My Favorite books of 2016

These are the books that I would recommend highly that I have read this year. I read 181 last year and these are the 16 books I enjoyed the most. They are in the order that I read them in and not sorted by by favorites. For more books that I enjoyed last year please check out this list.

Built – Jay Crownover

Studio portrait of young bearded man --- Image by © pinkypills/Corbis

Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new…

Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight.

Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.

Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…

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review

5 Stars

I don’t think anyone can top Captain No Fun as my favorite book boyfriend, but Mr. Fix-It came pretty damn close. This was an amazing story all around and is now one of my all time favorites. I cannot wait for the rest of this series.

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Listen To Me – Kristen Proby

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Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy…exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need.Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him.

Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?

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review5 Stars

Jake Keller is by far my favorite Kristen Proby character, but Addison comes in a close second. One of my favorite parts of a Kristen Proby story is the close knit groups and their relationships with each other. I am looking forward to seeing a lot more from the Seduction family and the amazing strong women she has created.

I have now read this book 3 times since it was released and I am still at a loss for words. I loved every aspect of this book so much I can’t decide where to start and how to convey my overwhelming love for this book. I’ll leave it to I wholeheartedly recommend you pick up this book. It has all the swoons, all the banter and all the steam you would expect from a Kristen Proby novel and then some.

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Dirty Ugly Toy – K. Webster

Her time is over.
Things are looking up.

She’s dirty and ugly.
He’s wicked but handsome.

Six months to toy with her.
Six months of vacation and a ton of money.

I’ll hurt her beyond repair.
I’ve been through much worse.

She’s difficult to control and doesn’t obey.
I’m done submitting to anyone or anything in this life.

I should hate her.
I should hate him.

The game has changed.
I will win.

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review

This book is not for everyone, but it was so beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking, terrifying and intriguing that I could not put it down. I read it in one day and already want to start again. This book was more than a book, it was an experience that I would happily undertake again and again.

My Thoughts
From the second I read the synopsis of this book I was hooked. I love dark and twisty reads, so this was right up my alley. I didn’t think that I would fall so hard for Braxton or Jessica. These two broken people found each other in the most messed up of ways, but ended up being better than they could have imagined. For all the darkness and rawness of the story there was an underlying goodness in both Jessica and Braxton that called to me and made me abandon all responsibility and read through this book from start to finish in one day. I highly recommend this book if you want something that is a little different, a lot beautiful, and a little ugly all at the same time

I pre-ordered this book because of the synopsis and I was extremely happy I did.

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This is WAR, Baby and This is LOVE, Baby by K. Webster

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My life had a plan. Until he invaded it and stole it all away. My captor took me and I became a pawn.His strategy changed and he sent me away to WAR, because money is everything in this world.

In my WAR, though, I found peace.

I couldn’t help but find love where I least expected it, with a man who lived a battle every day of his life
…all inside his head.

But then my captor came back for me.
Yet, this time, battle lines had been drawn and I was protected.

So we thought.
Even though my WAR was raging,
my captor would fight to the death.

The good guys always win, right?
Not always.

All’s fair in love and WAR, right?
Not this time.goodreads

review

5 Stars

As soon as I finished this book I wrote this on Goodreads “I have no words. This book was so incredible I don’t know how to write a review. As soon as I can gather my thoughts about the amazingness I just read, I will write a full review.” In some ways I still feel like that. How am I going to review this and express the amazingness without being spoilery? I will say that it is not an easy read and please heed the following warning : “This is War, Baby is a dark romance. A really dark one. So dark you’re going to wish you had a flashlight to see yourself to the end and someone to hold your hand. Human trafficking, dubious consent, and strong sexual themes that could trigger emotional distress are found in this story. This story is NOT for everyone.”

My Thoughts

This book starts off like any romance involving high school age people, but you are quickly thrown for a loop. This part of the story was seriously hard to read, but at the same time I was compelled to keep reading because of Baylee. I loved her character from the start. She was strong, smart and seeing the events through her eyes made the story a little bit easier to read.

So the basics… she was kidnapped by a crazy, intense, messed up man who has claimed her as his own. He will stop at nothing to keep her, and that is where he is truly terrifying. Enter War the man she was sold to. This part of the story was still hard to read but in a different way. War is a broken man that also happens to be a gorgeous rich young man who has a slew of mental issues and is in a prison of his fears and obsession.

