Author: Lauren Layne
Title: "Good girl"
Standalone, but... ;)
Main characters: Noah Maxwell and Jenny Dawson
In this steamy novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines, country music’s favorite good girl hides away from the world—and finds herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.
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.
I'm not exactly sure how that happened, but apparently I singed up for this book twice... in two different places... :) one for the review tour and another one for release day blitz and review... I seriously have no idea how I was able to forget about one of them so I am combining both of these posts, especially since they are going live on the same day, and I hope that all the parties involved won't mind... :) so now let's get to the actual review :)
I got the ARC of this little gem and I have to admit that it was one of the two books I was really hoping to get my hands on before the release day :) and I am very excited to say that I was not disappointed :) it was actually the first book ever written by Lauren Layne that I read and after loving her writing style I am absolutely gonna go back for more :) it's a standalone but I can definitely see a potential for some future stories involving some secondary characters... and by that I mean that I would love to read books about them and not that there is something indicating that they will appear at some point :) so before I go daydreaming about some future books that may never come to exist... ;) let us focus on the one that you can all get your hands on :)
So first of all, we have our main couple :) Jenny is a country singer / songwriter... she's 22 and on the run from the world after an imaginary scandal about her romancing with married men hit the news... because apparently when a guy confesses, even to something that's untrue it doesn't really matter what you say... or if you say anything at all... you're always the "bad guy" in that story... so she decided to go back to the place she visited during one summer as a kid for some sort of musical camp :) there she meets Noah... or he introduces himself that way... because little does she know, he's actually Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott Jr... I kid you not... it's a lot of names ;) she thinks he's just the caretaker of the property, when in fact he's the owner... and he runs from a story of his own... mainly from ex-fiancee who didn't exactly took him seriously when he broke things off between them... but I get ahead of myself a bit... anyway, I can't tell you much more besides that ;) I totally loved Jenny :) she was fun, vulnerable but spunky, trying to navigate this whole messy situation as best as she can... and her inner monologues were spot on :) and Noah... well, he was kind of a mean jerk at the beginning... and in the middle... yeah... I think he reminded me a bit of a hedgehog or a porcupine... :) all pinpricks and spikes hiding a much more emotional side... but it definitely takes time to get to know him like that :)
So there's definitely a mutual attraction between them from the moment they meet... although I have to say that it was very entertaining to see how much that attraction is unwanted on Noah's side ;) he really didn't want to want her... :) so we have sparks, definitely... and with time, that they are kind of spending all alone in the middle of nowhere, something more builds between them... bit by bit he starts to see her as more than just a starlet and a homewrecker... and yes, I know that she's not one but he doesn't know that at first... :) and she starts to see that there's more to him than just mean and snarky comments... but don't worry, I won't tell you anything else... no spoilers so you can enjoy their journey for yourselves :)
Besides our main couple we have a few secondary characters :) well, not a lot of them, since they spent most of the book alone in the middle of nowhere in Louisiana, but there were a few :) Amber, Jenny's friend plus Vaughn and Finn, Noah's friends :) and I actually totally wouldn't mind to get to know more about them... :) but my favourite scene-stealers were the dogs :) Ranger, Noah's rescue labrador and a very cute and feisty pomeranian that belongs to Jenny and is very aptly named... Dolly ;) you may not know this about me, but I am a huge dog person :) the breed don't matter, I love them all :) so every book with dogs is automatically more loved by me ;) so imagine my joy when I had not one, but two lovely and absolutely entertaining dogs in this story :)
Now about my overall impressions and opinions :) I wasn't sure what to expect from this book... it was my first contact with this author but I fell in love with her writing style from the very first chapter... and I believe I haven't mentioned yet, that we have two perspectives in this story people... :) and you know how I love that in books... especially when it is done well and you can actually see the differences between those chapters :) and I love the insight they provided into the minds of our main couple... :) I loved the story and the slow-but-not-really build up between Jenny and Noah :) the whole book took place over a few weeks but it has a lovely epilogue set a few months in the future... <sighs happily> another thing I love in books :) it definitely was a very entertaining, funny and surprisingly sweet and emotional book at times :) I absolutely loved it and it only made me more curious about other books written by Lauren Layne :) so either you're already a fan or not, be sure to give this one a try ;)
I have for you a few quotes today cause I really wanted to show you the writing style in this book :) just remember, that they all come from an ARC, so the finished version might be slightly different :) happy reading :)
The very first sentences in the book :) one of Jenny's inner monologues :)
"A week ago, I had my first burrito baby. I mean, I didn't know I was even pregnant. Thank God I have the tabloids to tell me these things. It happens that way sometimes, at least in Hollywood, land of the flat bellies. See, if your belly isn't completely flat, if maybe you've put on a few pounds courtesy of a penchant for extra guacamole on your Chipotle burrito... Bam. You're at the grocery store buying tampons and M&M's and you glance over the rag mags. Pregnant."
And another one from Jenny :) on what changed after her album was a huge success :)
"But it came with all this other stuff that I just wasn't expecting. Or maybe I was expecting it, but I wasn't planning on how icky it made me feel. Stuff like being told that a move to Los Angeles would make me more palatable to the mainstream. Yes, those are the words that were used. Stuff like being told that highlights and eyelash extensions and a freaking juice cleanse were non-negotiable if I wanted to <make it> and yes, I'm using air quotes right now. Let's just say that publicist isn't around anymore."
One of the first interactions between Jenny and Noah :) from his perspective :)
"I run forward, my hand finding the collar of my dog and yanking him backward as I search the ground to find the source of the small-dog barks still piercing the air.
Then I register that the sound is coming from above, and realize... The cotton ball isn't a cat. That orange piece of fluff is a dog, and Ranger is apparently in love.
'What the heck is wrong with your dog?' the girl says as she slowly lowers the puffball from over her head, cradling the hideous little monster against her chest as it continues its high-pitched bloody-murder yips.
'At least my dog is actually a dog,' I say, staring in horror at the pointy face of a canine that could fit in one of my hands. 'I've seen dust bunnies bigger than that thing.'"
And another one with our main couple :) and no, I won't discolse what kind of a "kiss" they are mentioning ;) Jenny first :)
"'I'm just wondering if I shouldn't contact the local news sources,' I say, draping both arms over the windowsill and leaning forward slightly, matching his casual pose and tone. 'If you're on the prowl, the least I can do is warn the female population that they may want to steer clear of your <kiss>.' I put the last word in air quotes.
'Is that right?' he drawls.
I shrug. 'Too much tongue.'
Noah idly scratches under his chin with the back of his fingers. 'As I remember it, you seemed to like my tongue just fine.'
I shake my head. 'So sad. A mind so young, dementia settling in so soon.'"
Part of a conversation between Noah and Jenny a little bit further in the book :)
"'And who is the real Jenny Dawson?'
I glance down at my wine. 'Will you laugh at me if I say I'm just a small-town girl?'
'Only if you tell me you're livin' in a lonely world.'
I laugh. 'Noah Maxwell, I do believe there's a bit of humor under there beneath all that crust.'
I wave a hand over him. 'You know. The scowls, the dickhead comments. The glares.'
'Aren't scowls and glares the same thing?'
'Don't dodge the question. Seriously, what's your story?'
It's his turn to look down at his wine. 'Just a city boy... born and raised in South Detroit.'
I laugh again, wishing I had something to throw at him."
So are you guys ready to one-click this gem? :) cause I have all the links right here... ;)
And if that's still not enough I have for you a few teasers :)
And here is that awesome giveaway... :)
a Rafflecopter giveaway About the author:
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.
Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.
Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).
Find her online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads