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.
This book was just what I needed to get over a disappointing read. Lauren Layne’s books are definitely sure to bring a smile to your face. I haven’t had a chance to read the first book in The Oxford Series, but after having finished this, I plan on finding the time to read about Cole and Penelope!! It started off a little slow and I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea having the heroine be the little sister of the hero’s ex wife, but in the end IT WORKED!! I seriously fell in love with this story.
Jackson Burke is the new fitness journalist at Oxford Magazine. This is not his dream job and NYC isn’t winning him over either. He’s still stuck in the past where he was once a Superbowl winning NFL Quarterback and he desperately wants to be that guy again, and to be back in Texas, where he thinks he belongs. But a car accident, that injured his shoulder took it all away from him, including his wife, Madison. Although Madison bailed on the marriage soon after the I do’s when she started having an affair with his best friend. He’s in a bad place in his life and spends most of his time avoiding his co-workers and dodging the calls from his ex sister-in-law, who happens to live in New York now.
Mollie Carrington has been smitten with Jackson since he first started dating her sister, but she was always considered the geeky little sister. She and Jackson became close friends during the time he was married to Madison. Mollie was his “go to” person whenever things were strained between he and her sister, which happened quite often.
After months of avoiding Mollie, Jackson agrees to meet her for dinner. He’s not prepared to come face to face with the beautiful woman she’s become. He’s uncomfortable with how attracted he is towards her. And Mollie is struggling with the fact that she’s still pretty much hung up on Jackson while she’s also feeling guilty he’s her sisters ex husband. After a brief conversation about how she’s living with the roommate from hell, Jackson ends up offering the spare bedroom in his penthouse to Mollie.
Till these two start to acknowledge their attraction to each other, the story seems to be very slow building. From the 40% mark on, I couldn’t put this book down!! The fact that Jackson was once married to Mollie’s sister, ceased to be a pain point for me. As you get more details about Madison, it’s pretty much impossible to feel that these two are doing anything wrong. I really loved the chemistry between Jackson and Mollie. I was rooting for them to get passed their insecurities and hang ups. I feel like this was one of the steamiest Lauren Layne books to date!!
Will Jackson and Mollie be able to leave the past behind them and let what’s starting to develop become a possible once in a lifetime love? Or will they let the past take control and possibly make the biggest mistakes of their lives?
Aside from all the angst, we get a chance to be with the other Oxford employees, including Alex Cassidy and Jake Malone, who we met during the Stiletto series. All the ladies fromStiletto are back as well and they become fast friends with Mollie.
I know this may be premature but I think I like this series more than Stiletto .
Make sure you pick this one up!