on October 28th 2013
Genres: Romance, New Adult
Buy on Amazon
The rules are clear—until they’re broken. The first book in Lauren Layne’s Redemption series gives a classic love story its edgiest twist yet.
“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”
Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund . . . or does he?
As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.
But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating them. And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?
5 Stars! A delightfully charming, very enjoyable New Adult romance! One of the best I’ve ever read!
Too often for my taste, NA romances are filled with unnecessary drama and angst, and while Isn’t She Lovely has its share of emotional moments, the characters don’t resign themselves to childish behavior and pointless drama. Ethan and Stephanie understand their relationship was borne out of a scheme and ultimately has an end date…or does it? What they don’t expect is for the pretend to feel so real and to fall in love.
Ethan was an incredibly sweet guy and a character who I came to adore. He’s been molded from birth, expected to take over the family business and marry someone within his social status, namely his childhood friend and teenage sweetheart. He is devastated when he catches her cheating on him with their best friend. While I felt that Ethan’s ex’s betrayal was not entirely unforgivable, I did sense there was a loss of connection with her prior to her infidelity. It was more of an expected relationship, because of Ethan’s pushy obnoxious mother than one borne out of true love.
He realizes how ridiculous his life seems to someone who’s an outsider, but it’s the only life he knows. Yet, he doesn’t hold others to the same standards nor is he a snob. He is a product of his environment and not ashamed of his wealth, he just doesn’t know how to live any other way. He was such a vulnerable character and my heart hurt for him when he opened up to Stephanie.
Stephanie was an amazing character and as her side of the story unfolds, you could understand why she tried so hard to shield herself. She suffered a tragic loss and while her father was able to move on she hid behind her Goth clothing and dark make-up. She was full of secrets and sorrow.
The witty banter between these two had me chuckling, but it was the moments when they shared what caused them hurt and pain, that really drew on my sensitivities. You could hear their hearts unloading as the weight of everything that tormented them was finally out in the open. I think the impact of their feelings was so much greater because the story is told from alternating first person points of view.
The ending was so good I was floating, I could feel myself lifting off the couch. I was laughing and tearing up at the same time. It’s how every reader should feel at the end of a really good romance and this was a really good romance! I have no doubt I’ll be reading Isn’t She Lovely again!