Blurred Lines by Lauren LayneBlurred Lines by Lauren Layne
Published August 2015
Genres: New Adult
Format: ARC

Note: I was granted an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my rating or the content of my review.

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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.

Parker Blanton and Ben Olsen have been roommates since college and are a prime example demonstrating that male/female friendship can exist without any sexual undercurrent. In fact, Parker has been with her boyfriend for 5 years now and Ben seeks satisfaction from casual one-night-stand repeats.

But as her boyfriend dumps her, Parker is having a hard time adjusting and doesn’t want to engage into any kind of relationship – just to avoid getting hurt again. But to satisfy her “needs”, she wills herself to be more like Ben, and gives casual sex her best try. After a few failed attempts, she has a brilliant idea: why not use her roommate to get it? After all, there will never be any awkward moments since there a no feelings involved, and they’d both benefit from this arrangement.

“No string-attached sex with the hottest girl I know, who I won’t be dying to get rid of after? Hell. Yes.”

But what if strings that have actually always been there finally surface?

What I loved about this book:

  • The humour and banter between the MCs
  • All the feels, and the very enjoyable steamy scenes

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The plot was a tad predictable
  • The female MC was quite annoying at times

I was so glad to have been granted Blurred Lines as an ARC because Lauren Layne is definitely a great author I only recently discovered – I absolutely loved her Redemption Series and I’ve yet to read 3 out of the 4 Stiletto books. This book is no exception to this rule of awesomeness and it is definitely a great story for readers who fancy friends-to-lovers stories.

The story is a lot like The Virgin Romance Novelist by Meghan Quinn or When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill. The plot was kind of predictable – even from the blurb – but I wouldn’t let that influence my overall rating because the characters and plot-developments are intricate enough to make it a unique story.

Indeed, Lauren Layne is extremely good at making up wonderful characters with great chemistry. And her writing style is game in point too, as she almost had me during the first chapters of the book: I almost believed that there really were no feelings at all between Ben and Parker (except feelings of friendship) because their friendship is so wonderful, deep and genuine.

“She’s still my friend, first and always, and I’ll be whatever she wants me to be. Even if that’s quiet.”

I noticed that most of my highlights are definitely from Ben’s point of view. I really liked him, even though he was made out to be a manwhore in the beginning (one that I absolutely didn’t like because he spoke like having sex with a girl more than once would make his thing fall off). But if you look at it from a different angle, he’s “been with” Parker for years, knowing her ins and outs and helping her through the most difficult times of her life (during which her actual boyfriend let her down!).

He demonstrates a sense of loyalty and so much caring toward Parker that it’s almost painfully sweet. And it becomes even more obvious when the two of them start hooking up. And before that, even though he and Parker are really “only” roommates, they feel like an old couple with formed habits and clearly attributed roles. Ben alo clearly becomes the romantic one in Blurred Lines, as he admits to his feelings much sooner than Parker does.

“Sometimes when I look back at all those years ago, I’ll have a split-second of regret that I didn’t act fast – that I didn’t snatch up the best girl I’ve ever met when I had the chance. Because I can’t now. She’s someone else’s girl.”

Now as for Parker, she’s a pretty “principled” girl. Has a long time boyfriend, studies hard, and her “moral conscience” leads her to despise her roommates’ promiscuity even though she tolerates it. And like in most friends-to-lovers stories, the female heroine (that’s Parker…) is pretty dense and doesn’t notice just how head over heels the male counterpart (Ben) really is, as the story moves on.

“Ben’s on a rather awe-inspiring mission to seduce the entire female population in Western Oregon.”

Also, major no-go to me was the fact that while it was pretty clear to Ben where his feelings for Parker stood, Parker remains undecided for… quite a while.

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It was also slightly annoying that she would often not practice what she preaches, and go and condemn Ben’s attitude when she wasn’t exactly in the right position to judge (hello, who offered the FWB deal in the first place?). So she desperately needed an eye-opener, and Ben made sure to give her that. And there’s also some additional drama in-between, just to make sure the story doesn’t just revolve around their arrangement.

So in the end, if you can look beyond Parker’s somewhat annoying character, you will find a great deal of humour and hilarious banter between her and Ben, and ultimately some very enjoyable steamy scenes, which round up the reading pretty nicely, as does the ending.

It might not be the best Lauren Layne book I’ve read, but it’s definitely worth checking out.

Detailed Rating
4 Stars
4 Stars
5 Stars
All the feels
5 Stars
Overall: four-stars