The Trouble With Love (Sex, Love & Stiletto #4)

cover58085-mediumAuthor: Lauren Layne

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Rating: 4.5

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel in Series

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: As Lauren Layne’€™s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.

As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’€™s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’€™s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’€™s latest article forces her to face her demons–namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.

After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’€™s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’€™s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiance . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’€™s no accident. It’€™s research. And Alex can’€™t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive–€”and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.

 

Review: Honestly, I was tired and cranky and not expecting a book to lift me out of my weather-and-crazy-kids-induced funk. That would be like asking for a miracle, right? But as soon as I started on this romance last night, it was like sinking into an indulgent steamy hot bath with a glass of wine and a box of chocolates that were all the kind I liked. Delish! Caught me off guard, hook, line and sinker! It felt like an old friend welcoming me into a fun and exciting world, which is exactly what a romance should be. What a great book and what a  happy experience for me!

Emma Sinclair and her fellow goddesses of girly gossip work for a fashion / slash / advice magazine called Stiletto run by the eccentric but sweet Camille. Who suddenly decided to fall in love and dash off to Australia with her new sweetie for three months, leaving the magazine in the capable hands of Alex Cassidy, the editor of their brother magazine, Oxford. Emma always called him Cassidy though, just like she had seven years before when they’d been engaged. Though neither referred to their previous relationship or to the ugly breakup that happened the night before their wedding, it was always the unspoken 500 pound elephant in the room…the elevator…the bar…wherever they were together. Working for him wasn’t going to be fun; like when he gave her a ridiculous assignment bound to embarrass her solely for his amusement.

Cassidy has lived for seven years as the villain in Emma’s story but not knowing why. Plus, it hurt too much to ask why she was blaming him–he already felt guilty enough about what her Dad had said in his toast. If Emma didn’t believe him, did she really ever love him? He’d left North Carolina and her family business behind and had become a self-made man, moving up in the journalism world without anyone’s help. Was it just bad luck or karma that he and Emma had both ended up in New York, mere floors from each other, working at magazines under the same banner head?

Working and living next door to her ex-fiancee has Emma in knots. They’ve never resolved the fight that had torn them apart, and every time they have angry words now they’re just picking at an angry scab left from the past. Will either of them be able to move forward unless they clean up their mess?  They settle into an uneasy alliance to make things more comfortable at work and with their friends, and slowly slide back into love. But will either one admit it? Will they ever clear the air? And what will it take to finally get one of them to say what they need to say?

This romance was perfectly done by an author who’s obviously gotten this writing thing down. It grabbed me immediately and kept me going, never let me sink, and I always was invested and wanted to know what was going to happen to my main characters. It’s the fourth in the series, yet the writer is so talented that while I had no trouble reading this as a stand-alone, she incorporated those other secondary characters into the story line in such an appealing way I am TOTALLY going to go and buy the first three books to find out about my other friends! And that’s what the author has done–created these characters to feel like they’re my friends. I laughed with them, learned their individual characters, was upset for Emma and for Cassidy and so relieved when everything was cleared up. She wrote a tightly constructed, well-written book with main characters that developed and grew before our very eyes–just a really great contemporary romance, which are surprisingly hard to find! The romance scenes were delicious, the banter wicked and funny-smart, the heat between the two amazing, but it never overshadowed the delicate rebuilding of trust that had to occur before the two could become one again. ~sigh~ Just a delight! Read it!

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