Review: Isn’t She Lovely by Lauren Layne

Title: Isn’t She Lovely
Author: Lauren Layne
Publication date: October 28th 2013
Publisher: Flirt
My rating: 5 of 5 Stars

SUMMARY (from Goodreads)

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?

MY THOUGHTS

This was wonderful.
Wanting to read something light and romantic I picked up Isn’t She Lovely. I just wanted to be entertained but this book took me by surprise. It is so much more than I have initially thought. Yes, this book is light and very enjoyable, but it’s not your usual fluffy and forgettable read. Isn’t She Lovely has great romance, well-fleshed characters, witty banters; it also deals with family issues.
Stephanie Kendrick is a Goth girl: piercings, eyeliner, black clothes and attitude. Ethan is a rich preppy boy. When two of them are paired up for a summer film project, they are not thrilled. Later they decide to change Stephanie’s makeover, find her “right” clothes and introduce her as Ethan new girlfriend. But as they pretend, the acting begins to feel too real and Stefanie asks herself if Ethan falling for real her or for the girl she is pretending to be.
At first glance Isn’t She Lovely is romance of opposites attract; a story that I’ve heard so many times before. But Lauren Layne’s writing is wonderful. So while the idea in this book is unoriginal, the execution is very good.
The romance was the main reason I loved this book. There was the great build-up and anticipation between Stephanie and Ethan. The relationship developed at a slow nice pace (with many swoony and steamy moments).
Despite the romance being one of the focal points of this book, it was also about Stephanie and Ethan dealing with their family problems. Ethan found out that his mother cheated on his father. Stefanie’s father remarried after her mother’s death and their relationship is not great. During the book both Stephanie and Ethan grow up and face their difficulties.
I really enjoyed this book and could barely put it down. This was my first book by Lauren Layne, but I’ll definitely check her other books.
PS. The cover is awful. It doesn’t make justice this book at all.

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