Isn’t She Lovely

Isn’t She Lovely

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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?

One-Liners
  • A New Adult spin on Pygmalion, the beloved tale that inspired Pretty Woman, My Fairy Lady, and She's All That.
Accolades

“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

Excerpts

Instead of the carefree, find-myself summer I envisioned, I’ll be spending the next three months with my own life-sized Ken doll.

And here’s what you don’t learn in Film 101…in real life? The meet-cute isn’t the least bit cute. It’s more like a meet-awkward. Sometimes even a meet-shoot-me-now.

In no ecosystem should we even be acknowledging each other’s existence.

I resign myself to apologizing to the miniature goth monster.

"Stephanie, huh?” I ask, when she doesn’t respond. “You go by Steph?”

“No. Not Steph.” she says as we cross the street to the familiar green and white Starbucks logo. “My ex-boyfriend called me that so I’m kind of over it.”

God, someone actually dated this cranky little midget? Then my eyes skimmed the perky cleavage beneath the tiny tank top. Right. There was that.

I’ve moved before I realize I’m going to, and suddenly Stephanie is in my arms and I’m carrying my fake girlfriend through the Upper West Side as she mutters threats in my ear, and even though my delicate little flower is cursing up a storm, I find myself grinning.

"Some guys have a thing for cheerleaders,” he says, his voice easy.

I roll my eyes as I start tossing socks into the bag. “Let me guess. You want to know if I still have my old uniform.”

He sets the picture back on the nightstand and moves toward the door. “Nah. Not my thing. But I think I could develop a thing for girls in combat boots.”

I spin around in surprise, wanting to see his face, wanting to know if he means what I think he means. But he’s already gone.

Ethan glances down at our linked hands as though confused as to why he’s touching me, before he finally—finally—gets his shit together.

I look like the troubled girl parents warn their kids away from, and Ethan looks like the homecoming king.

But I can’t be mad at her for keeping her head on straight. I was the one who messed up. I broke the cardinal rule in this little game we’re playing: I went and forgot that it is a game.

A mistake I have no intention of repeating