Yours to Keep

Lauren Layne
Yours to Keep
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Publisher
Montlake Romance
Release Date
September 2020
ISBN
9781542023054
Series
Book 2 of Man Of The Year
Genre
Chick-lit, Contemporary Romance

SUMMARY
Pro baseball shortstop Carter Ramsey is about to be Citizen magazine's Man of the Year, but the only title that matters to him is out of reach: World Series MVP. Benched by a recent injury, Carter retreats to his hometown to recover. His ten-year class reunion and a potential reconciliation with the sweetheart he left behind could be perfect distractions. Until another old acquaintance throws Carter a curveball.

Olive Dunn admits that her former high school science partner is still a handsome charmer. But she wasn't swayed then, and she won't be swayed now. Because Olive remembers Carter's little shortcoming: he tends to bail the moment it suits him, without a backward glance. Best to keep her feelings strictly platonic while he's in town.

Except the entitled boy she knew is a changed man: solid, reflective, and generous. As they ease back in to their familiar friendship, things take a surprising turn, and Carter and Olive must decide if what they have is a passing flirtation or a real shot at love.

Book Review by Pip (reviewer)
Jul 14, 2020   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
17 people found the following review helpful
Dialogue-driven with the reminder that some kind of magic can happen in small towns, Lauren Layne's YOURS TO KEEP is very much the lighthearted, though slower-paced type of romance that readers could expect and a sort of high school friends-to-romance trope. And it all gets rolling into action when an injured star baseball player goes home to lick his wounds and ends up meeting an old lab-partner that is furthest from his type.

Ms. Layne's Man of the Year series is not as much of a standout as I'd hoped it would be so far: Carter Ramsey did feel and look like one of those self-entitled and self-absorbed characters--despite holding the title of the small-town boy having made it big--with a cocky edge that made him more smarmy than cool.

The saving grace perhaps is Olive Dunn, who is a different sort of heroine from the start: one who goes the opposite way of hot or gorgeous or beautiful, and consciously staying in that state instead of conforming. As a teacher in a small town, squaring up to Carter in her own way is an interesting one though most of it is through a familiar 'multi-hatted' pedagogical combination of being teacher-bossy, showing a little high-handedness and having a counselor's listening ear.

Both are probably on paper, characters who would meet, maintain a superficial friendship and go their separate ways (which was really what happened in high school) and at times, it does seem as though Ms. Layne is dragging out the small-town familiarity just to carve these very different characters into a couple. For that reason, the middle sags a bit with much ado about nothing and keeping my mind stayed on it without much forward momentum had me drifting…a lot.

There's of course some odd drama to do with a high school ex and the expectation that Carter would head for a different reunion of his own, but Ms. Layne does round it all up with a solid heroine whose practicality somehow trumps the idea of 'star-crossed' lovers. In short, YOURS TO KEEP isn't really a favourite, but it'll be one that fans would nonetheless appreciate.
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September 24, 2020 12:41 PM ( EST )