Review: Love the One You’re With by Lauren Layne

lovetheoneyourewithLove the One You’re With by Lauren Layne (Sex, Love & Stiletto #2)
Contemporary Romance
Released: December 9, 2013
Loveswept

Reviewed by May

Favorite Quote: Watch out for that one, Grace 2.0 whispered. That smile will have you tucking your heart into your panties and handing the whole shebang over before he even buys you a drink.

Blurb: As a leading columnist for Stiletto, Grace Brighton has built a career warning women about rotten, cheating liars. She just never suspected her fiancé would be one of them. After Grace takes a heart-mending hiatus, her first assignment is to go on a couple of dates with a counterpart from the men’s magazine Oxford and report her impressions. Grace 1.0 may have been instantly smitten with the gorgeous correspondent, but Grace 2.0 has sworn off relationships for six months, and she’s not falling for his outstanding bod and trophy-winning kisses . . . or is she?

Jake Malone wants to get back to the fly-by-night, who-knows-what’s-next guy he used to be, and he knows exactly how to do it. Oxford is adding a travel section, and Jake—with no wife and no kids and a willingness to live anywhere, eat anything, do everything—is perfect for the job . . . except that his playboy reputation makes his new editor nervous. To get the gig, he must agree to a fluffy joint article with Stiletto. But after just one date with snooty, sumptuous, sensational Grace Brighton, Jake starts taking this assignment a whole lot more seriously.

This is the second book in a series about a group of friends who all write for Stiletto magazine. The tone is light, fun, and this author really has a great voice for sharing fresh tales of love in New York City. I found this book overall to be a really delightful read, and I’m excited to see this author continue to create such enjoyable stories in the future.

I do have just one problem with this book, and that is Grace. She is a woman who has been in the same relationship since college, now several months later she’s falling in love and “finding herself” with this new man. When she isn’t trying very hard to pretend she is a man hating harpy. I do mean pretend, because it just isn’t who she is, and it is very clear she’s trying very hard to act like she doesn’t want a relationship. My big problem with this is that Grace, for all her posturing, is never a complete person without a man in the picture.

I did like that she has a caring side to her, that she acknowledges that she wants a family and to settle down, but what else is there to this character? Sure she likes cocktails, chocolate, and hanging with her girlfriends. But what makes her unique? What has her standing out from the crowd and why is she so special? I didn’t see her standing up and going for what she wanted, she was sitting around waiting for it to be delivered and this bothered me so very much. If she had been given just a bit more action, if we had seen her be more of a strong and independent woman – no men involved – I think it would have really helped me warm to her as a character.

I know that Grace is the reason this book was not an A read for me. Everything else – from the balance between overall story arc and romance, tender and funny moments, great dialogue and supporting characters with personality who add to the scenes they are in was fantastically done.

“Neither one of us has made those kisses public. Why do you think that is?”

“Because we agreed not to?”

“Try again.”

Because it’s too special. But she didn’t say it out loud. She didn’t want to be wrong. Not about this.

“Because it was real,” he said. “We may be trying to trip each other up all over the place these past few weeks, but even though we both want to win, we know some things are sacred.”

I really appreciated that they had a budding romance in secret, while dating publically for a story. The “secret” part involved stolen moments, kisses, and getting to know each other. I loved the layering of the for show stuff with the real heartwarming moments.

If you’re looking for love in the big city, and want a light contemporary romance with plenty of chemistry and heat, then this is the one for you. I totally enjoyed this story, and anxiously await the next installment.

Grade: B

Also recommended by Lauren Layne:  After the Kiss

Goodreads l Author Website

Kindle l Nook

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