⭐️⭐️ REVIEW: Made in Manhattan by Lauren Layne

I’ve read and enjoyed nearly every book Lauren Layne has written, but this one might be my least favorite. There were SO MANY things that bugged me about the story, so every time the lighthearted banter started to pull me in, something would rub me the wrong way. We don’t get the hero’s perspective and he really isn’t likable – he barely says anything, and 95% of what he says is mean. Our heroine is a bit of a doormat, and she’s also in a semi-relationship with a man she claims to love for a significant portion of the book. Add that to a My Fair Lady-inspired storyline that makes most of the characters sound like judgmental jerks, and this just didn’t sit right.

The story follows Violet, a woman who fits in perfectly with the New York elite. She “works” for an elderly woman who is more like family to her than anyone else, so it’s a shock to Violet’s system when the woman discovers she has a grandson she never knew about. He’s a crass, bearded man from New Orleans who feels more comfortable in scuffed boots and worn jeans than a suit and tie, but if Cain wants to take over the family business, then he’ll need to clean up his act. Who better to teach him how to fit into NYC society than the woman who has molded herself into the perfect socialite? But as Violet and Cain spend more time together, they realize that they aren’t so different after all.

On paper, this sounds right up my alley. Not only am I a longtime fan of Layne’s rom coms, but I also love My Fair Lady and an opposites attract romance. And there IS some great banter in this; I loved the playfulness of some of the scenes, and had we gotten to know Cain better, I probably would’ve liked this more. Unfortunately, he doesn’t do much to win either the reader or Violet over. He’s a jerk for 90% of the book, and I lost respect for Violet every time she swooned over his behavior. There’s also a lot of needless drama involving the guy Violet is in a relationship with AND Cain is dating/sleeping with other women for who knows how long. No amount of banter could override the disappointment I felt about other aspects of the story, and the length is too short to really delve into anything too deep. Here’s hoping that this is an isolated miss for Layne, because I’ve sincerely enjoyed many of her books in the past. I appreciated receiving an early copy, and am voluntarily leaving a review of this opposites attract romance.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/34pDIm6


Blurb:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Central Park Pact comes a reverse My Fair Lady for the modern era about a pampered and privileged Manhattan socialite who must teach an unpolished and denim-loving nobody from the Louisiana Bayou how to fit in with the upper crust of New York City. Perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne.

Violet Townsend has always been a people pleaser. Raised in the privileged world of Upper East Side Manhattan, she always says the right things, wears the right clothes, and never rocks the boat. Violet would do anything for the people closest to her, especially her beloved grandmother. So when she asks Violet to teach the newly-discovered grandson of her friend how to fit in with New York City’s elite, Violet immediately agrees. Her goal? To get Cain Stone ready to take his place as heir to his family company…but to say he’s not exactly an eager student is an understatement.

Born and raised in rural Louisiana and now making his own way in New Orleans, Cain Stone is only playing along for the paycheck at the end. He has no use for the grandmother he didn’t know existed and no patience for the uppity Violet’s attempts to turn him into a suit-wearing, museum-attending gentleman. 

But somewhere amidst antagonistic dinner parties and tortured tux fittings, Cain and Violet come to a begrudging understanding—and the uptight Violet realizes she’s not the only one doing the teaching. As she and Cain begin to find mutual respect for one another (and maybe even something more), Violet learns that blindly following society’s rules doesn’t lead to happiness…and that sometimes the best things in life come from the most unexpected places.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/34pDIm6


About the Author:

Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than three dozen romantic comedies. Her books have sold over a million copies worldwide. Lauren’s work has been featured in Publishers Weekly, Glamour, The Wall Street Journal, and Inside Edition. She is based in New York City.


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