Blurred Lines

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USA TODAY BESTSELLER • In a novel that’s perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne delivers a sexy take on the timeless question: Can a guy and a girl really be “just friends”?

When Parker Blanton meets Ben Olsen during her freshman year of college, the connection is immediate—and platonic. Six years later, they’re still best friends, sharing an apartment in Portland’s trendy Northwest District as they happily settle into adult life. But when Parker’s boyfriend dumps her out of the blue, she starts to wonder about Ben’s no-strings-attached approach to dating. The trouble is, even with Ben as her wingman, Parker can’t seem to get the hang of casual sex—until she tries it with him.

The arrangement works perfectly . . . at first. The sex is mind-blowing, and their friendship remains as solid as ever, without any of the usual messy romantic entanglements. But when Parker’s ex decides he wants her back, Ben is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ben starts seeing a girl from work, Parker finds herself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship on the rocks for the first time, Parker and Ben face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t go back. And maybe, deep down, they never want to.

Accolades

“Lauren Layne is the queen of fun and sexy all rolled into one. She knows how to write smart and hilarious characters that I want to read over and over again. Blurred Lines is her best yet!”—Cassie Mae, bestselling author of Doing It for Love

“I read Blurred Lines straight through in one sitting. Ben and Parker are fabulous together.”—USA Today bestselling author Laura Drewry

“Lauren Layne books are a guilty pleasure, and Blurred Lines is no different. Ben and Parker’s friends-to-lovers romance is sinfully sweet, wickedly provocative, and brimming with playful, witty banter that had me laughing, crying, and swooning from beginning to end.”—Tessa Teevan, author of Incinerate

“Blurred Lines is a raw, no-holds-barred portrayal of two best friends making the choice to become lovers, and it’s the best I’ve ever read!”—The Romance Reviews

“[A] beautiful, fantastic book . . . another huge win.”—Star-Crossed Book Blog

“Fresh and fast-paced, Blurred Lines is a perfect escape/comfort read, and guaranteed to cheer a girl up when she’s feeling down.”—Unquietly Me

“Lauren Layne is one of the best authors writing today and I was reminded of that as I read this book. . . . It was hot and sexy and sweet. I laughed and shrieked and cried, exactly what I want from a book.”—Obsessed with Romance

“I was pulled further and further into this book by great writing, developed characters, and their witty and humorous ways. I look forward to more from this author in the future!”—The Sassy Bookista

“Excellent opening, stellar writing, with two lead characters I couldn’t help but like and want to know more about . . . a fun, humorous, beautiful love story! Highly recommend!”—Okie Dreams Book Reviews

“It’s a classic friends-to-lovers trope, but it’s done so, so well with characters and situations that you’ll love, and a book that’ll leave you grinning by the end.”—Rhea’s Neon Journal

“[Layne] brings all the things I love in chick lit to the NA genre, giving me butterflies in my stomach and feel-good, well, feels every time. I’ve mad love for this author, and I hope you give her a try if you haven’t yet.”—Will Read for Feels

“I absolutely, hands down am so happy that we got to read Ben’s thoughts along the way. I think it made you fall even more in love with the guy. If you are looking for a fabulous friends-to-lovers story, then definitely pick this one up!”—Three Girls & a Book Obsession

“Funny, sweet and swoony.”—Kimberly Faye Reads

“I loooooooved it! I loved it like 200%! I had a blast while reading it! Every page was something extraordinary that was pulling you deeper into the dimension that’s called Blurred Lines.”—Collector of Book Boyfriends & Girlfriends

Excerpts

“Hey, what happened to the must wear shirts in the kitchen rule?” I ask, shoveling in an- other bite of increasingly soggy Wheat Chex into my mouth.

“No such rule exists,” he says, with a wink for Liz-slash-Airhead. Her expression softens lightly, and I resist the urge to slap a little sense into the poor girl. I want to tell her that his winks are a dime a dozen, but what’s the point? She has AIRHEAD printed on her sweatpants for God’s sake.

“There is too a rule about shirts in the kitchen,” I insist. “House rule number fourteen. Speaking of which, where are my house rules?”

“Hard to say,” he says, opening the fridge and glancing at its meager offerings before pouring a cup of coffee instead. “But I may have used them to mop up OJ the other day. Or maybe as a coaster for my beer.” He snapped his fingers. “Oh wait, no, I remember. I just plain threw them away the old-fashioned way.”

I point to the doorway. “Shirt. Now.”

He glances at Liz. “She can’t concentrate when my abs are on display. We have to give her anti-swoon pills.”

He absently rubs a hand over his abs as he looks me up and down.

“You should change. You can’t wear your ratty booty shorts and that ugly T-shirt to IKEA.”

“First of all, you can absolutely wear your rattiest and ugliest T-shirts to IKEA. That’s pretty much the IKEA dress code. And second, we’re not going to IKEA. Really, are you getting so comfortable with your lies that they become fact in your mind?”

“We are going to IKEA,” he says, running a hand through his short brown hair before heading toward the stairs.

“For what?” I ask. “I need a new dresser.” “What’s wrong with your old dresser?” “It broke.” I wrinkle my nose. “How the hell do you break a dresser?” He shoots me a look over his shoulder and wiggles his eyebrows.

“Don’t use all the hot water!” I shout, pounding my palm on the door.

The door opens just enough for me to see one blue eye blinking back at me. “Didn’t you say Polly had a tangle? You better go get on that.”

The door shuts again, and I pound a second time. “Remember, the green towel is mine. The white one is yours.”

I wait for confirmation, but there’s only silence.

“Ben, I know you can hear me! Don’t ‘accidentally’ use mine just because yours smells funny.”

More silence.Damn it. He is so planning to use my towel. So, yeah, my best friend is a guy. Doesn’t mean I have to like it all the time.

Ben’s name is in my FAVORITES list, and I hit dial. He answers on the second ring. “Parks.” And then, for some weird reason, that’s when the tears come. All at once, they flood my eyes and are running down my cheeks as I make an ugly blubbering noise. “Parker?” Ben’s voice is sharper now. I try to take a deep breath and it sounds like a honk. “Can you come get me?” “Anywhere. Always.”

I’ve never been kissed like this. Never been pinned against the wall, my hands held out of commission by strong fingers and even stronger arms. Never had my mouth devoured like it was the best kind of dessert as a firm male body reminded me exactly how female I am.

Slowly, though, my fingers savoring the familiar soft skin. And then I let her go. I let her go all the way then, because she’s my best friend. And because I care way too much to hurt her anymore than I already have by keeping her close.

Parker is more than a friend.

Has perhaps always been more than a friend. The realization turns me upside down, inside out, and yet . . . I can never let her know it. Not unless I want to lose her all over again.

And eventually I’ll hear, and I’ll congratulate her and I’ll even toast her wedding, but I

just can’t hear it right now. I can’t hear that the girl I love is going to get married to someone else. I love her.I swallow and turn away from her, squeezing my eyes shut. I love her so much.

“You recently pointed out that I haven’t had a serious girlfriend for as long as I’ve known

you,” I say roughly. “Don’t you want to know why?” She hesitates, then nods.

I gently kiss her mouth before continuing. “It’s because I fell in love with this incredible girl my freshman year. Only I didn’t know how to be in love, so I did the only thing I could to keep her close. I became her friend. I became her best friend, and buried all of my own feelings so deep that I didn’t even recognize them, because her feelings were all that mattered, and she wanted this other guy.”

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