Desert Isle Keeper
Someone Like You
I am convinced Lauren Layne and I were sisters in a past life. It’s the only reasonable explanation for this intense connection that we seem to share. She just gets me – like really gets me – and I swear she’s writing books with me in mind. How else could almost every one of her books feel like a winner to me? She strikes the perfect balance of laughter, tears, hope, angst and love. She’s not afraid to tackle tough subjects, and her writing always evokes the gamut of human emotion. I am a little addicted to the heady sense of satisfaction that always stays with me after I am done reading a Lauren Layne book.
I look forward to everything Ms. Layne writes, but I have never anticipated one of her books as much as Someone Like You. It’s the third book in the Oxford series and features the enigmatic, mysterious and hunky Lincoln Mathis. If you’ve read the previous two books in the series (or The Trouble with Love in her Love, Sex & Stiletto series) then you’ve met and invariably noticed Lincoln. He’s one of those rare secondary characters who leaps off the page and demands his own story, and readers have been a little obsessed with him since he first appeared. While all the Oxford books are stand-alone reads, you’ll love Someone Like You even more if you follow the series order and develop your own crush on Lincoln before diving into his story. It’s not necessary but recommended.
Lincoln is a journalist who writes a column about dating, women and sex for New York based Oxford magazine. He’s every man’s best friend and every woman’s fantasy; sexy as hell and alluringly enigmatic, he’s one of Manhattan’s biggest playboys.
Or is he?
Lincoln’s life appears to be a single, thirty-ish man’s definition of ideal, but it is all a carefully calculated facade to conceal deep pain and emotional burdens that make his life anything but perfect. He makes sure no one – not his closest friends, not casual acquaintances, not avid readers – sees what he doesn’t want them to see, and he’s been successful at hiding in plain sight until he meets Daisy Sinclair.
Daisy lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is in New York for her twin sister’s wedding. Lincoln’s best friend and colleague is the groom; therefore, he and Daisy meet at the big event. Lincoln was warned beforehand to keep a lid on his charm and stay away from her, because she recently went through a painful divorce and is still reeling from the after-effects. He vows to keep his sexy super powers under wraps, but no warning can stop the connection he feels with Daisy when they meet. It’s instant, humbling and a little scary. There’s sexual attraction between them but this is not insta-lust; there’s a look-into-my-eyes-and-see-my-soul connection there that is not just about desire. Daisy can sense there is more to Lincoln than the easy going, debonair playboy he appears to be, and no one else has questioned him before. He is likewise certain there’s more to Daisy and the story of her recent breakup and senses she is also someone who is lonely and isolated due to the secrets that they keep. Inexplicably he feels comfortable enough with Daisy to let down his guard and shares more with her in twenty-four hours than he has shared with any of his close friends in twenty-four months. He instinctively trusts her and doesn’t feel like he has to pretend to be someone he is not.
Lincoln is not emotionally available for more than friendship with Daisy, and she’s not quite ready to jump back into a relationship; therefore, they part ways with a burgeoning friendship after their intense weekend. Lincoln resumes his role as the Lincoln that everyone expects him to be, but life’s circumstances soon crack his protective veneer and force him to reveal himself. It’s freeing for Lincoln to abandon the charade, but he’s broken and has a long road ahead to heal and to discover exactly who the real Lincoln is.
He and Daisy find themselves together again when he travels to Charlotte to write a story about dating in the South and stays at her house. Daisy is hesitant but ready to risk her heart again and be more than just a friend to Lincoln, but he is still reeling from life’s wallops and not sure he will ever be ready to open his heart.
It is obvious that Someone Like You was written from the very depth of Ms. Layne’s heart. She pours herself into Lincoln and Daisy and crafts a beautiful and thought provoking story that will move the most stoic of readers. Lincoln seeks to feel in control in an uncontrollable world by manipulating what people think of him. It’s a dangerous and futile game, but sometimes life is so painful that the only comfort to be found is through these small acts of pretending to be in control. Lincoln’s transformation and rebirth is enthralling, gut-wrenching and poignant, with plentiful doses of laughter and charming appearances by Layne series regulars. Someone Like You entertains and inspires, as a well-written romance should. This is why so many of us read romances, aside from the assurance of a happily ever after for the characters. We want to see love allowing someone to abandon their defenses and be their most unfiltered self and still feel acceptance. Daisy helps Lincoln find the strength to find himself again, and – while he’ll never forget the pain he experienced – he discovers hope again, and his tale will encourage anyone who has suffered. Ms. Layne has created a truly heartfelt story that will resonate with readers and have you thinking about Lincoln and Daisy long after you’ve finished reading.