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Sex, Love & Stiletto #2

Love the One You're With

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Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series simmers to a boil as two high-powered magazine writers find love amid a war of words.
As a leading columnist for Stiletto, Grace Brighton has built a career warning women about rotten, cheating liars. She just never suspected her fiancé would be one of them. After Grace takes a heart-mending hiatus, her first assignment is to go on a couple of dates with a counterpart from the men’s magazine Oxford and report her impressions. Grace 1.0 may have been instantly smitten with the gorgeous correspondent, but Grace 2.0 has sworn off relationships for six months, and she’s not falling for his outstanding bod and trophy-winning kisses . . . or is she?
Jake Malone wants to get back to the fly-by-night, who-knows-what’s-next guy he used to be, and he knows exactly how to do it. Oxford is adding a travel section, and Jake—with no wife and no kids and a willingness to live anywhere, eat anything, do everything—is perfect for the job . . . except that his playboy reputation makes his new editor nervous. To get the gig, he must agree to a fluffy joint article with Stiletto. But after just one date with snooty, sumptuous, sensational Grace Brighton, Jake starts taking this assignment a whole lot more seriously.

228 pages, ebook

First published December 9, 2013

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About the author

Lauren Layne

54 books9,927 followers
Lauren Layne is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Hot Asset, Hard Sell, and Huge Deal in her 21 Wall Street series, as well as her Central Park Pact series. Her books have sold more than a million copies in nine languages. 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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5 stars
3,224 (31%)
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4,672 (44%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 944 reviews
Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,532 followers
November 28, 2013

Lauren Layne I heart you and your gorgeously romantic books ...


Ladies there's a new batchelor in town. Prepare yourselves to fall in love with one charming, delectable character. Welcome to 'Love the one you're with' a story about finding love where you least expected to. Lauren Layne is fast approaching my favourite find of this year, and I'm confessing right now that I would stalk any of her new releases like a true addict should. Here are my book thoughts ...

What's it all about?
Grace Brighton is expected to know all about love, lust, make up's, break up's, cheating boyfriends, husbands especially finances. As one of the 'it girls' of stiletto magazine Grace is the leading lady of relationship advice, so it comes as a huge shock when she realises that her own love live is not as squeaky clean as she would like. So with a broken heart and ego grace sets off to prove to the world (and herself) that she has what it takes to play the relationship field. First assignment: date her rival, Jake Malone. Jake knows the kind of man he is, no ties, no commitments and definitely no falling in love with the snooty, confident Grace Brighton but after just one date these two rivals realise they may be falling a little harder than anticipated.


What did I love?
Lauren Layne is the queen of romantic treats, her books are the best kind of 'let me escape' books. Her style is easy going and sweet but all her books are written with class and heart. This series is perfect for my reading tastes, comfortable predictability with enough enjoyable story line and sexy steam to make it a well rounded romantic journey. The story delivers a 'rivals to more/I'm not sure I like you, let alone love you' spin on a traditional love story, the characters are all likeable and each play their own parts to perfection. This author writes some of the best sexual chemistry and this book is no exception the connection between Jake and Grace made me sit up and take notice and I was cheering for the duo from Start to finish, speaking of the finishing line if perfectly written endings are your addiction then this book will leave you with the biggest smile on your romance addict face. Jake Malone is one dreamy, handsome character he combines sweet with clueless and I was crazy for his point of view, nothing grabs my reading attention than getting the whole picture of the story and adding this element to the story meant there was added humour and meaning to the couples relationship. Grace Brighton although not my favourite character in this series was relatable with her insecurities but the author didn't labour on this characters short comings and was quick to develop Grace into a character who grew to be loveable. The author has a consistency of plot line no strange twists or unnecessary drama included here, just 200 plus pages of pure reading indulgence. All in all I was swept up in this scrumptious love saga and i'm more than happy to recommend this series to love addicts, just like me.


Why not five?
I wanted a bit more (let's face it I can't get enough of this authors writing) I was getting into the flow of reading and I felt it was all over a bit too quickly, I didn't connect with the heroine in this book as much as previous, but you're not going to find too much complaint from me about this series, it just missed the five star mark by a fraction and I'm eagerly awaiting more from this author.

Final thoughts ...
If you love your romance stories to be full of sweet and sexy then you must add Lauren Layne's book to your 'I need to read those books' pile. I am such a fan and I am happy to declare Lauren Layne as my favourite author of 2013. 'Love the one you're with' is the second of a series and it did not fail to deliver the romantic fix I badly needed. The future looks bright for the continuation of the series with other delightful characters lined up to take the limelight. I can't recommend this author enough. Go grab it readers, enjoy ... Kisses.

*ARC generously provided by random house publishing, via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Alba and Her Secrets..♥.
828 reviews1,027 followers
November 16, 2015
5 "HeSaidSheSaid" Stars!

 photo Love the One Youre With - Lauren Layne_zpswo3bdbmw.png

So, continuing my reading of Lauren Layne's Sex, Love & Stiletto series, now with the second book. Love the One You're With is about Grace Brighton (a journalist in the female magazine and a woman who has just taken a love hiatus after realising his long-time boyfriend has been cheating on her) and Jake Malone (a journalist in Oxford magazine and the one chosen in this 'experiment' to write a joint article with one of the girls in Stiletto, who -obviously- happens to be Grace).

“This wasn’t like other first dates,” he said, breaking the silence.
Her heart sank. “Oh,” she said, ignoring the stab of disappointment. Hating that he had to pity her.
His eyes dropped to her mouth. “It was a hell of a lot better.”

The first book was quite emotional for me, and this one too but in another way (I didn't cry this time LOL). Still loving the author's writing and her characters (they are so funny and so sweet). I loved the back and forth with Jake and Grace and how they finally stop worriying about the articles and start being together. They are so cute and again, SO HOT.

