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Down By Contact

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Layla Nichols doesn’t need anyone, especially a man. She’s content to spend her time building up her social media business so she can take it full time after graduation. First though, she has to survive her half sister’s wedding. Just once she’d like to hold her own with her wicked stepmother and walk away not feeling like the redheaded stepchild. Step one—find a suitable Layla Nichols doesn’t need anyone, especially a man. She’s content to spend her time building up her social media business so she can take it full time after graduation. First though, she has to survive her half sister’s wedding. Just once she’d like to hold her own with her wicked stepmother and walk away not feeling like the redheaded stepchild. Step one—find a suitable date. Enter Justin Olmsted, the friend who’s stuck by her for years. He fits the job description: they’ll have fun, he’s cool with pretending to be in love with her, and he’s hot enough to shut up her stepmom. Justin had a great run as a linebacker for VVU, and now he’s desperate to get a foot in the door—any door—of a college coaching staff. That’s easier said than done, but that’s not the only thing on his college bucket list. He’s had a thing for his friend Layla since they met four years ago, and he’s tired of waiting on the sidelines for the right moment. This wedding is Justin's chance to sweep Layla off her feet. It’s time to convince her that leaving the friend zone is worth the risk.


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Layla Nichols doesn’t need anyone, especially a man. She’s content to spend her time building up her social media business so she can take it full time after graduation. First though, she has to survive her half sister’s wedding. Just once she’d like to hold her own with her wicked stepmother and walk away not feeling like the redheaded stepchild. Step one—find a suitable Layla Nichols doesn’t need anyone, especially a man. She’s content to spend her time building up her social media business so she can take it full time after graduation. First though, she has to survive her half sister’s wedding. Just once she’d like to hold her own with her wicked stepmother and walk away not feeling like the redheaded stepchild. Step one—find a suitable date. Enter Justin Olmsted, the friend who’s stuck by her for years. He fits the job description: they’ll have fun, he’s cool with pretending to be in love with her, and he’s hot enough to shut up her stepmom. Justin had a great run as a linebacker for VVU, and now he’s desperate to get a foot in the door—any door—of a college coaching staff. That’s easier said than done, but that’s not the only thing on his college bucket list. He’s had a thing for his friend Layla since they met four years ago, and he’s tired of waiting on the sidelines for the right moment. This wedding is Justin's chance to sweep Layla off her feet. It’s time to convince her that leaving the friend zone is worth the risk.

30 review for Down By Contact

  1. 4 out of 5

    HR-ML

    This Kindle CR offered a HFN ending. A friends to lovers story. Justin, a college football linebacker & Layla, were college seniors and friends for nearly 4 yrs. She needed a faux boyfriend for an upcoming wedding & Justin agreed to do this favor. They got sexy while away for the wedding. The H+ h each had friction with his/ her father. Each stood up to his/ her father. Yes! Justin had a shoulder injury, so passed on the NFL draft. He chose to find a job which would 'get his foot in the door' to This Kindle CR offered a HFN ending. A friends to lovers story. Justin, a college football linebacker & Layla, were college seniors and friends for nearly 4 yrs. She needed a faux boyfriend for an upcoming wedding & Justin agreed to do this favor. They got sexy while away for the wedding. The H+ h each had friction with his/ her father. Each stood up to his/ her father. Yes! Justin had a shoulder injury, so passed on the NFL draft. He chose to find a job which would 'get his foot in the door' to lead to college football coaching. This had likeable MCs. But I'd have preferred a more definitive ending. On Kindle, at the end, readers were offered a free "Va. Valley University: Draft Party" short story. This had an update on Wyatt, Carson + Jake (& their girlfriends) as far as the NFL draft. Connor, a kicker, would find another route to the NFL? Did any of these college football guys have a sports agent? The author should have thought of that. Updated

