(Love Unexpectedly #2)
by Lauren Lane
Noah, Noah, Noah. My notes about you read like this:
– grumpy bastard
– wow, what an asshole
I found more colorful words for him but let’s not get carried away.
Before I started this I thought it would be connected to Blurred Lines, the first installment of the Love Unexpectedly series. It is not. You can read it as a standalone, it is not connected in any way. This story is told in dual-POV which makes the experience always more multi-layered, I find.
Jenny Dawson is a good girl. She is also a singer and songwriter and the darling of the country music scene. She tries to stay out of the tabloids – the worst that has been written about her up until now is that she has a baby belly, courtesy of a burrito, unbeknownst to the author of the article. When a fellow singer claims that he and Jenny had an affair outside of his marriage and she is painted as a homewrecker she loses it and takes a break from LA. She seeks out the loneliness of the Louisiana Bayous.
Noah Maxwell is a Southern boy with the sexy drawl to go with. He is also the illegitimate spare because the heir to his father died when Noah was fourteen. Dirt-poor and living in a trailer until then he all of a sudden was a rich kid, bending his will to his father’s. Noah owns a fixer-upper in the Bayous he didn’t know of until a short while ago. When a famous country singer wants to rent it he starts to reconstruct, renovate and fixing it. He finds he is good at it, working with his hands gives him peace.
“…there’s something about it that calms me. It’s one of those places where you hear your thoughts louder and more clearly than anywhere else.”
Jenny arrives a day early and Noah, not wanting to reveal that he is famous in his own right claims to be the caretaker. Noah hates everything Jenny stands for and knowing she is a homewrecker doesn’t really endear her to him. But damn, she is hot and makes him feel all kinds of things he has no business feeling.
“Playing dumb won’t change the fact that you’ll be thinking about me all night, princess. Your fingers will be a poor stand-in for my tongue, I can promise you that.”
Jenny is a sweet heroine with spunk. She can’t hold a grudge for long – not once while reading did I think it was because she was weak. I think she doesn’t because she is inherently nice and sweet. She has that fresh-faced spirit of a down-to-earth country girl. I loved that.
“You know, we’ve done this a couple times now You’re a jerk – and I mean real, grade A asshole stuff – and then you apologize. And I say OK. But then you do it again, and I think…”
Noah, what a complicated guy. A grade A asshole who I can only forgive because he has an appendage I don’t have. Yeeeaaaah, I’m cheap like that and love a-holes in books. He doesn’t pull any punches and becomes outright mean when he feels cornered. It took a while for him to get his sh*t together but when he did it was amazingly sweet.
“The hope in his eyes gets to me.
Please, his eyes say. Stay.
And damn it, now I feel like crying again, only for a different reason. No matter how much this complicated guy thinks he doesn’t need anyone or anything, there’s a coarse vulnerability there that nearly undoes me.
The side characters were awesome too. Finn and Vaughn are Noah’s most loyal and best friends and they are hilarious! I hope we get to see their story too.
Lauren Layne has a talent. She made me love someone who I started out hating in the span of 220 pages. There is little angst which is a Lauren Layne trademark. Not a surprise that she is my go-to author when I need to shake up things. If you dig a-holes like I do and a sweet heroine who can take it and gives it back as good, this definitely is for you.