ARC Review: Good Girl by Lauren Layne

17 May 2016

Book Title: Good Girl
Author: Lauren Layne
Series: Standalone (Love Unexpectedly #2)
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Lauren Layne brings all the unpredictable heat of her USA Today bestseller Blurred Lines to an all-new cast of characters! Country music’s favorite good girl is hiding away from the world—only to find herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

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Lauren Layne never ceases to deliver an enjoyable read for me. Good Girl is one of those angsty great love stories where there's that fine line between love and hate. A grouchy low-maintenance hero coupled with a seemingly high maintenance country music sensation. Throw them into the same place for weeks on end and they're bound to fall for kill each other.

Noah (aka Preston) Walcott just started settling into a dilapidated old mansion his poor excuse for a late father willed him. It's mammoth and nearly falling apart at the seams. Couple that with a massive corporation to now run, Noah is enjoying some time away from the hussle and bustle of life and the fiancée he just broke it off with. The mansion is a nightmare but a little TLC and he can make it...livable. When he receives an email from a woman asking to rent it for a month or so because it has some weird "memories from her childhood," he obliges. He warns it's not quite what it was ten years ago but she doesn't seem to care...

Jenny Dawson needs to get away. She has found herself smack dab in the middle of some made up story of sleeping with someone famous- and married. Just another opportunity to shine negativily in the public eye. Unfortunately, the negative publicity is effecting her song writing so she decides to hide out in rural Baton Rouge, Louisiana- to the old Maxwell estate she has such fond music memories of as a kid. She just doesn't bank on such a surely "caretaker" to be staying there too.

This is one of those tropes where everything about each of the MCs seems to be all wrong- including first impressions. Their banter was freaking hilarious. Noah was unwilling to tell Jenny he truly owns the estate- her look of disgust from his workman attire told him all he needed to know. High maintenance. He wants a break from that courtesy of his ex-fiancée and sure enough, another one finds him.

And then there's the dogs. Noah has a chocolate lab that humps everyone. Jenny a Pomeranian princess... The dog issue was hilarious.

“What the heck is wrong with your dog?” the girl says as she slowly lowers the puffball from over her head, cradling the hideous little monster against her chest as it continues its high-pitched bloody-murder yips.

“At least my dog is actually a dog,” I say, staring in horror at the pointy face of a canine that could fit in one of my hands. “I’ve seen dust bunnies bigger than that thing.” 

“Dolly’s a Pomeranian,” she says, setting a hand on top of the monster’s head. “She’s supposed to be this tiny.”

“Well, Ranger’s a Lab. He’s supposed to be this normal.”

This is just one of those easy reads all about bad first impressions, poorly made quick judgments on people, and finding Mr/Mrs Right when you least expect it. Noah is masculine and brooding and has a pretty mean tongue (get your mind out of the gutter- I mean he could say some hurtful things). And his tongue action was pretty epic too.

This is one of the few instances where I fell for the heroine most. She was sweet and a serious casualty of the wicked world around her and Noah didn't make it easy either. His bite was pretty vicious but it took a girl like Jenny Rogers to tame him, to make him realize you can't judge a book by it's cover. And everything you see on social media? Bullsh*t. Because Jenny Rogers is nothing like he thought she was...

A great easy, feel good book!

Advanced review copy received by author in exchange for an honest review.

Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. In 2011, she and her husband moved from Seattle to New York City, where Lauren decided to pursue a full-time writing career. It took six months to get her first book deal (despite ardent assurances to her husband that it would only take three). Since then, Lauren's gone on to publish ten books, including the bestselling Stiletto series, with several more on the way in 2015.

Lauren currently lives in Chicago with her husband and spoiled Pomeranian. When not writing, you'll find her at happy hour, running at a doggedly slow pace, or trying to straighten her naturally curly hair.

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