Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Best Laid Plans
Author: Lauren Blakely
Format: Audiobook purchased from AudibleSynopsis:
That time I had the brilliant idea to ask my good friend for lessons in sex-ploration…
Awkward? Maybe. But how else is a good girl going to find out if she likes being naughty? I might be sweet as cherry pie, but I’m also bold and damn curious. And Gabe is charming, trustworthy, aces at seduction (or so I hear) and—bonus!— willing to give me lessons. But to guarantee it won’t ruin our friendship, I have some specific requirements for his instruction. I want these classes to be hypothetical more than hands-on. So what if he’s hella sexy? I can handle that, no problem.
I have it bad for Arden. She’s bright, brilliant, insanely fun, and I want to take her home and spend all night together—and then spend the day with her, too. When she asks for my help, I see my chance to win her sweet heart by showing her how much fun we can have getting spicy. Trouble is, she has a different idea of what “sex-ploration” should mean. Now I’m going to have to get really clever to win her over.
Good thing I know exactly how to upend her best laid plans.
This book was everything I needed for so many reasons.
I’ve been reading a lot of dark, heavy books lately and I desperately needed a break. I needed something light, something that made my heart soar, something that made me swoon and laugh and fall in love.
So… I turned to Lauren Blakely.
We all have our go-to authors for certain things. If I want a slow burn, it’s Mariana Zapata, if I want to laugh out loud and swoon, it’s Lauren Rowe, if I want beautifully crafted mega steam, it’s Sierra Simone, if I want twisted darkness in the most beautiful way, it’s Trisha Wolfe.
If I want to fall in love? It’s Lauren Blakely.
I absolutely adore authors who understand the power of a good audiobook, and Lauren truly appreciates us audiobook readers … and it shows. She’s active in the audiobook community (I posted in Aural Fixation after reading my first of her books asking which books I should read next by her and SHE commented on my post!)
It’s obvious that she puts a lot of thought into the production of her audiobooks. She wrote the first full-cast romance audiobook I ever listened to: Birthday Suit – which was an absolute delight to read – and now this book, which was narrated duet-style, is growing in popularity and I’m absolutely living for it.
These two narrators did so much justice to such loveable characters.
I recently wrote a post listing all the authors I wished were my best friends, and it was Lauren Blakely who inspired the post. Just from reading her books, I felt her warmth and charisma come through the characters.
I never wanted to hug an author so much after reading a book. Particularly this one.
I’ve been having kind of an awful few weeks and while reading dark books let me brood a bit, I needed something light to take me out of the gloom – and this was absolutely perfect.
This book made me genuinely happy and I was so in love with Arden and Gabe (also – how perfect are those names, tho?!?!)
I also love when authors take a common trope and put their own spin on it. I’ve ALWAYS loved the whole friends-to-lovers/teach-me-how trope, but they can be a bit repetitive. I loved this take on the trope, how Arden treated her “lessons” as a “dress-rehearsal” rather than the actual performance.
Also – that meetcute of sorts was so freaking epic.
And can we talk about how badly I want Arden’s bookstore to exist? And how much I want to join that bookclub?!?!
And Gabe’s relationship with his family… SWOON!
Also… he’s a firefighter. It’s like she plucked all of my favorite things out of my brain and crafted this novel.
And I couldn’t be more grateful.
(If nothing else, you need to listen to this audio because at the end there is an EPIC interview between Joe Arden and Erin Mallon in which, among other things, they read a grocery list as a couple having sex for the first time… and it’s hilarious and on point.)
Also, can we talk about the amazingness of this:
Audiobook Performance: 5 (million) stars
Butterfly Rating: 5 Stars
Re-read Worthiness: YES!!
Bookshelf Placement: YES!
I need a Lauren Blakely shelf.
Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars