Love Story by Lauren Layne – Excerpt Reveal

Over the course of one wild road trip, 

feuding childhood sweethearts get a second chance at love.

LOVE STORY
a Love Unexpectedly novel
Lauren Layne
Releasing February 14th, 2017
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 New York Times 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.

Although listed as a title in the Love Unexpectedly Series, all books in the series stand alone.

 

“Spock, we’re giving you Horny!” my mom blurts out, apparently fed up with my denseness.

Her utterance is too much for my siblings to handle and they both burst out laughing, retreating into the kitchen to rejoin the party where there’s wine.

Oh what I wouldn’t give for wine right now.

“I, um . . . you’re giving me the car?” I ask.

“Because yours broke down,” my dad explains, walking forward to thump Horny’s dented hood.

“And this one’s . . . not broken down?” I ask skeptically.

Look, it’s not that I’m not grateful. My parents are trying to give me a car, I appreciate the sweetness of the gesture, it’s just . . .

Here’s the thing about Horny: he barely got us three kids through high school. I mean, Horny is the car that sputtered and shook making it the 3.2 miles to Jefferson High, no matter who was behind the wheel.

I’m even going to come all the way clean here and say that early on in my freshmen year, I was embarrassed showing up in Horny. Then I realized I was lucky to have a car at all, and well . . . I dunno, I guess Horny became a part of us Hawkins kids’ charm, because the station wagon was practically an institution from Craig’s high school reign all the way through Brandi’s.

But poor Horny quit working years ago. Much to Brandi’s chagrin, he gave up the ghost a mere two months before her high school graduation, and she spent the last bit of her senior year being picked up by my parents.

“He’s going to take you to California,” Dad says, giving the car another thump.

“Really?” I step forward and run a tentative finger along the familiar panel. He’s had a bath, so at least that’s something. “Because last I knew, he wouldn’t even make it out of the garage.”

“Yeah, well, we neglected him for a while, but he’s right as rain now,” Dad says, puffing out his chest as though Horny’s a fourth child.

“Like, as in he actually starts?”

“Purrs like a kitten,” my mom says with an emphatic nod, even though I know she doesn’t even like cats. “We didn’t believe it, but we took him to church on Sunday and there were no issues.”

I literally bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that this is hardly a feat. Sacred Presbyterian is 0.8 miles away from the house.

“You took Horny into a shop?” I ask, starting to warm to the idea of having a car again. I’m a little touched, actually. Money is tight for my parents. Dad’s a PE teacher, and Mom gives a mean winery tour, but the gig’s never paid much.

“Not exactly, it was more of a bartering situation,” Mom says.

“Yeah?” I say, going around to the driver’s seat, already giddy with the prospect of telling Oscar I’ll be able to come see him in Miami after all, even if I won’t exactly be riding in style.

“Reece agreed to fix him up.”

I’m lowering myself into the car as my dad says this, but I reverse so quickly I hit my head. My skull doesn’t even register the pain, because I’m too busy registering the hurt in my heart at the familiar name. “I’m sorry, what?”

“Reece,” my mom says, giving me a bemused look. “He’s always been handy with cars.”

“He fixed up the car in exchange for what?”

And then I feel—I actually feel—the air change around me as the side door to the garage opens, and a new presence sucks all the air out of the space.

I don’t turn around. I don’t move. But I feel his eyes on me. Over me.

“Reece is headed out to California too,” my oblivious mother chatters on. “It worked out perfectly actually. Now you two can ride together, and your dad and I don’t have to worry about you alone in the middle of nowhere with a twenty-something-year-old car.

They think the car is going to be the problem here? It’s not the car that’s toxic to me. It’s him.

Reece Sullivan. My brother’s best friend. My parents’ “other son.”

Slowly I force myself to turn, and even though I’m prepped, the force of that ice-blue gaze still does something dangerous to me.

He winks, quick and cocky, and I suck in a breath, and I have to wonder . . .

I wonder if my parents would feel differently about their little plan if they knew that their makeshift mechanic is the same guy that popped my cherry six years earlier under their very roof.

And then broke my heart twenty-four hours later.

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized Pomeranian.
 
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time writing
career in Manhattan, and never looked back.
In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a
Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.
For a  list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!
 

 

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Someone Like You by Lauren Layne – Excerpt Reveal

A man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
Oxford #3
Lauren Layne
Releasing Dec 6th, 2016
Loveswept

 

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series
continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible
bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes
away the pain.

 
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as
Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every
flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s
hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his
heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy
Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his
best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

 
After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need
anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look
at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the
type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret,
she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And
suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey
that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.



Advance praise for Someone Like You

 

“Fun and flirty, sassy and steamy, with a deep
emotional pull that will keep you turning the pages.”—Kelly Jamieson, author
of Top Shelf

“An unsung hero with a story that touched my heart. Emotional and
gripping. A top favorite of 2016 for me.”New York Times bestselling author Melanie Moreland

Daisy took another sip of her wine, watching as wedding guests took their places on the dance floor, warding off her boredom by trying to guess how long each couple had been together based on body language. 
 