War… I loved War. His obsessions were debilitating and it was heartbreaking. Ever time we got to see the world through his POV I fell a little harder for him. It was so real and brutal and beautiful that your heart breaks while you swoon. They are an old couple at first but as they start sharing and trusting each other they from something that neither of them expects but both welcome. She is his peace and he is her savior, until it is all wrecked again by her kidnapper and tormentor. At the end we are left with more questions that we started with, but it has been a week since I read this book and I still can’t get these characters out of my head, luckily there is not a very long wait for book two. I cannot wait to revisit these characters and get answers.

I highly recommend this book if you can handle a little darker of a read and some uncomfortable situations. I was hooked from the first word and could not put this down. I felt compelled to finish this book and am so happy that I did. K. Webster’s writing in this book is phenomenal. She can take a monster and make you feel for him, and at the same time fear and loathe him. Everything about this story felt so real and raw and beautiful that I have a feeling this will be one of my go to books.

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My War was over and I had lost. My captor reminded me I was nothing more than his pawn.
His strategy never changed…it was always me.
But what he didn’t know was that LOVE always wins.In my War, I’d found not only peace
but LOVE as well.I’d been through a battlefield with my War and LOVE was what brought us to the other side.
Our LOVE was beautiful and pure. Undying.My captor thinks he has won this war. That I will LOVE him.
What he doesn’t know is this time, I’m the one with a strategy. I’m always thinking several moves ahead of him, my War taught me that.I will outsmart him and find peace again.
This is a war I will win.
My LOVE will conquer all.goodreads

review

5 Stars

I just finished this book and I have no words. Of all the things I could imagine would happen in this book, somehow K. Webster was able make the perfect ending I didn’t know I needed.
Every word, every feeling, every second of this book was everything.
The amazing story weaving between War and Peace was enough to shatter your heart, but was also so powerful and all encompassing that it put you back together again, piece by piece, word by word. I loved every second of this journey and highly recommend picking up this series if you want something that has a dark side, but also has enough light to lead you through.

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Hate to Love You and Love to Hate You by Isabelle Richards

Opposites in every way, Chase and Arianna have been bitter rivals since childhood. Constantly in competition, they fight incessantly, making it nearly impossible for them to be in the same room with each other. Until they slept together.
Sex changes everything.
In one emotional evening, they go from enemies to lovers. Hate quickly evolves into passionate lust, but old habits die hard. The love growing between them can’t erase a lifetime of animosity. The two quickly fall back into old routines of spite and vengeance, and their relationship crumbles under the weight of their deep-seated distrust.
Chase and Arianna spend the next two years on opposite sides of the globe, avoiding each other at all costs. Despite the lies they tell themselves, neither one is ready to let go. Even though they are both engaged to other people, they can’t find it in their hearts to forgive each other or to move forward.
A family emergency calls Arianna home, where they have no choice but to face each other again. Will they finally admit the truth, or will they remain forever trapped between love and hate?

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Some connections are so powerful they will not be denied. Despite doing everything in their power to fight their feelings, Chase and Arianna decide to give their love a second chance. They hope that the long, painful journey back to each other will have taught them not to make the same mistakes again. This time they’ll get it right. All they need is a little time for the wounds to heal.
Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop just because love is in the air. Just as they begin to reconcile, their relationship is bombarded by crisis after crisis throwing their lives into a tailspin. Had they learned from their past, Chase and Arianna would find a way to lean on each other during trying times. But some people never learn.
Instead of revealing their strength, each challenge exposes their vulnerabilities. The cracks in their relationship turn into chasms as they let each other down time and time again. Hurt and betrayal overshadow the love, and they slip back into old habits. Hiding behind hatred for each other is much easier than facing the truth.
Will they find their way back to each other or will they stay trapped in the space between love and hate?

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Edge of Chaos and East of Redemption by Molly E. Lee

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Blake Caster has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with Justin for so long, she can’t tell what is normal anymore, and so she clings to the one thing that is solidly hers—her passion for extreme weather.

Three years into her Meteorology degree, Blake meets professional storm chaser, Dash Lexington, who is as gorgeous as he is daring. Instantly recognizing her passion and skills in analyzing weather data, he makes a spot for her on his tight-knit storm chasing team. Dash and Blake form a fast friendship and it forces her to realize just how toxic her relationship with Justin is. She can’t deny the lightning-worthy chemistry she has with Dash or how her heart stalls every time he gets too close to a tornado.

