Our Feelings, Much Like the Book, Were All Over the Place: I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne

Our Feelings, Much Like the Book, Were All Over the Place: I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren LayneI Knew You Were Trouble (Oxford, #4)
by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #4
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Published by Loveswept
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Format: eARC
Pages: 215
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Source: ARC received for review purposes

New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Nereyda: As you guys know, we’re big Lauren Layne fans here. Like any author, I love some of her books, like others and there have also been a few that sadly haven’t worked for me. This one falls in the middle category, I enjoyed it but there just a few things here and there that bothered me. I kind of felt like this book was kind of all over the place in terms of the story and my feelings reflected that. It had the enemies to lovers angle, the roommates angle, the wrong timing romance (they both had relationships in the beginning) and the View Spoiler ».  I really liked certain parts, felt bleh about other parts and there was one certain part that I just didn’t like. If you’ve read the book and know my reading pet peeves, you probably already know what that is (unless you clicked the spoiler).

Nick: Yeah, I was very excited for this one too. I mean it’s Lauren Layne, one of my favoritest authors ever. And the minute I received a copy, I dove into the story. All throughout I had this feeling of irritation towards the story, that I can’t quite pinpoint. Don’t get me wrong, there were some really fun parts to I Knew You Were Trouble, but for the most part, I was detached and annoyed from the story, which aren’t feelings I’ve come to expect from Lauren Layne books.

Nereyda: We previously met Taylor and Nick in Someone Like You and man, these two hate each other! I was a little bit worried that their hatred would be too extreme and that Nick would cross the friendly banter into being downright mean or an asshole, but I didn’t feel that was the case. The beginning of the book overlaps with Lincoln’s story (Someone Like You) so we do get to see how they met and the first of their many not so friendly encounters. Sadly, I didn’t think this was needed in the story since it was already established for us that these two hated each other. Each chapter skipped along to a new month until the present time and I’m just not a fan of plots like this because it feels a bit choppy for my liking. Once we got into the present, it was much easier to get into the story.

Nick: I think the fact that we’ve only just met Taylor in Someone Like You might explain why I wasn’t completely gaga over this story. With the other characters, we’ve known them for a while now, so they’ve become like friends, and unlike Taylor, I was attached to them. But anyways, I was still quite excited for the story because the hate-to-love vibe promised  a fun romance. I was thrown off by first, but the quick flashback chapters. I can’t really say if it worked for me because it moved so fast. The romance itself was fine overall. I did think Lauren Layne sometimes took the hate part a bit too far with how acerbic and hurtful Nick and Taylor could be to each other. They weren’t a favorite couple of mine by any means, but there were some good bantery moments, and when they did get together, I enjoyed the chemistry and their dynamic. THEN. That stupid misunderstanding close to the end showed up, along with Nick’s backstory and I was just annoyed at everything. I saw the View Spoiler » coming from a mile, but it was done in a way that didn’t sit well with me. Nick’s reaction to it all especially was gross and assholish, and there was minimum groveling on his part, which further bothered me. So yeah, the resolution of the story was rushed.

Nereyda: Taylor was a bit tough to like. I liked how strong she was and how dedicated she was about her job. I felt bad for how she was raised by her affection-less aunt and that explained a lot about her, but I just had such a hard time getting over her feelings for her ex Bradley. They had a mediocre relationship at best, and she spends most of the book pining over him. Despite that, I did like her but it was really annoying how such a smart girl like her could mistake what she had with Bradley with love or why she would even want to get back together with him. I didn’t have many issues with Nick (until the end) but he did come off as a bit cold. Although their reason for moving in together was a bit far-fetched, I actually really enjoyed this part of the book because I’m a sucker for the roommate romance trope. The chemistry was pretty good but it wasn’t as good as I’ve come to expect from a Lauren Layne book.

Nick: I’m also with Nereyda when it comes to Nick’s character. I liked him a lot in the beginning. He’s a fun, easygoing and flirty guy, whose easy to get behind. But the way he ended up treating Taylor left a sour taste in my mouth. And with Taylor, I was more indifferent. I couldn’t understand why she was even in a relationship with Bradley to begin with. I mean I admired her tenacity and the strength that she shows over the book, but there were moments when she was a doormat too, especially at the end. ALSO. I was super bummed that we didn’t get to meet any of the Stiletto girls. I live for their cameos, so I was sad, we didn’t really get to see them.

