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Sex, Love & Stiletto #4

The Trouble with Love

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As Lauren Layne’s salacious Sex, Love & Stiletto series returns, a jaded columnist discovers a steamy way to get over an old flame: falling for him all over again.
As Stiletto magazine’s authority on all things breakup-and-heartache, Emma Sinclair writes from personal experience. Five years ago, Emma was Charlotte, North Carolina’s darling debutante and a blushing bride-to-be. Now she’s the ice queen of the Manhattan dating scene. Emma left her sultry Southern drawl behind, but not even her closest friends know that with it she left her heart. Now Emma’s latest article forces her to face her demons—namely, the devilishly sexy guy who ditched her at the altar.
After giving up everything for a pro-soccer career, Alex Cassidy watches his dreams crumble as a knee injury sidelines him for good. Now he’s hanging up his cleats and giving journalism a shot. It’s just a coincidence that he happens to pick a job in the same field, and the same city, as his former fiancée . . . right? But when Emma moves in next door, it’s no accident. It’s research. And Alex can’t help wondering what might have been. Unlike the innocent girl he remembers, this Emma is chic, sophisticated, and assertive—and she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. The trouble is, Alex has never wanted her more.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

237 pages, ebook

First published March 3, 2015

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About the author

Lauren Layne

54 books9,922 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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Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,697 followers
March 5, 2015
4.5 stars!!


This book was SO good! The book gods must be laughing at me right now as I make it well-known I can’t stand insta-love yet fell head over heels myself with this story right from the start, and the entire time I was reading I was either grinning like a fool or crying happy tears. It’s one of those stories filled with so much warmth and love but also a good dose of angst and heartbreak that makes this second chance romance so satisfying to read. As much of a cynical romantic as I am, there are rare times where a book will completely win over my heart and my picky brain will just have to take a hike and this is one of those times. So yeah, this book = winner winner cheesy dinner :D

When I picked up this book I wasn’t actually paying attention to who the author was or that it was the 4th book in a series; it was the enticing blurb that grabbed me and I felt compelled to read it. Everything about the blurb – jilted bride, seemingly jerk hero, possible love/hate dynamic – called out to me and there’s something so beautifully romantic that a couple with this much baggage could hash out their differences and get a second shot at being together again. Like seriously, does that not stir your heart at all? ;) But anyways, from the beginning it’s implied that Emma was left at the altar by Alex (he goes by his last name Cassidy in most of the book) and the two of them had that once-in-a-lifetime kind of love but misunderstandings and deception broke them apart. Now in present time, they’re both journalists in the same field who see each other regularly because of work but don’t acknowledge each other’s existence. I thought I was going to get some love/hate dynamic here but I was wrong...these two didn’t even feel. It’s like their big blowout froze their feelings.


And with recent developments with work, Alex and Emma are physically closer to each other than ever before. Absence does make the heart grow fonder because both of them reminisce on what could’ve been had their relationship worked out. The story is told in dual POVs, and as the plot progresses, reasons leading up to their fallout are revealed from both sides. It’s obvious that things weren’t tied up then and they certainly aren’t over now...


It was really great character development to see the ice-cold Emma thaw and crack because of her constant proximity to Alex. On the other hand, while Alex didn’t grovel that much, his present-day actions made my heart go pitter-patter and swoon; he’s hard not to fall for! There was, however, one aspect of this story that was jarring in the beginning but I quickly got over. All the details in the blurb about Alex being sidelined by an injury, leading him to dabble in journalism and Emma being ditched and all? Those things were skimmed over and the story started where Alex and Emma had been working in the same field for a while now, and I was a little disappointed to not get to see that part of their history. Then again, it may have been covered in the previous 3 books and since I haven’t read those, I don’t have that background insight, so just a heads up to all future readers.

Aside from the fact this book began at a different starting point than what I expected it to be based on the blurb, the rest of this story was absolutely fantastic! Most of the book was just all fun and games with a great cast of side characters who each brought his or her own flair to the story, but there are a couple of heart-to-heart scenes between Emma and Alex that hit me hard, like someone was stabbing at my heart with daggers and I wanted them to be together so badly. And by the end of the book my heart was leaping for joy and I was content with the way the story wrapped up.


Since this was a romantic comedy and supposedly fluff, I went into the story expecting a mostly lighthearted read. I never, ever expected to cry but welp, I did! You know those videos on the news you see where so and so did this and it was a good thing, or this guy did this for his girlfriend, and it’s just so overwhelmingly beautiful and touching you shed a tear or maybe a hundred? Yeah...this is one of those stories. In a bad mood? Feeling down? Pick this one up! Escape reality. Give your heart a workout with the way this book runs you through with emotions. You can thank me later ;)

The Trouble with Love is the 4th book in the Sex, Love, & Stiletto series and can be read as a standalone! FYI, this was my first book of LL’s and I had no trouble getting through it.
Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,531 followers
March 4, 2015

"There's always trouble with love."


There are a million reasons why Lauren Layne will always be a favourite author of mine and if I didn't think id bore you all to sleep I'd list them right here in my review. However, I can joyfully give you one of my reasons for my love of all things Lauren Layne and that my fellow romance addicts is this book right here. Yes, once again I have been well and truly swept up into the world of stiletto and the ever present appearance of sex (and love) in the city.

What did I love?
I know I'm going to sound like a stuck record but I can't quite help it. I was so excited to read yet another 'second chance at love' story especially one written by my most beloved author. In addition to all my excitement over this latest release it didn't harm my time spent with this novel that it had all the book bubbling sexual tension and fabulous 'don't want it to end' chemistry that you could ask for. Layne creates perfect stories with wonderful characters and yet again I'm jumping with absolute joy that I had the chance to fall in love all over again with one of this authors books.
Emma Sinclair and Alex Cassidy were two characters that I won't want to forget any time soon. Their story had me feeling like a love sick fool, I loved the slow burn nature of this fantastically produced contemporary romance. It had just the right amount of push and pull and will they won't they to make it feel wonderfully satisfying when this couple finally were able to confess to their unending love for each other. Triple Sigh, I could read books like this forever and still be a content thirty something. When all is said and done I doubt this author will ever go far from making me fall helplessly in love with her writing and I won't ever apologise for my gushing appreciation of all things Lauren Layne.


Final thoughts ...
If you enjoy a well thought out contemporary romance series then I would whole heartedly recommend this set of books to you. I say with a heavy heart that I believe this to be the last book in the series and I'm a little forlorn that I have to say goodbye. The stiletto series will always be a favourite of mine and this book ended the series in true Lauren Layne style. I'm jealous of all you readers that are yet to discover this authors books and for those that have already fallen under the Layne spell you won't be disappointed. Now all that's left to say is that I'm excited to see what this author plans to write about next and I'll be the first in line to be grabbing whatever she will offer. Enjoy ... Kisses


*ARC generously received by Random House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews9,997 followers
March 5, 2015
*****4 STARS*****
{ARC Provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review}
(BR with My Bestie Dee)

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This is the last installment in the "Sex, Love, and Stiletto"series. Each book is about a different relationship advice columnist for Stiletto magazine. Emma Sinclair is the newest member of the Stiletto team and she's the most closed off person in the bunch. She keeps her emotions tightly hidden by a very cool facade. We learned in the last book that she has a history with the Editor in Chief of Oxford Magazine, Alex Cassidy. They were once engaged seven years ago, but something happened that had them calling off the wedding the day of.