With each chase and the cherished moments with Dash, Blake discovers her own self-worth and gains the strength to end things with Justin for good. But he won’t go easily. As Blake tries to sever ties with one man, she fears she’ll lose the other to his dangerous obsession—and she doesn’t know if she’ll be enough to save him from the impending storm that could end them all.

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East of RedemptionFINAL-high

Easton Wells has spent years burying his guilt by digging up some of the world’s most renowned treasures while surviving the dangerous terrains in which they’re located—all captured for television. When his producers threaten to axe the show, he has no choice but to turn to the last person he still trusts—the girl he left behind.

Rain Walker has made a name for herself documenting wild and endangered animals, and the last voice she expects to hear while shooting in South Africa is Easton’s. He’s more gorgeous than she remembers, but the pain in her heart is as fresh as ever. They’d once planned on spending the rest of their lives together, but after her father’s tragic death while on expedition in Israel with him, Easton bailed on their future together without an explanation. It’s been nine years, and yet the intense love they shared seems only a moment ago.

When he asks her to film his latest treasure hunt, Rain wants to turn him down instantly. But when he explains it’s to the same cave that swallowed her father, she can’t say no. She wants to experience the last place her father was alive, and she’s beyond curious about what happened to the boy she used to love.

They’ve got two weeks to locate a treasure that’s been lost for centuries, or Easton will lose the one thing in his life he’s come to depend on. As their old passion is reignited—and dark secrets uncovered—they face the extreme terrain of the mountain range that threatens them at every turn. As more than the wildlife and sharp drop-offs tries to kill them, Rain starts to question if the legendary treasure they seek—the same one her father had died trying to unearth—is truly meant to be found, or if some things, including their feelings for each other, are better left buried.

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review

5 Stars

This book kept me on the edge of my seat from the very first word. I was packed full of action, intrigue, mystery, love, steamy moments and so much fun to read.

My Thoughts

I’m going to keep this a short and spoiler free as I can, because this is one of those books that you have to experience for yourself in order to really get it. This book has such depth, emotion and heart stopping adventure, that you almost forget you are reading a romance novel. (Yes, there are some steamy scenes) It’s this total immersion in the world that draws me to Molly E. Lee’s books. She has this uncanny way of combining all these elements into an all engrossing story that makes you forget everything other than the story unfolding on the pages.

The first page will have you hooked, but by the end you will be in love with this world, these characters, and the hunt for treasure. I knew going in that it had an Indiana Jones vibe, and I was not disappointed. It’s full of adventure, humor, a perilous journey, survival skills, and a second chance with your first love. It is a very fast-paced read that will keep you turning the pages and keep you on the edge of your seat to see what’s going to happen next with Easton and Rain. I highly recommend the Love on the Edge series for anyone that’s looking for a different kind romance that stands head and shoulders above the others.

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Good Girl by Lauren Layne

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Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.goodreads

review

5 Stars

It’s no secret that I love Lauren Layne books, but this book is so much more than that. Every word, every page was special. It was so beautifully written, full of heart, heat and the things we expect (and some we don’t, in a good way) from a Lauren Layne novel, that i was blown away.

My Thoughts

Jenny Dawson has been dubbed America’s Sweetheart by the media and hounded by the paparazzi. I love that she is so down to earth and a still a country girl at heart. It was fun seeing her prove everyone wrong about the preconceptions they had about her. Actually I loved everything about Jenny. If I could have a book character be a real friend I would definitely choose Jenny Dawson. She is smart, funny, fun, not afraid to get dirty, and full of sass. And Noah talk about a dreamy brooding hero.

I loved every second of this book so much I finished and immediately started reading again. Even the side characters of this book are amazing. I highly recommend picking this book up, you will not regret it.

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Style by Chelsea M. Cameron

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Kyle Blake likes plans. So far, they’re pretty simple: Finish her senior year of high school, head off to a good college, find a cute boyfriend, graduate, get a good job, get married, the whole heterosexual shebang. Nothing is going to stand in the way of that plan. Not even Stella Lewis.

Stella Lewis also has a plan: Finish her senior year as cheer captain, go to college, finally let herself flirt with (and maybe even date) a girl for the first time and go from there.

Fate has other plans for Kyle and Stella when they’re paired up in their AP English class and something between them ignites. It’s confusing and overwhelming and neither of them know what to do about it. One thing they do know is that their connection can’t be ignored. The timing just isn’t right.

But is there ever a good time for falling in love?goodreads

review

5 Stars

I loved this book. It was adorable, sweet, and a great read.

