Friday, August 1, 2014

Only With You by Lauren Layne

The Basics:
Only With You by Lauren Layne
Book One in the Best Mistake series
Contemporary Romance
Published July 29, 2014
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Why I picked up this book:

I like Lauren Layne books.


Love is the Biggest Gamble of All . . . 

Cocktail waitress Sophie Dalton doesn't exactly have a life plan. She's perfectly happy being everyone's favorite party girl. But when a Las Vegas bachelorette party goes awry and an uptight businessman mistakes Sophie for a prostitute . . . well, Sophie wonders if it's time to reevaluate her priorities. Swearing off her thigh-high boots for good, Sophie slinks back home with damaged pride-and a jackpot of a hangover.

Yet what happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there. On a trip to Seattle to open a new office, Grayson Wyatt meets his latest employee-who turns out to be the same woman he recently called a hooker. Wealthy and gorgeous, Gray is a man used to getting what he wants. And it doesn't take long to figure out that smart, sassy, sexy Sophie is everything he's been looking for. As their late nights at the office turn into hot morning-afters, they realize their Vegas misunderstanding may lead to the real thing . . . 

My thoughts:

This book belongs in the category of contemporary romances centered around amazing coincidences - in this case, that Gray and Sophie had an awkward encounter in Las Vegas before running into each other a second time when Gray starts dating Sophie's older sister.

It also belongs in the category of romances in which the love interests fight, argue, annoy and 'hate' each other either as part and parcel of their attraction or to try to override their sexual chemistry.

In both cases, Only With You is a success. I enjoyed reading about Sophie's journey - because I think this is about her growth and development almost as much as it is about Sophie and Gray finding a way to each other.  Sophie's a charming young woman who is self-aware about her role as a sort of social lubricant, helping gloss past awkward moments, providing entertaining distractions to protect and help her family and generally finding herself as 'class clown' or resident family joke.

I could only shake my head when she needled Gray once he was her boss - I think a little tweaking here and there to make it clear that this was as much about self-preservation (if I pretend that this job isn't important, then maybe it won't seem so important), as it was about wanting to get under Gray's skin.

For his part, Gray's social awkwardness almost felt like a nod towards the currently popular trend towards leading men who have some degree of social anxiety or fall somewhere on the mild side of the autism spectrum. As it is, I think sometimes people are just socially awkward, as I like to imagine was the case with Gray. He used to be more gregarious and have an easier time with small talk until... well... read the book.

I think I would have been happier if Brynn, the older sister, had completed her love story in this book as well. Instead, we get a lot of set-up for the sequel - Made for You which is due out in October. I was a little frustrated by Brynn's inability to communicate with her love interest, but I imagine I check this one out when it releases!

Bottom line:

Full of fun moments, Only With You is exactly what I want out of a contemporary romance. It has some solid tension, good chemistry and I was rooting for a happy ending for everyone. I've reviewed Lauren Layne before as in Isn't She Lovely, Love the One You're With and Just One Night and am finding her to be wonderfully consistent!

4 stars
For fans of Lauren Layne, contemporary romance, secretary-boss romances, misunderstanding romances.


  1. I've never heard of this book or of the author but I'll take your word for it that it's fun and full of feels. I think the author didn't finish Brynn's story because she wants this book to be solely focused on Gray and Sophie's love story.

    Good to know that this one delivered despite the cliched concept. Lovely review, Chelsea! I hope that the next sequel will also be as fun as this.

    1. Agreed re: Brynn's story. There were just several moments dedicated solely to the set up for her romance and while I understand it logistically, it was kind of a niggling, unsettled thread by the end of the book. I almost would have rather had those chapters from her perspective saved as prologue for book 2 with the same cues that existed already in the Sophie chapters to suggest that something was happening in the background - if that makes sense?