  2. 5 out of 5

    JudyAnnLovesBooks

    4.5 Stars ⭐️ Down By Contact is Book 4 of Jessica Ruddick’s Virginia Valley University series and is a fantastic friends to lovers/fake boyfriend/sports romance read. Funny enough I normally don’t gravitate towards friends to lovers or fake relationship romances, but as a fan of this series, I didn’t hesitate to dive in and am so very glad that I did. Justin and Layla won me over immediately. Their friendship was solid and as individuals they were both relatable characters. I loved how easy it w 4.5 Stars ⭐️ Down By Contact is Book 4 of Jessica Ruddick’s Virginia Valley University series and is a fantastic friends to lovers/fake boyfriend/sports romance read. Funny enough I normally don’t gravitate towards friends to lovers or fake relationship romances, but as a fan of this series, I didn’t hesitate to dive in and am so very glad that I did. Justin and Layla won me over immediately. Their friendship was solid and as individuals they were both relatable characters. I loved how easy it was for them to transition from great friends to something more, and that Justin was all in. I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon read. Down By Contact gets the judy.ann.loves.books stamp of approval. TBR and Enjoy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    A superb love story that’s easy to love. Just getting through her half sister’s wedding is tough enough for Layla, but without a date definitely not easy. Perhaps her old friend Justin can be of help. Great for everyone.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    Engaging, charming story. This book was a very sweet novel about Layla and Justine, 2 college friends, who over the course of their 4-year friendship become friends with benefits a few months before graduation. That naturally brings its own complications with respect to their relationship, the confusion of emotions and change of dynamics leads both protagonists to do some soul searching. All the characters in the book were well developed and described. The dialogues were scene-appropriate, witty Engaging, charming story. This book was a very sweet novel about Layla and Justine, 2 college friends, who over the course of their 4-year friendship become friends with benefits a few months before graduation. That naturally brings its own complications with respect to their relationship, the confusion of emotions and change of dynamics leads both protagonists to do some soul searching. All the characters in the book were well developed and described. The dialogues were scene-appropriate, witty with good use of vocabulary, language and the good editing standard enhanced the experience. The story is steamy and romantic. They both have family issues that weigh heavily on them, as well as coping with the pressures of finding jobs following their impending graduation. These create additional tensions and anxieties which have been very well elaborated by the author. Both protagonists, as well as the supporting characters, their friends are very likeable, and their story is totally within the scope of reality. I felt a lot of sympathy for this couple who may be due to their difficult family history have in many respects such a mature attitude to work and responsibility. There is a HEA which is very heart-warming. I strongly recommend this book, to all who like uplifting romances. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Smith

    This is a story of Layla and Justin. They go to VVU college together and are best friends. They are always supportive of each other and there is needed. Layla has to go to her stepsisters wedding per her stepmother. She doesn’t want to go as they both make her feel terrible every time she sees them. She needs a date and decides to ask Justin to be her fake boyfriend to shut her stepmother up. Justin is a football player and is muscular and of course says yes to go with Layla. He’s in love with h This is a story of Layla and Justin. They go to VVU college together and are best friends. They are always supportive of each other and there is needed. Layla has to go to her stepsisters wedding per her stepmother. She doesn’t want to go as they both make her feel terrible every time she sees them. She needs a date and decides to ask Justin to be her fake boyfriend to shut her stepmother up. Justin is a football player and is muscular and of course says yes to go with Layla. He’s in love with her and hopes this is his chance to show her that they should be more than friends. Will this be the weekend that makes a hugh change in their friendship To something more? I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Naptime Novels

    Overall a great read. Down by Contact is a true friends to lovers romance with a fake boyfriend angle worked in! After Layla convinces her long time friend Justin to be her date at her step sisters wedding, the pair realize just how attracted they are to each other and they can no longer deny their chemistry. Their connection was great, however I wish we, as readers, had gotten to read a bit more about Layla and Justin’s friendship before they started a romantic relationship! I think seeing that Overall a great read. Down by Contact is a true friends to lovers romance with a fake boyfriend angle worked in! After Layla convinces her long time friend Justin to be her date at her step sisters wedding, the pair realize just how attracted they are to each other and they can no longer deny their chemistry. Their connection was great, however I wish we, as readers, had gotten to read a bit more about Layla and Justin’s friendship before they started a romantic relationship! I think seeing that would’ve really had me invested in them as a couple. I’m anxious to see if Kaycee and Connor, Layla and Justin’s best friends, will have their own book. I loved Connor’s personality and definitely need more of him. 😍

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    The VVU series is a favorite of mine. The characters are intertwined in the stories so we get to see them before/after their own story. This one is about Justin and Layla. While they were friends for the 4 years of college something is developing after Justin agrees to help Layla as a fake date. They definitely had sparks between them. Their easy banter as friends and then as fake daters was a major plus for me. I was a little disappointed as this seemed to fizzle out in the very last part of th The VVU series is a favorite of mine. The characters are intertwined in the stories so we get to see them before/after their own story. This one is about Justin and Layla. While they were friends for the 4 years of college something is developing after Justin agrees to help Layla as a fake date. They definitely had sparks between them. Their easy banter as friends and then as fake daters was a major plus for me. I was a little disappointed as this seemed to fizzle out in the very last part of the book. Story was steady paced. We also get glimpses of Connor and Kaycee to tease us for a future book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    KL Cassanello

    Justin is firmly in Layla's friend zone. Until she needs a date for her half-sister's wedding. This is my favorite book of this series. Justin and Layla have both had "those feelings" for each other, but were afraid of messing up their friendship. Layla's mother is amazing, but her father's other family is truly effed up. Her stepmother is a real piece of work, and I absolutely love Layla's solution to the hideous dress that was picked out for her. She and Justin have some issues to work through Justin is firmly in Layla's friend zone. Until she needs a date for her half-sister's wedding. This is my favorite book of this series. Justin and Layla have both had "those feelings" for each other, but were afraid of messing up their friendship. Layla's mother is amazing, but her father's other family is truly effed up. Her stepmother is a real piece of work, and I absolutely love Layla's solution to the hideous dress that was picked out for her. She and Justin have some issues to work through before they find their happy ending, but the journey was incredible. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hanna Barker

