Monday, 15 July 2019

#CBR11 Book 39: "Someone Like You" by Lauren Layne

Page count: 249 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars

From Goodreads:
Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

Lincoln Mathis is the best man at his friend Alex's wedding. The bride, Emma, specifically asks Lincoln, who has a reputation as a bit of a man ho to stay away from the maid of honour, Emma's twin sister Daisy. Daisy finds it amusing that she's being told to stay away from Lincoln, so of course the two of them end up running away from the reception and getting drunk together. When Daisy wakes up in Lincoln's bed the next day, she puzzles over his Lothario reputation, as during their whole evening together, he talked to a number of women, but was never once anything but respectful, and nothing about his apartment suggests that he has frequent female visitors. In fact, he seems to be covering for something.

Because of the connection they seem to have formed over drinks, Lincoln reveals something to Daisy that he hasn't told anyone else about, the reason why he makes everyone around him think that he sleeps with pretty much any woman who crosses his path. Unlike Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist, who does much the same, it's not because Lincoln is Batman - it's because he needs to stay completely unattached, as he's not exactly free to be in a relationship. I don't really want to spoil the full details of Lincoln's complicated secrets, though.

Daisy has secrets of her own and is trying to recover from both a difficult divorce and the reasons for why the marriage fell apart in the first place. While she certainly finds Lincoln attractive, she appreciates the honesty and vulnerability he shows her, that he's clearly not ready to share with any of his New York friends. The two build a friendship through texting and soon get very close, but since Daisy knows Lincoln's secret, she also knows not to get too attached.

Yet again, it feels like I'm just churning out generalities about a book I can only partially remember. At least I've caught up enough in my reviews to be reviewing books I read "only" TWO months ago, rather than three. Here we come to another romance that was perfectly fine at the time of me reading it, which I can only fuzzily remember details about now. This book is also the third book in a series, Oxford, about the men who work for a New York based men's magazine, in itself a spin-off of Lauren Layne's four-book Stiletto series, about the writers of Oxford's "sister" magazine. From the Goodreads reviews, I gather there are cameos from pretty much all of the previous couples in the books that have gone before, making the pages of this book rather crowded with characters who aren't all that necessary for the central story.

From what I can gather from other reviews on Goodreads, this was an anticipated book, and Lincoln has been a scene stealing supporting characters earlier in the series. Obviously, having no foreknowledge of the books that came before, I don't know if the secrets revealed about him come as a satisfying reveal or if it seems a bit forced. I liked his relationship with Daisy, and that they became friends before they fell in love. This book deals with different kinds of grief and trauma as well, and if I remember correctly, it was all sensitively handled.

I should probably read some other books in Layne's Stiletto and Oxford series, then this book may feel more meaningful to me.

Judging a book by its cover: Ah, a contemporary romance cover focusing on the chiseled face of a male model, heavily channeling Ben Stiller's Zoolander. Look at that face, so sensitive, so earnest. See his hidden man pain. I like to make my own mental images of the characters, so this cover does very little for me. The teal in the background is nice, though.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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