I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford #2) by Lauren LayneI Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne
Published February 2016
Series: Oxford #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
four-stars
Format: ARC
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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 was extremely lucky to have been granted yet another Lauren Layne title as an ARC (because Lauren is definitely in my Top 5 list of authors), and especially excited to see that I Wish You Were Mine is part two of the Oxford series.

I Wish You Were Mine is Jackson Burke‘s story, and I think he his a new addition to the Oxford crew since I don’t remember reading about him in previous books or even in the Stiletto series. Anyway, Jackson is an ex-quarterback who lost more than just his ability to play professionally during a car crash. No, within a couple of weeks, the devoted husband he was is also being served divorce papers by his b… of a wife.

And with a degree in journalism from a long time ago, Jackson decides to move to New York, where the Oxford magazine was keen on having him. But Jackson is a grumpy old jerk to everyone around him. And part of the reason for that is the close proximity to his sister in law (and ex-wife’s sister) Mollie Carrington who had always been on his side. But little does he know, Mollie would rather not indulge into that much proximity to him.

“Tonight, at her sister’s wedding, Mollie Carrington has gone and fallen head over heels in love. With the groom..”

Well… this book was everything I would expect, coming from Lauren Layne. It had humour, steam and it was great to connect with the amusing banter of the Stiletto and Oxford crews again. The writing was as good as always, too. But were I might have to draw the line is at the “doing-it-with-the-exe’s-little-sister” plot. This is a bit of an of-limits, red flag for me – and probably for a good handful of other readers – and I am sure Lauren Layne knew she had some negative reactions coming.

So she went out of her way to make Jackson’s transition from loving the ex-wife to falling for the ex-wife’s sister as smooth as possible. There was the history of the two of them always sticking together, there was the fact that Mollie had always had a crush on him to begin with, and there were countless feelings of guilt involved. And it’s not like Mollie wasn’t on a guilt-trip either!

But it was still a weird situation. I can’t wrap my head around the sister angle (even though it served the divorcee sister well). And I’m especially startled by the fact that Jackson put up with his ex in the first place, and that it took him sooo long (even after the divorce) to see that maybe he really was with an evil b… and probably married the wrong sister. Erm… was he blind or just plain oblivious? And then, as soon as he has better clarity around his feelings for Mollie, he still doesn’t act upon them. Chicken.

“The full answer was that he didn’t believe in love. At least not the lasting kind that Mollie was looking for. Not after his disastrous marriage.”

The other things that annoyed me to no end were: 1) the annoying ex-wife, who was given way too much room in this book when really Jackson could have cut her off, and 2) the age difference between Mollie and Jackson (7 years) which came up so often it was ridiculous. Those two things led to countless “episodes” between the two, during which they fight, ignore each other for some time, and then one of them comes back groveling. But still, I loved Mollie and her carefree, funny ways – and just how she stuck to de-grumping Jackson whenever she could.

So all in all, it was a very nice read which I would recommend if you are happy to close an eye on the above things.

Detailed Rating
Storyline
3.5 Stars
Characters
4.5 Stars
Writing
5 Stars
All the feels
4 Stars
Overall: four-stars