Review + Excerpt: Good Girl by Lauren Layne
By: Lauren Layne
Releasing May 17, 2016
In this steamy novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines, country music’s favorite good girl hides away from the world—and finds herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.
Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.
Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.
Any Lauren Layne book, for me is a guaranteed success. I’ve yet to read any of her books that I haven’t loved. The cover for one made me think that this book could be set in the same world as Blurred Lines, but Good Girl is a definite stand-alone with a new set of characters, and what an amazing set, I must say. I absolutely loved the main as well as the secondary characters in this book. It makes me wish, Lauren would write about the secondary characters as well.
Good Girl is written in a dual POV, first person, and this gives the book and the characters a lot of depth. Here you won’t have the complaint that who were unable to get into the head of the character, because the characters make sure that they reel you in.
Jenny Dawson,an award-winning country music sensation, recently moved to the city of angels, L.A, because she was having trouble the good ole writers block. Unable to write any music, she figured a change of scenery would do wonders. But unfortunately the city of Hollywood is also the city of paparazzi and gossip-mongers. Soon she is plastered on the front page of magazines and on prime time TV for sleeping with a fellow musician, a married one at that, irrespective of the fact that she has absolutely no relationship with the man. In order to get away from all the drama, Jenny goes to a remote mansion is Louisiana to write her next album. Except there is a little problem of the hot but rude Noah Maxwell.
Noah Maxwell is a man with a dual life. He is from the wrong side of the tracks, but he is also from the high end society. But all he wants is a little peace and anonymity. And some alone time, which is disrupted when Jenny Dawson walks in on perfect 10 legs, and a Pomeranian that would fit into her bag. He knows who Jenny is and that’s exactly the reason why he wants to stay away. But what’s a man to do when you have a beautiful, hot girl, you are attracted to in front of you?
I loved Jenny. She was so… good. Like a genuinely good person. So forgiving, but not a doormat. She was feisty and full of energy. You could actually feel how much she enjoyed her music and how easy it was to get lost in it. Noah on the other hand was rough around the edges. The man should have been named Mr. Grumpy. But there were sweet moments with him too. He knows how to apologize for his mistakes and make up for them. The worst part about Noah though was how much he deliberately did things that hurt Jenny. And like she says, he can’t always make mistakes and then expect to be forgiven.
The chemistry between Noah and Jenny was so palpable and sizzling. You could actually feel it through the pages. This is one gift that Lauren Layne has in spades. She knows how to make her characters realistic. Overall, this book was absolutely amazing and one that I’d love to read over and over again.
“What time did you say this chick was arriving?” Finn asks around his cigarette.
“Tomorrow morning,” I say, rapping my toe against a funny-looking floorboard and wincing when it buckles.
“Huh.” Finn exhales and looks out the window.
I know that tone. “What?”
“Seems she might have gotten here early,” he says, a second before the quiet afternoon erupts with the sound of my dog losing his mind, mingled with the shrill piercing yap of a much smaller dog.
Finn shrugs and nods. “There’s a girl outside.”
“Shit,” I mutter as I head toward the stairs, dodging the two broken ones.
Ranger’s about as good a dog as they come, wouldn’t hurt a fly. But he’s a big dog with a big bark, and one serious weakness: gleefully humping smaller dogs. He’s a rescue, and though he was fixed after they brought him in, he’d already gone through canine puberty, or whatever. He’s still got the fierce urge to hump, although it’s more habit than hormones.
I exit out the front door just in time to see my big brown Lab leap forward, his clumsy paws finding the shoulders of a blond girl who lets out a shriek, holding a cat above her head like that scene from The Lion King.
“Ranger, no! Down.”
I run forward, my hand finding the collar of my dog and yanking him backward as I search the ground to find the source of the small-dog barks still piercing the air.
Then I register that the sound is coming from above, and realize . . .
The cotton ball isn’t a cat.
That orange piece of fluff is a dog, and Ranger is apparently in love.
“What the heck is wrong with your dog?” the girl says as she slowly lowers the puffball from over her head, cradling the hideous little monster against her chest as it continues its high-pitched bloody-murder yips.
“At least my dog is actually a dog,” I say, staring in horror at the pointy face of a canine that could fit in one of my hands. “I’ve seen dust bunnies bigger than that thing.”
“Dolly’s a Pomeranian,” she says, setting a hand on top of the monster’s head. “She’s supposed to be this tiny.”
“Well, Ranger’s a Lab. He’s supposed to be this normal.”
“He attacked me,” she says, giving Ranger a wary look as his tongue hangs out the side of his mouth, his eyes locked lovingly on Dolly.
“He didn’t want you, he wanted the . . . dog,” I say, forcing myself to acknowledge that the creature in her hands might be part of the canine family.
“For what, dinner?”
I don’t respond, because now that the crisis is averted, I’ve managed to shift my attention from the dogs to the girl, and . . .
I’m not sure I’ve ever been sucker-punched by equal waves of lust and disdain before.
Jenny Dawson is hot as hell.
I knew that going in, but up close she’s even more mouthwatering. Her white skirt is short and tight, her legs long and toned.
She’s wearing some billowing pink top, so I can’t get a good look at what’s happening there, but it doesn’t really matter. I’ve always been a legs man, and I can’t stop looking.
The legs are a 10.
The face is a 10.
And the long blond hair spilling over one shoulder definitely begs to be spread over a man’s pillow. My pillow.
And yet even as my cock says yes, my brain is saying hell no.
Gorgeous as she is, she screams diva from the pink toenails to the sky-high stiletto sandals and all the way up to the carefully made-up face.
I just turned my entire life upside down trying to get away from a woman exactly like this one, so this is definitely a look, don’t touch situation.
But I’m looking. I’m definitely looking.
Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.
Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).