I knew this was going to be a Second Chance Love themed book, which is one of my favorite types of romances. I was so excited. I've read all three previous books and to be honest I really loved the first book, and thought the second and third were OK. For the most part, I really do LOVE this author's writing style. I've read several other of her books and quite a few have been FIVE STAR reads for me. This one was good but it was missing that something special, that really should have been in this book.

I never really felt the deep love connection between Emma and Alex. We don't get many flashbacks to their past. We did get a couple but they were from their Wedding Rehearsal Dinner and the actual Wedding Day. Both scenes are from when their relationship died. I wanted to get a bit of Alex and Emma when they first met and their love was new. I needed to see that deep connection between them. For about 75% of the book all you get is a lot of tension between them and seeing that there are obviously unresolved, hurt feelings being shared between the two of them.

I don't want to really give too much away, but basically the plot has someone being very sneaky and coming up with a plan to force these two to have to work and see each other every day in hopes that they will rekindle their love that was lost over seven years ago.

It definitely was entertaining and for anyone who has read the previous books, you will enjoy it, as all the other characters are very much present in this book. They are not just secondary characters, they all play a role in helping these two find their way back to each other. Also we meet two GORGEOUS men who work for Oxford magazine that I am pleased to announce will be getting their own books in a spin-off series.

Lastly my other gripe is that there was no Epilogue. This is something that is a pain point for me when reading romances. If I don't get to know how things turn out in the future for the main characters and get confirmation that they are living their HEA, then I get a little disappointed.

I would definitely recommend this to those who love rom-com, chick lit type books. My Bestie read this with me and she actually loved it. So don't let my gripes deter you. This was my second favorite book in the series.
Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,062 followers
January 23, 2015
5 second-chance stars!

If there's anything that exemplify a good second chance at love theme should look no further than my own experience with a Lauren Layne book. This wasn't my first LL book. The first book I read from her was the book entitled Only With You from her Best Mistake Series. Let's just say, it didn't quite register with me to say the least.

But when I read the blurb for this book, I knew had to read it. It called out to me. Forgive me for being melodramatic, but yeah, it has everything I want in my romance. And I'm a sucker for a good second chance love story that has impossible odds, and when it comes to impossible odds Alex and Emma's story is it. I mean, how do you exactly forgive someone who who left you at the altar five years ago on your wedding?

The moment I started reading it, I could not put it down. This book exceeded my expectations. I laughed, cried and my heart rejoiced when Alex and Emma finally got their hard-earned HEA.

Five years ago, Emma experienced one of the most humiliating thing a woman could experience: She was left standing at the altar. After that incident, Emma became an ice queen and expert on all things break-up and ex related at Stiletto Magazine. She keeps herself from any emotional entanglements especially since Alex, the one who left her in that altar, works in the same building as her. Circumstances forced them to not only work together but to become neighbors are well, threatening Emma's carefully constructed world.

Alex, for his part, felt he was the injured party. Emma left and cruelly rejected him on the eve of their wedding. And like Emma, he's managed to cultivate a calm and collected facade but inside, it was another matter. With Emma being in close proximity, Alex's reserve is tested every time they are together. And since they share a common group of friends, they are forced to spend time together. And the more time they spent with each other, the more those feelings come to surface, especially the ones they buried long ago. Slowly but surely, Alex and Emma learned that some things aren't quite what they appear to be and they must come to terms with the feelings they tried to bury inside.

This book was about them reconnecting, confronting and finally understanding what really happened all those years ago. As the reader, I was very curious why Alex left her at the altar. What really happened? I was very tempted to hate Alex for what he did but alas, there was a deeper reason there. Of course, I was Team Emma all the way but I did understand a bit how and why it ended that way.

Lauren Layne did a fantastic job at setting up the tension between Alex and Emma. It was delicious. And then there's the Stiletto girls who rallied around Emma. I loved their friendship. It's very rare to have that positive female relationship being emphasized along with the conventional love story between the two main characters. Yeah, I'm also a sucker for books that feature a group of women friends.

Emma was written really well. She's a very sympathetic character and I think every reader can relate to her on some level. Her loneliness, her drive, her devotion to her career, her friends, and her tenuous relationship with her family are all very relatable. I always have a soft spot for ice queen characters because they're always the ones that hide the deepest hurts that you just want to reach inside your Kindle and give them a hug.

Alex Cassidy was less developed than Emma but he still won me over especially with his sweet gesture at the end. Being the vindictive bitch that I am, I wanted him to suffer a little more but guys...both of them already suffered a lot because of their immaturity in the past and by 50% I already wanted them get make up, kiss up and make babies together.

In other words, Alex and Emma are of those book couples that are truly meant to be. You kinda feel that if they don't get their shit together, then they'll be doomed to suffer for the rest of their lives and the reader along with them. So despite this book not having the conventional "grovel" that I tend to enjoy, I want them to be together so much it really didn't matter just as long as I got my HEA. Don't worry though, their HEA was very satisfying and very sweet, it'll make you giddy with happiness.

I'm still kicking myself for not reading this series sooner. Definitely recommended for readers who like something light with a bit of angst thrown in. Now excuse me while I buy the rest of the series...

ARC courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Profile Image for Mysza.
476 reviews396 followers
March 24, 2015
**** 4,5 stars ****

It was such a nice book to read. It felt like Sex and the City but much lighter, book version. It was classical chick romance with whole lotta sexual tension. And I mean it, I would even call it sexual frustration, it was that heavy. In a good way, of course, because it kept me on the edge through the whole story. I was both excited for the main characters to finally get together and nervous. Yes, I was nervous, I mean you know it has to have HEA, right? but the tension is there all the freaking time... when? how? why does it take them so long to get their shit together? Ah, that tension precisely is what made this book such a pleasant reading.

We have four women, they are close friends who work together in a magazine called Stiletto. Needless to say, the girls rule. Girl power all the way. They are funny, smart, sarcastic and have each other's back.

Three of them are in relationships, except for our Emma. Emma used to be engaged, years ago, to Alex. Something went down and she was left standing at the altar alone on wedding day. Now, a unique confluence of events leads to Alex becoming Emma's temporary boss and neighbour, not to mention that he is friends with Emma's friends.

All those years of cold distance between them seem to be slowly forgotten, because as they are forced to spend more and more time together, apparently the old flame never dies. Emotions take place, old feelings come to life and though they both think they moved on, they clearly didn't.

Emma is scared of being hurt again and she tries to keep her distance which made me want to strangle her once or twice for being so stubborn. Alex, ah so cold and distant at the beginning, he won me over with his POV, the man cared for Emma deeply.

See, the thing is that if not for miscommunication and then their stubborness in clearing the situation, they would still be together or at least would be sooner. But then we wouldn't have the story, would we? So when I normally am not a fan of miscommunication, it worked here very well. Anyway, though we have to wait pretty long, everything wraps up nicely in the end.

Overall, this was a great, sometimes funny, sometimes emotional book, with a good second chance plot, steamy sex and a bit angst. I loved the writing, it flows so easy and naturally. In fact, I loved the writing so much that I jumped right to the next Lauren Layne's book to see if she can surprise me as much as with this one.

The book is 4th one in series but you can read it as a standalone. I did and wasn't missing anything crucial in the story. But now, I definitely need to catch up on other couples.

ARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jo ★The Book Sloth★.
485 reviews432 followers
January 17, 2015
4.5 I Love LL Stars

Emma Sinclair is determined to pretend that her ex-fiance, Alex Cassidy, and their painful past doesn't exist. This though is proving to be a challenge since they have the same group of friends and after some scheming from her boss he ends up being her temporary editor and neighbor.

Alex Cassidy wants Emma to notice him again more than anything, so when Camille goes on vacation and asks Alex to take over as Stilleto's head editor he accepts and uses his position to his advantage by assigning Emma an aticle about exes not even really knowing what he unconsciously hopes will come of it.

Lauren Layne did it again. It's no surprise she is my go-to fluff author, she just knows how to do the light and romantic and kind of silly, that has you smiling from start to finish. This book, just like every other in the series, was very easy to read, with just a little drama for spice.

I liked both Emma and Alex. Alex had the whole "Alpha male" vibe going but he was an actually nice guy. No "Alpha assholes" for this author and as much as I like my jerks, sometimes you need the guy you could actually find hot in real life too. Alex was that for me. I liked that he was driven, determined and a damn romantic at times. I honestly think that Emma was crazy for resisting so long.

Emma was a bit too stubborn at some points but I loved how independant she was. I liked that although she was in love with Alex for years, she didn't wallow in self-pity. She worked to get her dreams, she dated other guys, she lived her life. That life may not have been full without him but she trying and that's more than most romance heroines do. They usually stay celibate and pure the whole separation time in this kind of stories.

Last but not least, I liked the glimpses on the previous couples lives. I really hope that LL will continue the series with Mathis or Cole. I don't want my Stiletto books to be over.

PS. Camille is like the fairy godmother for these girls. :P


Now if I could have some time to read it too...
Profile Image for hala.
149 reviews
January 29, 2022
✩ 5 stars.

“You hurt me!” Emma exploded. “You hurt me, Cassidy!”
“You hurt me, too, Emma!” he shot back, his statement every bit as vehement as hers, made even more fierce by the look of torment on his face. “You think it’s easy, seeing the woman who once tore me in two on a daily basis? You think it’s easy sitting across from you at the conference room table, or riding the same elevator or sharing a damned cheeseburger with you? Somehow you’re managing to pull me closer even as we’re further apart than ever, and I’m fucking tired of it, Emma.”

♡ i love them so much. that’s all. ♡
Profile Image for Catarina.
896 reviews1,974 followers
January 20, 2015
4,5 Second Chance Stars.


Emma and Alex were in love once. So much in love they were even getting married. But in the night before the wedding a terrible misunderstanding breaks them apart and for the next years they live worlds apart. Seven years later they work in the same building, in different magazines. But when Emma’s boss goes in a sabbatical, Alex takes the lead of both magazines, putting him and Emma dangerously close to each other. And with that proximity, not old old feelings come back to surface, but also the ghosts they taught being buried in the past. And now they have to choices: being honest with each other about what happened seven years ago and move on together. Or decide that some things are better left in the past and move on, but this time apart for good.


When I want to read a great love story, with some humor, steamy and not-very-high on angst, Lauren Layne is definitely the to-go author. Her books are always great and this one in particular is probably one of my favorites because I just love second chance love stories, and this in specific was a nicely done one. The only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars it’s because, for me, they took too much time getting together, creating some unnecessary angst. To cut a long story short, if you need something light, funny and heartening, this book (actually, this whole series) is a great choice.


Rating: 4,5 Stars.
Characters Development: First let me say they both frustrated me so much that for about half of the book I just wanted to shake some sense into them. Against a wall. They were so stubborn and so intent in ignoring the past they failed to see what’s right in front of them. But other than that, I really liked them both, they had a lot of chemistry and I just loved to see them together .And believe me, I was waiting for that since the previous books. As ever, it was nice to see the rest of the gang. I really hope the next book will be about Lincoln. Or Cole. Seriously, are all journalists in NY hot as hell?
Steam: Some hot moments.
Sensible Subjects:
Love Triangle:

*ARC kindly provided in exchange of honest review.*
Profile Image for Sandy ღCoffee Addict Booksღ.
229 reviews242 followers
February 14, 2016

Emma Sinclair has everything she needs to lead a happy life-kill for each other friends, dream job of columnist for the woman magazine Stiletto, a great working environment and living in the most colourful city, turns out she’s not lucky in the dating department or Is she intentionally single?

She’s known to be an Ice queen, one who remains stoic and has no desire to land a hotshot husband/boyfriend, though all her friends are under the spell of love, Emma chooses being lonely over falling for any man again! Behind the façade of a cold hearted bitch is the loving southern belle who is desperately trying to guard her heart which was already broken by the man who left her at the altar seven years ago. Ever since then, Emma left her old life back and moved to New York City and made herself a great life here but her world shifts from it’s axis when her ex-fiancé becomes her temporary boss/neighbour.

Alex Cassidy is editor in chief of Oxford magazine the brother/rival magazine to Stiletto which coincidentally happens to be the place where his ex-fiancé works. For a year, Emma and Alex avoid each other and never did they bring up the dreaded fact that they never got married. Not only they work in close proximity to one another, they also run in the same circle of friends, if they weren’t avoiding each other they maintained an amicable relationship.

When fate throws them in a situation where they live next door to each other, staying civil becomes not that easy and Alex grabs the opportunity of being her temporary boss to urge her in writing an article “about her exes”. Since they never really had a Closure, making her write this article is his way of bringing them one step closer to their history and to look for the girl he once fell head over heels for. Emma can never forget the heartache and humiliation Alex caused her seven years ago, now when life is giving them second chance will Alex make her fall in love with him again? or is it too late for him to warm her Ice cold heart?

TBH When I requested this book in NG I never read the blurb nor did I read any book from this author so this was one big risk I took (since I hardly have any time to read!). within a few pages into this story, I knew this was going to be a helluva fun book and even before I realized, I reached the last page with a huge smile plastered on my face!
Yes people, the gamble totally paid off!!

“The Trouble with Love” is fast paced, light, humorous and feel happy kind of story. This is one such book where I loved all the characters equally and I so wanted to be a part of their crazy-lively-witty-gang. Trust me, the dialogues and the banters were so funny and cleverly written nothing about it was annoying or cheesy. And this being a second chance romance there was tons of sexual tension!! Now the said sexual tension took a lot of space in this story, than the romance itself. I wish there was more of wooing her or the glimpses of their “once upon a love story”, nevertheless it didn’t ruin the story for me and I enjoyed the hell out of it!

Now if you excuse me, I got to kick my ass for not reading this series or any book by this author sooner!

*ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via Netgalley, for an honest review*
Profile Image for ♥Sharon♥.
971 reviews142 followers
February 14, 2015
4.5 Stars!!!

Sex, Love & Stilletto’s is a pretty amazing series. Lauren Layne has become my go to author when I am looking for a sweet and sexy read that has just a little bit of angst and one that I know will give me that butterflies in my belly feeling. ❤

In The Trouble with Love we get Emma & Alex’s (Cassidy) story. If you are wondering if you have to read this series in any order, you don’t, at least in my opinion. But the characters in the other books are present in this one as they are consecutively throughout the series. I started with book #2 and it didn’t bother me at all.

I’m pretty sure I say “this is my favorite” in all my reviews for this series that but I’m changing my mind again!! I really mean it this time. This one is my favorite!! What I loved was that it was a second chance romance. I'm a sucker for that!!