She was a little amused to see that Emma and all of her Stiletto friends still seemed to be in the handsy honeymoon stage with their significant others, even though she knew they’d mostly been with their respective spouses for years.
 
Daisy felt a little twist of her heart. Once upon a time, she’d thought that’d be her and Gary. As much in love on someone else’s wedding day as they had been on their own. At least she’d been in love on that day. She wasn’t sure someone like Gary knew what love was. 
 
Still, she was glad to be here. Glad to be surrounded by all of this happiness, even if it was bittersweet. Daisy wished her father could be here to see this. He’d died of a heart attack a year ago, and though their dad had wreaked plenty of havoc on Emma and Cassidy’s relationship all those years ago, Daisy wished he could have walked Emma down the aisle and had a chance at the father-daughter dance.
 
The way it had worked out was rather lovely, though. Cole Sharpe, yet another Oxford writer, had walked Emma down the aisle, and a whole slew of the Oxford guys had twirled a laughing Emma around the dance floor in place of the father-daughter dance.
 
It struck Daisy that this was Emma’s family. Sure, the twins were close, but they were orphans now, and they’d never been particularly close to the rest of their extended family. So Emma had built a family here in New York, with a network of tight-knit friendships.
 
And though Daisy was happy for Emma she was also . . . jealous.
 
“I hate to break it to you, pet, but you’re pulling off the wallflower routine a little too convincingly over here.” 
 
Daisy turned, somehow unsurprised to see Lincoln Mathis standing beside her, blue eyes twinkling above the pink bow tie that he pulled off with impressive masculinity.
 
“You cheated,” she said, by way of greeting.
 
He smiled, slow and flirty, as he rested one shoulder against the wall she was leaning on, looking down at her. “How’s that?”
 
“You made them laugh and cry in your speech. I thought we agreed that you were just going to be the funny guy.”
 
He smiled wider. “What can I say, I’m alluring in a multitude of ways.”
 
“Speaking of,” she said, nodding her chin slightly to the sultry brunette making her way towards them, “I believe your previous dance partner is wanting an encore.”
 
He let out the subtlest of groans, so quiet she thought she might have imagined it.
 
“Dance with me,” he said suddenly to Daisy, straightening and looking down at her.
 
She jolted in surprise, then in panic. “I can’t.”
 
He smiled and held out a hand. “Come on now, Wallflower. I’m very good at dancing.” 
 
Wallflower. Daisy had never been a wallflower in her life. Although he had a point. She did seem to be lurking in the corner a bit. She silently scolded herself. This was everything she’d been coaching herself not to do. Not to let Gary win . . .
 
“I don’t doubt your dancing prowess,” she replied saucily, “but—”
 
She broke off. What could she possibly say? I don’t like being touched?
 
It’s not that she couldn’t be touched. She wasn’t that broken. She didn’t freak out. She’d endured Cassidy’s hug when she’d greeted him last night; she’d danced earlier with her uncle. But those men were family.
 
Lincoln Mathis was . . . not family.
 
Dance with him, she commanded herself. Don’t be that broken woman Gary tried to make you.
 
She didn’t move, and slowly Lincoln’s hand dropped to his side, just as the brunette reached them.
“I love this song,” the woman said, running a possessive hand up Lincoln’s arm. “Dance?”
 
Lincoln held Daisy’s gaze and she shrugged before blowing him a teasing good-bye kiss. “Bye bye.”
 
His eyes narrowed. “Actually,” Lincoln said, turning and giving the other woman a regretful smile, “I need to step out for a moment.”
 
The woman’s perfectly shaped brows folded into a frown. “Step out? For what?”
 
“I need to show Daisy something,” he said, bending and kissing the other woman’s cheek. “Next time, love.”
 
Before Daisy could register that she’d been commandeered as part of Lincoln Mathis’s escape, he’d plucked the champagne flute out of her hand, setting it aside before clasping her fingers in his and pulling her toward the door.
 
“Wait, we’re really leaving?” she asked with a laugh as he tugged her through the throng of wedding guests. 
 
“Yep.”
 
“I can’t,” she said. “It’s my sister’s wedding, I have family here, and . . .”
 
“But you want to leave,” he said, turning and facing her. 
 
She narrowed her gaze. “Why would I want that?”
 
He met her eyes. “Because you don’t like weddings any more than I do.”

 

Lauren
Layne
is the USA Today bestselling
author of more than a dozen romantic comedies. She lives in New York City with
her husband (who was her high school sweetheart–cute, right?!) and plus-sized
Pomeranian.
In 2011, she ditched her corporate career in Seattle to pursue a full-time
writing career in Manhattan, and never looked back.

In her ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would
carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

For a list of all her works, please be sure to check out her official website!

 

 

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