Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1) by Lauren LayneIrresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne
Published October 2015
Series: Oxford #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Office Romance
four-stars
Format: ARC

Note: I was granted an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my rating or the content of my review.
 

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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.

There’s finally a sport editor position opening up at Oxford magazine, where Cole Sharpe has been freelancing for the past years. This is Cole’s opportunity for a more stable income. However, he soon discovers that he is not the only one running for that position, and he is determined to out run whoever his opponent his.

What he doesn’t know, is that he is competing against a woman: Penelope Pope, a sports editor from Chicago is just as eager as he is to land the job. Cole is determined to hate and discredit her, that is until he gets to know Penelope and finds out what a brilliant opponent she really is… and just how she affects him.

What I loved about this book:

  • The funny and heartwarming writing
  • The side characters

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The slightly predictable plot
  • The self-esteem issues the characters had

This is by far not my first Lauren Layne book, and I am actually a huge fan of this author. Lauren Layne writes wonderful love stories with characters that anyone can relate to. She knows how to use just the right amount of sweet and the right amount of fun that will keep the reader engage up until the last past. And Irresistibly Yours, the start of a new series called Oxford, is definitely not an exception.

I really liked the characters in this book, as they were quite unusual and unexpected. Penelope left Chicago in order to search for a new and bigger job, and in order to run away from the guy who broke her heart, and also stole a great job opportunity from her. Now, in New York, she’s competing for a job as an editor for Oxford Magazine and trying to pick up the pieces of her career and broken ego.

As for Penelope, I really liked the fact that she was a woman in a man’s world and still able to hold her ground (and maybe she knew more about sports than most of her male colleagues). She was also sweet, and although she was described as a tomboy, I still saw her as someone feminine. And hey – she loves food, so that’s only a plus in my book… and she can hold her ground even in the face of her “opponent”.

“She wrote furiously with her right hand and in her left hand held… a hot dog. Be still my heart.”

However, the thing that annoyed me, was the fact that Penelope had such a low self-esteem. It kept on being repeated throughout the book how plain or bare-chested she thought she was… And it kept on being repeated that Cole didn’t generally go for women “like her”… But still, when Cole discovers who his opponent really is (because hey, he was expecting it to be a guy) he is completely baffled because he has found an equally impressive and enthusiastic sports journalist as he is, and the icing on top is the fact that he is somewhat attracted to her, even though Penelope is nothing like the women he usually goes for.

“For Cole Sharpe, Penelope would have been one in a million other women in his life. For Penelope, Cole might have been one in a million.”

At first, it looked like Cole was yet another manwhore character who is only after one-night-stand with the blonde-model type. But as Irresistibly Yours progresses, it becomes clear that he’s more than just that. He has family issues which he doesn’t like to talk about: his older brother has down-syndrome and he tries to care for him as best as he can. And yeah, he can be extremely charming and very caring if he wants to. He was extremely attentive to Penelope, and that earned him massive brownie points in my book (yep – give me food over flowers anytime).

“Quit looking at me like that, Tiny. Like I just threw myself in front of a truck to save a toddler. They’re onion rings, not flowers.”

“Lord help her. Onion rings for Penelope were what roses and chocolate truffles were to other women.”

The storyline might have been a bit wonky, and just a tad predictable. Because they become good friends, but tell each other that they have no interest whatsoever in a relationship, and in the end (deep inside) they both know that this is not true. So, what’s the obvious next step when you want someone but don’t want to admit you do? You become friends with benefits. Until it all becomes too much and… well you know how the story goes.

“Everyone acts like the moment you realize you’re in love is the big gotcha moment. But there’s actually a moment after that… the one where you realize you could lose the person you love.”

“You said, and I quote, see you around, Pope. I actually went home and googled that, because I thought it might be a line from The Godfather, or some guy movie. But nope. Just you being a jerk.”

This is probably one of the reasons why this book deserves “only” 4 stars – but it was still a massively entertaining read, let alone for the hilariousness of it! The Stiletto characters are also just around the corner and do not fail to make appearances here and there throughout the book.

“Grace and the other girls – they’ve got it in their heads that they want to adopt this Penelope Pope character.”

And in the end, Irresistibly Yours also made me extremely intrigued about Lincoln’s story! So frankly, I can’t wait to read more about the Oxford crew (and the Stiletto crew, which is also always in the picture)!

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