“There’s this other guy …” she said, her voice raspy.
“Uh-huh,” she said, growing a little bolder. “And he’s not really a one-woman kind of guy, but the thing is … I can’t stop thinking about him.”
“Have you asked him?”
“Asked him what?” she asked, confused.
“If he wants to be a one-woman kind of guy?”

I do not want to make this a very-long review because I feel like I am saying quite the same about all these books (because I loved them so much LOL), so I will go straight to the point!

Therefore, my final rating for this is 5 STARS because, as I said before, I really enjoyed this story and knowing more about all the characters (and finally, the introduction of Cole Sharpe, YAAAAY). I liked that we had an amazing ending moment and an epilogue this time, as well. So, again, totally recommend reading this!!!

Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,976 followers
February 27, 2014
4 “He Said She Said” Stars.

Stiletto Magazine, now working together with Oxford Magazine, brings us once again one controversial issue. Both gender magazines and both of them trying to make their readers understand better the scary “other side”, they decide to throw two journalists to the arena and make them “fake-dating” in order to understand what both genders want from the other person when in the process of dating… and of course, telling all the details to their public and let it decide who has the upper hand on dating: guys or girls.
Subject one: Grace.
Recently single after a nine years relationship with a cheating asshole, she swore man off her life. So she is not up to their bushtit.
Subject two: Jake.
Used to be the ultimate player and womanizer, but now he became “picky”. He believes no one understands women better than him and because of that he gets everything he wants from them.
So, which of them will win?


Obviously both of them are a lot more than that… and both of them find that out real quick during their fake dates. And when reality suddenly starts to mix with work, things will get real complicated. And so good.
Conclusion: This was a delicious reading. I felt like I was watching a romantic comedy movie and loved it.


Rating: 4 stars.
Storyline: Completely predictable and adorable. It was one of those “feel-good-books”, that we desperately need sometimes.
Writing Style: Third person, dual POV. Engaging and sweet. You will not be able to put it down.
Character Development: Both of them were pretty good. Grace was a little annoying with all the “Grace 1.0 and Grace 2.0” stuff, but you can get over that. Jake was frustrating at some moments but you will love him anyway. It was good to see the rest of the gang either.
Steam: Real heated moments.
August 21, 2022
3.5 ⭐️ jake & grace were so cute <3 loved the competition vibe & specially the ending.

this series is full of fun and fluff, and the aesthetic is 10/10 ✨
Profile Image for Amy | Foxy Blogs.
1,475 reviews975 followers
December 4, 2013
**4.5 'Mostly Likely to Succeed' stars**

Love the One You’re With is book 2 in the Sex, Love & Stiletto. If you like chick-flicks then you’ll enjoy this fun, cute book. It’s like watching a fun date movie.

Stiletto magazine is broadening their horizons by having a friendly competition with their counterpart; a men’s magazine Oxford. The readers will decide who wins this competition- the women or the men.

Grace has just found out her long term boyfriend has been cheating on her and she decides to recreate herself into Grace 2.0. The new Grace has confidence and is full of girl power. When her job at Stiletto needs a columnist for this friendly competition Grace volunteers.

Jake is Oxford's golden boy. He’s known to play the field and isn't looking to settle down. He's taken the challenge to prove that men know women better.

To complete the assignment Jake and Grace have to go on 5 dates and write articles about each of their dates. It end up with each of them trying to outsmart the other one.
”See, this is what happens when two so-called relationship experts try to date. It’s all one big game.”

After the Kiss (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #1) by Lauren Layne Love the One You're With (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #2) by Lauren Layne Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #3) by Lauren Layne
No cliffhangers. Spinoff. Each book will feature one of the three columnist.

**ARC courtesy of Random House, Loveswept, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,446 reviews1,154 followers
November 21, 2016

She went from a cheater to a manwhore…brave (or stupid).

I liked Love the one you’re with, I just wasn't completely in like with the couple.

Let’s be serious for a second…not all love stories are believable and definitely, don’t leave you with the feeling that they can stand the tests of time. This one was sweet, a little quirky and had some laugh out loud moments. I’m just not convinced this couple had staying power. Too many hits that left marks, feelings that were denied or shoved down to avoid hurt and an inability to trust in each other. All these things left me feeling that this couple had A LOT of work to do to make me believe in the possibility of an HEA for them.

Grace needs to make some changes in her life. Probably not a bad thing considering her nine-year relationship, that she thought was with the love of her life, ended with him being unfaithful. Douchewaffle.

Grace writes a romance column talking about ways to keep the love alive and knowing when your partner is cheating. Obviously, it doesn’t come across as convincing if she was cheated on for months before she knew it. Now is the time to kick men to the kerb and live life happily as a single woman.

Unfortunately, Grace nominated to do an article with a fellow journalist as a competition to see who knew the other sex better. She does it to make herself stronger and gain a bit of confidence in her abilities. He does it as a stepping stone…

Jake is a manwhore…but a nice one. Well, he thinks he’s a nice one. Most of the chicks he has banged and dropped don’t probably see him that way, unfortunately. When he is forced by his boss to take on a new job he is not happy. The job involves dating a woman 5 times over 5 months and writing up the experience. They are making it a competition to see who understands the other better. Jake is willing to do it IF he gets what he wants at the end.

Jake wants to be footloose, fancy-free and travelling the world. He wants to be a travel reporter. Boss man is willing to negotiate. Jake does the job and at the end, he can have his dream job. Jake knows women, so he thinks the job will be easy peasy…then he meets who he’s competing against.

Grace and Jake have a chemistry that jumps off the pages. Their first meeting was kind of funny and lighthearted. Grace wasn’t into the smooth talking arrogant jerk, but Jake was into the hot chick with great legs who doesn’t seem to want him.

What the?????

Everyone wants the Jake Man?!?

