2022 Reviews · contemporary fiction · modern romance · romance

Book Review: Layla by Colleen Hoover

Title: Layla

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published: December 8th 2020

Publisher: Amazon Publishing

Pages: 303

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Modern Romance

RRP: $24.99

Rating: 4.5 stars

Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover comes a novel that explores life after tragedy and the enduring spirit of love.

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.


Layla is an exceptional blend of romance, mystery and the paranormal. Penned by #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, this otherworldly and all-encompassing love story with a difference defies all logic. Romantic, deep, emotional, intriguing and addictive, Layla is another winning piece from American adult fiction author Colleen Hoover.

A story of love and emotional pain, Layla follows a young couple who fall instantly in love. When Leeds first encounters Layla he knows unquestionably that she is the woman he wants to grow old with. However, not long after their relationship begins it faces the ultimate test due to a tragic attack. Layla is left mentally and physically damaged following this life shattering incident, but Leeds vows to stick by her. In an effort to repair his flattering relationship with Layla, Leeds surprises his love with a break away to the place where they first fell in love. But soon after they arrive at this bed-and breakfast Layla becomes unsettled and her behaviour appears increasingly erratic. Leeds retreats from Layla and he becomes increasingly drawn to another occupant of the bed-and breakfast. As Leeds grows closer to this guest, his relationship with Layla falters. Leeds is soon faced with a difficult choice in protecting Layla’s wellbeing. Will he stay with Layla, or forge a different life with his new acquaintance?

Colleen Hoover is such a diverse author. I have read only a handful of her novels but I can’t believe just how many branches of romance this author incorporates into her narratives. From psychological thrillers, to young adult romances and contemporary modern romance novels, Hoover has an uncanny ability to cross mix genres. In Layla, Colleen Hoover attacks the paranormal genre, which she does with grace. I am generally not a fan at all of paranormal romance and I did approach this sub-genre with a sense of unease. However, in true Colleen Hoover style I was soon won over by the characters and storyline presented to me.

I loved the instant love connection that develops between the two main characters of Hoover’s novel. I felt this romance was well developed, believable and swoonworthy. Hoover soon puts this love story to the test by introducing a rather significant complication to this relationship early on the piece. My heart broke in two for Leeds and Layla, as the tragedy that befalls them is quite upsetting. The use of alternating chapters that unveil the story at hand, along with a highly intriguing interview session really propels this book in a forward motion. I know I couldn’t move the pages in Layla fast enough! I read Layla in just under 12 hours which I think is very fast for me!

I was initially a little suspicious and rattled by the paranormal element, it kind of hit me smack in the face! I almost wasn’t ready for the book to go in this direction. However, I soon embraced this unique storyline and I found myself thinking outside the box, which was uncomfortable at first but then incredibly gratifying. While embracing this unusual storyline I found myself getting angry with Leeds and shaking my head in disbelief. However, this story is utterly consuming and addictive. I’m glad I was able to cast my doubts aside and see this tale for what it truly was, it sure was a very special form of love that I won’t forget.

With only a handful of side characters and very few setting interchanges Layla is simple in some respects and complex in other ways. This is a book that I feel goes beyond the simple boy meets girl and falls in love story that readers may be expecting. Take a chance on Layla, it might surprise you – in a good way!

Layla by Colleen Hoover is published by Amazon Publishing on December 8th 2020. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Layla, Colleen Hoover, visit here.


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