Review of Yours to Keep

Lauren Layne writing about a geek and a baseball player? Yes, definitely, please!

Yours to Keep
A Man of the Year novel

Lauren Layne

September 1, 2020


Blurb: An irresistible baseball star and a resistant hometown girl stumble into love in a flirty romance by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.

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.


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Of all the books I read over my holiday, Lauren Layne’s Yours to Keep was my favorite. In fact, it may well be my favorite romance of the year.

Shortstop Carter Ramsey (doesn’t that just sound like a superstar player’s name?!) has just had the worst news of his career. An injury during a game revealed a larger issue, one that could potentially affect his future as a ballplayer. He decides to return to his small upstate New York hometown to regroup and visit his family whom he’s only seen intermittently in the past 10 years.

Amusingly enough, Carter rents a house on the outskirts of town and is a neighbor to his old science lab partner, Olive Dunn. Now, Olive may just be my favorite heroine of any of Layne’s. She’s irreverent and confident. She’s a strong woman with a big voice, and now that high school is a decade past, she seems to be universally loved–and I can totally understand why. Her first post-high school encounter with Carter involves her being covered in green glitter. So much fun.

The banter between Carter and Olive is so funny that I spent quite a bit of the novel smiling or laughing, except when decisions needed to be made because we all know that Carter loves his career and won’t give it up and Olive loves her job and hometown.

This romance goes beyond charming and funny though. I really cared about Carter and Olive, which doesn’t happen that often. I seriously would have happily read hundreds of more pages about them, their friends, and family.

One of the highlights for me was Carter teaching Olive how to play softball. While trying to teach her how to throw, she actually breaks a window behind her. Heh. Funny stuff.

Yep, Yours to Keep is at the top of the romance pile for me this year, and probably in most years. It’s very nearly a perfect (in my opinion) romantic comedy novel.

If you’re looking for an intelligent, funny romance, this is it, especially if you’re like me and have a soft spot for baseball players and eccentric women.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.



5 out of 5 butterflies

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