Nereyda: All in all, although this wasn’t my favorite book, it also wasn’t bad. I think I may have set my standards higher when it comes to this author. I actually ended up reading this in one day which is huge for me cause you guys know how freaking slow I read now. Even though some things about the book annoyed me, I was still entertained at the end of the day. I do have to admit that I’m a bit disappointing about the whole View Spoiler » If you haven’t read a book by this author yet, here are a few of my favorites: The Trouble With Love, Someone Like You, To Have and To Hold.

Nick: Yeah, I don’t think I liked this one at all. Even thinking about it now, the book was so unmemorable. I have also read Runaway Groom that releases in August by the same author, and also did not enjoy that one very much. So that’s 3/4 misses for me this year with her books. I do think her focus on wanting to write quickly and release a lot of many books in a year is declining the quality of her books. As much as I love that she releases so many for her fans, I would much prefer 1 or 2 amazing books like Someone Like You, which she took her time with.

Nereyda’s Rating: three-stars
Nick’s Rating: two-half-stars

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  • I didn’t end up loving this one as much as I had hoped either. I hated the really cliche moment towards the end that Nereyda mentions in her spoiler…ugghh! I hate that!! Great honest reviews!

    • That is my #1 most hated book trope…sorry you didn’t like this one as much either. Hope her next books are better!

  • Hmm, I’m not a big fan of the surprise pregnancy, either. I actually do prefer my romances to end in a proposal, though. That’s just my preference. But I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy this one much.

    • Although it’s not my favorite, I don’t mind it. I just get annoyed when that’s how all her books have been ending lately…

  • sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books

    I’ve read a couple of this author’s books and enjoyed them (Blurred Lines stands out) but it has been awhile since I’ve picked up another of hers. The tropes Nereyda mentioned are ones I often like but it’s too bad the book didn’t really work out quite as good as you both hoped. I’ll add Someone Like You to my TBR. Are the books in that series read as standalones?

    • Blurred Lines is a fun one! If these tropes don’t bug you then maybe you’ll like this more than us. Someone Like You is the third book in the Oxford series…which is a spinoff of the Stiletto series. A big reason we loved that book so much is because we’ve been getting pits and pieces of Lincoln’s story throughout the past 6 books and we finally had his full story.

  • Thank you for helping me to decide. I was planning to read this but after your review I’m not sure anymore.

    Fantastic review! 😁👍🏻

    • Other LL fans have been loving this so you may still want to give it a try….

  • Looks like I liked this book more than you guys. I liked both Nick and Taylor, even when they were being dumb asses. Still, I can see why you guys feel the way you do. This wasn’t my favorite book by Lauren Layne but I still enjoyed it. Great review, ladies.

    • Glad to see you liked this one more than we did! I didn’t hate it, it just wasn’t a favorite 🙂

  • Guys, it makes me sad when I see reviews where you’re not enjoying Lauren Layne books as much as you’re both kind of to blame for me reading any of them in the first place. I do feel like Layne’s more recent books have been misses for you. Maybe Layne does better when she releases less books?

    Anyway, I can totally see why this book was a miss for you. Hate to love is a good trope but it seems like it got a bit mean rather than being fun banter. There is a careful line on making it believable without making you think one character is a dick. And it sounds like the ending with the misunderstanding wasn’t great either. Basically, it sounds like this book needed a bit more work. I will check it out eventually but I am a bit behind on my Layne reads so it may take a little while.

    • Walk of Shame, the book before this one was really good so that gives me hope. There have been a few other books of hers over time that I haven’t loved so I’m hoping this was just another one as opposed to her writing not being as good anymore…

  • Gosh dang, I’m so sorry you guys didn’t like this one!

    (And guess who got VPN connection to work so she can comment again? ;D)

    I think I’ll definitely skip out on this one. I’ve read the first book of this series and enjoyed it, but it’s sad to see so many of Lauren Layne’s books be misses! Agreed with Nick though, I would always expect quality > quantity in terms of writing books. I can’t believe she’s been publishing so many this year!

    – Aila @ One Way Or An Author

    • Same, I hope she slows down a bit and focuses more on quality, even if it only means 1-2 LL books a year instead of 5+

  • Oh, that bites. I was waiting to read your review for this latest Layne book but it sucks that it didn’t hit the spot per usual. Man, if you both – huge fans of Ms. Layne – didn’t have a good time with this one, how do you think the rest of us plebs will fare? Sigh.

    • Maybe that’s what made us not like it so much? Cause we’re used to much better from her…