Updated: Jan 18, 2021
The Trouble With Love
by Lauren Layne
Published by Loveswept
Book #4 in the Sex, Love, & Stiletto Series
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.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Rom-Com Feel Good
The Trouble With Love is the fourth, and final book in the Sex, Love, and Stiletto series by Lauren Layne, and centers around the newest writer in the relationship section, Emma Sinclair, and her ex-fiance, and editor-in-chief of Oxford magazine, Alex Cassidy. I have to admit, this is my favorite of the series, which is a little funny, considering Lauren Layne almost didn't write it. The difference between this book, compared to the last three, is obvious. Emma and Cassidy had been in love. They were engaged. Literally up to the night before their wedding, they had very much been in love. Then it all went to shit. It took six years apart, and a year of purposely ignoring one another sharing a friends circle for them to finally deal with their issues ... with some not so subtle moves on Cassidy's side.
So perhaps the premise of the story is not very original. There are thousands of books out there, about two past lovers reconnecting years later. But because this is a Stiletto book, it adds that extra journalistic twist to make it interesting. Camille, Stiletto editor-in-chief can take some credit for the articles she pushed Julie, Grace (although she volunteered), and Riley's to write, in turn, helping the three women finally find love, her interfering is actually completely different. When Emma's apartment floods, ruining everything she owns, and making the place unlivable, Camille offers her her high-rise, swanky apartment while she is away for three months with her new boyfriend, exploring Australia. Unknown to Emma, who gladly accepts, her new neighbor will be her ex, Cassidy. Camille's mischievous joy when Emma accepts the apartment makes me wonder if she paid off her upstairs neighbor to cause a massive flood. Camille leaves Stiletto's in Cassidy's hands as well, as he already knows how to do the job (even if he has no interest in the topics covered). Cassidy, who is already annoyed to be in such close proximity to the woman who broke his heart, is encouraged by Cole, one of the freelance writers for Oxford, to use his new position to get some dirt on Emma ... and her article assignment was born. The 12 exes of Christmas.
I love the story here. Cassidy and Emma's tension with one another has been an interesting sideline in the past books. All we knew was that they were previously engaged. Its not till this book that we find out how bad it truly ended. The night before their wedding, at the rehersal dinner of all places, her drunk father went up to make a speech. Instead, he tells the crowd about how Alex was a finalist for a job at his company, and he told him he would get it if he asked his daughter on a date. Fun fact ... Alex didn't know Emma existed. He did, however, know Daisy, Emma's identical twin sister. And he had a little crush on her. So he was all too eager. Finding out about Emma didn't stop him ... he still asked her out. Then he says that the day after he told Cassidy that he would never pass on his business to someone who wasn't family, he proposed to Emma. I can see why Emma was hurt. Always in her sisters shadow, she felt hurt that Cassidy had liked her sister. Hurt that he was bribed to ask her out. Tainting her memories of their connection when they first met. But the engagement ... ouch. I can see why she threw the ring at him and said she didn't want to marry him. What sucks ... Cassidy may have been bribed to ask Emma out ... but the connection was real. Cassidy really liked her. And he planned to propose to her weeks before her father said that to him. His love for her was true. So I get why he was hurt and angry that she didn't trust him enough.
He threw his phone out his car window while speeding away.
He never heard Emma's voicemails or read her texts, apologizing.