New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.
Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.
Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
This one honestly is probably even maybe a 4.5 stars (rounded down), but for reasons I cannot explain, I just was not having a good reading day today, and so I kept getting drawn out of the book. I honestly don’t think it was the book this time, but I still rate based on personal enjoyment, hence I’m sticking with 4 stars.
OK, weird caveat out of the way, I LOVED Nick and Taylor! I had no idea what to expect from them given the few glimpses we got from them in Someone Like You, but I do suppose I expected a bit more animosity. And we did get a bit of that enemy vibe, with them snarking back and forth. But it didn’t go on too long. It was always mixed with curiosity and good feelings. It was like they needed to each be smacked. Yet somehow they managed to smack themselves, without too much help. What I found interesting about their “dislike” is that there was, sort of, a bit of meanness there. It wasn’t intentional necessarily, it was like bantering gone too far, or barbs that unintentionally hit too close to home, you know? I’m not always a huge enemies to lovers trope reader, but I appreciated that it wasn’t fake animosity, you know? Unintentional, yes. Fake, no.
I feel like we got a bit more from Taylor than Nick in this book. And I really ended up feeling a lot for Taylor, she really broke my heart. She had kind of a tragic upbringing, in a totally different way than I’m used to reading. And it really damaged her, despite good intentions. And I think that’s where the real heartbreak comes in, her Aunt wasn’t trying to damage her, and with no other influences, Taylor was really left floundering, unable to fully conform to who her Aunt tried to raise, but not feeling as though she should be pursuing anything other than what she was used to. Not sure if that makes sense. But I really did hurt for her, and while I cannot personally vibe, I felt like Ms. Layne really exposed Taylor’s underbelly and made you understand her. Taylor really ended up being such a strange heroine, because she was part strong, snarky, forthright mixed with vulnerable, damaged, and with so much love to give. My only gripe is that I wanted to see more done to showcase her turnaround on the major obstacle in her and Nick’s relationship. I didn’t quite buy it, and I feel like there was a bit of a missed opportunity there.
And while we didn’t get quite as much from Nick, he really did have his own damage to overcome. Perhaps it’s that we didn’t learn he had damage until maybe the middle of the book, and so we kind of didn’t get to know all of Nick up until that point. It doesn’t really leave a lot of time, you know? But I did enjoy his gruffness, his cockiness, his sweetness.
And I truly felt like they complimented each other as a couple. I loved their interplay, I loved how they didn’t let each other get away with shit. And I definitely felt their chemistry, though honestly their steamy scenes were some of the moments where my mind wandered as mentioned above. So take from that what you will.
And I can honestly say that I appreciated the climax and resolution more in this book than in the past few. It felt less campy, and while still quick, I didn’t feel quite as rushed.
I loved that we got to see a few of the characters we’ve fallen in love with (the Lincoln, Cassidy and Nick exchange in Lincoln’s office was gold), but that we weren’t overwhelmed by the whole cast of characters. AND I loved that we got new characters to fall in love with! My fingers are crossed for a Brit & Hunter novel, and I would personally love to see Ms. Hayes get a HEA as well. She deserves it after Bradley the douchecanoe.
So yeah. Thoroughly enjoyed myself, despite my brain’s efforts to derail me. 🙂 You can always count on Ms. Layne for solid romance goodness.