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Best Laid Plans

Written by: Lauren Blakely
Narrated by: Erin Mallon, Joe Arden
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

That time I had the brilliant idea to ask my good friend for lessons in sex-ploration...

Awkward? Maybe. But how else is a good girl going to find out if she likes being naughty? I might be sweet as cherry pie, but I'm also bold and damn curious. And Gabe is charming, trustworthy, aces at seduction (or so I hear), and - bonus! - willing to give me lessons. But to guarantee it won't ruin our friendship, I have some specific requirements for his instruction. I want these classes to be hypothetical more than hands-on. So what if he's hella sexy? I can handle that, no problem.

I have it bad for Arden. She's bright, brilliant, insanely fun, and I want to take her home and spend all night together - and then spend the day with her, too. When she asks for my help, I see my chance to win her sweet heart by showing her how much fun we can have getting spicy. Trouble is she has a different idea of what "sex-ploration" should mean. Now I'm going to have to get really clever to win her over. Good thing I know exactly how to upend her best laid plans. 

Make sure you listen all the way to the end for a bonus behind-the-curtains conversation between the two narrators!

©2018 Lauren Blakely (P)2018 Lauren Blakely Books

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pam Audio-Fanatic
  • Audiobook Addicts
  • 2019-05-08

Best Laid Plans

What a fun and witty book. I enjoyed Arden’s approach to learning who and what she likes.
Her job! I want her job like please can I own a book shop and know the people who come in that would be awesome.
Gabe the firefighter is so sweet and so amazing he just gets Arden. Probably why friends to lovers, is my favorite sub-genre in books is because of couples like this.
They both secretly love each other but for the sake of friendship neither wants to take the chance. But Arden can’t stop thinking about spicing up her love life and who better to ask than her good friend.
The way this is done, make the book fun and quirky but no something that has been done before or at least not in this way. I really enjoyed how open and honest they were with themselves.

It also makes me miss playing Words with Friends!!
I loved this narration, Joe and Erin doing a duet! It was awesome and fun to listen to. Before I knew it the book was over and I wanted more!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • ❤️ Cyndi Marie ❤️
  • 🎧 Audiobook Addicts 🎧
  • 2019-02-26

✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫

Anyone who knows me knows I love Lauren Blakely books! She always gives us a sweet story with lots of giggles. As always, this book has such witty characters, fun lighthearted banter and perfect chemistry. I always love a friends to lovers story so I was excited to start this one.

Arden is a sweet bookstore owner who is a little sheltered but her love of books has intrigued her interest in what she might want in a relationship. I loved that she is a bookie, so many books were mentioned in this story and I'm going to re-listen to this and make a list of all the ones I need to get to. I loved how shy she was in some ways but how easily she pushed past that because she knew she wanted more. Nothing better than a strong female lead in a book!
Gabe is a hot firefighter with an amazing ability to lighten up any situation! I loved how funny he was and how he made light of everything. He knew what he wanted and was working up the courage to go for it. Together these two were so much fun and seriously hot! This book was a lot hotter than some of LB's more recent books and even though it's not filled with sex, it's the chemistry and the dirty talk that really gave this book steam!

As always, this book was a breath of fresh air! Lauren is amazing at giving us great love stories without all the unnecessary drama you usually find in romance and that is why I will never miss one of them! She is always a must listen for me since my first LB in 2014!

The narration, as always with Lauren Blakely audiobooks was AMAZING!! Erin Mallon is a narrator goddess!! She is my favorite narrator because I can always get lost in a book when she is voicing the characters and bringing them to life. Joe Arden is also a great narrator who I've found can make me laugh so much when he adds a silly or sarcastic side to a character. In this one I laughed more than once because of him alone. Erin and Joe really rocked the duet style narration. It flowed so perfectly. Oh and even though it's duet, we still get to hear Erin's hot has all get out male voice too ;)
This audiobook has more than one epilogue and also has a really funny interview with the narrators at the end. I laughed so much listening to them joke and laugh together.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • The Audio Flow
  • Indiana
  • 2019-02-26

Naughty does a body good! 🔥🔥🔥

Nothing like a F2L romance to get you on the mood for...fill in the blank. Let' get to the review, not because you need my feedback to buy it, but because you know it's FUN!!!

My top TEN reasons why you will love this audiobook

10. You are going to laugh. Everyone needs a good snort-worth listen. This has it. Of course you're gonna get that from LB. So no brainer.