As life would have it Emma is about to find herself in a bit of a conundrum, both professional and personally. See, she knows that Alex Cassidy works for Oxford magazine and their paths have crossed before but she wasn’t quite prepared for the re-connection that her boss Camille just created.

Even though it has been seven years, Emma’s heart hasn’t quite mended. How could it, when the one you love left you on the day you were supposed to be married. Soon she will find out that Alex hasn’t been able to get past what happened either.

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Emma ~ was the surprise for me in this one. She was so relatable and I loved that she is that type of girl that just keeps on ticking even after life kicks you down. She was bold, funny, sexy and full of sass. But there was another side of her too. Emma had a bit of sadness about her. On the outside she appeared full of life when on the inside she was lonely.

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Alex ~ I loved him from the beginning. There was just something about him. He was a little cocky at times but he had a softer side too. Of course he was handsome and sexy which was a bonus. I loved that Emma always called him Cassidy.

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So here is a bit about their story ~

Emma and Cassidy are both battered and bruised from their earlier relationship. What we know is that on the day they were to be married everything fell apart. There were reasons of course, mixed with misunderstandings and interference's. And all this has left them both bitter.

But when they are thrown together at the magazine and Emma is assigned to write an article about her “12 exes” it becomes a matter of “be careful what you wish for”. Cassidy's intentions are not the purest but seeing Emma and having her this close again drives him to do what he does. Emma thinks she is prepared to resist and deflect everything that comes her way but the best laid out plans don’t always work.

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I loved that this story unfolded in tiny pieces. I didn’t find myself taking sides either which is sometimes hard to do. As we learn about their past you can understand their frustration and their sadness. And as they slowly begin their re-connection, I loved every minute of it. Their chemistry, their connection was sexy as all heck and pretty damn sweet!

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Beyond Emma and Alex, I can’t tell you how much fun it was to have Julie, Grace and Riley in her corner giving her their juicy advice. And when Mitchell, Jake and Sam put in their two cents in it was perfect. I loved them all. ❤

**ARC Kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley.**
Profile Image for Jeanne .
305 reviews
March 30, 2016

4.5 stars!

This is the fourth book in Lauren Layne's Stiletto series. I really enjoyed it, even though I am new to the series. I'm actually planning to go back and read the whole series now, I'm especially curious about Julie's story. I love the friendship between these strong and sassy women and the New York City back drop. It has a little bit of a Sex and the city vibe. So, fans of the series know that the first three girls in the group have been coupled off, and now in this fourth edition, you get the real story between Alex and Emma. Seven years ago, they were college sweethearts and were engaged to be married when a misunderstanding and break-up happened. I love a good second chance romance, and this was a believable one. I loved that I could feel the chemistry and emotion between the couple, and L.L. is great at building up the sexual tension!

I have read Ms. Layne's Redemption series, Isn't She Lovely; Broken, and loved that as well. I think she has a very smart and engaging writing style. She reminds me a little of Julie James. I have to say, it's very refreshing to read a romance that isn't filled with all of that cheesy, stupid dialogue that fills so many new books in this genre. To be perfectly honest, I could name many authors who could take a writing work shop from her.

Looking forward to reading Julie's story next, I guess I'm mixing it up, but better late than never. I do think anyone new to the series might want to start at the beginning, because you might be able to appreciate the story more if you know the other characters.

@ arc was provided by Netgalley. Thank you!

Profile Image for [~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥ .
501 reviews454 followers
January 23, 2015
4 stars

I must admit by halfway I was so certain this will be a 3 star something about the couple I felt missing. But then those 3 words Alex said in response to her question turned the whole book around and I finally found my LL spark. From then on I was eager for them to put aside their problems and be a couple. Also I loved seeing all the characters from the previous books.

I would recommend for those who enjoy
LL books
Witty banter
Love/hate romance
Second chance
Office romance

ARC provided by NetGalley
Profile Image for Alba and Her Secrets..♥.
826 reviews1,023 followers
November 16, 2015
5 "One Forever Love" Stars!

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I cannot believe I already finished this series. I think I've read one book per day LOL I've been waiting for Emma and Cassidy's story since I read about them in Irresistibly Yours and now I have finished **so sad** I reaaly really LOVED this series and I am sure I will continue reading Lauren's books because I love her writing and her amazing and funny characters!

So, let's talk about this book. The Trouble with Love is the last book in the Stiletto series and -finally- it gives us the story between Emma Sinclair (the new journalist in the magazine who is also know to be a bit of an ice queen because of her past with Cassidy) and Alex Cassidy (the editor in chief in Oxford and also the man -and former fiancée- who silently suffers from losing the love of his life).

“Sometimes I think I’d prefer you hate me. At least then you’d notice me.”
Everything inside Emma seemed to freeze. I notice you—too much. Do you notice me?

“I hope you find whatever you’re looking for. Or ditch whatever haunts you.”
It was good advice.
But what if what she was looking for and what was haunting her were the exact same thing?

I think this novel (together with the first one) is my favourite. The author has been teasing us about these two since the beginning and I am glad she didn't disappoint because this was an emotional journey! Emma and Alex seem to hate each other at the start, but as you continue reading you can clearly see that what they are is hurt. They have a past together, they have been seven years apart and now everything is coming back. I literally cried so much for these two!

“You hurt me!” Emma exploded. “You hurt me, Cassidy!”
“You hurt me, too, Emma!” he shot back, his statement every bit as vehement as hers, made even more fierce by the look of torment on his face. “You think it’s easy, seeing the woman who once tore me in two on a daily basis? You think it’s easy sitting across from you at the conference room table, or riding the same elevator or sharing a damn cheeseburger with you? Somehow you’re managing to pull me closer even as we’re further apart than ever, and I’m fucking tired of it, Emma.”

You find yourself very attached to the main and secondary characters because this is the last book and also because you want them to be together and happy. But they have to heal before all of that. And it's difficult but yet, not impossible. I loved knowing what actually happened (so sad, guys!) and how they finally can't stop from loving each other so much. They are so cute, and sweet, and funny, and sexy together!!!

Her throat was dry. “Yeah?”
“I’m trying really hard to remember that I’m technically your boss.”
“But…” she prompted.
He stared at her. “But I really want to bend you over this desk, pull up your skirt, and fuck you.”

See what I mean? ;) Still, I was hoping for an amazing closing and an epilogue.. I am a little bit sad about it, because I wanted more! Still, so happy that I get to have little moments with them in the other series that Lauren has started (the Oxford series). I love the story, and I REALLY LOVED the characters. They are so sweet and so funny. I love you, Lauren Layne for giving us these amazing people!

Therefore, my rating for this is 5 STARS because I cannot give anything less to this amazing novel. It does not have my especial 6 stars rating because of the epilogue, I really wanted one! But still, fantastic everything! So, one last time, if you haven't read the Stiletto series I HIGHLY recommend you do it because I am quite sure you will not regret it!!! You will love this as much as I do! <33333

March 3, 2015

It's live on AMZ- http://amzn.to/1BQWpdc

4.5 Second-Chance Stars!

The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stiletto #4)
was a great feel-good break from some of the more heavy reads of late. I haven't read the first three books in the series (which I hope to amend ASAP), but this can be read as a standalone.

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Emma is a writer for a women's magazine Stiletto. She and her co-workers (and friends) write about everything women- makeup, sex, relationships...men. The male version of such magazine is Oxford, and her ex-fiancée so happens to be the editor in chief of that publication. Being left standing at the altar some seven years ago, Emma and Alex "Cassidy" have chosen to simply ignore each other...blissful ignorance. As if they've written each other quite literally from each other's lives with zero closure to the happenings of that fateful day.

