... romantic and poignant ... Hoover unwinds a complex tale of tragedy, love and guilt. What makes Layla such a compelling read is how grounded it is in reality, even though so much of it deals with that which cannot be explained. All the elements of a good paranormal romantic mystery are here, but there’s a lot of heavy emotional work too, including Leeds’ initial sense of loss, the strain that caring for Layla puts on him, and the guilt he feels at wanting something that might not be there anymore ... While Layla initially reads a bit like a manic pixie dream girl, the change in her personality and confidence after the shooting was so stark and so fully realized that I found myself missing her quirks and idiosyncrasies, and seeing how thoroughly real they made her character. But it was Leeds who was the real star of this novel, despite its title. His journey from depressed musician to lovelorn boyfriend to beleaguered caretaker to romantic hero was as riveting as it was satisfying. His emotional conflict carried the plot and made the book an incredibly intense and emotional read ... Although Layla deals with the paranormal, I would encourage those who do not typically read this genre to give it a try. Hoover brings her trademark poignancy and addictive prose to the novel, and the bulk of the plot is based in real tragedies and emotions enough that even the more fantastical elements feel real.
Told entirely from Leeds’ point of view, the author’s first foray into paranormal romance does not disappoint. Peppered with elements of mystery, psychological thriller, and contemporary romance, the novel explores questions about how quickly true love can develop, as well as the conflicts that can imperil even the strongest connections. Despite a limited cast of characters and very few setting changes, the narrative manages to remain both fast-paced and engaging. The conclusion leaves a few too many loose ends, but the chemistry between the characters and unexpected twists throughout make for a satisfying read ... A unique story of transcendent love.
... [an] engaging contemporary romance with a supernatural twist ... Though the ending is slightly rushed, the unusual twist on a typical love triangle plot adds intrigue. Surprising and emotionally tense, this paranormal romance is sure to entertain.