My Thoughts

I loved this book. It was adorable, sweet, and a great read. It was nice to have a sweet coming of age story with very little angst and a happy ending. This book was hard to put down. It was a beautiful story of first love, figuring out relationships in High School and finding yourself.

“What I DO know is that I can’t go back in time and put a book in my hands, but I CAN put it in someone else’s.” Thank you for writing for this book, Chelsea M. Cameron for all the people that need these words and all those that support and love them unconditionally.

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Restored by Kate Canterbary

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Can a reformed player ever truly play by someone else’s rules?

Sam Walsh has finally put an end to decades of self-destruction, turned over a healthy new leaf, and now he’s ready to call himself a married man. But love and marriage are only the beginning, and life is about to get much more complicated.

Will tying the knot tie down a free spirit?

Tiel Desai never imagined herself getting married again, and before she can blink, she’s swept up into the Walsh wedding whirlwind. If that chaos isn’t enough, she’s also busy winning over her future in-laws, grappling with a bumpy adjustment to her new job, and staying afloat when a string of disappointments hit.

They’re building a future, but can they ever fully demolish the past?

Sam and Tiel beat back their demons and learned to love each other, but love might not be enough to solve every problem that crawls their way.goodreads

 review

5 Stars

I fell in love with Sam and Tiel all over again in this book. This book felt organic like you were checking in with old friends instead of reading a sequel just for a sequel’s sake. Restored had it all, ups and downs, serious steamy moments, laugh out loud antics, incredible banter and a whole lot of love. It will make you break out the tissues one moment and laugh out loud the next and was the perfect combination of each. This is what Kate Canterbary does best and what makes her one of my top auto buy authors.

My Thoughts

At the end of Necessary Restorations we got a happy for now, but it felt like these two still had something else to say. I am thrilled that Restored picked up right where Necessary Restorations left off and we get to hear the rest of their story. Being privy to the evolution of this relationship felt like you were spying on the couple next door at times. It was so real and so beautifully written that these characters feel like they could be real. That is what makes this book so special and what makes this one of my top reads of 2016.

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Sparking The Fire – Kate Meader

Actor Molly Cade, America’s fallen sweetheart, finally has her shot at a Hollywood comeback with a dramatic new role as a tough-as-nails firefighter that promises to propel her back to the big time and restore her self-respect.

Wyatt Fox, resident daredevil at Engine Co. 6, needs a low-key job to keep him busy while he recovers from his latest rescue stunt. Consulting on a local movie shoot should add just enough spark to his day. Especially when in struts Molly Cade: the woman who worked his heart over good, and then left him in the Windy City dust.

Their story is straight out of a script: irrepressible, spunky heroine meets taciturn, smoldering hero. But these two refuse to be typecast, and when the embers of an old love are stoked, someone is bound to get burned…

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review

I have been intrigued by Wyatt Fox since I read Rekindle the Flame in an anthology before Flirting With Fire came out. He is the strong silent type, but also fiercely protective of his family and sticks to the background. I was not disappointed. Wyatt was so much more than I imagined and I loved every second of his story.

My Thoughts

I loved the way this book started. We got to see a side of Wyatt we haven’t seen before and it was refreshing. I loved both Wyatt and Molly in this story so much. Molly is a firecracker, but still reeling from public scandal, and Wyatt is dealing with a whole host of guilt and overprotectiveness. When these two collide the sexual tension is off the charts. You can feel the draw they have on each other and I loved every second.

These two fit in every way you could imagine. She makes him laugh and smile more, he grounds her and protects her, even when she doesn’t want it. I loved they way they brought each other out of their self-imposed shells and how the Dempsey’s welcome everyone into the fold. It was so fun getting to catch up with the other couple’s throughout this story. I highly recommend this series, but in particular this book. It was so much fun to read, had so much heart, and was off the charts steamy. I am sad to see it go, but happy I can revisit the Dempsey’s anytime I want.

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HIgh Sided – LP Dover

Wild, reckless, and fast.

That’s how I raced until a fatal accident on the track ruined my riding career. I had no choice but to leave that life behind; at least, until now. My name is Logan Chandler, one of the best FBI agents in the country. When an old friend calls for help and winds up dead, I take matters into my own hands. In order to do that, I have to go back to my past, back to the racetrack and to the one girl I never thought I’d see again . . . Kassidy Bennett.

