Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Review: Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Isn't She Lovely
Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne
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!

Favorite quotes:

“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.






21 comments:

  1. Well now I'll sing Steve Wonder's song all day xD
    Even though this story sounds like typical romance story still I'm really curious about it. I love when the story is told nicely and when characters are complete opposites but they find middle ground :) Great review Rachel :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This reminded me of a song but I forgot the title so that ain't too helpful lol. The romance sounds great though I'm not sure if it's my type

    Fab review, Rach! <33

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rachel, I am right with you about New Adult! I'm so tired of the angst and I LOVE the sound of a fun opposites-attract tale! I'm going to be adding this to my TBR at once!(:

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aw, yay! So glad you loved it :D And that you loved the romance. <3 glad you wasn't frustrated at all while reading it :) It does sound like a good book. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. <3 :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Holy cow, I love those stories that give you the warm fuzzies all the way through! Ogling and accidentally-on-purpose kissing is my favorite. Sounds like I'm going to have to check this one out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I added it to my TBR list because of your review, Rachel - absolutely amazing.:)
    I loved that part about biker fantasy and your husband - I have same thoughts all the time.:)))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Glass! Lol! Our wandering minds! :)

      Delete
  8. "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."

    Have I ever told you I love you Rachel? Because I do. The above anecdote seals the deal because that is so something I would do. And Kevin would know what was happening too and then just shake his head at me, mutter something about Kate Beckinsale (his dream girl), and then walk away. So. Much. Win.

    BUT, back to this story. This sounds like exactly what I'm looking for in NA right now. Like you, I could use a few more stories that aren't quite so angst ridden and have a bit more humor than drama in them. Adding this to the list for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Back at you, Jenny! Every time I read one of your "Kevin" stories, I could easily see something similar playing out in my house. Especially the one about clogging the shower drain! Kate Beckisale, pssshh! As if she could hold a candle to you, lol! ;)

      Delete
  9. Wonderful review. This is new to me but it sounds really good.

    ReplyDelete
  10. ' I just love it when a story leaves me happy and satisfied!' -- don't we all, babe ;) It's just such a good feeling. Heh, that incident has not, in fact, happened to me yet, but I'm sure it will LOL. I'm so tired of the same old formula, that's why I'm reading YA right now. More original for sure. I'm dying for originality and something different right now. Ha, Lisa always reads great romance and I'm glad to call her a friend on GR too. She's so fun to talk to and I'm glad you enjoyed her recommendation :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're tired of this same old NA, Siiri, I'm sure this would be a win for you. I forgot you're friends with the lovely Lisa Jayne, too. I love her reviews and she's a total sweetheart! :)

      Delete
  11. This sounds really fun and sweet! I'm not really into stories that are angst-y and tragic, and I like the quotes that you shared. Thank you, Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I need to read more NA, but I do think a lot of the summaries sound so alike...so I'm happy to hear this one is a bit different. It sounds pretty good and I love that there is some snark involved. Always fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ohhh this sounds good. Love the opposites attract romance! Great review, Rachel. <3

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love to have a store of books like this that I can pull out when I need a book that is going to make me swoon and be happy and feel fulfilled after reading. You're always good at picking these out for me, Rachel! I trust your favorite romance suggestions. I love that this has a little bit of a Pride and Prejudice feel, just in how these two judge each other immediately - though I'm also glad that it's not a retelling. Everything about this one makes me want to pick it up ASAP! Can't wait for it to release. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have been watching your GRs updates for this, and every one has upped my excitement. I will definitely add Isn't She Lovely to my to-read, Rachel. Lovely review!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love the joy spirited from your first paragraph! Terrific work! That experience you described is !!!!!!!!
    I been looking at pgs till done so much recently, will sure check this out sometime to finally become engulfed in a book. When midterms are over.

    ReplyDelete
  17. YAY! I was just approved for it this morning and I can't wait to start it, but I love what you said about classic romances. I just finished an Entangled read, Seducing the Enemy, and it was also one of those pure, heartfelt romances. Love! Now I want to read more of those romances and this would be perfect. Thanks for the rec, Rachel! Wonderful review :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. When they make it their own and not cliche-y, I love when authors use this plot of opposites attracting AND the great deceiving scam where they pretend to be in a relationship and you KNOW that it will evolve into more. More points for it not leaving you dissatisfied throughout the book and making you fully satisfied at the end ;) Love the review!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...