Publisher: Random House Flirt
Publication date: October 28th 2013
My rating: 5 stars
The rules are clear—until they’re broken. Lauren Layne puts a New Adult spin on Pygmalion, also the inspiration for Pretty Woman, and gives the classic love story its edgiest twist yet.
“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”
Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund . . . or does he?
As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.
But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating them. And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?
Isn’t She Lovely was a classic romance of opposites attract; a story that was just pure unadulterated enjoyment! Filled with snarky banter providing entertaining push and pull, I was smiling, laughing and swooning throughout! *sigh* I just love it when a story leaves me happy and satisfied!
Outside appearances, prejudices and pride play a huge roll in Stephanie and Ethan’s first meeting. Barreling into each other’s life, quite literally, they do not get off to a good start. Stephanie is the stereotypical goth girl, and Ethan is the standard silver spoon jock. Yet, from that first collision there is an undeniable mutual attraction in spite of their extremely opposite positions in life.
I find this easy to understand. Have you ever spied someone in a crowd, *hardware store* and thought, “Wow, if I were a biker girl, that dangerous looking, tattooed up guy would be my slice of heaven!”? Dreams of riding off in the sunset, on the back of his Harley dance through your mind until you snap back into reality, or your husband snaps his fingers in front of your face and asks you if your finished picking out paint samples. Not saying that has ever happened to me or anything. *cough, ahem, cough*
Well, this is exactly what happens to Ethan and Stephanie, mutual appreciation, but with mutual hate and judgment in a brief encounter. Instead of them just going their merry way though, they find themselves paired together in a film project. Let the barbs and sparks fly!
I loved this story from beginning to end. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little tired of the typical New Adult story: tragic pasts and meeting “the one” that rescues them from it all. So much drama and angst, I’m a little over it. Yes, there were issues these two were dealing with, but there was a fun undertone throughout that kept the story lighter and so enjoyable. I loved the fact that this wasn’t the typical “bad boy” meets “goodie nerdy/geeky/ girl” and fall in love. The male and female roles were a bit reversed, but I still wouldn’t pigeonhole either one of them into those stereotypical categories, which is what Stephanie and Ethan start realizing about each other, as well.
This romance was filled with lusty moments of intense attraction, accidently-on-purpose kisses, and ogling galore! Yum! There were also so many sweet moments between these two, that I couldn’t help but oooh and aww in some scenes.
There wasn’t a spot where I was frustrated, spacing out, or looking at the percentage readout, and wondering when this would end. This is my first Lauren Layne book, but it certainly won’t be my last.
I must give a shout out to my friend Lisa Jayne. If not for her, this little gem wouldn’t registered on my radar. Thanks, lovely!
“Some guys have a thing for cheerleaders,” he says, his voice easy. I roll my eyes as I start tossing socks into the bag. “Let me guess. You want to know if I still have my old uniform.” He sets the picture back on the nightstand and moves toward the door. “Nah. Not my thing. But I think I could develop a thing for girls in combat boots.” I spin around in surprise, wanting to see his face, wanting to know if he means what I think he means. But he’s already gone.*
Her skin’s so warm, and I don’t know if it’s from the sun, or because of me, and I hope to god it’s the latter because I don’t give a shit who’s watching, I’m dying for this girl.*
“So you think I’m just going through a phase?”
Oh, honey,” Amy says, as she gestures to the server for another round. “Life is nothing but phases. Some things stick, lots of things don’t. You’ll figure it out.”*
*Quotes taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.