Series: Love Unexpectedly #2
Published by Loveswept on May 17, 2016
Genres: Musicians, Contemporary
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.
The girls here at TBB Sisterhood know how much I enjoy Lauren Layne’s stories, so I was thrilled to see we had the chance to review Good Girl. A famous singer who wants to be known for her music meets a grumpy, brooding caretaker. When left alone together for an entire summer, sparks are bound to fly.
I loved Jenny as a heroine. Yes at times she was a little entitled or spoiled but ultimately she was strong, sassy, and true to herself. She knew exactly what she wanted out of life and had a go getter attitude to make it happen. Even with the ups and downs of the industry she knew what would work for her and stuck to her guns – I appreciate this kind of attitude and character.
I squeeze my eyes shut. I want someone to care.
It’s not often that I like the heroine more than the hero, but there were quite a few moments in Good Girl that I had problems with Noah. At the beginning he seemed fine, maybe slightly mysterious and hurt, hiding behind a gruff facade. I understand why he made these decisions and I applaud him for doing it. What I don’t understand? Why at times he decided it was necessary that he acted like an absolute ass. Then apologize. Then do it again. I don’t get it! There would be moments of relationship growth between the characters and then he would ruin it and send them back two steps. The worst part was that he realized it was wrong to say what he did, act how he did, and was immediately remorseful. But then why keep doing it? Why does he act this way? We never really got an explanation towards this.
Still I press her, wanting to punish her for making me desire her the way I do.
Thankfully by the ending his character really turned around. I didn’t full out love him, but was much better.
You know how I said Jenny’s voice sounded like her heart?
Her voice sounds like my heart.
And I want it back. I want her back.
There were a few times in the story where I was a little confused as to what I was reading. Perhaps the sentence structure or wording was a little off, but I’d have to consciously go back and reread a paragraph. For the most part it’s not too noticeable, but I love Lauren’s writing so I tend to hold her to a high standard.
The secondary characters were fantastic. From Finn and Vaughan bickering to even Ranger and Dolly’s love affair, it worked. They added dimension and background on both of the main characters that was much appreciated. Especially Finn, he was never afraid to say what was on his mind and could call out Noah quite easily. It was nice to see the best friends having conversations with the hero because honestly, it gave some insight into what was going on in his life. Noah is not an easy one to understand or get information out of, so I’m glad these two guys were there to help.
I enjoyed the concept of Good Girl but just felt like it was missing something. I wanted more… but of what, I don’t know. More to the relationship maybe? More scenes of them together? These was an entire two week period of the summer that was skipped and even just an extra scene or two from this time could’ve helped.
“It shouldn’t happen,” he says, his eyes watching the way his thumb drifts over my mouth. “I’m not the guy for you.”
“Why not?” I challenge.
“Because I’m the guy building the porch swing while you’re working on your next Grammy-winning album. I’m the guy drinking PBR while you sip champagne. I’m a redneck, you’re red carpet.”
After digesting everything, I have a few unanswered questions about Noah. Lauren used some tough background details and difficult behaviour to try and build the character, but I felt that most of his asshole behaviour wasn’t justified. He was walking a real fine line into becoming the dreaded alpha-hole, and at times even did cross that line. The reader is given no reasoning for his actions or lashing out, and it seems we’re suppose to come to this conclusion on our own. I’m not sure, maybe I’m wrong, but this is sort of how I took it.
This was a fairly quick and enjoyable read. Yes I had some problems with the characters but I did still enjoy it. I don’t think I could ever dislike a Lauren Layne book. It’s easy – somewhat predicable – but still fun. I laughed and smiled, and there wasn’t a whole lot of angst. However the angst we did get fit perfectly for (I was going to say the couple but changed my mind, I’m still not convinced about Noah) Jenny.
I look back to Noah.
He meets my eyes, and I see it.
The regret is something I expect and can walk away from.
But the hope in his eyes gets to me.
Please, his eyes say. Stay.
This book was good, but the last 15% or so I absolutely loved. Yes it was predictable and yes at times a tad cheesy, but I love that stuff, and I loved the ending of this book. When at times the story line seems almost forced, this last portion gave me hope. ‘There she is. There’s the Lauren I know.’ I said. For a classic romance reader who is looking for a good story with a lovely ending? Check out Good Girl. I love these stories and I bet you will too.
The writing of Good Girl embodies Lauren’s classic style and precision. It flows extremely well, the pace is perfect, and the story is easy to follow. She immerses you in her character’s story with ease and gives you hope – a love to route for.
You need to not give a fuck what anyone says or thinks about you, me included. You get me?”
“I’m working on it,” I whisper.
“Work harder,” he says, his fingers tightening slightly as he eases back and lets his eyes roam over my face.
“Because you’re good, Jenny Dawson.”
*An ARC was received from the author and Give Me Books in exchange for an honest review.