She’s the key to solving it all, but bringing her in could put her in grave danger. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize she was already there. To save her, I have to put everything on the line. It’s a race against time, a race to the death, and only one will make it to the end.

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Out Of Love – RC Boldt

Foster Kavanaugh, former Navy SEAL, knows what it’s like to be the top dog, the man in charge, the one calling the shots. Now that he’s running his own security consulting firm, not much has changed.

Except the curvy blonde he hired as his office manager.
Noelle Davis has been through the damn ringer. Swearing off men after escaping a toxic relationship, she’s grateful for a fresh start—new job included. Except her job isn’t tranquil and calm. In fact, it’s quite the opposite because her boss is the most infuriating man on the planet.

And, not to mention, sexy as hell.
Foster has limits. Rules. No attachments allowed because he doesn’t do love—and Noelle Davis foiled that plan and took a red pen to his list of rules. With her smart mouth and quick witted banter, he found the woman beginning to creep past his defenses.

When circumstances put Noelle in a perilous position, the first person to come to her rescue is none other than Foster Kavanaugh. She gets to see the man in action—not as her aggravating boss, but the man who will stop at nothing to keep her safe.

The same man who makes her want to reconsider her self-imposed embargo of men.

The man she wants to get to know now that she’s seen another side of him.

The man who makes her want…more.

But is more possible when you’re OUT OF LOVE?

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review

4.5-Stars

 

I knew Foster and Noelle’s story would be one of my favorites from their banter in the last few books, But I was completely blown away. This book had it all, fun back and forth banter, a strong smart heroine, steamy sexy times, and a bad ass alpha with a soft spot for Disney movies.

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Some One Like You – Lauren Layne

Sometimes you have to tear everything down to build something new…

Sayer Cole is frozen inside. At least, that’s what it’s felt like for as long as she can remember. She’s yet to let anyone past her icy exterior – and the one guy she thinks might melt her heart couldn’t possibly be interested in someone so uptight.

Rough, hard and hot-as-hell, Zeb Fuller has rebuilt his life and his construction business since protecting his family sent him to jail all those years ago. His elegant client, Sayer, makes him feel like a Neanderthal in denim, but despite the many hints that he’s been dropping to get to know her better, she seems oblivious to his charms.

Just as things finally start to heat up, Zeb’s past comes back to haunt him and he needs Sayer’s professional help to right a wrong and to save more than himself. As these opposites dig in for the fight of their lives, fire and ice collide in an unstoppable explosion of steam…

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review

5 Stars

Wow. I knew Lincoln’s story was going to be special, but this was way more than I expected. It is safe to say that Lincoln is my new favorite Stiletto/Oxford man. There is so much more to the charismatic ladies man that we have grown to love over the course of this series and it really was special to peel back all of those layers and see the “real” Lincoln.

My Thoughts

From the other books in this series we have met the infamous ladies man Lincoln Mathis, but what you see is not always what you get. I had a feeling this book was going to pull out all of the stops and bring all of the feels, and I was not disappointed. The man behind the reputation is incredible, his story is moving, and his journey is both heartbreaking and endearing all at the same time.

Daisy is Emma’s twin sister, but is so wholly and completely different from Emma that if they didn’t look-alike you would never know. Neither of them are what they show the world, so it is no surprise that they become fast friends. Lincoln lets her see behind the veil so to speak and both of their worlds change from that moment on.

I loved every second of this book. I forced myself to slow down several times so that I could savor the story a little more and have it last just a little longer. After 2 readings I still think this is my favorite Lauren Layne book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it if you like strong characters that grab you from page 1 and don’t let go until long after you have finished the story.

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The Spire – Kate Canterbary

Not all those who wander are lost.

Rebel, runner, recluse, rich girl.
Nine years ago, Erin Walsh ran away from everything.

Home.
Family.
Secrets.
Tragedy.
Herself.

The only permanence in her life is catastrophe.

She travels from country to country, chasing disaster, teasing fire, playing with poison. She guards against real connections, and shuns the only family she has left.

She holds everyone—even her siblings—at a mile-long distance. It’s the only way to protect herself.

But she can’t protect herself from him.

He’s the ice to her fire, and he’s willing to sacrifice everything to bring her home.

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review

5 Stars

I honestly have no words for this book. It was such a beautiful journey home. If I could give it all of the stars I would. So for now I am using GIFs to convey my feelings for this amazing book.
The book starts and we are all:
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And then there is quite a bit of this:
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With a little bit of this:
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And this:
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And a whole lot of this:
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Retreat – Jay Crownover

Every once in a while, you need to get away from it all.

