Review and Release Blitz: I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne

Posted February 2, 2016 by Shannon in Release Blitz, Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review and Release Blitz: I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren LayneI Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford, #2
five-stars
Published by Loveswept on February 2nd 2016
Pages: 283
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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.

Review

Lauren Layne can do no wrong in my eyes and is very quickly becoming an auto buy author. Her writing style, sentence structure, grammar, word choice, dialect, etc. all combines in harmony for a well written, extremely entertaining and touching story about two people who want to be together but can’t.

Jackson finds himself in New York, with no wife, no passion and no idea what has happened with his life. A career ending injury not only changed his entire life but outlook as well. Moving to New York, he accepts a job as a journalist at Oxford, a leading men’s magazine. Throughout his entire relationship with his ex wife Madison, Jackson has always had a close relationship with her sister Mollie. She was available to talk and listen to him, never to judge or exploit his feelings when Madison wasn’t around. Meeting up again after his relocation, Mollie tries to help Jackson work through his struggles and ultimately they form a stronger bond. Turns out with all those years of friendship, their relationship couldn’t stay as platonic as they had originally hoped.

I think the synopsis of I Wish You Were Mine should almost be edited a little. I went in expecting it to be a full on war between Mollie and Madison, competing for Jackson but that was not the case. Madison never begged for Mollie to help her get Jackson back, all she asked was if she would spy on him. Don’t be turned away thinking this is a love triangle either, everyone’s intentions are known. It was always Mollie that wanted Jackson, and he discovers his own feelings of what he wants, there is never a back and forth.

The entire plot may not be an every day occurrence, what with the hero being a former professional athlete but the entire story had a genuine feel to it. This is one element that I adore so, so much. Every single story of Lauren’s that I’ve read so far could be something that happens to people every day. Falling in love at work, or with your best friend, or with someone you want but can’t have. Personally, I feel that this just adds an extra layer of authenticity to her work.

Can I just say how fantastic Mollie was? A complete breathe of fresh air. She’s incredibly smart, funny, intuitive and has a heart made of gold. Always putting overs before herself, Mollie helps Jackson, Madison, and her friends but never puts herself at the top of the list. She’s loyal to a fault, and that’s were a large part of the struggle came from.

“Come on, Mollie. What do you have to lose?”
As she stared at the man she’d once harbored an unhealthy crush on—a crush she was no longer at all sure had dissipated—she realized that the answer to his question was everything.
She had everything to lose.”

Trying to put myself in Jackson’s shoes, I ached for him. Can you imagine having everything you’ve ever known and loved ripped away from you so suddenly? Of course he is going to have issues to deal with. Not only does he have to come to terms with losing his career, but his wife, his state, his comfort, all while becoming closer with Mollie. It’s a little overwhelming to say the least. He’s sexy, fun and reading about him with the guys will just make your heart swell. He struggles, he falls, but all in all learns how to pick himself back up again.

This book covers so many different emotions perfectly. From confusion to jealousy, turmoil and desire, it seemed that the farther I read, the bigger the tear in my heart. But with this being said, it wasn’t deeply angsty or insanely intense. There was angst yes, and a whole bucket full of sexual tension but it was also fun and loving as we got to witness the journey from familiarity to curiosity to exploration. The forbidden love was portrayed so well, there were times I had to hold my breath for these characters; their struggle felt so real that it could’ve been happening in front of me. This forbidden aspect caused all of the emotions to be heightened. The highs higher, the lows more devastating.

“You are your own woman, and you are a woman, Mollie. You’re not a kid. You’re not a girl. And if I’ve been a complete asshole lately, it’s because I’m having a hell of a time coming to grips with the fact that I want you. And fuck, Mollie, I want you. I want you so bad, I’m dying.”

I didn’t realize when I first started this book that the Oxford series is actually a spin off of the Stilettos series. The dynamic of the guys working together in the office is absolutely heartwarming. Every single one of them is welcoming, understanding and encouraging, and it was a pleasure to see the group grow and not only accept Jackson, but have him accept them; accept that life. There is one scene where all of the Stilletto girls make an appearance and based on that scene alone, I will buy every book from both series’. Every. One. The characters are just that good and that likeable. Between the entire gang, the back and forth banter is right up there to rival some of the best. Seriously, it’s on point. Growing up with an older brother, I can attest to how a group of occasionally immature males interact, and this was hilarious to boot. I laughed, a lot.

“Lincoln picked up his pink beverage, all good humor restored. “So how’d it go, huh? You owe me. I spent Friday night alone with my dog.”
Jackson’s eyes narrowed. “You did?”
“Okay, fine, you caught me. Got laid by the hot bartender in the apartment below me. But then I went back upstairs and cuddled with Kiwi.”
“Who the hell is Kiwi?”
“My dog,” Lincoln said, as though this were obvious.
Jackson shook his head. “You drink pink beverages, you’re wearing a tie clip, and you have a dog named Kiwi. Please tell me Kiwi is a big-ass German shepherd.”
“Nope. Maltese. Five pounds of white fluff that would fit in your hand.”
“That’s sweet,” Jackson said, taking a sip of his coffee. “Do you put bows in her hair?”
“No,” Lincoln said. “She never lets me.”

Nothing about Lauren’s style is forced. It all seems to come so easily, flow together so well that it then reads seamlessly. The prose is always consistent and concise, never heavy with additional drama or unneeded extras. She can make you laugh, cause your biggest smile of the day, and then be the same reason that smile is thrown away with the bath water. While reading I actually wrote a little note to myself to later expand upon, but I’m actually just going to leave it as is ‘Thanks Lauren, way to rip my insides apart piece by piece. You can make me so happy, have the air so thick with tension that we’re practically choking, and then make me need a hug; for someone to tell me it’ll all be okay. A great writer will take their audience on a journey and I’m right there along with you every step of the way.’

 

*ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review. 

Shannon

ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE OXFORD SERIES

1 Irresistibly Yours Ebook Cover

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

Hotshot sports editor Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for Oxford for years, so when he hears about a staff position opening up, he figures he’s got the inside track. Then his boss drops a bombshell: Cole has competition. Female competition, in the form of a fresh-faced tomboy who can hang with the dudes—and write circles around them, too. Cole usually likes his women flirty and curvy, but he takes a special interest in his skinny, sassy rival, if only to keep an eye on her. And soon, he can’t take his eyes off her.

Penelope Pope knows all too well that she comes off as just one of the guys. Since she’s learned that wanting more usually leads to disappointment, Penelope’s resigned to sitting on the sidelines when it comes to love. So why does Cole make her want to get back in the game? The man is as arrogant as he is handsome. He probably sees her as nothing more than a barrier to his dream job. But when an unexpected kiss turns into a night of irresistible passion, Penelope has to figure out whether they’re just fooling around—or starting something real.

 

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five-stars

About Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne is the USA Today bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels. Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals. Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).

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