Best Laid Plans by Lauren Blakely
Narrated by Erin Mallon and Joe Arden (Duet style)
Standalone Romantic Comedy
Shirtless, sweaty and covered with cheese, Lauren Blakely made me fall in love with another one of her heroes. This time it’s Gabe the firefighter. Lauren Blakely releases so many books, and she uses the friends-to-lovers trope a lot. She has also used the “teach me about sex” trope. Yet every single book feels fresh and new, and I have loved every one of them.
Arden is a planner. She plans a beautiful picnic for her boyfriend, and he dumps her because she is too much of a good girl. And the asshole still eats! Arden doesn’t necessarily want to be a good girl, but she doesn’t know any other way. When she meets Gabe, he is interested but knows she is on the rebound, so they become best friends.
Arden wants to change. She wants to explore her inner bad girl, so she comes up with a solid plan, and recruits her best friend Gabe to help her out to see what she likes.
“This is going to be the toughest game of charades I’ve ever played.”
As their game of charades continues, dirty talk ensues.
“Because if we were together, my number one goal would be to make sure you were…satisfied.”
Gabe doesn’t know how to get out of the friend zone, and Arden doesn’t think he would ever want her that way. But he does.
“I want to know the landscape of her body. Want to slide my hands up and down her legs, nibble on her ass, and make her whimper.”
Yes, please! I loved the way he got her to loosen up and talk about sex. She was totally down with “pretending” to try anything.
I point a thumb at my chest. “Big fan of spanking.”
“You are?” Her tone drenched with curiosity.
“Hell, yeah. if it’s done right….”
But will she ever stop thinking of him as a friend?
Once again, Lauren’s amazing dialog and banter made me laugh out loud, and it was made even more special by the duet style narration. I want to be friends with every one of her characters…AND their pets (Lauren does great animals too!) She introduced great side characters and has some fun cameos from other books.
- Arden is a bookstore owner, and I loved her book club meetings there!
- Amazing banter and dialog.
- Slow burn with lots of build-up.
- Dirty talking.
- A hot and sexy firefighter.
- I smiled the entire time I listened.
- The cast of characters and friends.
- Gabe is sweet and sexy and a little less business than many of Lauren’s heroes. It was a nice change.
- I loved their friendship and how they trusted each other.
- Lauren Blakely is ruining me for other audiobooks!
Lauren Blakely does THE BEST audiobooks HANDS DOWN. She clearly writes for audio and has said herself that she can hear the narrator’s voice in her head as she writes, and you can tell. This is her first full-length duet style book (not including the 12 narrator Birthday Suit) and I loved it. Something about it was different than most duets and I can’t put my finger on the difference—almost like it maybe wasn’t full duet, only conversations? Because unless I’m crazy (I was driving 6 hours when I listened), I could swear Erin Mallon did her sexy male voice. The narrators were perfect. They had great timing together and I really enjoyed the duet. Sometimes they seem weird and jarring to listen to, but that was not the case at all with Best Laid Plans.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 4 Heat, 5+ Narration