Review: Love Story by Lauren Layne (Love, Unexpectedly #3)

Note: This ARC was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From best friends to lovers to enemies, can two people who loved each other to distraction come to terms with their past and become friends—and maybe more—once again? That's the very basic premise of bestselling author Lauren Layne's third and newest novel in her Love, Unexpectedly contemporary romance series, and it's my favorite one so far. From miscommunication to misguided decisions that lead to splintered hearts and lingering feelings of betrayal and animosity, main characters Reece Sullivan and Lucy Hawkins are thrown together unexpectedly. Both heading to California to pursue careers in the wine industry, Lucy's parents—who’ve always treated Reece like one of their own—suggest they drive down together. Maybe it's mere convenience or misplaced matchmaking or it’s some sick form of torture for past sins…or maybe, just maybe—hopefully—it’s their second chance at finally getting it all right.

She was eight and he was nine when Lucy Hawkins knew her heart belonged to Reece Sullivan. She was eighteen and he was nineteen when he took her virginity but crushed her heart before giving back the broken pieces just twenty-four hours later. Six years later, Lucy has just finished her graduate studies and is back in Virginia to say goodbye to her parents and siblings before heading off on a road trip with California as her final destination for work. With her car guaranteed to never come back from the dead, she finds herself in the family station wagon, aka Horny, with none other than Reece as her companion. Long gone are the endless talks and meaningful looks they once shared, replaced with sniping and bickering and thinly veiled jabs—his at her over-ambitiousness and hers at his manwhorish ways. They say that the line between love and hate is thin, and with these two, the air around them is thick with endless possibilities.

Oh, Lauren Layne, how I love thee. When I want a guarantee that what I’m about to read will be worth the time I put into it, Layne is an author that has become a no-brainer. I see her name on the cover and I know that I’ll end up with a satisfied smile on my face, but that wasn’t the case with Love Story. You see, rather than having a smile by the end, I found myself smiling at various points in the story, along with lots of commentary as Reece and Lucy stumbled their way back into each other’s hearts, though I doubt that they ever really left. The anger and hurt that remains six years on is a testament to how palpable the connection is between these two. Their feelings were deep enough for them to still be experiencing the aftereffects of the fallout while secretly reminiscing everything they miss about one another, and readers have a front-row seat to the milestones of their friendship turned something more through some poignant flashbacks.

As is the case with quite a few second chance romances, there was quite a bit of miscommunication and lack of actual speaking and listening that was going on with Reece and Lucy. They both made assumptions (and you know what they say about people who assume), leading them to holding on to their negative feelings far longer than necessary. There were a couple of surprises along the way, though nothing major. Still, I appreciated those little nuggets of unexpectedness because then Lauren Layne truly made this story her own, a feat in and of itself considering the vast number of tales of love lost and found once again. There’s resistance and hesitation coming from both ends and there’s nothing token about it. Reece and Lucy’s story had the love, but it also had a fair amount of hate and lust and everything in between, which I liked. Even with the heartache and arguments, their Love Story deserved its restart. Five stars. ♥


Read my reviews for the Love, Unexpectedly series:

Blurred Lines (book one) - four stars - My Review

Good Girl (book two) - 4.5 stars - My Review

Love Story (book three) - five stars - My Review (posted above)


Release Date: 14 February 2017

Date Read: 14 February 2017

Learn more about Lauren Layne.

Purchase Love Story on Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo.