A Fiery Friends to Lovers Romance | Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne

2:56 PM

Finally read my second book of Lauren Layne's! Featuring the ever-popular romantic trope: friends to lovers.

About

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.


Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne 
Rating: ★★★★☆

“Chemistry is like anything in life. The more you look for it, the harder it is to find.”

My second Lauren Layne novel and phew. Phew, this was a doozy. That chemistry. The use of the friends to lovers trope. The balance between fluffiness and steam is a sure hit. The more I read by Layne, the more I begin to question why I hadn't read her novels sooner because they are lively and fun and exactly what I needed this year.

Although there were a lot of traits I wasn't terribly keen on (the judgment/shaming of the girls that Ben hooked up with, the fact that all the women featured in this that weren't Parker's friends were portrayed as mean and looked down on, the lack of common sense and communication, the blink-and-you'll-miss it Mom with cancer trope thrown in as nothing more than a cheap plot device, etc) Blurred Lines proved to be the highly engaging and indulgent romance I was looking for this summer.

I genuinely liked the characters of Parker and Ben both individually and together. Their friendship, as it progresses, felt firmly real and kept me reading. All the moments where their chemistry is explored are fiery and fun; full on fantasy that will keep readings sitting up straight and never breaking eye contact with Layne's words. These characters are flawed and passionate and I love them all the more for it.

I loved how clueless they were about what they'd likely always felt for one another--the chemistry they share is the type that unknowingly built over time and I felt very strongly for them, and it, even when they frustrated me at times. As someone who has delayed emotional reactions (the kind that just hit you suddenly that, oh crap I have feelings for them) I felt very attached to the way that their relationship was portrayed. Seeing them both come to that conclusion was one of those mundane revelations that just made sense and it made me a bit giddy.

The formula of Blurred Lines is simple, even when the characters are not. This is what makes the novel work for me ultimately. I liked the characters, how they weren't perfection personified and that they kept moving and making mistakes. While a lot of the novels central conflicts could have been easily solved, that isn't life and it certainly isn't Blurred Lines.

Much like my experience with Walk of Shame there was a lot to be praised in Blurred Lines. Lauren Layne's writing is full of sizzling chemistry and a type of energy that makes for pure entertainment. There is something quick and smooth to every page, and it leads readers on a path of heartbeats and flushed cheeks. I'm loving her work more and more and can't wait to dive further into her backlist.

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