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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford, #4) by Lauren Layne

A Review by Wendy
3.5 Nurture's Impact Stars
* * * 1/2
Spoiler Free
Becoming a Grown-Up is hard...there is so much a person has to overcome or appreciate or deal with...There is that age old question of what makes us who we are... Are we made by our DNA or are we influenced by how we are raised or probably a combination of both...In this latest entry by Lauren Layne, she presents a person who finally is able to overcome issues of how she was raised to finally be able to love freely.

This book is part of the Oxford series and many of the other characters we have grown to love are there as ways to draw us in. If you have been reading the series, you will have a reference to the timelines. You will appreciate moments remembered and how you knew the lead up to this tale.

I will share this particular couple is not an easy one. Everything centers around timing. It also spotlights how influential it is how a person is raised. How they learn from their caretakers/parents...and how it can be an asset to create a very strong woman... but without including affection and care, it can also cause this strong woman to have an inability to show herself freely and share her feelings.

Taylor Carr is this strong, capable woman. She lost her mother very early and was raised by her Aunt Karen. This aunt had the mindset of "life happens and you just get on with it"...Now to be raised by a woman as shut down as that would naturally have an impact and to be fair, we do not know why the Aunt was like that... We can only surmise being single, working in a man's world and taking on the responsibility of raising a young child while only 22 at the time, would cause her to be as focused as she was with Taylor. Her main focus was not being a "touchy, feely Aunt... no sweet times being girly, no special Christmas memories...Aunt Karen's focus was to raise Taylor to be strong, able to deal with life in a straight forward manner, to handle challenges and not to cry because it was weak.

On the flip side, Nick Ballantine is a man raised with parents, brothers and sisters. His household was warm, caring in actions. Due to Nick's experience of sisters' and brothers' growing pains and open communication with his parents, Nick developed an insightful way of seeing more than what people presented...It worked for him as a bartender, as freelancer at Oxford and all the other things he did. It also allowed him to see through the veneer Taylor presented to the public...

So, on the first interaction with Taylor, Nick saw right away Taylor was playing a part at Oxford...
He nailed her smile didn't reach her eyes...and made a comment not meant to mean anything...
It cut Taylor to the quick...It was this comment which laid the foundation for these two to become the bickering, battling co-workers.

And oh, they were notorious for cutting remarks...others at Oxford would either get popcorn to watch the fireworks or jump in to provide a barrier to protect...

But why the digs...why so hot...
Because both actually were drawn to each other... and once each figured it out...the timing was always wrong...And for Taylor...putting herself out there to be turned down was something so painful, she retreated.

For Nick, his timing was off, too... and then he had to wait.

A day comes, though, when timing could actually be right... and it is this change when these two are tested...

This entry in the Sex, Love & Stiletto/Oxford series felt a little different then all the others. Taylor was a woman to respect work wise but was difficult to immediately love. At first, she was everything she didn't actually want to be... or at least felt like that to me... withholding of her feelings...a person who would shut down at the slightest sense of feeling anything uncomfortable between her and Nick. It was only when she let her guard down, allowing herself to feel pain and have Nick step in to ease it, did I start to see Taylor as someone who might be able to see where she needed to let go.

Nick, on the other hand, had his own issues. As a guy who had all this experience reading people and thinking he was part of something, he got hit hard in his past relationship. What he experienced caused him to wonder about himself, too. He was confident in his basics... making guy friends and doing his multiple work gigs...but there was this thing with Taylor and he would wonder about her.

This would not be a Lauren Layne book without wonderful sexy times between the pair... and they were there. Never think Layne wouldn't deliver.

There were other moments of interactions secondary characters... we got all of the Oxford Guys and their partners... we also got a new people...Brit and if Layne decides... I wouldn't be shocked if they show up somewhere.

Layne Lauren created a wonderful series, Sex, Love & Stiletto which then had it's offshoot, Oxford. Never doubt Layne's talent. Both of these series have provided us a terrific run of New York City career people... their life and times.

A gifted copy was provided by author and or publisher for an honest review.

6969772 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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