Layne delivers the quiver, so be warned: you will need to strap on your vibrator for this one. If you're new to Lauren Layne's books, this is a fine starting point. Do not be surprised, however, if you find yourself craving more. ______________________ Published on VoxLibris.net Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
3 stars Lucy wants to go to San Fran more than anything in the world. She is off to start her career in the wine industry and nothing is going to hold her back. Not even, Reece. He was her first love, her brother's best friend, and the man who took her innocence. Now. Lucy is stuck on a cross country road trip with Reece thanks to her parents, and has no choice but to go. Spending all that time together is something Lucy does not want. She hates Reece for what he did to her. Reece is not too happy either. He knows Lucy was too good for him, he did everything in his power to destroy the only good thing in his life... now he is forced to deal with it, after hiding from her for years. I usually love Lauren Layne books. but this is the first time I felt something other than love. It was more of a meh. I didn't love Lucy... I thought she was a little immature and annoying. I felt bad for Reece at times being trapped in a car with her. (less)