Hmmm…very, very interesting. When they find out they are working together or competing against each other, they take it really seriously. Their first “date” sees them both using tactics to win, but unfortunately, Jake’s win left me with a bad taste in my mouth. But don’t worry, Grace really got him back with a hit to his ego…NICE.

I actually really enjoyed this couple together most of the time. They are funny and use sarcasm and insults as a form of seduction. It’s obvious the two of them are fighting their attraction to each other from the very beginning. At times, I wanted to shake them and make them realise they were hurting themselves as much as each other. Their tough act wasn’t believable and everyone saw straight through it.

This was an interesting look into the world of glam magazines and what women want versus what men want. It also proved that deep down men don’t really understand women and women don’t really understand men. There were some steamy scenes between the couple and some really sweet interactions as well. I loved catching up with the gang from Stiletto and I enjoyed meeting the men from Oxford (the men’s magazine) as well.

I’ve already got the next book in the series ready to roll, now I just need to find some time to read it.

I’m an Aussie chick who loves to read and review romance, drink coffee, be a Style Setter and stalk David Gandy. To see more of my reviews, fashion, food and pervathons -

Profile Image for [~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥ .
501 reviews454 followers
December 8, 2013
5 stars

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

This book... gave me a ton of book butterflies. Grace works for a women's magazine and Jake works for the men's one. They team up to go on several dates and have to report their first impressions.

It was a slow starter but it set the scene for us to understand Jake and Grace better. Every kiss and every date between the couple had my heart doing flips.

...but believe me, this little thing we have will end up with us in bed one way or the other

I love the banter between Jake and Grace! If you love a regular dating romance, great chemistry and a bit cheesy predictable story, I would definitely try this!!! 

ARC provided by NetGalley. Thank you.
Quotes subject to change
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,910 reviews852 followers
November 21, 2013
4.5 Stars

Lauren Layne has quickly become one of my favorite romance authors, and Love the One You’re With is another win. Ms. Layne has a talent for writing a fun, flirty romance with some surprisingly deep emotions at the center.

Grace Brighton is one of the resident Stiletto magazine writers with a regular column as the “relationship expert” in the love, sex, and relationship section. She had thought she was in a stable, loving relationship and on the way towards walking down the aisle until she found out her boyfriend of the last nine years was cheating on her, for months. Grace is humiliated after being blindsided so thoroughly and after giving out advice publically on how to spot infidelity, she feels like a fool. To redeem her reputation at the magazine and personally, Grace has come up with a new improved version of herself: Grace 2.0. Grace 2.0 will see men for how they really are and will not be fooled by their charm and lies.

The perfect opportunity presents itself in the form of a contest between the popular men’s magazine, Oxford. A joint series of articles is to be written after five dates between a rep from each magazine, the winner being the most spot-on with their perception of the opposite sex. Grace needs to nail this to get her reputation and confidence back. She has her work cut out for her because, Jake, the opposition is oh- so-sexy, confusingly sweet, and more often than not infuriating!

Jake is a consummate bachelor and columnist at Oxford magazine. He’s roped into participating in this contest between the magazines so he can get the gig he really wants: writing as Oxford’s travel expert. He doesn’t expect to be so charmed by Grace, a girl full of contradictions and spunk.

My heart went out to Grace when I first met her in the previous novel After the Kiss. It was clear to everyone but Grace that her boyfriend was a jerk, and then she found out he was cheating, crushing her hard! I wanted to crush him hard! Grace needed a guy who appreciated her for being the loving, kind-hearted girl she is. When we meet Jake he comes off as a bit of a player, but his POV gives insight into him, showing that he had a heart underneath his womanizing ways. Here’s an example to make you sigh:

Jake wasn’t ashamed to admit that he’d never been able to walk away from a woman whose chin was doing that pre-cry wobble. And the sight of long female lashes spiky with tears made him want to fight the whole world and make it better.*

Yes, please!

Sexy, snarky banter along with heated glances, and lingering touches amped up the sexual tension between Grace and Jake. You know it’s not long before they have to give in leading to deliciously spicy scenes! Yet, this romance had some angst that felt like a punch to the gut, and I really wanted to smack Jake around a few times! Fortunately, nothing is drawn out to the point of frustrating; just enough to make a happy ending feel earned and so much sweeter.

Lauren Layne has a flair for writing romances filled chemistry and sizzle, but more than that, ones that touch your heart. I anxiously await my next Lauren Layne fix which won’t be until March with Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto #3).

A copy was provided by Loveswept through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Profile Image for Rose.
360 reviews1,002 followers
August 10, 2022
4.25⭐️ I am absolutely obsessed with Jake & Grace. Everything about them made me swoon. They both deserve the absolute world!
Profile Image for Rozberry&#x1f353;.
280 reviews97 followers
October 12, 2021
reread 10/11/21 — 5 stars

Just like the first read, I had the same a stupid grin on my face most of the time ☺️🤓. Love The One You’re With is absolutely a fake dating/feel-good romance gem imho.

(now I definitely wanna do a reread of The Trouble With Love, my other Stiletto favorite soon 🥰 )

first read 6/22/19 — 5 stars

Love The One You’re With is an irresistible feel-good romance, sure to bring a smile to your face throughout & long after. Jake & Grace quickly found their way on a short list of favorite rom-com couples. So stinkin' cute & no lack of steam either 😉.
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews10k followers
February 10, 2014
3.75 Stars!!

BR with my Loveys...Melissa & Denisse!!! <3
(ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group via Netgalley)

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This is Grace Brighton's book.
The "Love" portion of the "Dating, Love, and Sex" trio of Stiletto Magazine.

She's recently broken up with her boyfriend of 8 years, Greg.
Grace is still licking her wounds and is a novice to the dating scene, since Greg has been her long-time boyfriend since College.