9. I love how LB subtly connects characters from previous books. If you aren't in tune, you'll miss it.

8. The animals- LB always gives us cats and dogs and then adds one that you don't normally think of as a pet. However I now want an... listen and find out what it is :)

7. The build up- Gaaah. SO.MUCH.TENSION. My girly bits moaned for chapters, waiting for the release lol. Did that sound dirty? Good. The wait is worth it. 

6. Gabe is one sexy mutha... shut yo mouth. He is a friggin fireman. Oh how I love a man who carries a hose...I mean puts out fires and serves and protects lol. I also love how Gabe meets Arden. The guy is all heart and sexiness. Where is this guy IRL? 

5. Arden is my kinda girl. She was not a pushover and a woman after my own heart. She was NOT a virgin. Whew lol and as a young woman was open to communicate what she wanted. At least when she had the chance. And let's just say, I am on board with her LIST.

4. Friends to lovers can sometimes get stale, but when you add a few Aha moments and amazing writing it stays fresh. The writing and narration gave this book a FIVE star listen.

3. Every time you hear or see a mime, you will think of this book lol.

2. Joe Arden has really found a home as an LB leading man. He has such perfect comedic timing and he just nails the character. His performance had me hot and tingly, made me laugh and shed a tear or two. I was always a fan of his but now I may be an audio stalker lol.

1. Erin Mallon is always on her game. She is one person who can always take a character and throw herself into it full force. She captures Arden like it was her. She is a true artist and performer behind the mic. I love everything she brought to the story. And I agree with her request...give her and Joe more books together.

And after you listen to this book, go buy an apron or two. You'll thank Lauren later lol.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Henry
  • Lithona, GA USA
  • 2019-03-21

OMFG!!

Listen y’all! EVERY BOOK BY LAUREN BLAKLEY SHOULD BE READ LIKE THIS!!! The heat of the first sex scene...WHOOOOOOO! I’m so happy, no, ELATED I picked this novel to read!

Lauren, if I may say, You are my BITCH! GO GIRL!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Theresa Martin
  • 2019-02-26

Sexy, Sexy, Sexy!!! Joe and Erin are magnificent!

Gabe and Arden happen upon a great friendship. When Arden asks Gabe to show her the ropes of being “naughty,” Gabe’s up for it. That’s when things get interesting. Gabe is quite the teacher, and that dirty mouth of his was very dirty. Just how I like it. I don’t want to spoil any of it, but the feels in this book are all over the place. I cheered, laughed, and yelled at Gabe and Arden. They’re absolutely amazing. I loved their close friendship, and you could see the little blossoms forming in their hearts. They’re exactly what the other is looking for, they just don’t know it...yet.

I want to start a book club like the bawdy ladies in Arden’s book store when I turn 60! I also swooned over ALL the men in this story. They’re all hotties, so who could blame me? Gabe’s grandfather was such a sweet man, and a definite favorite of mine. I connected with Pops immediately, and developed a soft spot in my heart for him.

Joe Arden and Erin Mallon do a fantastic job, and I loved their always perfect narration. They’re definitely a favorite pair. They always do a wonderful job, seem to have fun together, and they give their own little touches to the story.

Lauren has such a gift with the friends to lovers trope, and I don’t know how she makes each one their very own without repeating some things in the stories. You know there’s going to be an HEA, but Lauren takes you on such a unique journey, and you’re treated to a great story every time. And thank goodness she has a thing for firemen!

Also, the extras after the epilogue were awesome!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • MauRanchGldnrtvrs
  • McKinney, TX USA
  • 2019-03-05

Absolutely wonderful duet narration!

Love Lauren Blakey stories but the addition of the duet narration using Joe Arden and Emily Mallon helped knock this one out of the park. It seriously enhanced the storyline and made it that much more believable. Loved the narrators yeah afterward also. I cannot wait for the next audiobook/book in this series to come out on April. Thank you also for the first chapter preview! It was a great taste and tease.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • California
  • 2019-03-03

Enjoyed a good book with great narrators.

First off, Joe Arden & Erin Mallon were fun to listen to as the duet, though I think the sound mixing could have been more even, they still did great and it was a treat to listen to their chat at the end of the book. If you’re a fan of one or both, it’s worth it.

