I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne — Off-limits Romance!

02 February 2016

I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford #2)
by Lauren Layne (Goodreads, Website, Twitter)
Published by Loveswept on February 2nd, 2016
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Edition: eARC (283 pages)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

 *I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

I don't even question why Lauren Layne's one of my go-to authors, and everytime she's got a new release. This time around, LL brings back the Oxford crew with another hilarious and heartwarming romance that will leave you giggle-snorting and all too giddy.

I must admit, I was hoping the second installment of the Oxford series would be about the unapologetic manwhore extraordinaire, Lincoln Mathis, but it seems Lauren Layne has different plans for him and we’re not getting his story yet until the third book. There was a reason why Jackson was introduced at the very end of the first book, Irresistibly Yours, as the angry sports celebrity bombarded by reporters as they try to get a scoop on his recent divorce.

★ A Scientist walks into a bar while an ex-Quarterback sulks in the corner and...
I Wish You Were Mine follows Jackson's career as a Fitness Editor for Oxford Magazine in New York, post-Football and divorce, and while he gave me the impression of an angry, brooding superstar in the last few pages of Irresistibly Yours, it's apparent that's how he really is as a character which made warming up (to him) a little difficult because of his different personality from LL's usual heroes from the Stiletto/Oxford series.

Of course, it was intentional of LL to create a closed off and stoic character who prefers to keep to himself, especially after having recovered from an unfortunate turn of events in his life that ended his career and his marriage. Jackson was literally a big grumpy bear surrounded by a bunch of hyperactive pups (which, case in point would be the infamously hilarious Oxford crew--Oh, good lord, I so missed them!) as they have been trying to get him into their circle ever since he got on board the Oxford ship.

Mollie, on the other hand, was such a likeable character, although my favorite Oxford lady would have to be Penelope (so far), she was adorable in her own way. She's quirky, hilariously awkward, fun and babbles about biology and animal mating when nervous, hah! Also a career woman (a scientist at that, although I wish her career would've been explored more in the plot). However, with her evil older sister (Jackson's ex-wife) currently in the picture, I surely had a couple of issues, especially about her loyalty towards her sister and Jackson.

Schistosoma mansoni worms for life
This might sound confusing, but apparently, according to Mollie, when worms find their mate, they stay together for life, and if that's not beautiful, I don't know what is.

I love how Jackson and Mollie's relationship progressed from friends to lovers. Their initial relationship, even as ex-in-laws had them acting as best of friends, which led to a sexy and steamy friends with benefits arrangement, which of course, is bound to get complicated because... former sports superstar shacks up with ex-wife's sister, well damn. The romance was a slow burn, even though Mollie's been in love with him for ages, the whole progression was just the right and perfect pace.

★ I pledge allegiance to the flag of the Oxford club
The Stiletto ladies will always have a special place in my heart, but I adore the Oxford crew more. They're funny and dorky for a bunch of sexy men featuring Penelope as the only Maid Marian. Though, we've got only one (?) more bachelor left, and I can't wait to hear Lincoln's story!

Reading I Wish You Were Mine was an emotional rollercoaster. While Jackson and Mollie cannot replace Cole and Penelope as my favorite Stiletto/Oxford couple, I still enjoyed reading about their relationship. Every turn of a page was filled with hilarious banter and witty dialogue that had me cracking up the whole time, and a whole lot of bromance.

If you haven't read anything by Lauren Layne and are a big fan of romance, well, what are you waiting for?! Go! Shoo! Buy her books, you won't regret it!

Read my review of Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1)