Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne
Love Unexpectedly, #4
Released: April 18, 2017
Reviewed by Sheena
Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.
Favorite Quote: “Georgianna. Are you wearing impractical undergarments?”
“Yes. One might even call them . . . ridiculous.”
Walk of Shame is the fourth novel in the Love Unexpectedly series, a compilation of sexy, flirty novels where the HEAs feature the most unlikely of pairs. This was my first Lauren Layne book annnd…ehhh, it was just ok. My main gripe is the heroine. Georgie was plain awful and difficult to like, let alone root for in any capacity. Beyond coming across as vapid and insufferably pretentious, she totally missed the quirky/adorable mark by a mile. Also, the brand name dropping was ad nauseam.
In contrast the hero, Andrew, was a treat. I enjoyed his reticent nature and clunky sense of humor. His chapters, though few and in-between, provided a much needed respite from the immature prattle Georgie excelled in delivering.
In this adversaries turned lovers affair, wealthy party girl Georgianna Watkins is having the time of her life as a tabloid staple and socialite dancing the night away and sliding home (almost every morning at 5 AM!) just in time to bring sweet confections for her favorite doormen and antagonize her straight-laced neighbor, maverick attorney, Andrew Mulroney.
You know that adage that you catch more flies with honey? I’m not so sure it’s true. I bring donuts to the front desk guys just about every morning, and they adore me. I know they do. But they respect him. Giving in to the inevitable, I finally let my eyes flick to the side, my gaze colliding with a stern brown scowl. I put on my widest, sparkliest smile, only because I know it drives him crazy. As always, I see a muscle in his jaw twitch as I flutter my eyelashes.
“Good morning, Andrew,”I say sweetly.
His lip curls. In case you haven’t already gotten a read on this guy, he’s the type that sneers at donuts. He lifts a boring black travel mug.
“Already have my breakfast.”
“Blended-up quinoa sprinkled with a few bits of spinach and pretension?” I ask.
“Whey powder protein shake.”
“Sounds immensely satisfying.”He takes a sip of the nastiness and watches me with cold brown eyes. “The body is a temple.”
Right from the start the battle lines are drawn between these two and watching them fall for one another was an interesting experience. They bicker, they play the age-old game of one-upmanship and in an uber
surprising turn of events one of them gets sick and suddenly things are turned on their head and embarking on a romance is inevitable. (Not that it ever wasn’t-but- for the sake of over wrought troupe- play along *blows bangs*).
I didn’t really hit a comfortable stride until about 68% through…after I grudgingly resigned myself to the fact that it isn’t at all productive to persist in my fantasies that Andrew wise up and set his sights on a less ridiculous love interest, the plot became marginally better. There is an odd occurrence with a random sister-in-law that didn’t really fit, however, it didn’t totally detract from the story. I managed to get to the climax without flipping my shit, only to have Georgie have the most asinine tantrum, yes, alone in my room, I shouted at my e-reader. No, my family did not grow concerned- they’ve been to this rodeo before. However, Andrew and the sane characters needed me and I friggin earned an HEA at that point, so I soldiered on. I was rewarded for my loyalty by a little sexy action that worked just right for this kind of romance.
Andrew’s fingers brushed her hair from her face as he lowered her body atop hers, watching her face as he slid inside. Georgie sighed again, this time the sound sexy instead of sleepy. They were as close as two people could be. Neither said a word as he thrust in and out in slow, deliberate strokes, her arching to meet his body in perfect rhythm. It shouldn’t be this good this soon. She shouldn’t feel both so familiar and so new…
Ultimately, the HEA is rushed and not especially unique, but ultimately got the job done. There is also a cute epilogue (I do love my epilogues) and no cliff hanger to speak of *wipes brow.*
Sadly, Georgie’s personality was too gah and having so much time in her POV killed this for me. The saving grace was Andrew’s strong character and I am super disappointed there was not more harmony and balance between both characters likability. The writing itself isn’t at all terrible and I’d read another novel by the author, only I’d take care to steer away from any blurbs that suggest the heroine is snarky or witty…that wasn’t a strong suit here… There was some much appreciated Beyonce’ fan girling peppered throughout the novel (huge fan, over here- HUGE!) Also, I found the cover absolutely adorable and inviting. I wish I liked it better, but it is a red flag that I can’t ignore when I seriously question the maturity and ability of the heroine to carry on an adult relationship with a partner who is very much an adult. Most of the time instead of working out his relationship bumps with his girlfriend, it felt more like he was coddling and reassuring his child and I’m still firmly on the fence with “Daddy troupe,” Andrew having to handle Georgie with kiddie “atta girl” gloves was a turn off. Majorly.
I hardly ever know what you’re thinking. And you like order and control, and you probably iron your underwear. And you’re drinking that terrible health sludge, and I’m eating a donut, and what are your thoughts on Beyoncé? Do you hate her? I worry you do, and then—”
“You’re ridiculous,” he murmurs, brushing his thumb over my lip. “And besides, we don’t have nothing in common. We both like the color red, remember?”
I laugh. “So true. We must be soul mates , then.”
“There she is,” he says with a slight smile. “I’ve got to go, but I’ll be back here by five-thirty. We can have a drink at my place before heading out to the party?”
“Perfect,” I say, meaning it. Not only is my mood lifted by his warm, unexpected affection, but he’s just given me an idea of the perfect outfit to wear tonight.
Blank stare. I suspect there are folks that will think this is like totally, the best ever, like totally far out romance but not this girl.