I Wish You Were Mine

Lauren Layne
I Wish You Were Mine
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Random House Publishing Group
Release Date
February 2016
Book 2 of Oxford
Contemporary Romance

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.

Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Jan 13, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
179 people found the following review helpful
I WISH YOU WERE MINE is the second book in the Oxford novels, and it contains Lauren Layne's trademark wit and wicked banter.

Jackson Burke had a hard time adjusting to his new reality. While he accepted the job as Oxford magazine's fitness editor, in his heart, he yearns to be back on the field, if not as quarterback, then as assistant coach. His attitude and behavior are totally understandable; imagine, you're on top of the world one moment then the next it was all gone due to an accident. The author depicted this very well, and while I understand his situation and feel sorry for him at the start, it's harder to hold on to this feeling as he continued to mope and wish for something else when he should be thanking his lucky stars he was able to get a good job after and that his colleagues are friendly and wanted to include him in their activities only to be rejected by him.

However, that's a minor point. Normally, I love Lauren Layne's books, and I love her characters because they're fun and witty. However, in this book, there was something off with the heroine side of things. Mollie Carington is Jackson's wife's younger sister, and all through his eight year marriage, they'd kept in touch and become friends. Mollie has had a crush on him once upon a time, but when she grew older, she thought she'd grown out of her infatuation with Jackson. And so, she felt it "safe" for her to accept his offer of being flatmates, seeing as he had plenty of space in his penthouse while she hunt for a more permanent housing. But that was before Jackson started seeing her as a woman...

Okay, to be fair, nothing happened between Mollie and Jackson while he and her sister were married. What bothered me about this whole set up, Jackson hooking up with Mollie after his divorce from her sister, was it all seemed messy to me. And when a situation is messy, I get annoyed, and that tend to color my reading. It probably would've ironed itself out later on in my head, if not for the fact that Mollie is so blind about her sister's real character. She couldn't seem to move past the fact that her sister cared for her as a parent when their mother overdosed when Mollie was 13 and Madison was 20, and while I admire her for her loyalty, the fact that she's so willfully blind now, in the present, irks me. I say willfully because it's not as if no one has tried to open her eyes to Madison's true nature--there's her friend Kim, and also she had witnessed first hand how Madison and Jackson's marriage imploded and exploded due to Madison's affairs. I hate how she allowed herself to be manipulated by her sister and thus put Jackson in a tight spot. All right, fine, she tried to warn Jackson, but my point is that she and her sister could've visited elsewhere. Did she have to allow her sister to go to Jackson's penthouse, knowing that Jackson didn't want to see Madison?

I guess, in short, both Jackson and Mollie are not as endearing as other Lauren Layne's characters, and for me, witty banter is good, but characters can make or break a book.

Another minor quibble is this: re-used scenes. In the first book, Irresistibly Yours, Pen bought pretzel and nachos at a game and wouldn't share them with Cole. She very fiercely protected her food from "attack". In this book, Jackson did the same, though the scene was more concise here. The first time, it was cute. The second time, not. Also, the men's reactions to the women's almost-declaration was somewhat similar, giving me a feeling of déjà vu. I read the two books back to back, so the events are fresh in my mind, especially as I really like Irresistibly Yours.

So, all in all, my experience reading this book was not so good, despite my hopes and expectations. Still, I'm willing to think this book may be a fluke, as my own personal prejudices may have played a part in me not liking it, so I'm willing to give this series another chance and will be awaiting Lincoln's book eagerly, especially as Lincoln is quite the mysterious character. I can't wait to read his story.
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