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.
I fell madly in love with the first book in this series, but when the blurb for this one came out I wasn’t sure I’d like it, plus I just wanted Lincoln Mathis’s book (I still do, that man truly has a magic way with women). Now I think the blurb really doesn’t do it justice.
Tonight, at her sister’s wedding, Mollie Carrington had gone and fallen head over heels in love. With the groom.
Mollie was raised by her sister, since their father left them because her mother had problems with both alcohol and drugs, and not to long after that their mother died. Mollie loves her sister but that didn’t stop her from developing a crush on her husband, Jackson Burke, the star quarterback. Mollie is a lovable character, nerdy, funny, sweet and loyal. Her sister, Madison, on the other hand, only has eyes for fame. Jackson loved her, but she’d always been using him, and still does, even after she cheated on him repeatedly and did all she could to bring his reputation down. She then divorced him when he was still in the hospital after the accident that ruined his career. So, yeah you won’t be rooting for Madison anytime soon.
“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 sure had dissipated, she realized that the answer to his question was everything. She had everything to lose.
Mollie and Jackson developed an amazing friendship in all the years of his marriage, they were there for each other when Madison wasn’t. Now Mollie needs to move out of her apartment and Jackson offers her a room in his penthouse. That’s when things get heated. As a single man, Jackson starts to notice that Mollie is a grown woman, and his emotional connection with her only makes it easier for a physical one to start. It’s obviously very complicated, and I found the first half of the book to be way too slow, but I was hooked anyway.
“Oh, so we are going to talk about last weekend? You’re not going to just hide in the bedroom again?” He swore softly and hooked a finger into his tie to loosen it. “How is it that you’re so much younger than me, but you manage to make me sound like a petulant child?”
All the characters made up for the slow plot, though. I adore the people at Oxford magazine! I was so happy to see Penelope and Cole again, and obviously Lincoln, Jake and Cassidy. Jackson slowly opens up with them and it made for some really hilarious scenes. Also, I adore Lauren Layne’s writing. I thought the third person pov would feel too detached, but it doesn’t. I laughed and cried a lot.
Mollie gave an incredulous laugh. “Did you just thank me for sex?” “More like a thank-you for reminding me that I didn’t die in that car wreck.” He released her face and gave her a playful swat on the butt that belied the importance of what he’d just said.
I can’t freaking wait for more books in this series. I need to find out all of Lincoln’s dirty secrets.