Laura's Big Break (London Girls Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Right after this book I read “Exclusively Yours” by Shannon Stacey. As a coincidence it was the same plot, but EY was more fun and more enjoyable. The difference was how the guy felt and treated the girl. So here’s the comparison.
In LBB Laura liked her neighbor Charlie. In her late teens, Laura went to Charlie and asked to have sex. They did. Afterwards he left without saying a word. She was angry that he did not say thank you or say anything. They have not seen each other for 12 years. Laura now works for a women’s magazine. Charlie is a celebrity due to saving a little girl while in the army in Afghanistan. He won’t give interviews to the press. Laura’s boss learns that Laura used to know Charlie and demands Laura interview Charlie. Laura talks with Charlie and he refuses, but that night for the first time in ages he gets a good night’s sleep. He suffers PTSD nightmares. So Charlie decides that she can accompany him on his two week bike riding vacation. He doesn’t tell her that arguing and being with her keeps his nightmares away. He will let her interview him at the end. Most of the story takes place during the two weeks of biking and camping. There is a lot of arguing and conflict. Normally that’s ok with me but this was not well done - probably because Charlie didn’t like her (or didn’t act like it). Also Laura is the one always doing the initiating - even at the end. That’s not a good trope for me. I want the guy to show desire or pursue her.
In EY, Keri and Joe were in love as teenagers. Keri broke up with Joe because she wanted to go out into the world as a journalist. Joe wanted to stay in their small town and be near his family. It is 18 years later. Keri works for an entertainment magazine. Joe is a famous novelist who won’t give interviews. Keri’s boss learns Keri used to date Joe. Keri’s boss forces Keri to go to Joe for interview. Joe still loves her and wants her. He tells her he will answer one question a day if she accompanies him on his family’s camping vacation for two weeks. She does.
The plot/settings are almost identical, but EY was sooo much better. I enjoyed it throughout. The big difference was the way Joe desired and loved Keri. It was pleasant being the recipient of those feelings and actions.
OTHER BOOKS by Janet Elizabeth Henderson:
Instead of LBB, I suggest the author’s Invertary series. I gave 5 stars to the first book in that series “Lingerie Wars.”
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Kindle count length: 2,537 (195 pages). Swearing language: mild. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: two scenes referred to but no details shown. Setting: current day England, Holland, and Bolivia. Copyright: 2012. Genre: contemporary romance.
And the HEA...I've never been so ticked off about the way a happily-ever-after was written in my life. I almost stopped reading the last couple of pages. I guess maybe the ending was supposed to be amusing, but I felt it was more disrespectful to Laura and stupid than funny.
I understand that a successful romance story has to have a little antagonism between the couple to make it work out, but I also expect to be able to like the characters. I would be more inclined to punch Charlie in the face than cheer him on.
This was great! A sweet read of two people discovering all that they didn't know about each other. I envy their trip around Holland, even if I don't lust for the bike/camping trip.
I loved this one, LOL: "Under the heading of 'other abilities' she could write 'scarier than armed conflict'."
Her boss does have a point about her being in the more adult leagues; I just can't agree with her moral decisions. It's one of those things I dislike about journalists. Yes, I am making a blanket judgment, but, as Claire says, next week the world will focus on something or someone else. In the meantime, the hatchet job a media outlet does on someone sticks to that person forever. It's not fair to force this on someone, especially when someone like Claire Douglas is going to twist it around simply to encourage her readership. Who cares how it hurts the guy? The general world will forget it, even if the people who know him will harass him about it for as long as their memory of it lasts.
Okay, wait...how does Laura think she's gonna fix things by going ahead with this interview? Sure, she makes a good point about his needing to grow up; she also needs to do some growing up, as Charlie has pointed out.
Henderson did an interesting twist on her approach to this romance with a woman who is out there and the summerhouse-fling who avoids her (I do have to wonder about a guy who is still so hormonally driven at twenty-three and still doesn't have much control). It's not an earthshaking story with great tension, but it certainly tips the drama quotient with its insight into two very different people who don't want to be attracted to each other. A bet, a deal, and two "children" ragging on each other. Growing into each other with each getting what they never knew they wanted.
"...she looked...like an evil fairy. ...innocence personified. He knew better."
Humor abounds from Laura's losses of control to Charlie's bits of revenge to fellow cyclists who enjoy the Laura show. The wedding...oh, lordy.
"Which campsite are you going to after this?" they wanted to know. "We don't want to miss what happens next."
Nice use of Laura's dysfunctional parents to bring a depth to Laura's issues. Laura's maneuver to first meet up with Charlie was brilliant if not actually practical in the real world. I definitely loved Henderson's resolution! Absolutely perfect and totally unexpected!
Ever since Charlie tore off after taking her virginity, Laura has really hated him. Now, she's going to be forced into his company. If she wants to keep that job she's struggled to achieve.
Laura Prentice is a woman with whom you will always know where you stand, honest to a fault. No matter how painful or embarrassing. She's finally made it up to the adult audience magazines and she's determined to stay there!
Claire Douglas is her bitch of a new boss at Francine magazine. No morals and no consideration. Maggie is Claire's unhappy assistant.
Charlie Lewis, a.k.a., the Neanderthal, is her best friend's, Maddie's, brother. And a childhood neighbor. These days, he's Dr. Hottie at the Emergency Department (ED), suffering through a viral video of a rescue he did in Afghanistan. Frank is a friend and senior nurse at the ED. Mark Chambers is with Medicine International and looking for an on-call doctor.
The cover is in the spirit of the story, even if it doesn't reflect the actual tale. It's all about taking a chance, letting it fly free just as Laura's flip-flop-clad feet are doing through the open window of that car.
No kidding! It truly is Laura's Big Break, in so many ways, LOL!
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