Things are about to heat up for Grace's personal life and it's all thanks to a new project at work that involves a very sexy reporter from Oxford magazine, Jake Malone.
Jake and Grace had already met once recently by accident when they shared a cab towards Mid-Town.

 photo image_zps1547fc36.jpg

The project is a "He Said/She Said" column where Grace and Jake will go out on a series of dates, and will report on said dates in their respective magazines, and the public will decide who knows who better, and who seems to be falling for the other first.

Great premise!! Seriously, I was excited to get the playful banter and definite smoking hot chemistry between the two.
They're complete opposites.
Grace is "high society", and the girl you bring home to mom.
Jake is sex on a stick.
He's a man's man.
Ruggedly handsome, and beds a different beauty every night!!
As soon as he is introduced in the story, I'm swooning and imagining having his babies!!

BUT, the story started off soooooo SLOW!
It took me 4 days to finish it when, I usually take about a day to finish a Lauren Layne book.

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I could not stand the constant "Grace 2.0" references!!
It went on and on and on and on...........
I understand, Grace had her heart broken, and she wanted to be a different kind of gal.
Maybe if she mentioned it a few times, I could have dealt with it, but it was throughout the entire book.

So here I am every night trying to get thru it and WAITING, JUST WAITING, for the SEXY TIME....

 photo puppy-falling-asleep-o_zpse9358979.gif

So where was I?
Oh yea, I'm waiting for the sexy time, because, come on, Jake is super hot and Ms. Layne is pretty terrific at writing some steamy sexy time scenes!!

But there are too many scenes with the two of them at work.
I know this is about the two writing a column together and they work in the same building but, UGH, I wanted more alone times between Jack and Grace.
And the both of them back peddling whenever the question of whether or not what they were feeling or saying was "real" or for the article...well, I was BORED, and falling asleep on my couch, with my iPAD on my lap, AGAIN!!

 photo puppy-dog-falling-asleep-cute-adorable_zps00c3e7f2.gif

At about 54%, the SEX enters the story!!
YEA BABY!! Now the story picks up!!!
This is the reason why I love and enjoy a book by Lauren Layne.
The relationship starts to take off.
Walls are coming down little by little.
There are some really touching moments and I'm doing a dance because now I'm happy because I know I'm going to like this story.

I wanted to find a GIF from the "He Said/She Said" movie with Kevin Bacon, but couldn't, so this will have to do!
It sums up how I ended up feeling about this one. :)

 photo 69e6491639f748619f3bceb7d3eb26bd_zps2b8033ad.gif

There is a little angst but as in all Lauren Layne books I've read so far, it lasts for like a second and the ending was just as it should be...Perfect!

I wish this could have been a 5, but it just took too long to finally get interesting and the Grace 2.0 mentions throughout the story starting to irk me like nails on a chalkboard!!

As always, I had fun buddy reading with my two loveys, Melissa and Denisse. We had such a blast!!

Off to the third Stilettos book!!! :)

"I don't recall asking, Ms. Brighton, but believe me, this little thing we have will end with us in bed one way or the other."

"Because I want you to be a one-guy kind of woman. And I want to try to be that man."

"It's like this, Grace. I love you. I do. And I know this isn't a romantic way to say it, and I should probably have truffles and Merlot and some shit, and instead someone just spilled beer all over my foot, but that's the way my love is going to be. A little bit messy, completely confused. But it's real."

Profile Image for Syndi.
2,993 reviews690 followers
December 10, 2019
This is actually the first book I read in this series. And to my surprise, this book took me by surprise. I enjoy it more than I expected. The story is nothing new. A fake relationship in order to write an article on magazine about relationship. Grace and Jake can not be more opposite polar from each other. Grace is more wife material while Jake is adventure material.

Despite their differences, they falling in love in such sweet and cute way. The banter is also quite funny. It reminds me of that book Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Mix it a bit with Sex and the City. There is insta lust and insta love. The author highlight more the difference between men and women prospective on dating and settle down.

Character development is minimum but its sufficient to enjoy the story. Overall I enjoy this book very much.

4 stars
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,645 reviews1,512 followers
September 12, 2015
I'd write a real review except I'm binge reading these and already started the next book.

Let's just say...


- I love her, sure she was cheated on and her whole world just fell apart but she is still so damn likable.
- Six months swearing off men? Great idea in theory but that is when you know the right one will pop up.
- Her 2.0 version fighting with the 1.0 version in her head so funny.


- Typical player who really wants to settle down he just doesn't know it yet...and still he is pretty damn adorable.
- Smart, Cocky, Swarmy (is that a word, I think it is a word) Grace is everything he never knew he wanted in a woman. He has met his match.
“Your advice only works for someone like you.”
“Someone like me?”
“Handsome. Fit. Overdosed on charm.”
“Yeah, I hear women hate all those qualities,” he said, feeling oddly stung by her disdain. Why he should want Grace Brighton to like him was beyond him, but it bothered him the way she so easily dismissed him as a specimen to be analyzed.
“But you get my point,” she continued. “You could suggest a couples colonoscopy, and women would probably agree. But your suggestions aren’t universal.

The Premise:

- Hesaidshesaid - Love it!!! When on a date how well do you read the other sex. Jake and Grace are supposed to go on 5 dates and then write up what they thought the other was thinking on each one. Who will win, who will play the other better. Let the Games begin. They way that they try to get the one up on the other and the media fiasco it turns into is so much fun.

The Friends:

- We all need friends like this. I love how these girls band together and always lift the others up. There is no judgement, no meanness they are just great friends who are always rooting for you, even when you're not sure what you want.
"Listen, you’ve called the right woman. I’ve written about eight articles on exactly this problem. Now, I know this is going to be hard to believe, but what you think you’re experiencing is not real.”
“Excuse me?”
“It’s the first-date-and-I-have-absolutely-nothing-to-wear panic you’re experiencing. It’s perfectly common, but also 100 percent in your head. Now repeat after me: ‘There is the perfect thing to wear in this closet.'"
"And Grace?”
“Nobody would judge you if you put out."

