Saturday, February 7, 2015

ARC Review: The Trouble with Love by Lauren Layne


Title: The Trouble with Love 

Author: Lauren Layne 

Rating: 4 Stars

Release Date: March 3rd, 2015

The Trouble with Love is one of my favorite Lauren Layne novels. I'll admit, having read all of her works to date, I was losing steam with this author. While I remained blown away by her first few novels, I just haven't clicked with her more recent installments. With The Trouble with Love, though, Layne has only reaffirmed what I always suspected and knew: she's an incredible romance author.

The latest in the Stiletto series presents us with Alex and Emma, two ambitious individuals whose past has torn them apart a few too many times. Alex, now the head of Oxford, a men's magazine which rivals Stiletto, the women's magazine Emma writes for, is put in charge of Stiletto for three months while their leader takes a sabbatical. Alex and Emma have tacitly agreed to keep their past in the past--after all, no one wants to remember being left at the altar--but with Alex's new position as Emma's boss, this puts them in closer proximity than they've been in seven years. Although the two maintain a veneer of cold civility, indifference dripping purposefully from their every interaction, it hides a deep hurt--on both sides--and simmering sexual tension. Will Alex and Emma finally be able to give in to their chemistry and put the past behind them? Or can some grievances just never be forgotten?

The Trouble with Love has been teased at ever since the second novel in Layne's quartet and the continued sexual tension that just builds over the course of this novel is both enticing and unbearable. What I loved about the love story here, though, is how authentic it felt. Emma is hurt. Alex is hurt. For them to move on and forget their past will take a lot and Layne really maps out their growth and relationship in a believable manner. It's all in the baby steps. Moreover, the friendship between the women of Stiletto and the men in their lives is heart-warming to read. All of these relationships boast equality, respect, and success on both sides of the equation.

Emma observes her friend's relationships and struggles to define what she wants which is a fascinating struggle. Layne's romances read light and fluffy but there are a lot of deeper themes and connections running through her heroines, making their characters stand out. Emma is, hands down, one of my favorite heroines she has written to date, right up there with Julie. Alex, too, is a pleasantly well-rounded romantic interest. When he assigns Emma the task of writing about her ex-boyfriends, he begins to realize just how he wants Emma to be treated in a relationship. Because of the nature of their past, The Trouble with Love takes a lot of time in establishing what Emma and Alex want individually from a union before finally bringing them together which is so, so worth the wait.

Though readers may be a tad bit concerned that The Trouble with Love starts out with Emma and Alex dating other people, Layne deals with this issue tactfully and it isn't dragged out long at all. No worries about a love triangle here, folks! I'll be sad to see this series end but I've already fallen for many of Layne's other projects and can't wait to see what--or rather who--she writes next.

15 comments:

  1. I'm curious as to who left whom at the altar. Regardless, I'm looking for a new series to obsess about, so thanks for putting this on my radar, Keertana!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't anything by this author whatsoever, but I'm so sold on this book. It does seem like something I would indeed read as I've read probably similar books but I love reading them all the same. Thank you for sharing this review with us Keertana! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was a little worried about this one because I heard their issues are dragged out the longest out of all the couples. It's nice to know that it's with good reason, but I hope it doesn't bug me. I'm happy to hear you loved this one so much, and I hope I do,too. I'm a little behind with her novels because I've put off reading Made For You after reading the reactions. Maybe I'll enjoy it more because I've lowered my expectations. Lovely review, Keertana! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've not read anything by Layne before, but I can see the appeal of this and Layne's previous books. I do like my books which are full with fun, easy scenes, but also deal with deep meaningful issues too. Thank you for putting this book on my radar Keertana. I shall have a look out to see what else Layne has to offer too!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hm... you may have convinced me I need to try this author's books. I don't read much contemporaries but this sounds interesting. Seems like the author does the tricky parts well. Oh and I just love that dress on the cover. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Second chance romance? Check
    Keertana liked it? Check
    Is it on my TBR? Uncheck
    IS IT ON MY TBR? CHECK.

    I made a weird squealing noise when I started reading your review because I've been wanting to try this author out for a while now since I know you like her and second chance romance is one of my favorite tropes so I basically have no excuse to not read this book! (you can tell how excited I am because that sentence makes no sense)

    I am so so glad to see you enjoyed this one, Keertana and I am so glad to see that their romance was dealt with in a realistic manner and their problems don't go away suddenly, it takes time.

    I am just going to patiently (NOPE) wait for this book to come out already.

    Gorgeous review, hon!!!

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

    ReplyDelete
  7. have not tried this author yet, sorry you were getting burned out. Does sound like a fun romance. I do enjoy fluffy

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am so happy to hear that this is one of your favorite Lauren Layne books! Lately her books have felt very antagonistic (though I still enjoyed them) so I was worried this would along the same lines. I'm so happy their relationship is well done and authentic. I'm dying to know all that 'their past' entails.
    Lovely review, friend!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm glad that even if they're dating other persons at first the author did a good job with the story. It sounds like a really good book, I don't think I knew the author or the series. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You know that I don't really read romance novels, but I have to admit that I almost squealed in delight as I read your review for this book. It sounds really adorable and I feel like I would like the characters as well. Maybe I'll give this one a try sometime. I'll be sure to let you know if I end up reading it and if I like it! Great Review Keertana :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. That's great you really loved this one. It must be difficult to really enjoy an author but read some "not-so-great" books from them.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think I've only read one or two of this author's books. I need to read more of them! Thanks for the final paragraph, because that always bothers me. But I'm happy to see the other relationships aren't dragged out. Books about characters who reconnect with past loves who burned them always intrigue me, but I'm often still angry at them when the book is over. (I haven't had the 7 years to cope with the situation) For that, I'm glad this author takes the time to slowly bring these two back together. You've definitely gotten me excited about this one!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think I've only read one or two of this author's books. I need to read more of them! Thanks for the final paragraph, because that always bothers me. But I'm happy to see the other relationships aren't dragged out. Books about characters who reconnect with past loves who burned them always intrigue me, but I'm often still angry at them when the book is over. (I haven't had the 7 years to cope with the situation) For that, I'm glad this author takes the time to slowly bring these two back together. You've definitely gotten me excited about this one!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm actually not familiar with Lauren Layne, but after reading your review, I'll have to check out her books! This seems like a really fun romantic adult read that I would enjoy. I'm a huge sucker for sexual tension done WELL. And hooray for an equal relationship, one where one gender doesn't dominate the other! Thanks for recommending this adult book, Keertana!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Searching for the Best Dating Site? Join to find your perfect date.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from my readers and I read, reply, and appreciate every one of the comments I receive!(: If you're a fellow blogger, please leave a link to your blog - I'd love to drop by!

Unfortunately, this is now an award-free blog. I simply do not have the time to respond and forward on the award, but I truly appreciate the nomination regardless.