Publication Date: July 19, 2022
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
Lauren Layne can do no wrong in my book. You, Again is the perfect contemporary romance that hits all the right emotional notes. Seriously, nothing makes me happy than a new Lauren Layne book. I downloaded this as soon as it was available and stayed up way too late devouring it – zero regrets.
Mackenzie ‘Mac’ Austin doesn’t do relationships. She wants a no-strings-attached hookup. So when her dating app suggests preppy, corporate Thomas Decker, she rejects him without a second thought. There’s just one snag: he’s sitting next to her at the bar and witnessed her do it. And he’s calling her out for it. After the initial embarrassment, they go their separate ways, expecting never to have to see each other again…but fate has other plans. First, he pops up as her next boss. Then he reappears as her best friend’s soon-to-be brother-in-law. As they keep being forced together, Mac’s sure that rule-following Thomas is the last man a free spirit like her should want. However, as they spend more time together, Mac starts to realize the one man she cannot get away from is the same man she wants to keep close and confide in.
The setup of this book was so much fun! I loved the opening premise and how fate had other plans for Thomas and Mac as they kept getting thrown together at every turn when they would have preferred never to see each other again. Honestly, I loved this book so much that I could overlook things that usually bother me – like a third-act breakup caused by a character being stubborn over something.
When I sit down to read a Lauren Layne book, I know she will deliver on the romance. She’s the queen of contemporary romances in my book. And the romance in this book was perfection. Layne is a master at building up the sexual and romantic tension in a scene and knows how to make your heart squeeze from all the emotions – something she did so many times to me while reading. This book is perfect for anyone who loves enemies-to-lovers, forced proximity, workplace romances and let’s just bang it out to get the feelings out of our system. The journey Mac and Thomas go on to get their happily ever after is filled with many bumps – but it works perfectly for them. The chemistry is there from their first interaction in the bar and simmers under the surface in all their other interactions, and they have such great banter. And if you are worried about this being closed door, don’t worry, it’s not! It’s stories like this that make me believe in the power of love.
Mac felt a bit different than a traditional Lauren Layne female lead character – especially one based out of NYC and working at a jewelry company. Mac is more artistic and non-traditional – she even has a streak of blue in her hair to prove it. She’s very much the product of her mother’s bohemian upbringing, where working a 9-5 job is the worst thing ever and tying yourself to one person will kill your spirit. While I should be annoyed how much she doubles down on being free-spirit Mac, it worked for her as a character, even if it does result in her making some poor decisions.
Thomas is Mac’s complete opposite and so not her type. He’s a buttoned-up businessman who looks like Captain America, very different from the men with tattoos and the V that Mac traditionally goes for. But there is something about him that’s super intriguing. There’s a lot more to him than meets the eye. I love how good he is at reading Mac and giving her what she wants before she even knows she wants it. He’s a man who seems to truly believe in love and is willing to put his heart on the line, even if he knows it will be broken, to be with Mac in whatever form she’s comfortable with.
While this book is on the shorter side, it doesn’t feel like it. The story is not rushed at all. The pacing is spot on as Layne perfectly builds the sexual and romantic tension between Thomas and Mac all the way to the ending. I loved the quiet, intimate scene between Thomas and Mac while they’re working together, when they’re on the bachelor/bachelorette trip in Vermont and when they’re in his kitchen attempting to bake pies. And that ending! Was it cheesy? Yes. Did I love it? Yes. It was the perfect way to wrap up Mac and Thomas’s love story, leaving me with the biggest grin on my face.
You, Again turned me into a big mushy gushy smiley mess at the end of it. This was the perfect, feel-good romance that I can easily see myself coming back to again and again when I need a comfort read. You cannot go wrong with any of her books, and I think this one will be on my favorite list this year. Seriously, if you’ve never read a Lauren Layne book, this is the perfect one to start with, as it’s her at her best.