Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: October 6, 2015
Format: eARC, 236 pages
How I got it: NetGalley
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
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.
I can’t even lie, when I first picked up this book, I fell in love with it. There’s just something about Lauren Layne’s writing that I love. She’s quickly become one of my favorite auto-buy, auto-request authors over the last few months. Her characters are relatable, the stories addicting and, once I start reading, I can’t put her books down.
Penelope was a girl after my own heart. A tomboy (of sorts) who is not only a sports fan, but has made a career writing about sports, she was amazing. She knew her stuff. She could “talk sports” with the best of them. She was spunky and enthusiastic. She was real. She’d also been hurt in the past after falling for someone she thought was a friend, but who ended up using her to advance his career instead. When things started to heat up with Cole, she made it clear there was never to be anything more between them than a friendship with some benefits. This wasn’t because she wasn’t into Cole, but because she was terrified to fall for someone else who might hurt her. She knew she wasn’t Cole’s usual type and didn’t want messy feelings to get involved, because it would be that much more difficult when things ended and he went back to the women he usually dated.
Cole had me swooning all over the place nearly immediately. He wasn’t perfect, but he was charming, attentive and funny. Of course, he was also sexy as hell. He knew all this too. But he never came off as the bad type of cocky bastard. It was always more of the endearing type. 😉 He was keeping some secrets and struggling with some tough family stuff, but those things only made me like him more. Despite his arrogant exterior, he was a really good guy underneath. I mean, he’d done his fair share of dating around and was a bit of a lady killer, but the women he was with knew the score, so I could take it. Plus, minus one scene, we didn’t see him in playboy mode and that made it even better.
Together Penelope and Cole were damn near perfection. She might not have been the type of girl he usually dated, but she was exactly what he needed… even if he wasn’t quite ready to admit it to himself. Their interests were similar and they could talk sports all day. I loved their banter and their obvious passion for their jobs… and each other. That’s the dream for the sports fan, right? Finding another person you can share that love with? Someone to spend the day on the couch with watching sports, trading stats and facts and then have hot as hell sexy times with later? I mean, it’s at the top of my list. (Too much info? Haha.) Despite their claims that nothing serious was going to happen between them, it was obvious from the start they were just trying to fool themselves. I adored these two together!
There were, however, a couple things that happened that bothered me because they just didn’t ring true to me. SPOILERS AHEAD! One of which was the time Penelope walked into Cole’s office and saw him in a liplock with another woman. The scene was annoying enough to me because I was shipping them hard, he was supposedly interested in her and here he was with his tongue in someone else’s mouth. (In his defense, they were NOT together… she was trying to keep him at a distance, but STILL.) That wasn’t the worst part for me, though. The fact that he confronts her about her jealousy and pushes her just hard enough that SHE KISSES HIM. You know, after he had his tongue in someone else’s mouth just mere minutes before. I… don’t believe that. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t care how into a guy I am, I catch him kissing someone else, the absolute LAST thing I’m going to do is kiss him right then. There needs to be a toothbrush and mouthwash and a few hours separation before that’s going to happen. The other scene that bugged me was the “break up” scene. I won’t get into the full details, but it was cold… even for a guy who was trying to put distance between him and the woman he was falling for. It just didn’t seem like Cole to me.
Honestly, if it hadn’t been for those couple scenes, this would’ve been a five star read for me. As much as the book redeemed itself for me after these blips, I still couldn’t go to a full five. But, if I gave half stars this one would definitely be four and a half stars. So very close to perfection.
All in all, however, this book was wonderful. I loved the cast of characters and, after looking at Lauren’s backlist, I realized this is a spinoff from another series. (Confession: I have this thing where I don’t really read the blurbs for books by some of my favorite authors. I just start reading the book instead, so I’m often surprised by the storyline.) Now that I’ve met the lovely ladies of Stiletto – and their men, of course – I feel like a good ol’ fashioned binge is in order to find out the full story for each of them. Plus, you know, more time in that world with characters I really enjoy. So, I’ll be doing that soon.
I finished this book and, though it doesn’t release until February, jumped right into the second Oxford book, I Wish You Were Mine, because I was just so hooked on everything about this series. It’s going to make the wait for Someone Like You, the third book, straight up excruciating, but I’ll deal. Somehow. Probably by bingeing the first series and perhaps rereading the first two books in this one.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.