I was a woman on the edge, shaken and shattered after a breakup that felt like it tore my entire world apart.

My best friend, sick of watching me drown in misery and melancholy, harassed me until I agreed to go with her on a week-long wilderness retreat.

She promised days spent bonding and getting in touch with our inner bad-asses.
It was supposed to be all about the two of us roughing it and making do with the bare minimum. She assured me we were going to be pushed to our limits in ways that were unimaginable. Neither one of us could have ever guessed just how right she was.

Nowhere in the glossy brochure did it say anything about the fact I was going to have to battle the insufferable but deliciously rugged and sexy trail guide instead of the elements. The brochure also forgot to mention the part that warned when you left civilization behind, there was no place to pack your inhibitions and fears.

I was told that I would be facing a week where the only thing I should expect was the unexpected. However, no one mentioned that I was going to have to fight for my life…and my heart as soon as I ventured into the unknown.

I was a pro at hiding from my feelings but when it came time to face a real threat, one that could change everything, I learned I was more of a no surrender, no retreat kind of girl.

Retreat is a standalone novel, the first in the Getaway series which centers on the hardheaded and brokenhearted Warner brothers and the women that dare to love them.

These boys are very good at putting the wild in wilderness.

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review

5 Stars

I was hooked from the first word of this story. This is so unlike anything I have read from Jay before, but she knocked it out of the park with this one. Cowboys, suspense, action, bad ass heroines, grumpy alpha males and super steamy scenes make this book one of my top reads of 2016.

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Someone Like You by Lauren Layne – Review

reviewSomeone Like You

Synopsis

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.

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4.5-Stars

Wow. I knew Lincoln’s story was going to be special, but this was way more than I expected. It is safe to say that Lincoln is my new favorite Stiletto/Oxford man. There is so much more to the charismatic ladies man that we have grown to love over the course of this series and it really was special to peel back all of those layers and see the “real” Lincoln.

My Thoughts

From the other books in this series we have met the infamous ladies man Lincoln Mathis, but what you see is not always what you get. I had a feeling this book was going to pull out all of the stops and bring all of the feels, and I was not disappointed. The man behind the reputation is incredible, his story is moving, and his journey is both heartbreaking and endearing all at the same time.

Daisy is Emma’s twin sister, but is so wholly and completely different from Emma that if they didn’t look-alike you would never know. Neither of them are what they show the world, so it is no surprise that they become fast friends. Lincoln lets her see behind the veil so to speak and both of their worlds change from that moment on.

I loved every second of this book. I forced myself to slow down several times so that I could savor the story a little more and have it last just a little longer. After 2 readings I still think this is my favorite Lauren Layne book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it if you like strong characters that grab you from page 1 and don’t let go until long after you have finished the story.

A review copy was provided by Netgalley for an honest review.

Notable Quotes

“I don’t. They come to me. I’m like the stamen.”
Emma stared at him with her wide, slightly accusatory brown eyes. “The what?”
“The stamen. The pollen-producing part of a flower, Sinclair. Don’t you watch the Discovery Channel? Animal Planet? I just saw a very compelling documentary on bees. See, when the bees land on a flower, their little feet pick up pollen from the stamen…”
“Mathis. Are you talking to my fiancé about semen?”
Alex Cassidy asked, coming up beside Emma and setting a possessive hand on her waist.


 “You must be Lincoln Mathis, The Manwhore of Whom I Should Beware?”
“Which would make you Daisy Sinclair, Delicate Flower to Whom I’m Not to Speak.”


I happen to like our story… Especially now that it’s taken a turn for the naked.


I have nothing to give back, Daisy. Oh, I’d give you pleasure. We’d give each other that. But I’d take absolutely everything – I’d fucking consume you. You’d want something in return, and I’d have nothing. I’m hollow inside, and you deserve so much more.

copy-of-excerpt

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Other books in the series


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 – Release Day Giveaway and Excerpt

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

 sly_9 sly_6 sly_3tastytoursexcerpt

 

“Lincoln, you know that I love you like a brother, but if you make a move on my sister, I will end you.”

Lincoln Mathis took a slow sip of his cocktail as he studied the fierce bride-to-be. “I hope Cassidy knows how lucky he is. You’re so delicate and gentle.”

Emma Sinclair, soon to be Emma Cassidy as of this time tomorrow, lifted one elegantly manicured fingernail and flicked his chest. “Promise, Lincoln. No hitting on Daisy.”