Seriously we all need friends like that.

Now sure there is some cheesiness because Contemp Romance but Lauren Layne does some of the cutest meetings and has some of the best dialogue in the genre. These are so easy to devour in an afternoon. So if your mood is fun and flirty give this series a go.
Profile Image for ana clara.
208 reviews65 followers
November 23, 2022
“It's like this, Grace. I love you. I do. And I know this isn't a romantic way to say it, and I should probably have truffles and Merlot and some shit, and instead someone just spilled beer all over my foot, but that's the way my love is going to be. A little bit messy, completely confused. But it's real.”

I'm completely in love with and obsessed with Grace Brighton and Jake Malone.
I mean—hello??? They're such a cute couple, they're literally soulmates and I loved their story and development!
Grace is my new adopted best girl! She's a queen who deserves to be loved and stanned! I swear it was impossible to not like her; she’s so smart, trustful, and attentive, and I loved seeing more of her friendship with Julie, Riley and now, Emma, too. It’s understandable that she was trying to fully change her way of thinking and acting after being cheated, and I found it pretty funny how she created a 2.0 version of herself to try to protect her heart.
And Jake is THAT man—the ultimate player, womanizer, that truly thinks that no one understands women better than him. I gotta admit I didn't think I'd like him as much as I did, and I'm glad I was wrong. He's "sweet", sassy, hot, funny and intelligent—what else could someone ask for? He also works at his own pace; he's addicted to adventure, to adrenaline, and he's constantly thinking about changing something in his life without even not knowing what it is.
Their chemistry and connection are such great points of the story since the first time they met, and I loved seeing their relationship being built chapter by chapter. Also, knowing their thoughts and feelings toward each other, and seeing the changes throughout the story was something else, even more when they were not just flirting, but in a work competition.
And ma'am, I already love Emma, and knowing that Cassidy and she used to be engaged, I can't wait for their book.
Profile Image for Bindi Boo .
578 reviews118 followers
July 4, 2016
5 stars

I'm on a roll with this author. Her books are short and sweet with mild angst towards the end. A little bit of 'how to lose a guy in ten days' meets 'never been kissed'
February 14, 2015
Hmm. So this is what it feels like to rate a Lauren Lane book anything less than five stars. I mean, come on, I knew this day would come eventually because literally every book she writes is better than the last in my eyes and that kind of obsession can’t live forever, but…still. It’s oddly unsettling. A lot of it may have been my preconceived notion that I never really connected with Grace and that there was no way I could love her story as much as Riley or Julie’s even before grazing the first page…..but it’s more than that, I think. I have certain standards when it comes to her novels, only because each and every one I’ve read has exceeded anything I could have imagined, so the bar was set really high. I in no way expected to be able to physically connect with each book in her repertoire, that’s unrealistic, but I did expect to get most, if not all, of the same feels I’ve gotten with every other imaginary character she’s concocted over the years. So, when 60% hit and I was still missing the hardcore butterflies I’m so accustomed to, I have to say it really startled me.

Don’t trust a word out of Jake Malone’s mouth.
Don’t trust men. Any of them.

I think my biggest issue, as I said before, was Grace. As a character she was cute and quirky, but her inner monologue tended to be a tad repetitive even after she was proven time and again that not all men are scumbags. I’ll give Grace one thing: She has been with the guy she always figured she’d marry for over 8 years-so when he cheated, it was the ultimate betrayal. In many ways this storyline does have a certain familiarity to it, in that I can feel her pain on the deepest, darkest level. It’s extremely relatable to my case (boyfriend for 8 years), and the fact that she was so blindsided by someone who has been her rock since she was so young is a massive blow to her ego. That is all 100% relatable. What isn’t, though? All her references to Grace 1.0 and Grace 2.0. Sheesh, woman, give it a break. What started as a fun little character development turned into a defining trait of Grace, herself. I didn’t like that and I couldn’t identify with it. We all go back and forth on our ideals and what we think is right. We all get shy or bashful or unsure of ourselves-what we don’t do is constantly talk to ourselves in the form of two alter-egos. Really, honestly, if this flaw hadn’t been part of the story, I’d probably have swung to a 4.5 up from a 4. But, as it is, that was probably my largest problem with this story.

”I was being suave.”
“No, you were being vague. Next time, try ‘Hey, Grace, want to come over and order Chinese?’”
“That has no game.”
He sighed. “Grace.”
“Come over.”
She smiled at the impatience in his voice. “I just changed my clothes.”
“So…I look…sloppy.”
“You’re not the type of guy that women wear their comfy clothes around.”
Silence. “Well, maybe I want to be.”

Here’s the other kicker: the lack of their personal time. It wasn’t the characters. It wasn’t the storyline; Though, it was my least favorite synopsis from the beginning and thus why I’ve probably chosen to read this one last. And it wasn’t the surrounding characters-in fact, some of my favorite parts of this book included Riley’s overactive appetite and banter with Sam, and then Julie’s fiancé, Mitchell. Okay, I’m sorry, I have to, let’s talk about Mitchell for a second. No, he wasn’t a main character and hell no, he barely got any spotlight, but damn if my stomach didn’t erupt into a torrential butterfly storm the minute his name was mentioned or he got a few words or cameo in. He is by far my favorite Sex, Love & Stiletto male to date, and just getting a little snippet of his ass made the whole read worth it….okay, sorry, sorry *Phew* I’m calm. Back to the kicker: in literally all of LL’s stories, the characters are always in close proximity to one another throughout the entirety of the novel, so in this one, when they both had a journalist job and knew they were reporting about one another, it kind of took some of the fun away for me. 1) Because they literally never got to spend much ‘alone’ time together because the book centered around their battle for a better story and 2) Because, well, FINE. I’ll ADMIT IT. I needed that angst!!! I needed a little secrecy and the idea that maybe they didn’t know everything at all times. Like Julie and Mitchell, for instance. Their story made my heart tear in two and ceased my breathing immediately when they had their big blowup fight about Julie’s ‘dating’ article. And even Riley and Sam in book three had a huge blow up and Riley inevitably wrote a crazy article pertaining to her time with Sam….so I don’t know-I wish they would have had something…inevitable happen. It’s hard to explain. I just didn’t have any doubts about their relationship at any time and I would have liked some, as crazy as that sounds. So, the fact that I felt like they never got one on one time would have to be what bothered me most, even still after all my explanation. I feel it severed my connection not to have them spending more time together separately from the article, and it really sucks because I loved Jake as a male lead and he was super adorable and swoony-they just never had a chance to fully imbed into my heart because I felt their encounters were glossed over for the sake of their ‘He-Said-She-Said’ dating article.

