Love Story: Love Unexpectedly #3 by Lauren Layne

Love Story: Love Unexpectedly #3 by Lauren Layne

A new title from Lauren Layne, diferent from many of the others from her that I’ve read recently, this is a stand alone title, gathered together in her Love, Unexpectedly Series. Please read on for my review, an excerpt, be sure to check out the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the book and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win the Pop! Gourmet Champagne Custom Chocolates and a set of 4 Crate and Barrel EDGE Champagne Flutes!

Love Story

Lucy has finished university, and is getting ready to move to California Wine country to start her new life as a marketing guru for a vineyard. Planning a 2 week journey across the country from Virginia to California, she’s working to her endgame. But then, her ancient Craig’s list car purchase dies a horrible death, and her parents, always thinking and helpful, offer her the old family station wagon as transport to her new life. Only one issue, it comes with Reece, her brother’s best friend, her lifelong crush, the man who broke her teenaged heart.

Reece never had things easy: from his mother’s unexpected death when he was 9 to his father’s depression and alcoholism, his older sister’s withdrawal and absence: the Hawkins family has been his safe space, his shelter, and his retreat. Not going off to university, he’s watched as Lucy plans the next move, the next step, her next big thing: all while leaving him behind. Everyone leaves him behind. But with his own skill with the grapes, he’s worked himself into a position as a winemaker: earning praise and an offer in Napa as well. The station wagon was to be his – for fixing it up it would get him across the country, and to and from his job. He didn’t expect, nor want, to be GPS’d by Lucy and her ‘road trip’ plans, and he certainly doesn’t want to be cooped up with a woman he can’t stand. Well, except for the glances, and the wishes, and the memories.

A cute and clever story that replayed in alternate POV with flashbacks from Lucy and Reece as they were growing up, and their relationship was playing out. From the lashing out from fear and hurt through the friction of the undeniable chemistry, the two bicker, laugh, and struggle through the rather indirect route to their new lives. With a crisis point that brings them both to realize that “have a nice life” is not how their story was meant to end, the story is engaging and quick to read. Perfect for readers who have yet to sample a book from Lauren Layne, this brings the emotion, the humor and the underlying heart that is common to all her books, with a few moments of steam that keep things interesting.

Love Story: Love Unexpectedly #3 by Lauren Layne

Title: Love Story
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: Love Unexpectedly #3
Also in this series: Blurred Lines, Good Girl, Walk of Shame
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Loveswept
ISBN: B01GYQ057Q
Published on: 14 February, 2017
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 210
Get Your Copy: Amazon Barnes&Noble iTunes Kobo Google
See this Title on Goodreads

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 USA Today 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.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

 

“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 I 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.

 

 

 

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About Lauren Layne

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).

 

 

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