Thursday, May 26, 2016
Love Unexpectedly/Book 1
Loveswept/August 25, 2015
When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they're still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland's trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker's boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben's no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can't seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.
The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker's ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can't go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.
My first Lauren Layne and it won't be my last! Don't you just love it when you find a new author whose voice flows so well from the page? And Blurred Lines is a friends-to-lovers romance which is one of my favorite tropes!
From the first, it's obvious Parker and Ben should be more than roommates. There is a deep, lasting love based on friendship but neither of them seem inclined to take it further. It's as if their subconscious minds are afraid becoming romantically involved might break their friendship, which is important to both of them. People will go from friends to lovers, pledging if it doesn't work out, they'll stay friends. We all know it's not true and you can never go back to how things were. Parker and Ben make that vow and then break it.
Parker is all about control. She likes to control her environment and her relationships. She likes lists and predictability in her life. It's cute and I can totally relate. I felt sorry for Parker when she gets blindsided by her boyfriend. I was angry for her, for what he did and how he made her feel. It was heartbreaking but necessary for Parker to get out of her rut and get into something different with Ben.
Ben is such a good guy. He's a good friend to both his male friends and to Parker whom he treats like one of the guys - to a certain point. He's there to comfort her when she gets dump. A very broad shoulder to cry on. It was awesome to see Ben start to notice Parker as more than a best friend and roommate. When he starts to notice how sexy and attractive she is, it's satisfying to see him struggle with his attraction to Parker. His brain tells him one thing but he's not always thinking with his brain.
I could easily see this as a romantic comedy. It has two wonderfully engaging main characters complete with passion, wit, and flaws. We get both Parker and Ben's point of views which makes getting into their heads that much easier. Neither are perfect and both make mistakes when it comes to their arrangement of casual sex. The mistakes are not about their physical side, that's smoking hot, but the messy emotions that always seem to creep in, even when you tell yourself it's just sex.
What complicates matters is the six year history that Parker and Ben have. Casual sex would be far easier if they didn't care so deeply about each other. We see the pain they go through when they realize the arrangement has become more than sex but they're both afraid to tell the other how they feel. It's frustrating because as the reader, you know what is in both of their hearts and you want to tell them both to "Wake up! You're screwing up the best thing either of you will ever have." I did yell at them but it took them awhile to listen to me. Kind of like my kids. ;)
Blurred Lines is a charming friends to lovers romance. There are a couple of bumps in the road which could have been avoid if only Parker and Ben had talked. The estrangement between Parker and Ben went on a bit too long but in the end, they found their Happily Ever After.
Love Unexpectedly Series ~