Adult Fiction book review

Layla by Colleen Hoover

Librarian Laura’s Review of Layla

Having read all of Colleen Hoover’s books, I was very excited to read her newest one, Layla. At first, I was a little leery only because of the “paranormal romance” genre tag. I am not into paranormal romance or any type of abnormal romance tropes. I like to read romance between one man and one woman. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised with how well done this paranormal romance is. And now I wonder why I even doubted the queen – Colleen Hoover. Everything she has written is pure gold – in my humble opinion.

Leeds, a singer/songwriter meets Layla when his band plays at her sister Aspen’s wedding at a beautiful bed and breakfast located in the middle of nowhere, Kansas. He never planned to meet the woman he wants to spend the rest of his days with, but that’s what happens. There is no denying the fire that ignites between Leeds and Layla. But then an unexpected attack leaves Layla in the hospital fighting to live and threatens to rip them apart forever. Thought she has mostly recovered physically, the attack has taken a toll on Layla mentally and she isn’t the same carefree, joyful girl she used to be. Leeds looks for a way to bring back the spark they once shared, so he books a surprise trip to the bed and breakfast in Kansas where they met, which is now for sale. Leeds could never have prepared for the reaction in Layla’s behavior once they arrive, or the bizarre things that keep happening. And then there’s Willow, another guest at the hotel, who Leeds feels a strange connection to and wants to help. Torn between Layla and Willow, Leeds will need to make a choice. An impossible choice, it seems. He can’t help them both.

The story line of Layla is both unique and captivating. Once I started it, I could not put it down. This is on par with all of CoHo’s books. At first, I must admit, I was a little spooked when things started happening in the house where Leeds and Layla were staying. The spookiness and the steamy romance worked very well together, however, to make for a tender and sizzling romance. At first, I was completely clueless about what was really happening in the house. When readers find out what is really going on, it’s quite the shocker. Then there is a major twist near the end that throws readers for another loop. These are all good things; trust me!

Leeds and Layla’s story has it all – mystery, angst, romance, love, guilt, tragedy, and thrills for days. Are you ready for an amazing story that will keep you on the edge of your seat, biting your nails until the final page? Then, I highly recommend reading Layla.

Thank you to Montlake Romance for providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Colleen Hoover Introduces a Scene from her New Paranormal Romance Layla!

This month bestselling author Colleen Hoover released her very first paranormal romance, Layla. Today Colleen shares one of her very favorite parts of the book and introduces the scene. Colleen, take it away!

“Leeds and Layla have just met about an hour before this scene takes place. I wouldn’t say they experienced insta-love, but it was definitely an immediate attraction. Leeds is lonely and withdrawn from life, while Layla is the opposite. She’s over the top and fun and everything Leeds isn’t. He’s a musician who has never released any of his own music due to insecurities and doubt. But Layla lights a fire in him and uncovers the confidence about his music that he keeps buried.”  

Excerpt from Layla by Colleen Hoover

Layla leans in and I expect her to kiss me, but instead she whispers, “Play me something,” against my mouth. Then she moves to the couch and lies down. “Play something worthy of that piano,” she says.

She crosses her legs at her ankles and lets one of her arms dangle off the couch. She runs her finger against the hardwood floor while she waits for me to start playing, but I can’t stop staring at her. I’m not sure there’s another woman on this planet who could make me want to stare at her without blinking until my eyes dry up, but she’s looking at me expectantly.

“What if you don’t like my music?” I ask. “Will you still let me kiss you?”

She smiles gently. “Does the song mean something to you?”

“I wrote it using pieces of my soul.”

“Then you have nothing to worry about,” she says quietly.

I spin around on the bench and place my fingers on the keys. I hesitate for a moment before playing the song. I’ve never performed it for anyone before. The only person I’ve ever wanted to sing it for is my father, and he’s no longer alive. His death is the reason I wrote this in the first place.

I’ve never been nervous while playing Garrett’s songs onstage, but this feels different. This is personal, and despite the fact that there’s only one person in the audience right now, it feels like the most intense audience I’ve ever performed for.

I fill my lungs with air and slowly release it as I begin to play.

That night I stopped believing in heaven

I can’t believe in a god that cruel

Can you?

That night I stopped praying on my knees

But I don’t pray standing either

Do you?

That night I closed the door and closed the


I’ve been sitting in the dark

Are you?

That night I learned happiness is a fairy tale

A thousand pages read aloud

By you

That night I stopped believing in God

You were ours, he didn’t care, he

Took you

So that night I stopped . . .

I stopped . . .

I just


That night I stopped.

I stopped.

I just stopped.

That night I stopped.

I . . .

When I’m finished playing the song, I fold my hands in my lap. I’m a little hesitant to turn around and look at her. The whole room got quiet after I played the last note. So quiet—it feels like all the sound was sucked out of the house. I can’t even hear her breathing.

I close the cover to the piano and then slowly spin around on the bench. She’s wiping her eyes, staring up at the ceiling.

“Wow,” she whispers. “I wasn’t expecting that. I feel like you just stomped on my chest.”

That’s how I’ve felt since I first laid eyes on her tonight.

“I like how it ends,” she says. She sits up on the couch and tucks her legs beneath her. “You just stop in the middle of the sentence. It’s so perfect. So powerful.”

I wasn’t sure if she’d realize the intentional ending, but the fact that she does makes me all the more enamored of her.

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.
Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

Author Biography
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including the bestselling women’s fiction novel It Ends with Us and the bestselling psychological thriller Verity. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Hoover and her family founded the Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service that offers signed novels donated by authors. All profits go to various charities each month to help those in need. Hoover lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.

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