When Emma's editor hires "Cassidy" to fill in for her while she takes a sabbatical, their ability to ignore each other is suddenly impossible. He's now her boss. He also happens to be friends with her core group of besties and their spouses. How are they going to survive this 3 month stint of forced time together?  photo 9CABD14A-1C7C-46BF-B556-17CE5770C3E3_zpst8gbvmkj.jpg
First of all, I LOVED the banter between all the characters. The women had a true Sex in the City feel to them. All professional women living in New York City, each with their little quirks. It was hilarious (cannot wait to read Riley and Sam's book). Obviously this is book four and the three other books' couples are together but I wasn't lost to their stories.

Emma and Cassidy have serious baggage and communication seems to be their biggest shortfall. But I love a second chance romance trope! This one wasn't easy. Emma had built such walls of defense, it was nearly impossible to even breech the subject of their breakup to anyone. It was their best kept secret. Secrets that each the two of them didn't realize they'd be holding onto for seven long years.

Can working together in close quarters, Emma writing an article on the "12 Days of Exes," keep her heart safely tucked away? Or will those walls crumble when the events from seven years ago come into light?

I'd highly recommend this series to readers who like a nice balance of humor, friendship, light angst, and some light steam. You can't help but fall in love with each and every member of the Stiletto and Oxford teams. I see that the men of Oxford are getting a series? Oh please be the writer of all things sex, Lincoln???

And I totally agree, Grace.........

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-Advanced copy received by Random House- Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,658 reviews3,254 followers
April 9, 2022
4.5 Frost Melting to Steam Stars
* * * * 1/2 Spoiler Free
I happen to love the ease in Lauren Layne's writing. There is a sense you are in strong, capable hands when you start her books. As I mentioned earlier, I did not know this book was coming so when I saw it in all its glory, I was primed and ready to learn of these characters' past and root for their future.

These two characters, Emma and Alex, had a past together which could be bloody, for not the smooth control they both have on their behavior about it. They both have made a silent agreement to never discuss it or share with all their mutual friends. The major factor in all of this is they all work in the same industry and one sly, caring and brilliant editor of Siletto has decided to take things into her own hands...

With fate having a nudge in the right direction, Emma is in the position of needing a place to stay temporarily.... and her editor just happens to be leaving town and insists on Emma staying in her penthouse. Perfect...or maybe not... because Emma finds out after moving in...her neighbor is none other than Alex!...Oh, and who encouraged him on the space...yes, the editor. Now Emma has to interact with Alex not only at work but possibly after work as well.

So, we have our editor placing Alex in charge of Stiletto while away which then puts him in the "boss" position for Emma. The temptation for him is too strong... and he assigns her a story/column idea which touches on their past. He knows he is playing dirty... she knows he is pushing her buttons but is too stubborn to show it. The dye is cast and Emma will interview all of her past lovers to learn why they left.

Both think they are in charge of this and will "show the other".
Both are in for a big surprise.

Because the biggest surprise of all is both never talked to each other after their massive past experience; both made assumptions causing pain and suffering which took a toll.... which embedded so deeply, it changed who they were as people and what they thought about love.

This book brought together people I liked... and the chemistry was right there in the Layne playbook. Hot, steamy, flirty and sometimes emotional sexy times.... Some authors try to write it...Layne makes it real.

All of the past characters are there from previous books. They are contributing not just making an appearance. I have to say this is one of the better flirty series of strong independent women out there.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and I think you will too.
P.S. Do Not Despair... We are getting another series with all of these characters and more...
It is the Oxford Series!!!!

After the Kiss (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #1) by Lauren Layne After the Kiss (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #1)
Love the One You're With (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #2) by Lauren Layne Love the One You're With (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #2)
Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #3) by Lauren Layne Just One Night (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #3)
The Trouble with Love (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #4) by Lauren Layne The Trouble With Love (Sex, Love & Stiletto, #4)

****** Before Reading ******
I am no Rudyard Kipling, but

If you loved Sex, Love & Stiletto, the series by Lauren Layne...
and thought it was completed, then you have a very pleasant surprise in store...

If you thought the character Emma had spice and smarts...had some kind of back story with the Hot Sexy Editor Alex deserving a book, then you along with many other readers nudged Ms. Lane for this book....

If you are one who loves second chances, miscommunication and rooting for all to come together in the end....

Then you, too, will love this little gem of Ms. Lane's.

But to actually quote Kipling,

"If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,"

Then you will be rewarded when this book is actually available March 3rd 2015. I will do a more complete review then....

A gifted copy was provided by Random House Publishing through NetGalley for an honest review.

For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways
March 3, 2015
NOW AVAILABLE TODAY!!! GO GET IT!!!! Click Here To Purchase :)

Buddy read with my Frenchy Bug!

**ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

"You used to love when I put my hand here." Cassidy's voice was rough.
She lifted her chin slightly. "Did I? Must have blocked that out." But the way the heat from his palm branded her made the lie come out just a little bit breathlessly.
His hand pressed, pulling her closer until there was nothing between them but their stormy past. "You sure about that?"
"Yup," she said, her eyes looking anywhere but his. "You're utterly forgettable."
His other hand found her chin, his fingers lifting her face to his. "Prove it."

AGH! Wow. I loved this. It was, in a few words, addicting, sexy, breathtaking, heart-stopping, giggle-inducing, unputdownable, and, most of all, heartwarming. It literally warmed my soul. Yes, light radiated from my chest the whole time I was reading this. True Story. There are few (*cough* none) LL books I dislike, but because I love this author so much, it tends to make it hard when people ask which I would recommend to them. How do you pick a favorite when they all exceed your expectations? There are some that tend to stick out, but the more I read from her, the more I start to say: 'No, this is my favorite. No, this is my new favorite. No, no, this one!' And so on and so forth. But, for whatever reason, this one really and truly did speak to me.

Emma had tried the happily-ever-after route, and knew that for every woman who rode off into the sunset on a white stallion, another one got kicked in the face by that very same horse.

I got this back in early December and, for whatever reason, didn't think I'd love it. Go figure. I don't know if it's my aversion to second chance love stories or just a case of being nervous because I have such high standards with this author, but no matter the reasons, I was very scared to pick this one up. But sometimes it's all about the timing. I was sitting around on Saturday, trying with all my might to get into the book I had picked out, and I just couldn't do it. I was sad, for some reason, and I just couldn't get out of that funky mood. So, I sat there for a couple seconds and thought, you know what? Screw it. It's Lauren Layne time. I picked this up and I immediately started to feel my lips turn up and my spirits inexplicably lift. No other author has the ability to effect my mood like this, but this woman has my ticket. I don't know if it's the dialogue, the quirky inner thoughts and banter, or that ultimate HEA she loves to give us, but this is my go to author. She is 'the one' , so to speak.

Cole leaned forward and reached out a hand. "Lemme see the orgasm bit."
Alex ignored him, pulling a sheet of paper from the top and shaking it. "This one is two thousand words about push-up bras. About the brands, and the way they should fit, and listen to this: 'The trick with the appeal of push-up bras is to know what kind of guy you're dealing with. Is he visual? If so, he's not going to mind that you had a little help to achieve that fantastic cleavage. But if he's more tactile, you might want to consider skipping all that padding...He wants to feel the real you.'"
Alex let the paper flutter to the desk in horror. "I just...I can't even."