”How much time do we have?”
Grace checked the clock and tried to stifle the surge of panic. “Um…about eight minutes.”
“Until you have to leave? Or is Jake coming over there?”
“He’s coming here. Something about that’s how boys from the dairy farms do it.”
A beat of silence on the other end. “I’m trying to figure out if there’s a sexual reference in there, but mostly it just seems weird.”
–Julie and Grace >.<

Jake was so sweet. He was kind, caring, and probably the most down to Earth guy, yet. He is coined as a womanizer, but when faced with the task of dating Grace Brighton, one of Stiletto’s leading women on the dating advice column, he’s nothing but faithful….it’s all in the name of the competition, right? And the same goes for Grace-when her man of 8 years breaks her heart, she volunteers to head the article that will have the women and men of their respective magazines (Stiletto and Oxford) attempting to claw their way to the top. But what happens when her new and improved *insert eye-roll here* Grace 2.0 starts to lose the battle to Grace 1.0….and where is the real Grace in all of this? Does she even exist anymore?

Jake Malone was a good journalist. A good team player, he was not.

So, that's all. That's all there is to it, really. I just….wanted some of the same issues and jealousies to be present in this one, and I didn’t get them. I still loved the banter, the snark, the altogether witty dialogue, but I missed their connection time,their ‘us’ time. So many things happened that made me so happy and I still couldn’t stop smiling-it is a LL, after all. But something was missing deep inside me. That little pull that pushed me over the edge of ‘wow this is awesome’ to ‘OMG OMG OMG I Can. Not. Put. This. Sucker. Down.’ I was somewhere in the middle at all times and while that’s a great place to be planted, as a reader, I know better-I know what it’s like to be head over heels for one of her stories and this wasn’t the feeling I got. So, if asked if I’d suggest to any of my friends, I’d say yes. But would it be the one I tell them to pursue first if they try a LL? No. Not by a long shot.

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Profile Image for Lyndy Ann ♫.
672 reviews
January 23, 2015
I love this series, it is funny, sweet, sexy and romantic.

This is Grace and Jake's story. Grace and Jake are assigned to work together for their magazines a hesaidshesaid column who knows who best men vs women. We get plenty of flirty banter between Grace and Jake and then they soon hot up when they start sleeping together. Loved the last chapter predictable but still sweet.

Read all 3 in this series and I can't wait for Emma and Alex's story The Trouble With Love next year.
105 reviews42 followers
December 1, 2014
4 Stars

Okay first of all this book creeped the hell out of me.. want to know why? Because I have been cloned, into Grace(at least the 2.0 version of her). I mean do u find a person who loves white roses, has chocolate for a staple diet and wants to kick asses of guys(yup the 2.0 version) everyday? And I was like
(I swear to god, u can go check out my profile, it has all these details)
written) *shivers*
And just because I am that AWESOME I loved this book about Grace(/me), though I seriously didn't feel connected with the 1.0 version of her who is always caring and sweet no matter how she is treated.
Okay now for Jake.
1. description

2.he is gonna make u go like

THe story had well thought characters,who make u feel like they actually exist. You know a lot about the characters and this is what makes this a more enjoyable read! This book makes u never want to take ur eyes off. LITERALLY. The plot expands with every page and unwinds into such a beautiful drawn out story that just makes u happy, super HAPPY!

this is one of those books you would love reading on holidays or when u r vacationing (actually no, don't read this on vacations as u will prefer to stay inside and read than go sight seeing, yes, I am saying this in accordance with an experienceof my own.).
The reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars is because it just got too clichéd in the end, u know been there done that kinda thing but otherwise this book was as pleasant as a breeze and definitely a perfect read for romance lovers.

Profile Image for Laura.
471 reviews557 followers
September 19, 2019
I really should thank booktwt for helping me discover these books. I’m having a romantic blast so far.

Love The One You’re With was tamer than the first story but I enjoyed this one way more, and the characters were more fleshed out as well with more risks and more at stake.

Like I said before, these books feel like watching a rom-com and I’m so in the mood for those lately.
Profile Image for D.G..
1,365 reviews342 followers
November 16, 2020
I was never the kind of woman who looked for a husband in every man I dated, so heroines who seem to want the marriage more than the man never do it for me. I also don't like it when heroines go from one relationship to another without much of a break - that has only worked for me in Arrogant Devil. So you can see why I wasn't crazy for Love the One You're With.

I just didn't see a woman like Grace, coming from a relationship with a cheater, going for a womanizer like Jake. She should have been too wounded, her walls too fortified to fall for any of his tricks - in fact, she should have been the one to come on top on their first date. That she swooned for him so easily just seemed wrong, no matter how hot and charming he was. In fact, she should have been more suspicious because he was hot and charming.

Why do I say that Grace seems to want more the marriage than the man? Because when the cheating ex boyfriend asked for forgiveness and proposed with Tiffany ring in tow, a part of her was tempted to accept even when she didn't love him anymore, just because she wanted to be married. This was so unappealing to me.

