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review 2017-08-13 11:39
The Decorator Who Knew Too Much (Madison Knight #4)
The Decorator Who Knew Too Much - Diane Vallere

This series has always been oddly compelling to me - I can't say I ever really loved it, but yet I keep coming back for the next one.  Part of the problem, I think, is that of the three permanent characters in the books, Hudson, Tex and Madison, I really only like Hudson and Tex. I don't have patience for Madison; she's not written to be a warm or likeable character, in my opinion.  Vallere touts Madison's independence to much, she ends up being off-putting, and her independence isn't really independence at all; her heart got broken so she shut everyone out.  That's a bitter cage, not real independence.

 

Anyhow, I like the two males and generally the mystery plots are pretty good.  But this one just failed for me.  I'm tired of the lack of growth in Madison, even when she's supposedly growing, and the plot was just too twisty and convoluted.  At several points, it reads as though the author confused herself trying to make the plot too labyrinthine.  And what am I supposed to do to with that damn ending?  Are she and Hudson breaking up?  If so, over what?  It was as clear as mud and I'm not in the mood for obscure endings.

 

I also have to say that while Henery press generally has a stellar record regarding publishing quality, this one was a hot mess.  Grammatically it was, I think, nearly flawless, but the timeline was messed up in places (Madison referring to things happening the day before that happened that morning) and there were more than a few places where she'd start out inside at the beginning of a sentence only to suddenly be outside by the end of it.  Lots of evidence of a major re-write without a final read through for consistency.

 

Not sure I'll read another if it's published.  Not because of the editing but because I'm just over Madison's issues and the emotional cages she keeps creating for herself.

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review 2017-07-26 02:29
Out Soon
Scarlet Rose #1: "I Knew I'd Meet You" - Patricia Lyfoung

Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley

 

                Personally, this was a bit too cute for me and some of the plot (like Maud’s fencing lessons) didn’t quite for me.  However, if you have a young daughter, you might want to give her a copy of this comic.

 

                Scarlet Rose details the story of Maud and her obsession with the Fox (aka the French Zorro).  She becomes an outlaw to right wrongs. 

 

                The tone is a bit too much soap opera, though Maud is a character of strength.  Her desire to do right and her skill with the blade are established early on, and unlike the later fencing lessons, her knowledge about swordplay does make sense.  The style is very like anime, and well done.

 

                It is an interesting female take on Robin Hood or the Three Musketeers.

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review 2017-06-24 16:02
The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Amanda Quick

Romance fell flat for me but the mystery kept me reading, secondary mystery also fell somewhat flat and was resolved very quickly at the end, almost as an afterthought.

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review 2017-06-23 02:51
I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
I Knew You Were Trouble: An Oxford Novel - Lauren Layne

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this enemies to lovers story. This was a pretty quick read and I found myself flying through this fun little book. This is the fourth book in the Oxford series and while fans of the series will enjoy seeing some of their favorite characters, this book could easily be read as a stand alone novel. This was one of those books that I could just totally lose myself in and ended up reading it for hours at a time. It definitely lived up to all of my expectations.

This book is about Taylor and Nick. The book starts out with short chapters showing some of their history with each other which I thought really set the stage of the book quite well. Taylor is planning to move in with her boyfriend, Bradley, but is surprised to find a break up note at the new apartment. When Taylor starts looking for a roommate, Nick decides to taker her up on it and the stage is set for a whole lot of fun.

I thought that Taylor and Nick had wonderful chemistry together. Each of these characters had some very painful moments in their past that really shaped how they deal with life. It became quite apparent that Taylor was very misunderstood because of how she was raised. Nick is a really good guy and sometimes others have taken advantage of his kindness. These two just seemed to fit together perfectly once they gave each other a chance. 

I really liked the way this book was written. The characters were wonderfully developed. Their chemistry with each other was intense and their banter was a lot of fun. I liked the fact that it took this pair some time to really get together since it felt more realistic. I must admit that I was pretty sick of Bradley before the book was over but Taylor and Nick seemed to feel the same way so I guess that is okay.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This is a fun little book that tells a really wonderful story. Lauren Layne is one of my go to authors when I am in the mood for contemporary romance and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I liked this one. Enemies to Lovers story that was a lot of fun. Nick and Taylor worked really well together.

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review 2017-06-16 08:05
Review Tour - I Knew You Were Trouble
  
 
 
A feisty beauty must choose between winning back Mr. Right 
or giving in to Mr. Wrong.
 
 
 
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
Oxford Series #4
Lauren Layne
Releasing June 13, 2017
Loveswept
 


New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.



AVAILABLE NOW!
 
 
 
 

Bradley froze when he saw her, and she was pretty sure she saw the urge to turn and run flicker across his face.

 

Again she felt a stab of disappointment. In him. And in herself for apparently having misread him. She’d thought he was better than this.

 

Bradley’s eyes moved between her and Nick, and though he didn’t look all that surprised at seeing them bickering, his gaze grew hard as he saw Nick’s hand on Taylor’s face.

 

Nick, naturally, took his sweet time removing it, and she resisted the urge to kick his shin.

 

Morning, Bradley,” Taylor said, pleased that her voice sounded calm and friendly. As well it should. She’d had plenty of practice over the better part of a year pretending that she and Bradley were nothing more than colleagues.

 

Other than a few close friends who knew they were dating, they’d done a mostly decent job of hiding their romantic relationship from coworkers. Better than she and Nick had done hiding their antagonistic one.

 

Hey, Taylor. Nick,” Bradley said.

 

He entered the room and reached for a coffee mug, turning his attention toward the other man. “Didn’t realize you’d taken on another assignment. What for?”

 

Not sure,” Nick said, checking his watch. “Have a meeting with Cassidy in a few to find out.”

 

Here’s hoping it’s an offsite gig that takes you far, far away. Maybe he needs someone to cover Siberian winters,” Taylor said to Nick, even as she watched Bradley out of the corner of her eye.

 

Don’t need to travel to find severe winter. It doesn’t get any chillier than right here,” Nick retorted, waving his hand over her head in a storm cloud gesture.

 

She shoved his hand aside, her attention still on Bradley, who was determinedly avoiding her gaze.

 

Coward.

 

It was going to be darn hard to get him to see reason when he wouldn’t even make eye contact.

 

Nick, ever too perceptive for his own good, noticed the tension and gave a quick look between her and Bradley, his gaze turning speculative.

 

She shot him a warning look that clearly said, Don’t.

 

He shot an answering smile that clearly said, Watch me.

 

Bradley, don’t suppose you’re in the market for a roommate?” Nick asked, his voice deceptively casual.

 

Bradley’s head snapped up, and finally, finally his blue gaze collided with Taylor’s. Dammit. Why did he have to be so beautiful? He was like a mischievous angel, all twinkling blue eyes, dimples, a sexy cleft in his chin, dark blond wavy hair . . .

 

What?” he asked Nick distractedly, still looking at Taylor.

 

Taylor here wants to share her original crown molding with someone.”

 

Bradley winced, and Taylor felt a little surge of gratitude toward Nick. He couldn’t have known it, but it was the perfect jab. She and Bradley were both into prewar architecture—had eaten up the broker’s description of all the building’s original elements.

 

Taylor should be sharing that crown molding with Bradley. And he damn well knew it.

 

His eyes met hers in silent misery—an apology that she wasn’t quite ready to accept. Heck, she wasn’t even ready to acknowledge it, because she had no intention of being dumped. Not by him, not by any man.

 

Taylor ignored the guilt written all over Bradley’s face as she held his gaze. “Yes, it seems I unexpectedly have a free bedroom and more rent than I can afford. If either of you knows anyone looking for a roommate . . .”

 

Bradley’s handsome face twisted regretfully, and he set his coffee aside, taking a step toward her, apparently forgetting—or not caring—that Nick was still in the room.

 

Taylor. Damn it. I told you—”

 

Actually, I do,” Nick said, interrupting.

 

Taylor forced her gaze away from Bradley’s pleading face toward Nick’s smug one. “You know someone who needs a roommate?”

 

Yup.” He crossed his arms and watched her.

 

She made an impatient gesture with her hand. “Who? It can’t be one of your ex-girlfriends—I don’t want to inadvertently hear any gross details about you. And not one of your frat-boy guy friends—my living room isn’t cut out for Call of Duty.”

 

Yeah, because that’s all I do all day.”

 

She rolled her eyes. “Okay, for real, who is it?”

 

His grin was slow, sly, and the very definition of trouble. “Me.”

 
 
 
 I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford, #4)I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is #4, in the incredible Oxford series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding and enjoyment, I recommend reading this series in order.

From the time Taylor & Nick met, they were like oil and water. They occasional had to work together. They had mutual friends. It was all they could do not to kill one another, some days.

Nick has been attracted to Taylor from the very moment they met. Taylor would claim the same, if forced to do so. Their timing never seemed to click. Until one day....

This series is just phenomenal! Gets better and better with each story. I loved these characters. I loved that they did not want to be attracted to - or even like one another. It felt very real. Easy to read with a great HEA.


***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

View all my reviews
 
 
 

 
 
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.
 
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.
 
She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books. 
 

 
 

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