>.< >.< >.<

Emma. Emma, Emma, Emma. I like this girl. I liked her in the past books, too. I thought how she infiltrated into the Stiletto girls' group was awesome-who wouldn't want to be friends with Julie, Riley, and Grace? But a book about her, specifically? I didn't know how I'd feel about that. I liked my Julie and Riley just fine and didn't need their stories belittled by someone who was new to the scene. Turns out?? Emma's story held up to theirs in a way I never expected...her story even battled for that number one spot-which shocked me. Julie and Mitch take the cake, there's no doubt about that, but....I'd say Emma and Alex pretty well sealed the deal at that number two spot, and this shocked me even more. She kind of beat Riley! How did this happen? I'll tell you how-He is called by his last name and broke her heart 7 years ago.....But what you don't know is that his heart was broken, too.

He was the bad guy. He got that.
Preferred it, even. Because being cast as the villain was a hell of a lot better than everyone knowing that you'd spent you wedding day half-drunk, feeling like there was a crater where your heart should have been.

Alex Cassidy.....Cassidy, if you will. This man. Ooooh, this man. I'm not going to lie-he made me weak in the knees. So corny, but not altogether untrue. I can't remember my stomach being that tied up in knots for one of her stories since Mitchell and Julie in After the Kiss. I feel like I'm just merely speculating on each thing in each paragraph, but it's only because, agh, I don't know!! This dude I had NO idea even existed beyond being an employee at Oxford magazine swooped in and stole a BBF spot out of nowhere! I just didn't expect him to have that perfect amount of confidence, hope, vulnerability, and spunk-I love spunk! Lol. It was adorable watching him oversee the Stiletto ladies while Camille was gone, especially when glittery eye shadow and sex were some of the stories he had to read about. But, more than that, it was so so heart-wrenching to see him suffer. You can tell, even at the beginning with his icy and indifferent attitude, that he's still in love with the girl who broke his heart all those years ago. I loved being inside his head and seeing just how little he realized Emma was the missing puzzle piece and why he's so unhappy at times. I could go on and on and on about Cassidy, but the result stays the same: I loved Cassidy almost as much as any of LL's other guys. That is huge. His vulnerability touched me in a way I never would have imagined, and I will not forget him quickly.

Alex clicked his pen and fought for calm. She was right, of course. He should be responding to her as editor-in-chief. Not as personal anything.
But with every day that passed, Alex seemed to grow more aware of their history. More conscious of their unfinished business.
More aware of Emma.
As a woman.
As his woman.
Well. Former.
Damn it.

These two bend each other until they are about to break, but they can't seem to stay away from one another. They push each other away only to fall back into each other's spell once again. The cold indifference they have displayed for one another over the years is starting to thaw into a friendship, and with that friendship stems a longing they thought they had forgotten- but what happens when you finally give into that desire? What happens when only a little of the wall crumbles around their defenses and they try not to talk about what happened that fateful night? Heartbreak. Loneliness. Devastation.....Hope.

She opened the door. He was wearing a suit. Always with the damned suits. This one was navy, paired with a white shirt and a navy tie that should have been boringly monochromatic but instead looked sexy as hell for it's simplicity. Cassidy always wore skinny ties, but not in a trendy, hipster kind of way, but in a way that showed off his trim build in modern perfection.
"You're so annoying," she muttered, even though he hadn't said a word.

By far one of Layne's best works, I found myself laughing and crying simultaneously in a matter of seconds. It's rare you connect with everything to do with one certain story: humor, dialogue, banter. But I find that connection with most of her works. This one just had a little extra dazzle to it, and it didn't escape my attention. Layne put a lot of heart into Emma and Cassidy's story, and it really spoke to me. I guess I'm just a sucker for vulnerability because I was a pile of heaping goo as they suffered through their heartache. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who asked, because there was very little not to like. We even get to see loads of the other couples from the previous stories, and it helped to bring such a cute and fun dynamic to the whole story. Originality doesn't escape this dear author, and I hope that never changes. It's not new material, but it's done so beautifully and she finds a way to spin it so it seems completely new. These two people wormed their way deep into my heart, and I am so so happy I finally read this.

And for those of you who, like me, adore all the banter from the whole group, I just can't resist:

"I brought desert," Riley said, holding up a box of cupcakes.
"I told you I made dessert!" Julie said.
"Right you did. I totally forgot," Riley said, exchanging a glance with Mitchell.
Julie caught it and spun around to glare at her fiance. "What did you tell her?"
"I told her nothing," Mitchell said. "No words were exchanged."
Julie's eyes narrowed as Mitchell took a sip of wine. "I may have sent her a picture of your, um, cake."
"I baked," Julie announced to everyone else with a happy nod.
"That's great, honey!" Grace replied. Then she turned her head toward Riley and spoke out of the corner of her mouth. "Good call on the cupcakes."
Julie pointed a finger. "Just for that, you have to try the first bite of my cake."


The clothes were fine. When she'd told the girls that tonight would be her and Cassidy's "talk," there'd been much discussion about outfit.
Riley had voted for a short, red "booby" dress, because "men couldn't get too mean with a boner."
Grace had suggested something pink and feminine to "remind him to be a gentleman."
Good old Julie had asked if Emma still had her wedding dress, "just for impact."


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Profile Image for Samadrita.
295 reviews4,674 followers
June 24, 2015
Do not go by that generic cover and title. As disappointed as I was with the last Layne title I read (Made for You), this one more than made up for that. Alex and Emma's story was, perhaps, the most awaited one in the entire series and it did live up to the expectations. I loved how Layne did not succumb to the lure of cliches and focused on the emotional aspects of their relationship and their past. A fitting end to a good series. If you like your romance novels free of sexism, rape-y sex scenes, obnoxious stereotypes of 'alpha males' and what not, then Layne should be your go-to author. Her spunky, sassy heroines do not become all tongue-tied and silly in the presence of their dashing heroes and remain dignified, confident and headstrong till the end. Now can we have Lincoln and Cole's stories please, Lauren?
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,642 reviews1,511 followers
September 16, 2015
Emma and Alex are the couple with a very sorted past and I was dying to know what happened that blew up their wedding and HEA plans.
“Do you ever think we broke each other? Because sometimes…it’s like both of us are unable to feel.”
Alex was definitely feeling right now. But he knew what she meant. “Yeah, Emma. I think that all the damn time.”

WOW did Emma and Alex have some huge baggage, finding out the train wreck that happened in their past was a blend of misunderstanding, pride, ignorance and immaturity. It was both heartbreaking and devastating and I just wanted them to find their way back to each other. But damn LL had her own plans and she tortured me with the sexual tension between them.

I yelled at Emma for being too strong and independent and not just putting herself out there to clear the air. I yelled at Alex to just spit it out already and let’s get to the good stuff. I rooted for them because it was so clear that in their current lives they were just shadows of what they could be.

This was probably the most angsty of the series because there was all the tension and ice already present between Emma and Alex. Instead of cute meeting or funny flirting there was a huge amount of tension.
“It’s like this: For a long time, we thought you and Cassidy avoided each other because of some horrific breakup that left you hating each other.”
“And now?” Emma prompted, even though she wasn’t entirely sure she wanted to hear it.
“Now we think you two avoid each other for a much more dangerous reason,” Grace said quietly. “It’s because you have the power to hurt each other.”

But besides the romance between Emma and Alex we also get some more Bromantic stuff with Alex, Sam, Jake, Mitchell and Cole. I love it when these guys all start talking together. Seriously I was so excited to see that there is the spin off series with the men of Oxford magazine because I NEED more stories with these characters.

My big disappointment is there was no epilogue… Now I’m not sure if that is because we will get to see what happens to them in the spin off series but still I would have really loved an epilogue. The ending scene with Alex's plan was cute but I wanted just a smidgen more to close out the book.

Some cool things from this book.

1 – Camille is like cupid. She could totally be my boss if it hooked me up with love like that. totally in love with my man but if I wasn’t….just saying

2 – Julie and Mitchell’s wedding. I’m not really a go gooey for a wedding in a book sort of girl but *sigh* it was so cute and perfect and didn’t take too much time.

3 – Jake stealing Alex’s condoms. *giggles* Bro-mances are the best.

4 – Cole and Lincoln’s addition to the story. I’m totally excited for their books. Cole more than Lincoln since he seems to be a little bit of a bad boy. Although I'm interested in how Lincoln is able to have every woman he meets, dates or seduces still love him.

5 – Seeing how two people who should have been together for years found their way back to each other. I know *sappy sigh*…but we did all know that we’d eventually get to the HEA right. This is that kind of series.
Profile Image for Lyndy Ann ♫.
672 reviews
October 22, 2015
The Trouble with Love is Emma and Alex's story we have had snippets from the previous books that these two have a past but we don't really know what happened between them as they do their best to ignore each other.

Emma has a day from hell she is temporarily homeless and Cassidy is going to be her temporary boss for 3 months and he give's her the worst article to write Twelve Exes of Christmas which he is one of her exes the one that left her standing at the alter on their wedding day alone.

Alex Cassidy gets a new neighbor for 3 months Emma thanks to Camile's sneaky planning can they both survive living next door to each other and working together? They are both part of Julie and Mitchell wedding, what will happen when they hit the dance floor and the champagne has been flowing?

What I love about this series is when we get all the couples together and we get all the funny banter and as always we get plenty of steamy moments some drama and a few tears and we found out what happened seven years ago between them.

Love the Stiletto girls together funny and the Oxford guys hilarious, can't wait for the spin off series Oxford YES YES YES

ARC generously provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for ~Stéphanie's Journal~.
620 reviews356 followers
February 19, 2015
The Trouble with Love is the kind of book that makes me want to smile all along. Seriously I love when I start a book and I know it's gonna be good.



I'm new with books about second chances but I love them more and more. Even if this one was the 4th book in a series, you can read it as a stand-alone and you won't be lost. And you won't get to much information about the previous couple. That being said, you will want to read all the previous stories just like me ^^


Emma Sinclair and Alex Cassidy have a history together and not a happy one. Seven years ago, they were supposed to get married but it never happens for reasons you will have to discover when reading the book. Just know that nobody is really at fault. Both of them have valuable reasons and both of them ignore something the other knows. For several years now, they've been trying to avoid each other and it worked pretty great but being in the same circles of friend is not easy and when Alex became Emma's boss for three months, it's impossible to avoid each other anymore.

Just let me tell you one thing, be prepare for some sexual frustration here! Because for sure these two want each other but they try to fight it so much! Their interactions are fun to read. The story is told from both pov and it's a pleasure to be in their head. It's funny too because they seems to think the same way but they hid really well behind their facades.

I was a little surprised to see that the first one to make a real move or the first one to show a little interest was Alex. In general, man tries to keep their emotions hidden at all cost but here it wasn't the case. Alex was willing to take risks and chances even without him knowing it.


What Emma need is a little reassurance. She has been left at the altar and is hard to recover from such experience, especially when she has her ex around her most of the time and she feels there's still a connection.


Alex and Emma's friend are a great part of this book too. I enjoyed their time together. Because they are all playing matchmakers at some point. And the guys idea for Alex? Hilarious!

I've seen there's a book planned for the Oxford series (Alex is the executive chief of the Oxford Magazine) and I hope we will have Cole story first but then I want Lincoln too )


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Profile Image for Keertana.
1,127 reviews2,173 followers
January 8, 2015
The Trouble with Love is one of my favorite Lauren Layne novels. I'll admit, having read all of her works to date, I was losing steam with this author. While I remained blown away by her first few novels, I just haven't clicked with her more recent installments. With The Trouble with Love, though, Layne has only reaffirmed what I always suspected and knew: she's an incredible romance author.

The latest in the Stiletto series presents us with Alex and Emma, two ambitious individuals whose past has torn them apart a few too many times. Alex, now the head of Oxford, a men's magazine which rivals Stiletto, the women's magazine Emma writes for, is put in charge of Stiletto for three months while their leader takes a sabbatical. Alex and Emma have tacitly agreed to keep their past in the past--after all, no one wants to remember being left at the altar--but with Alex's new position as Emma's boss, this puts them in closer proximity than they've been in seven years. Although the two maintain a veneer of cold civility, indifference dripping purposefully from their every interaction, it hides a deep hurt--on both sides--and simmering sexual tension. Will Alex and Emma finally be able to give in to their chemistry and put the past behind them? Or can some grievances just never be forgotten?

The Trouble with Love has been teased at ever since the second novel in Layne's quartet and the continued sexual tension that just builds over the course of this novel is both enticing and unbearable. What I loved about the love story here, though, is how authentic it felt. Emma is hurt. Alex is hurt. For them to move on and forget their past will take a lot and Layne really maps out their growth and relationship in a believable manner. It's all in the baby steps. Moreover, the friendship between the women of Stiletto and the men in their lives is heart-warming to read. All of these relationships boast equality, respect, and success on both sides of the equation.

Emma observes her friend's relationships and struggles to define what she wants which is a fascinating struggle. Layne's romances read light and fluffy but there are a lot of deeper themes and connections running through her heroines, making their characters stand out. Emma is, hands down, one of my favorite heroines she has written to date, right up there with Julie. Alex, too, is a pleasantly well-rounded romantic interest. When he assigns Emma the task of writing about her ex-boyfriends, he begins to realize just how he wants Emma to be treated in a relationship. Because of the nature of their past, The Trouble with Love takes a lot of time in establishing what Emma and Alex want individually from a union before finally bringing them together which is so, so worth the wait.

Though readers may be a tad bit concerned that The Trouble with Love starts out with Emma and Alex dating other people, Layne deals with this issue tactfully and it isn't dragged out long at all. No worries about a love triangle here, folks! I'll be sad to see this series end but I've already fallen for many of Layne's other projects and can't wait to see what--or rather who--she writes next.
Profile Image for Dee Montoya.
942 reviews587 followers
March 5, 2015
I loved this book!!!. My favorite of the whole series...

(BR with my Bestie Patty)

( Arc kindly provided by publisher via Netgalley)

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The Trouble With Love is without a doubt my favorite book in this series, and I consider myself a total Stiletto fan. From the moment I started reading I could feel the strong connection between Alex and Emma even though they try hard to be cold towards each other and always trying to ignore the other as a coping mechanism, to deal with the side effects of the heartbreak they shared after almost getting married seven years ago. Now they both work in the same building, for the same publication and to top it all, have all the same friends. With everyone in the group coupled up is hard not to feel resentment for the one that got away. Emma's boss is taking a sabbatical and is giving the reins of her side of the publication to Alex, since he's the editor in chief of the male side of the magazine. Now that Alex is acting as boss he uses the opportunity to approach Emma and try to get closure from their painful brake-up, through the excuse of asking her to write an article about her past relationships. Writing this piece will mean a trip back to the past for Emma, and she's dated some wonderful guys but brake-ups are hard as we all know, and the last thing she wants is to relive the pain Alex caused her, but she's a professional and she will get the job done, even if it kills her.