One of the problems this series has is that the changes in POV are very uneven. At the beginning, we see both POVs but a third into the book, the guy disappears and it's mostly from hers and it's a lot about writing the article. This gets old after a while.

I already read the third in the series -which I found meh - but now I'm not sure if I'll finish the series. Maybe I will when it becomes available at the library.
Profile Image for Jen ♥Star-Crossed Book Blog♥.
540 reviews332 followers
January 14, 2016
*4.5/5 Stars*

I am completely addicted to Lauren Layne's books!  They are fun, sexy and keep me entertained until the last page.  She has this amazing ability to suck me in, become intertwined in the characters lives, and care about what happens to them.  Did I mention how much fun they are to read?!  Jake and Grace's story is no exception.  They will make you laugh and melt while following their lives.
He hesitated. “I’m not a total dick, Grace.”
“Oooh, now see, we’ll have to differ on that one. You played me. Let me think the date was … something.”
Her hand slapped over her mouth in horror. Had she actually just said that.

Jake wants to to be the writer for the new travel section that they are adding at Oxford, the men's magazine he works at.  Grace, who works at Stiletto, wants to prove a point that she can still read guys.  Especially since her boyfriend, of ten years, was cheating on her while she was clueless.  Did I mention that she had just written an article on how to spot the signs you are with a cheater, and well, she clearly didn't. To both get what they want, they agree to the proposal their bosses throw at them.  Write an article after each date to see who can read the opposite sex better.  Sounds easy enough.  But when you mix together pride, reputation and going to whatever extremes to win, well then you're bound to get laughter, tears, and an enormous mess.
Once upon a time she’d thought that was sweet.
She’d thought that compliments meant something.
She knew better now. Compliments from men were about as reliable as the relationships on The Bachelor .

Grace is refined, sophisticated and from money.  Well, after some of the stunts she pulls, I may have to temporarily revoke the sophisticated part ha.  But she is bitter and wants restitution for what was done to her.  Even if it's through winning this game at work.  She doesn't want to feel as though she can't read the opposite sex anymore.  She needs to prove to herself and others that she still can.  And to get to her goal, she doesn't always play fair.  But then again, neither does Jake.  They are both in for a ton of surprises!
He hooked a hand behind her neck, his thumb rubbing over her cheek as he stared into her eyes. “I like touching.”
Grace blushed, and he chuckled. “A little late to be embarrassed, sweetheart.”
Sweetheart .

Jake Malone is alluring, magnetic and sexy as hell.  He can play games with me anytime he wants to!  But he has a huge past, since he's single and one of the town's top players.  From all of that experience, he knows how to make a woman sigh and lust after him.  You'll see, even when he's screwing over Grace, it's impossible to be mad at him.  I loved him and he could do no wrong in my eyes.

There was one thing that I wasn't the hugest fan of, and that was the reference to Julie 1.0 (her old self) and Julie 2.0 (her new self).  I understood the need to clarify between her old way of thinking and the new way she wanted to be, but the constant reference throughout the book wore on me.  But despite this one aspect, I loved this book.
His gaze dropped to her mouth. “If I kiss you, will you write about it?”
“Do you want me to write about it?”
“Do you want me to kiss you?"

The games they played against each other were funny and thoroughly entertaining!  I loved every minute that they were tricking and manipulating each other, but my favorite parts where when they forgot about the game.  When they were just themselves and got lost in the moment.  It was sweet, and no where near innocent.  You could feel the sexual tension between them and I kept hoping one of them would fully drop the charade.  After being more than happy with the way Love the One You're With ended, I'm off to read yet another Lauren Layne book!

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Profile Image for yvee.
261 reviews23 followers
August 21, 2019
these hets got me by the throat y’all
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,478 reviews1,896 followers
May 21, 2017
"Have you ever read an Oxford article? I've been doing my research, and I can see why a woman who picked up the magazine would write a scathing letter to the editor. Their male columnists seem to think all women have a secret desire to make sandwiches and give blow jobs."
"Wait. We're supposed to aspire to more than that?"

Okay, so I'm going to start out with the good things about LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH. It's kinda a hate-to-love. Or rather a battle to one up the other while battling their attraction. So, like, hating that they love each other? Or like. Like a lot. Lust for sure. This review is going downhill..

She'd been counting on her Oxford counterpart being a slightly uncouth tits-and-ass-obsessed kind of guy. Instead, it sounded like she'd be dealing with Prince Charming.

Anyway. Recently dumped Grace is having a bit of a crisis. Known for her expertise in the love and relationships section of Stiletto magazine, she's at a bit of a loss when her longterm relationship is suddenly over after her boyfriend is caught cheating on her. Worse? She'd just written an article about how to catch on when a partner is being unfaithful. So not only is she single for the first time in almost a decade but she is wobbling on unsteady legs, in a manner of speaking, when it comes to her career. So when the editors of Stiletto magazine, catered to women, and it's male counterpart, Oxford, decide to team up in a sort of he-said-she-said style dating competition, to see which side knows the other better, Grace volunteers.

"I was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, the only boy among four sisters, and you know what that means--"
"Packers fan. And I suppose I was one of those pretentious, driven kids who knew what he wanted, even from a young age--"

The problem is she's struggling to remain unaffected by the handsome journalist she's been partnered with. Equal parts endearing, charming, honest, yet also an unabashed smooth operating scoundrel, with a reputation for bed-hopping and with a string of a million exgirlfriends, she can't let herself trust Jake or the feelings he inspires. Especially not when the interest seems to be returned.

Compliments from men were about as reliable as the relationships on The Bachelor.

The arrangement is five dates and five articles but when each side engages in dirty, scheming, clever, tactics to one-up the other, it spirals into an online viral showdown, with nothing sacred : text exchanges, emails, video recordings.. eventually even random encounters are being manufactured. But while all of that is fun, sexy and hilarious, it's the moments away from the prying eyes of others, the moments when they can almost convince each other it's all real, despite the votes and feedback, that I loved the most. Though the pseudo-hate battle was excellent, too, obviously.

