Walk of Shame
If you loved the Amy Adams/Patrick Dempsey movie Enchanted, then you are going to love this book. Essentially, it’s Enchanted fan fiction and I don’t mean that as a bad thing. Stuffy divorce lawyer Andrew has zero time for ridiculousness, frivolity, fluff – whatever word you want to assign to his neighbor, Georgina, he has no time for it. Georgie, a kind and generous socialite, is fascinated as to why this gorgeous man hates her and has decided to win him over. Of course, he doesn’t really hate her, and he wins her over right back, and all ends happily ever after.
Most mornings at 5am, Georgie stops on her way home from whatever club she’s been at to pick up donuts for the security staff of her building. A happy coincidence is that the frustratingly fascinating Andrew Mulroney leaves the building for his gym at 5am. They’re not friends for sure, and they’re not really enemies. They’re more like sparring partners passing in the night, but each has gotten under the other’s skin.
When a particular jab lobbed by Andrew has Georgie retaliating that he doesn’t know her at all, the pair end up agreeing that Georgie will spend a day shadowing him. She’ll start with his gym routine, then go to the office, and so on and so forth. He’s convinced she won’t last more than twenty minutes and she’s determined to prove to him that heiresses have more stamina than he gives them credit for.
The day doesn’t go according to plan, because, well, it doesn’t, but it ups the ante between them for sure. Before they know it, and with a paparazzi shot speeding up the process, they’re not only friends, but something much more. A very sexy something more, by the way. Their chemistry crackles from page one and I had a hard time putting this one down!
I adore Lauren Layne’s books. I prefer her series, because I love how she weaves people together, but her standalones are delightful as well and Walk of Shame is no exception. We get much more of the story from Georgie’s point of view than from Andrew’s, which made me feel like I knew and understood her better. Andrew is the one with the hero’s journey in this, however, so I wish we could have gotten inside his head a bit more.
Oh – and in case that hero’s journey comment leads you to believe Georgie is perfect from start to finish, let me dissuade you of that notion. Her growth is subtler – she has to decide if the picture perfect idea she has of her life is really accurate and how much vulnerability she’s willing to risk if it’s not. Since we’re in her first-person PoV for over half the book (Andrew’s chapters are third-person PoV, FYI), we get to hear her wonderings, her shifts in perspective – especially regarding the nature of marriage, love, and happily ever afters.
At 200 pages, the story moves quickly and I, personally, think it could have taken its time a bit more. For what it is, I recommend it, and am already looking forward to Ms. Layne’s next offering.