    Down By Contact is the 4th book in the Virginia Valley University series and follows Justin and Layla. I've read all the books and I have to say that this book is probably my favorite of all of the books. I loved that the characters had such a strong friendship before becoming romantic so the story line progressed at a natural pace. Justin was the perfect book boyfriend and he was honestly the perfect boyfriend for Layla. This book was hands down amazing! I will definitely be putting this one in Down By Contact is the 4th book in the Virginia Valley University series and follows Justin and Layla. I've read all the books and I have to say that this book is probably my favorite of all of the books. I loved that the characters had such a strong friendship before becoming romantic so the story line progressed at a natural pace. Justin was the perfect book boyfriend and he was honestly the perfect boyfriend for Layla. This book was hands down amazing! I will definitely be putting this one in my favorites to re-read. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Annie

    I volunteered to read this ARC for an honest review. I enjoyed this story about Layla and Justin. She's a young woman who is about to graduate from college. Justin happens to be one of her good friends, but secretly she hasa crush on him. When her stepsister's wedding requires her to have a date, she names Justin as her boyfriend. But as the weekend wears on their true feelings come out. But a job away from Virginia might blow things. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am volu I volunteered to read this ARC for an honest review. I enjoyed this story about Layla and Justin. She's a young woman who is about to graduate from college. Justin happens to be one of her good friends, but secretly she hasa crush on him. When her stepsister's wedding requires her to have a date, she names Justin as her boyfriend. But as the weekend wears on their true feelings come out. But a job away from Virginia might blow things. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Friends to lovers. Justin is Layla’s male best friend when he does her a favor and they cross the friendship lines. They’ve both had “extra” feelings for awhile. I like how Justin really thinks of her and his plans to be a gentleman. Layla is such a type A (understandably) that she has problems letting go of control, which has served her well, but also hinder her. Her relationships with her parents are sad. Luckily she has Kaycee. Justin also has complicated family relationships. Definitely not Friends to lovers. Justin is Layla’s male best friend when he does her a favor and they cross the friendship lines. They’ve both had “extra” feelings for awhile. I like how Justin really thinks of her and his plans to be a gentleman. Layla is such a type A (understandably) that she has problems letting go of control, which has served her well, but also hinder her. Her relationships with her parents are sad. Luckily she has Kaycee. Justin also has complicated family relationships. Definitely not a happy go lucky story, but not depressing either. I received a free copy of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mulan Book Princess

    This was quite a sweet romance. Layla and Justin have been good friends for four years, and they've managed to keep their attraction to each other under wraps. Layla then has to ask Justin a favour to be her date at a weekend wedding, and sparks fly out of control. They are utterly adorable together, and need to work out some kinks in their relationship to get to their HFN/HEA. I thought it was cute, sweet and entertaining to read. I received a free advanced review copy of this book and am volunt This was quite a sweet romance. Layla and Justin have been good friends for four years, and they've managed to keep their attraction to each other under wraps. Layla then has to ask Justin a favour to be her date at a weekend wedding, and sparks fly out of control. They are utterly adorable together, and need to work out some kinks in their relationship to get to their HFN/HEA. I thought it was cute, sweet and entertaining to read. I received a free advanced review copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving my fair and honest opinion.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sherri Babb

    Justin and Layla’s book was such a great addition to this series. They have been friends for all of college but when Layla needs a fake date for her stepsister’s weddings things change. They have such great chemistry between. The dialogue between these two will have you laughing so hard. They were great as friends but even better as a couple. If only they both could get on the same page. Really great book from start to finish. Justin and Layla

  14. 5 out of 5

    Evy Schiettecatte

    This was a great friends-to-lovers story, my kind of story! I loved the chemistry between Justin and Layla, they have an easy relationship as friends which grows into something more. They are very charming and relatable characters. It was great to see how Justin is her rock during the wedding weekend and how he brings out the best of her. This is a great series and I’m curious to read the other stories! I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    I received an ARC from the author thru Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving my review. Justin and Layla have been friends thru college. She needs his help now as a fake boyfriend for a family wedding. Things quickly progress from friendship to much more. While navigating the mine field of the wedding, they realize just how much they feel about the other. I enjoyed the storyline and the characters I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    A friends-to-lovers story with a bit of a fake relationship in the mix. Justin and Layla were solid as friends and once the possibility of more was presented is was an easy shift. They were relatable and likable characters with some hang-ups. It was an easy read and entertaining. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Thi

    This is my all time favorite in the series. Justin was so easy to fall in love with. He had confidence galore but he wasn’t an jerk about it but he also had a vulnerable side that he didn’t let deter him. Layla was just perfect for him. Her family sure needed a kick in the junk though. I would definitely recommend this book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Nielsen

    I received this as an arc for my honest review This was my first book by Jessica Ruddick but I don’t think it will be my last. I really loved it. It gripped my attention from the start and held it through out. I really enjoyed the fake relationship/ friends to lovers tropes going on. This was a great read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jolene Crispy

    Always a good friend who can turn into a potential boyfriend. The contract should have never been drawn , all she had to do was ask and see where it went.. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  21. 5 out of 5

    P

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kaycee

  23. 5 out of 5

    Made Me Blush Books

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pam cook

  25. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erin Neumann

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristen S

  29. 5 out of 5

    Gina

  30. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey Wise

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