“I don’t hit on women.”

Emma gave him a look.

He held up his free hand in surrender. “I don’t. They come to me. I’m like the stamen.”

Emma stared at him with wide, slightly accusatory brown eyes. “The what?”

“The stamen. The pollen-producing part of a flower, Sinclair. Don’t you watch the Discovery Channel? Animal Planet? I just saw a fascinating documentary on bees. See, when the bees land on a flower, their little feet pick up pollen from the stamen— “

“Mathis. Are you talking to my fiancée about semen?” Alex Cassidy asked, coming up beside Emma and setting a possessive hand on her waist.

“Stamen,” Lincoln clarified. “Not semen. Honestly, is sex all you people think about?”

“Yes.” This came from Riley Compton, a brunette bombshell whose status as New York’s foremost “sexpert” meant she had zero qualms about discussing sex at her best friend’s rehearsal dinner. “And you know, actually, the stamen is rather sexual. I saw that bee documentary too, because maintaining his distance from my sister.”

these are the sort of things you do when you’re nursing a never-satisfied baby, by the way, and the stamen is a flower’s male reproductive organ. Sexy, right?”

Emma inserted the arm not holding her champagne flute between the two of them. “Guys, it’s my wedding weekend. Can we not talk about flower boners?”

“Fair enough, Bride,” Lincoln said. “What do you want to talk about? Cassidy’s boner?”

Alex Cassidy choked into his champagne.

“There will be no boner discussion,” Emma said. “Lincoln and I were just having a chat about how Lincoln will be

“Speaking of flowers, where is Daisy?” Riley asked, scanning the room.

“Running late. Knowing my sister, her dress had a slight crease from the suitcase, and she won’t make an appearance until every wrinkle’s banished, every hair’s in place, and there’s not a speck of lint anywhere.”

“Gosh, however will I keep my hands to myself?” Lincoln muttered.

“Lincoln, I swear to God—”

“He’s messing with you, Em,” Cassidy said, carefully tugging his fiancée away from Lincoln. “Don’t let him press your buttons. And Lincoln, man, what is with that drink?”

Lincoln glanced down. “It’s called a Jasmine. Gin, lemon, some Campari—”

“It’s pink,” Cassidy observed.

“Right? You want one?”

Cassidy rolled his eyes. “I’ll stick with wine, thanks. Ah shit, there’s my grandma waving us over. Emma, you up for talk about the state of your uterus?”

Emma groaned. “Oh no. I thought she’d agreed to wait until after the wedding to talk about my eggs.”

“I’ll go with you,” Riley said. “As the only one in our little group of friends who’s ever pushed a human skull out my—”

“Okay, I’m going to expand my taboo list,” Emma said. “No talking about boners, flowers, or vaginas.”

“Fine,” Riley said, as she entwined her arm in Emma’s and started leading her toward Cassidy’s grandma. “But if Grams starts talking about fertility, just follow my lead . . . ”

Lincoln smiled as he watched his friends walk away. He could follow, certainly, help run interference, but new mom Riley was a far better choice for this particular bridal-party duty.

Besides, as best man, Lincoln had enough to worry about. The ring, reconfirming transportation to the church tomorrow, the speech that he was going to slay tomorrow, the—

Lincoln’s best man to-do list scattered as his eyes landed on a woman standing in the doorway to the private event room. He did a double take. When had Emma found time to change? Generally speaking, he didn’t consider himself particularly in tune with his friends’ clothes. Especially the women, because, well . . .  he didn’t really give a crap. But he was pretty damn sure Emma had been wearing a white dress just ten seconds ago.

Now she was wearing a short yellow dress, with fussy, flowy sleeves, high-necked and a bit demure—

No, not demure, Lincoln amended as she turned. Hot. The dress was backless, showing a smooth expanse of lightly tanned skin from the small of her back all the way up to long dark blond hair.

. . . Blond hair.

Emma had shoulder-length brown hair. A wardrobe swap, he might be able to buy, but the hair?

You idiot.

He was looking at none other than Daisy Sinclair, the forbidden fruit, in the flesh.

He’d forgotten that Daisy wasn’t just Emma’s sister—she was Emma’s identical twin.

Other than the fact that she was, apparently, not to be hit on, Lincoln didn’t know much about her.

Well, he supposed  he now knew that she dyed her hair blond.

Or maybe Emma dyed hers brown?

Whatever. Girl stuff he didn’t care about one way or the other.

And yet he didn’t look away, captivated somehow. He racked his brain for everything he’d heard about Daisy Sinclair.

He knew that she and Emma had grown up in North Carolina. But Emma left for New York City shortly after college, and Daisy had stayed. He thought he remembered talk of a recent divorce, although he didn’t recall the details.

Didn’t need to, really. Lincoln knew better than anyone that not all relationships had happy endings.

Lincoln watched as Daisy hesitated just inside the doorway, unnoticed yet by the rest of the bridal party and out-of-town guests.

Making people comfortable was a particular skill of his. Normally he’d be over there in a heartbeat with a glass of wine and some of his best banter until her shoulders relaxed and he’d coaxed a smile from her pretty face.

But he wasn’t entirely convinced Emma wouldn’t make good on her castration threats, so instead Lincoln merely studied Daisy. The woman was beautiful. No surprise there, since Emma was gorgeous. Yet, though their features were identical, they were attractive in entirely different ways.

Emma was all polished confidence, stunning in an untouchable sort of way.

Daisy was softer somehow. Gentler. She seemed . . . touchable.

Lincoln’s cocktail froze on its way to his mouth as the forbidden rocked him back on his heels. Daisy Sinclair was not for him to touch for reasons that had nothing to do with Emma’s threats.

As though sensing a man’s brooding thoughts on her, Daisy turned slightly, her eyes locking on his. Eyes that he’d known would be dark brown like Emma’s, and yet eye contact with Emma had never felt like this.

Lincoln felt something akin to panic, because for a heart-stopping moment, it felt like Daisy Sinclair was seeing him. Not seeing the Lincoln he wanted everyone to see.

The real him.

He gave himself a little mental shake. Get it together, Mathis. The woman doesn’t even know you.

None of them did.

Not really.

He saw the moment of answering shock in her own gaze, sensed that for a split second, she considered turning and running. From him, from the party, all of it.

Then he saw something else. Something familiar, because he’d done it a thousand times himself. She squared her shoulders, and he watched as a mask slid into place.

He knew even before she approached that Daisy was exactly like him—good at being around people only because she chose to be. Knew that perhaps once it had been second nature, and now it was nothing but a deliberate attempt to make sure everyone thought she was okay.

Daisy began making her way toward him, and he tensed for reasons he couldn’t identify before ordering himself to chill out.

It was just his friend’s sister. The maid of honor to his best man.

She stopped in front of him, and he caught just the faintest whiff of her perfume, a surprisingly elegant scent for someone named Daisy, before she extended her hand.

“You must be Lincoln Mathis, The Manwhore of Whom I Should Beware?”

Her voice was a surprise. It had the same low huskiness as her sister’s, but years in New York had all but erased the Southern from Emma’s whiskey-raspy voice. Daisy’s drawl was very much intact—a mint julep on a hot day.

He grinned and took her smaller hand in his. “Which would make you Daisy Sinclair, Delicate Flower to Whom I’m Not to Speak.”

She grinned. “Nailed it.”

 

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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Someone Like You by Lauren Layne – Pre-Release Blitz

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

 
 

 

 

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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Song of the Day “Someone Like You” Adele

Lyrics:

I heard
That you’re settled down
That you
Found a girl
And your
Married now

I heard
That your dreams came true
I guess she gave you things
I didn’t give to you

Oh friend
Why you so shy
Ain’t like you to hold back
Or hide from the light

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away I couldn’t fight it
I hoped you’d see my face and be reminded
That for me
It isn’t over

Nevermind
I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best
For you too
Don’t forget me
I beg
I’ll remember you still
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead

Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead
Yeah

You know how the time flies
Only yesterday
It was the time of our lives
We were born and bred
In a summer haze
Bound by the surprise
Of our glory days

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn’t stay away I couldn’t fight it
I hoped you’d see my face and be reminded
That for me
It isn’t over

Nevermind
I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best
For you too
Don’t forget me
I beg
I’ll remember you still
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead

Nothing compares
No worries or cares
Regrets and mistakes
And memories made
Who would have known
How bittersweet
This would taste

Nevermind
I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best
For you too
Don’t forget me
I beg
I’ll remember you still
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead

Nevermind
I’ll find someone like you
I wish nothing but the best
For you too
Don’t forget me
I beg
I’ll remember you still
Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead

Sometimes it lasts in love
But sometimes it hurts instead