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Apr 16

Come as You Are by Lauren Blakely Review

5 SMOOCHES!

SYNOPSIS:

I couldn’t have scripted a more perfect night.

For one fantastic evening, at a masquerade party in the heart of Manhattan, I’m not the millionaire everyone wants a piece of. Fine—multimillionaire. But who’s counting all those commas? Not me, and not the most intriguing woman I’ve ever met, who happens to like dancing, witty banter, and hot, passionate up-against-the-wall sex as much as I do.

There’s no need for names or business cards. And that’s why I’m eager to get to know her more, since my mystery woman seems to like me for me, rather than for my huge…bank account.

Everything’s coming up aces. Until the next day when things get a little complicated. (Newsflash — a lot complicated.)

***

He’s charming, brilliant, an incredible lover, and right now I want to stab fate in the eyeballs.

I’ve had one goal I’ve been working toward, and lo and behold, my mystery man is the very person who stands between me and my dream job. A job I desperately need since my hard-knock life has nothing in common with his star-kissed one.

But it’s time to put that fairytale night behind me, and focus on learning what makes him tick. Too bad it turns out his quirks are my quirks, and his love affair with New York matches mine.

And as we spend our days together, I discover something else that feels like a cruel twist of fate — I’m falling for this naughty prince charming, and that’s not an ending I can write to our story.

 

REVIEW:

For me, diving into a Lauren Blakely novel is unlike any other reading experience. Whether it’s one of her authentic feeling male point-of-view romcoms or one of her sexy, swoony contemporaries, there are a few things that always happen for me whenever I pick up one of her novels. I learn cool new things that I didn’t know before I started, her attention to detail never fails to impress me, and I fall helplessly in love along with the characters. I consistently get lost in her stories, wrapped up not only in the romances, but also in the worlds she builds. Her red-hot, heart-racing love affairs are engaging on their own, but she takes these stories to another whole level by layering fascinating tidbits of information, vividly depicted scenery and charismatic characters that all blend perfectly with the core love plot into a magical adventure for a romance reader.

Come as You Are takes a completely fresh approach to the workplace trope with a romance between a word-nerd reporter covering a subject in what she hopes will become her new beat and the hot-nerd, tech genius CEO focus of that story. Blakely further distinguishes this story by giving it a modern-day Cinderella spin and setting it in quintessentially romantic New York City. Instead of the typical coworker clash, she poses an ethical dilemma to this couple that turns what had been a very promising, fairytale worthy start into a bittersweet memory and an opportunity that, unfortunately, must be passed on. Chemistry is a powerful thing, though, and these two were so combustible, it was exploding off the page. But it wasn’t just physical attraction between them. Flynn and Sabrina were kindred spirits, connecting on so many different levels and fitting together in exceptional, once-in-a-blue-moon ways—not just against a wall in a library during a masquerade ball, although they fit rather well there, too.

Blakely delivers a steady stream of feels here, only they’re not the angst-fueled, gut-wrenching emotions romance readers are accustomed to experiencing. This author’s writing is more of a hopeful, feel-good style, with just enough conflict to challenge the couple, and that is a rare combination in this genre. It’s even more rare to pull that off as consistently as she does, and it’s what makes her stories addictively light-hearted, pleasure reads—a quality that is pure Lauren Blakely and speaks volumes about her approach to romantic storytelling. Make no mistake, though, I soared high with Sabrina and Flynn during their initial encounter and was staggered by the same disappointment they suffered the next day when realization dawned as a result of their identities. I felt their wistful longing for each other while they worked together during their frequent “not-date dates,” and I shared their genuine excitement over the mere promise of this relationship, something that they both tried desperately—and failed—to bury. I was right there with them, frustrated that something with so much personal potential was also fraught with such professional peril. I marveled right along with Flynn and Sabrina at each new discovery about the other person and their beloved city.

Speaking of discoveries, Come as You Are was filled to the brim with quirky and fun facts that added depth and originality to the story while also forming the foundation of this couple’s shared history. Events, landmarks, games, inside jokes—these are some of the things that give Blakely’s couples their own distinct identities and personalities. These little surprise details added so much charm to the fabric of Flynn and Sabrina’s story, and Blakely is a master at not only finding this intriguing material but also weaving it into her tales.

Come as You Are was enchanting and entertaining, and I was utterly charmed and thoroughly captivated by Flynn and Sabrina’s sweet, sexy romance. I positively devoured this book, happily swooning on my sofa the entire way through. Five smooches from me for Lauren Blakely’s Come as You Are !

~ Danielle Palumbo

 

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