The story is good. Friend to lovers, but done in a more line crossing way. I always enjoy when people around the couple are fully aware of the couple’s feelings. That’s fun and I have a soft spot for when the male character has all the feels. The sex scenes weren’t long and drawn out. And I loved the book club ladies.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 🔹🔹🔹CAROLYN 🔹🔹🔹
  • Newark, New Jersey, United States
  • 2019-02-27

ANOTHER GREAT LISTEN FROM THE QUEEN OF ROM-COM

You’re pretty much guaranteed a swoonfest when the book’s been written by talented author Lauren Blakely and narrated by Erin Mallon and Joe Arden (sigh).. and, yet again, this team didn’t disappoint.

The story had lol humor and loveable characters in this sweet friends-to-lovers plot where the heroine Arden wants to move from ‘vanilla’ to more spicy sex - and who better to ask than her hot playboy firefighter friend Gabe. Arden knows Gabe doesn’t do relationships and has come up with the perfect plan to protect their friendship.. by them keeping their clothes on. But what she doesn’t know is that Gabe is already attracted to her, is ready to commit and is just waiting for his chance to come clean.. however, they’ll have to get dirty first.

Worth a credit? A very enjoyable dual POV light slow-burn that had fun witty dialogue, sizzling chemistry and it flowed smoothly with the duet style narration.. and YES it’s absolutely creditworthy.. but, because it’s included in the Romance Package, it was free.. oh happy happy days. And the bonus at the end where Joe (sigh) and Erin talked together and answered listener’s questions was the sweetest cherry on top.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • bookbruin
  • California
  • 2019-02-28

Love is Friendship Caught Fire

Friends to lovers is one of my very favorite tropes and Lauren Blakely does it so damn well! I fell in love with Arden and Gabe from the moment the book opens (the cheese!!) and couldn't wait to see how everything unfolded. Blakely gives readers a little twist to the friends with benefits story line, that I found really fun and perfect for our characters. This book was exactly what I needed - a sexy and fun, but not too angsty, romcom.

I'm never a big fan of the manwhore hero, but Gabe definitely proves that though he has enjoyed the opposite sex, once he sets his sights on someone, he is all in. I really appreciated that he took the time to get to know Arden, and recognized that even if he wanted to explore more with her, emotionally she was not ready. I loved that he played the long game with Arden. She was such a fantastic heroine - smart, fun, loyal, witty, and extremely relatable. One of my favorite things about her (besides the fact that she loved books and owned a bookstore!) was how much she valued her girlfriends and friendships. Her Bawdy Ladies book club (what a hoot they were!), as well as Vanessa and Perri were such great additions to the story. Gabe's relationship with his family was wonderful too, especially his bond with Pops.

The slow burn build up between Gabe and Arden was exquisite and I about burst into flames when everything finally boiled over. (Side note: I NEVER in a million years would have thought a sentence with the word 'mime' in it could be so incredibly sexy!) I thought the concerns and bit of drama we encounter in the story were realistic and honest. Is it worth it to risk a rock solid amazing friendship for the possibility of an even more amazing love? There are a few miscommunications and missteps along the way for Gabe and Arden as they navigate the friends to more road, but the resolution was so sweet and perfect for these characters. The epilogues (yes, there is more than 1!) were the icing on the cake and left me with a huge smile on my face. I also love that Lauren Blakely threw a few easter eggs in for her fans by giving cameos to her characters in Unzipped and also nods to her Heartbreakers series. Such a fun tie in!

Joe Arden and Erin Mallon were perfect for this story and had just the right amount of sexy and playful to really bring this friends to lovers story to the next level. Mallon and Arden are 2 of the few narrators that I enjoy both their male and female voices, but the duet style narration worked really well with them. I wish more audiobooks were performed in the duet style. The interview and Q and A at the end was such a treat! I really enjoyed their candid and funny responses about the audiobook process and things that go on behind the scenes. I about died hearing them recite the phone book and a grocery list, in a way only Joe Arden and Erin Mallon can! LOL! I’m a dog person, so hearing Joe Arden’s opinion on cats was also hilarious. I can't wait to hear them in The Feel Good Factor next!

Overall 5 stars
Performance 5+ stars
Story 4.5 stars

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • TishaMTV
  • New York, USA
  • 2019-05-05

O.M.G!!!! I have found a new favorite author

I absolutely loved audio book. This is my second title from this author and she has made my list of favorites. Now for the characters, Joe Arden's voice is so dang sexy, and Erin Mallon's voice is so smooth and sweet. They made these characters very believable, and I forgot this was a book. It felt as if I were spying on two people lives, and I forgot to bring popcorn. I am going to find my next book by Lauren Blakely as well as other titles with these narrators.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful