Emma is the newest relationship columnist for Stiletto magazine. She fits right in with the other three and her relationship niche is breakup and heartache. Having been left standing at the alter but the one man she has ever loved, she has very intimate experience with heartache. That man has turned up as editor at Stiletto’s male equivalent magazine and is now her temporary boss. Camille, their editor, is taking a long vacation and has asked Alex Cassidy to fill in for her.
Alex has spent all his time in New York trying to avoid Emma and now taking the position as her temporary boss has put him in direct contact with her. The pair will not let this bother them and will continue on as they have been for the past year.
“Emma,” he said politely, not looking at her.
“You’re looking well.”
“And you,” she said, her tone smooth. Monotone.
“You didn’t get dressed up on my account, I hope.” His voice never lost its casual politeness.
She didn’t so much as glance at him. “Oh, you do not like it? I’ve been hoping a fancy dress is all it would take for you to ask for my number.”
When Emma’s apartment floods, Camille offers to let her live in her place while she is gone. Emma thinks it is a perfect place for her to temporarily stay up until the point she walks out her front door and sees Cassidy standing across the hall with his date. Camille has set them up and now, not only is he her boss, but they live across from each other.
When the times comes to hand out assignments for next month Cassidy goes on a small power trip and comes up with a brilliant article for Emma. Since he is the boss she cannot refuse and is stuck writing about twelve ex boyfriends. She decides to make the best of the situation and comes up with three questions for each of her exes.
1. What was your first reaction when you heard from me?
2. What do you remember most about us?
3. Why did we break up?
What comes from revisiting her exes is a lot of heartbreak. The reader relives each of Emma’s relationships and aches for her as she hears the same thing over and over.
“I’m glad to hear that, Clint. Truly. I’ve got a feeling that this story is going to reveal a lot more about me than it will about any of you.”
“Maybe,” he said, studying her.
“Or maybe it’s about you….and one of the guys.”
She blinked. “What do you mean?”
His smile was kind. “Just that I figured at some point, some guy must have bee able to make you smile. And I always wondered if it was the same guy that made you stop.”
It was always about Alex Cassidy and it seems it always will be. When it comes time to interview the final and most important ex, Cassidy, Emma is nervous. He is the one who shape her future so she cannot avoid the interview. While the interview does not go well, a wedding between one of their fellow couples does bring them back together. Unfortunately, it also brings out the truth of what happened so many years ago. Will Alex and Emma ever be able to move past what happened or will they be stuck in no win relationships for the rest of their lives.
Lauren Layne has an absolute winner with this latest book in her Sex, Love & Stiletto series. Emma and Alex have such a complex history but what they feel for each other is so obvious and so potent that you will just hold your breath when they talk. Their banter is witty, laugh out loud funny and poignant all at the same time. There is an undercurrent to all they do and say around each other. The sparks…they fly when this couple comes together. I ached for both characters as they tried to navigate around their feelings.
Another bright spot to this book is how all the three previous couples are present. They all play a large role in what happens. There are even a couple other guys who work with Alex that I would love to see a story for…maybe say Cole and Emma’s twin sister? Hint, hint! 😉
Overall, this is a fantastic book. Ms. Layne produces winner after winner and The Trouble with Love is no different. Final grade- A-
“Oh,” Grace said, in a casual, by-the-way tone. “Cassidy stopped by this morning. Asked if you could head up to see him.”
Ah. There is was. Emma matched Grace’s casual tone. “Did he say what he wanted?” Emma asked, toying with her hair rubber band as she spun her chair around to face them.
“You know, he did,” Riley said around a mouthful of doughnut. “Starts with p and rhymes with…..with…wait, is there no word that rhymes with pussy? That can’t be right.”