Isn't She Lovely

Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne

A college-age spin on Pygmalion

Redemption, Book One

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+ book summary

The rules are clear—until they’re broken. The first book in Lauren Layne’s Redemption series gives a classic love story its edgiest twist yet.

“Who knew that pretending you’re not falling for someone would be so much more difficult than pretending that you are?”

Stephanie Kendrick gave up her whole summer to ace her NYU film school screenwriting course, so she’s pissed to be stuck with a preppy, spoiled frat boy as her writing partner. Then again, with her piercings, black-rimmed eyes, and Goth wardrobe, Stephanie isn’t exactly Ethan Price’s type, either. He’s probably got his eye on some leggy blonde with a trust fund . . . or does he?

As the summer scene kicks off in the Hamptons, Ethan is desperate to make his snobbish mother forget the pedigreed girl who broke his heart. While Stephanie’s a stretch as a decoy, the right makeover and a pastel cardigan just might do the trick. She may not love the idea of playing Ethan’s brainless Barbie girlfriend, but the free rent and luxurious digs make a tempting offer. So does the promise of a ready-made screenplay idea inspired by their charade.

But when Stephanie steps into Ethan’s privileged world, the “acting” begins to feel all too real. The kissing and touching that were intended to fool the Hamptons crowd wind up manipulating them. And Stephanie faces a question she’s too afraid to ask: Is Ethan falling for the real her or for the dolled-up princess he wants to see?

+ excerpt

My eyes lock on his espresso-colored messenger bag, where there’s a discreet Prada logo.

“Are you lost or something?” I blurt out.

The guy gives a little laugh. “Just because I don’t come barreling around corners doesn’t mean I’m lost.”

“I wasn’t barreling,” I snap. “I’m just in a hurry.”

He picks up a tampon and hands it to me with an innocent smile. I try to look unfazed as I grab it and stuff it into the bottom of my bag. Really, of all the things to pick up, he goes for that one?

I snatch up the rest of my things and jam them into the bag, standing as I yank the zipper closed. “Whatever. I just thought I could point you in the right direction.”

“I’ll be a senior starting in September. I know my way around the campus,” he says, standing to tower over me.

“A senior here?” I gape. “Because you look like you walked off a Harvard admissions brochure.”

He raises an eyebrow that’s a couple of shades darker than his blond hair. “Stereotype much?”

I don’t even know why I’m engaging in an argument with the guy, but there’s something smug about him, and all that tidy perfection bugs the crap out of me. I prefer my dudes real, and this one isn’t.

I sort of wave my hand up and down in his direction. “It’s just that I think you forgot to change out of your country-club uniform.”

He takes a tiny step closer to me, and I try to ignore the fact that he’s about a foot taller than me and has a perfect view down my shirt.

“Does the surly mood come with the goth outfit?” he asks, giving me a once-over. “Or do you have to buy it separately?”

I hold up a hand to shield my eyes. “Could you please watch where you’re pointing your teeth? The glare from your caps is hurting my eyes.”

He runs a tongue over his ridiculously white teeth, looking thoughtful. “You know, sometimes if I don’t have enough light to study by, I just smile and use the reflection from these pearly whites.”

It’s a lame comeback, but I roll my eyes and let him win the sparring contest. I’m over this ridiculous conversation, and I head toward my classroom, well aware that I’m now a full twenty minutes late.

“You’re not even going to say good-bye?” he calls after me. “I picked up your tampon!”

I give a dismissive flick of my hand over my head, not bothering to turn around.

+ praise

“Fresh and authentic, Lauren Layne’s Isn’t She Lovely packs intelligence, wit, and an addictive romance into one fantastic read! I loved the bold characters, the slow-building yet steamy romance, and the raw and painful edge of self-discovery. I couldn’t put it down!”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack

“A fresh new voice in the New Adult genre . . . I loved this book! Such a fun read from start to finish. You won’t want to put it down!”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jen McLaughlin

“Isn’t She Lovely is full of complex characters you want to root for—and a hero that will make you swoon.”—New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy

“These two characters have chemistry, and the readers can feel it.”—The Romance Reviews

“[The] perfect combination of irreverent and serious . . . I adored this book.”—Penny Dreadful Book Reviews

“I really enjoyed going along for the ride on this one. So glad I took a chance on it!”—Examiner.com

“If you’re looking to escape with a quick and entertaining New Adult contemporary romance with real romance, humor, a touch of angst, a strong girl and a totally swoony guy, this is the book for you.”—Kimberly Faye Reads

“Perfect, and a satisfying ending.”—Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews

“The author does a great job with the book. I recommend this to any fans of New Adult, romance or just a great book.”—Racing to Read

“Amazing, fun . . . [a] great book.”—For My Love of Books

“Sweet, light, and tons of fun, Isn’t She Lovely was a brilliant New Adult read! The romance was sweet, the story was tons of fun, and I completely adored this book.”—Imagine a World

“This romance was filled with lusty moments of intense attraction, accidentally-on-purpose kisses, and ogling galore! Yum! There were also so many sweet moments between these two, that I couldn’t help but oooh and aww in some scenes.”—The Reader’s Den



 
RedemptionLauren Layne