Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1) by Lauren Layne
Released: October 6, 2015
Genre: Contemporary romance
Reviewed by Sarah
On the Flap
Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.
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.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
When I saw a new series from Lauren Layne, I said count me in. As a late comer to her Sex, Love & Stiletto series I was immediately intrigued by this new offshoot focusing on the devilishly charming men of Oxford. The inaugural book centers on Cole Sharpe who had already proved to being a captivating secondary character. As a freelance sports journalist, he gives off an aura of being a laid back man’s man. He’s overly flirtatious as evidenced by his long line of women. Imagine my surprise when this man turned out to be so much more. Cole has kept a secret from all of his buddies at the magazine; more so it becomes evident they know him only superficially. Fortunately our heroine will change all of that.
Slight in appearance, Penelope has long been accustomed to being a tomboy more than a girly girl. She loves her sports and has long accepted her spot as one of the guys which serves her career as a sportswriter well. That’s just the tip of this diminutive iceberg. After a less than ideal mess with her previous job, Penelope has set her sights on the new sports editor job at Oxford. Although messy, she’s real. She is a character that is complex from her appearance to her naïveté, from her sassiness to her loneliness. While there are few who can identify with every trait, there is a part of her that will speak to everyone. She’s an easy character which you can empathize.
Even though Cole and Penelope compete for the same job during a good portion of the story, it never feels callous. While both need the position to solve some personal problem, they support one another. More specifically, Cole is smitten with this “tiny brunette”. For some reason, I find this pet name to be seriously cute. In a somewhat unexpected turn, the job isn’t what causes the tension in the arc; it’s all their personal baggage. How can they change who they are and who they depend on to be with each other?
I would say this is my favorite of the works I’ve read from Layne. It’s fast-paced, relatable but maintains wit and charm. With this story, there is nothing outlandish, it’s pure and simple which may seem inconsequential but the writing is delivered with sweetness and sincerity. If the rest of the Oxford men are anything like this opening, this will be a fantastic series.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
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I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.