Everything around them seems to be in agreement to push them closer, but Alex and Emma are terrified to admit there's still strong feelings between them. Leave it to their friends to make sure these two finally get with the program and through fun, laughs, drinks and sexy encounters Emma and Alex will finally brake the ice, but it won't be easy...

I simply adore this series and Lauren Layne writing style, always fun and light but with a lot of sexy substance. Her books always make me laugh and I just always know that her stories I will highly enjoy, which is why I recommend this books to everyone because they are never a miss and Trouble With Love is definitely a big winner for me...

For all you Stiletto fans, don't miss out on Emma and Alex's story, add to your Top TBR list, this book is awesome!!!
Profile Image for Claire.
2,309 reviews709 followers
March 3, 2015
5 - "Want to make the same mistake again?" Stars!

I remember way back when emailing Lauren Layne after finishing reading Just One Night and basically begging her to write Emma and Alex’s story, you could feel they had one too tell running through the undercurrents in the third book in the Sex, Love & Stilettos Series, so as you can imagine I was absolutely delighted to see that my and quite a lot of other readers wishes had been granted!

I have loved all the books in this series, Lauren has hit the mother-load when it comes to this group of people and the stories that they have generated. The Trouble with Love exceeded every hope and expectation that I had and then some.

Alex and Emma’s history plays a really important part in their future in this story. After being left in charge in the interim of Stiletto magazine Alex uses his position to push Emma to face up to the ex’s of her past. What follows is a bunch of interviews with just three questions for each guy to answer, and the replies give Emma more than a little food for thought.

Lonely was better than hurt.

There is a lot of the usual banter between Emma and her fellow Stilletto girls as well as with Alex and the guys, they are a close group and there are more than a few giggles to be had because of it. But I found this book to be the most emotive of the four. You can feel and see the hurt and how it motivates the pair of them in a lot of their actions and the will they / won’t they as the story progresses really keeps the reader on tenterhooks the whole time.

I couldn’t put this book down, I read it in an afternoon, I loved it. Lauren did Alex and Emma, the Sex, Love & Stilettos Series, and her readers proud. I am hoping second time lucky as well, because Cole Sharpe, Lincoln Mathis and Emma’s twin sister Daisy were all screaming ‘I have a story too’, to me by the end of the book, so I hope that Lauren has the opportunity to revisit this series again at some point in the near future.

”I hope you find whatever you’re looking for. Or ditch whatever haunts you.”

ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review.

105 reviews42 followers
January 26, 2015
*ARC via Netgalley*

When I got and ARC I was just like

Like ALWAYS Ms.Layne had me swooning from word 'Chapter 1'.

What I like about Ms. Layne's books are not only the sweet as candy plots but her AMAZING style of writing! The ease she writes with is perfect for when you've just had the worst week ever and want to rejuvenate and relax.
It's not only laid back but is filled with all kinds of snarky humor! From Sarcastic dialogues, ridiculous comebacks and completely hilarious inner monologues, this book has it all!

The characterisation in every single one of her books is just so perfect! You fall in love them instantly! The best thing about them is they are so damn relatable, they are just your girl/boy next door! So. damn. relatable.

Though this book was just awesome, I still liked Love the One You're With and After the Kiss wayyyyyy better.
through the book, at times, Emma pissed me off, she was pretty dull though it had a reason. As for Alex Cassidy, I never imagined him to be one of the guys who would fall in love. He was always just a boss/ editor in cheif In my eyes.

But at the end of the day, lauren layne's magic won!
I really hope there will be a book for Cole. I got a feeling it's gonna be kickass if this guy plans on settling down!
Profile Image for Sam (AMNReader).
1,320 reviews286 followers
July 10, 2018
This might....checking my notes....be my favorite of this series?

I mean, it's still a 3-4 star range, but I appreciated the emotional weight and the pacing of actually starting with the misunderstanding that, to me, felt like it could actually really happen and also felt really sad. In the same turn, it was funny--though sometimes I could do without the sideshow--I actually felt like the heroine was plenty humorous enough on her own. Also, Emma is my favorite of the heroines so far! I felt like she had more depth for some reason. Cassidy still lacked some which is why I definitely feel like this trends at a 3.5, because it may have relied to heavily on external books and past characterizations for him.

Their office environment seems pretty stupid though, and everytime I'm faced with Lincoln in a book it makes me bitter for what could have been.
Profile Image for ana clara.
207 reviews65 followers
July 28, 2022
“It's about you, Cassidy. It's only you from here on out.”
He smiled back, his eyes looking suspiciously moist. “Wrong. From here on out, it's only us.”

Emma Sinclair and Alex Cassidy are my new obsession. This book is the best book from all Stiletto/Oxford series, and one of the saddest too.
We’d seen Emma and Cassidy as two funny characters in the previous books, always helping their friends with their relationship and personal issues, and always avoiding each other. They are two very interesting characters, they’re both intelligent and brilliant, he’s ambitious, he fights for what he wants, and she’s loyal and balanced.
Their love story is old, legendary, beautiful and with a tragic “ending”, and once they didn’t just meet again, but share the same group of friends, live/work very close to each other and also be at the perfect timing, their old feelings—that are still in there, even though they’ll never admit it—start to show up again, and we get to go with them throughout a beautiful and dramatic story.
Seeing them so vulnerable and hurt by what happened in their past, talking about it and going through all their pain and old feelings again was hard, but it was very necessary for them—they could heal themselves, then, and finally be open to find love and be completely happy again (which is something I gotta remark, once all Emma’s exes said they wish they could have make her smile more, and Cassidy was thinking about how Emma used to smile a lot and easily when they were together).
I loved how Lauren Layne managed us to feel all their pain, and I loved even more how she didn’t just construct a great old story, but a very beautiful reconnection story for them. By that, it’s impossible to not see and feel how Emma Sinclair and Alex Cassidy were always meant to be. As Cassidy said, some things work better together, and this is definitely their case.
And it still hurts that LL didn’t write an epilogue for them, but this could easily be remedied by a special short story of them being married and with their children. Just saying lol.
Profile Image for -ya.
518 reviews64 followers
March 9, 2015
What is the killer of a relationship?

a lack of trust?

This book has them all and surprisingly, I really like how the author crafted this second-chance romance story.

Trust me, Em, you’ve made it clear that I’m all but dead to you.”

“Mutual though, isn’t it?”

“Of course.”

Alex: Sometimes I think I’d prefer you hate me, At least then you’d notice me.

Emma: Well, if you keep running your mouth about our past to your friends, I could probably muster some hate.

This is the story of two people who let their pride and secrets rip them apart and spent the next seven years battling the cold war between them.

Emma: Two near strangers staring at each other and exchanging good nights in the hallway. She'd had more animated partings with her pizza guy.

Me: FFS! Just end the war already!!”

Duh, I don’t remember how many times throughout the story I mentally shouted at them demanding the peace. So, evidently, I have rooted for their HEA:)
# stand-alone # second chance
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