Say You're Mine is the fifth book in the Shillings Agency series by Diane Alberts. Each book is a standalone story with interconnected characters, and if you read Taking What's His you will recognize Steven as Lydia's brother from that story. It isn't necessary for you to have read any of the previous books, though you will see some familiar faces.
Steven Thomas has always been able to count on his best friend Lauren Brixton no matter what he has been through. They have known each other since they were kids and no one knows them better than they know each other. Steven has managed to mess up a lot of relationships, but Lauren is the one he has never screwed up. But when Steven continues to try and drown out the things he can't forget, one drunken night changes everything between them and Steven starts seeing Lauren differently. Lauren has always loved Steven, and she has watched him go through women and booze while never giving her a second look. But when one night changes everything, can she show him what they could have together or will they ruin everything between them?
I liked both Lauren and Steven, and it was obvious how close they were. They had always been there for one another, and I loved their connection. I did think it was a bit weird that Steven just randomly started seeing her in a different light and that the attraction seemed so sudden for him. It was as if a switch just flipped and that didn't really feel genuine to me. The other problem I had here was that these two were so immature at times. They didn't communicate, they made assumptions and flat out just didn't seem to really know what they wanted at times. Things seemed to be blown out of proportion and the drama seemed forced. It just didn't really work for me and I didn't care for the back and forth that was constant here.
While I did like parts of this book and believed that they had a connection and chemistry, I didn't really believe the way everything happened. It just seemed to be so rushed and forced, and I wanted to see more of their natural connection and chemistry without all the hot and cold behavior. Lauren had wanted Steven for so long and yet she didn't want to take the chance and Steven wanted to take a chance, but yet he couldn't say it and neither could she. It just got to the point that I was exhausted and didn't really care anymore. I think that this one could have been great, but unfortunately it was just okay for me. I have really loved books by Diane Alberts/Jen McLaughlin before and I know this wont be the last book I read by her. This series is really good and while this one wasn't my favorite, I did like it.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**