"People are invested in you and Jake. We picked this as two love experts going toe-to-toe. They want to see the final showdown."
"That sounds really lovely. Why not just put us in a boxing ring?"
"Too dark. The lighting would be awful."

The problem I had with book two in Layne's Sex, Love & Stiletto series was Grace. Unfortunately she had these competing voices in her head and the constant "this is what Grace 1.0/the romantic" vs "this is what Grace 2.0/the distrustful man-hater" would do.. kinda got annoying. I mean, I could appreciate the sentiment but it was just repetitive and definitely had me looking forward to Jake's POV to get a break from it all.

"You know, I don't know who planted the seed in your head that this whole cocky routine was charming, but they did you a disservice."

Also, I can't help but struggle with two things. We never did find out why Jake didn't want to go to the Yankee stadium (did we? at least we never had him confess it to Grace) and for him to demand exclusivity right after that certain scene with Greg.. only to peace out and be annoyed that she wasn't sending any hints? Arg. I mean, seriously annoying.

The Oxford office had a very distinct vibe. One might call it.. testosterone.

But. The banter, of course, was topnotch from Layne. The supporting cast just gets better and better, especially with the addition of the Oxford crew, which definitely explains the existence of the spin-off I'm also planning to read. I really did love the chemistry between the two leads. I loved Jake's family. And I am so so excited about Riley's story and the introduction of Emma and her own backstory with another new character..? Can't wait.

3.75 "are you asking if I want to be with you until I'm old, gray, and saggy in interesting places?" stars
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,127 reviews2,172 followers
November 29, 2013
I've been trying to figure out what exactly it is that makes Lauren Layne's novels work so well for me. I do think her romantic plot lines are a little too familiar, and yet, aren't all of them? For me, what puts Layne on par with other contemporary romance writers I've enjoyed, such as Julie James, is the fact that she writes about women who are finding their way in life, either by re-creating themselves or putting themselves out there in new and terrifying settings. Grace, in Love the One You're With, is turning over a new leaf after she finds her boyfriend of nine years cheating on her. But, as Grace swiftly realizes, molding herself into a new version - Grace 2.0 - who is strong and sassy instead of kind and meek, is not as easy as it seems. What I love about Love the One You're With is the fact that Grace discovers, over the course of the novel, that who she is isn't defined by mere adjectives; she isn't just Grace 1.0 or Grace 2.0, she's really everything in-between too. For me, the fact that Layne writes strong, independent women who don't live their lives in boxes or around the schedules of men make her books feminist, enlightening, and simply kick-ass.

One of my favorite aspects of this novel, however, was the fact that Grace was forced to deal with a new inclusion into her friend circle. It has always been Julie, Grace, and Riley, the three ladies and their romance articles, but on a short leave from work, Emma joins their group and the confusion this throws into Grace's life is perfectly depicted. For perhaps the first time, Grace realizes that even the friend circles she assumed her molded in place can change - and do change even as these women change throughout their lives. It is a surprisingly realistic portrayal of friendship - tight, loyal, but messy too.

When it comes to the romance, though, what draws me in the most is the fact that these are wealthy, successful women with ambitions which levels out the playing field so that there is no economic dependence whatsoever. Moreover, the healthiness of these relationships shines through in their mutual respect for one another. Jake and Grace hold each other in high regard, which propels them to start off with friendship before taking their relationship any farther. It makes for tantalizing tension, but the pay-off is worth it (though perhaps the cheesy ending isn't). Ultimately, however, while I adore the romances Layne writes, all contemporary adult novels begin to blend together after awhile. Nearly all the characters are similar, as are their romances, which makes the notable differences Layne inserts into her stories all the more integral. Needless to say, I cannot wait to read whatever Layne up her sleeve next!

You can read this review and more on my blog Ivy Book Bindings.
Profile Image for Dee Montoya.
942 reviews587 followers
February 10, 2014
***3 He said/ She said Stars***

BR with my Girlies Melissa and Patty...
(ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group via Netgalley)

This is the second book on the series Love, Sex & Stilleto; it was every bit of romance in the city and Mr. Delicious Jake Malone, who had me falling hard for his sexiness, and those very hot make out sessions in the back of a taxi cab that just make me want to move to New York City and look for him...

Grace Brighton is recently single after she finds out her boyfriend of nine years was sleeping around in his office. Grace's world crumbles and everything she used to believe about love doesn't longer apply; so she's on a mission to re-invent herself and prove that she's a new woman and no longer that naive girl who thought had the perfect guy. She's determine to become a she-devil and reclaim her life by focusing on her career and swearing off men forever (right!!) Her first assignment after she gets back to work from her heart brake sabbatical is to write a series of articles about dating another journalist from a male magazine and sort of turn it into the dating olimpics and the ultimate battle of the sexes.
Jake Malone is always running from commitment, he enjoyes adventure and variety in his life. Tired of New York he wants to land the position as the new travel correspondent for the magazine where he works. Unortunately for him to get the job he has to go out on five dates with Grace and document it all, but after their first date the game is on, these two will play without any rules but just like the song says , love is a battlefield and these two have no idea what they just got themselves into.

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The Stilleto girls are a lot of fun, but so far Grace has been my least favorite. Her whole deal with the 2.0 version of herself was overly expose in this book making it repetitive and dull . I understand that she was hurt by her Ex's betrayal but she's one of those female characters that over thinks every little thing and I didn't like that at all. Another thing that had me going crazy was the sexual tension between Jake and Grace, I went through two bars of Toblerone chocolate, Thank you very much!!! This was a cute love story, short and sweet and I must say that I really enjoyed Jake, I also love the camaraderie between the girls and I can't wait to read the next book and continue the the love & the city fun with Riley and Sam.

Patty and Melissa you girls are the bees knees!!! xoxo

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