Tonight at her sister’s wedding, Mollie Carrington had gone and fallen head over heels in love. With the groom.
I Wish You Were Mine is book two in Lauren Layne’s Oxford series. The series is a spin-off from her Sex, Love & Stiletto series and has characters we have seen many times over. The first book, Irresistibly Yours, was Cole’s story and he was a fan favorite. The epilogue in that book introduced us to Jackson Burke, a character we had never met before. I think I can safely speak for fans of Lauren Layne and we were hoping for Lincoln’s story. Alas that is not what we got but because LL is so awesome, most people are just happy we got another book!
Jackson Burke is a very famous quarterback who was in a car accident that ended his career. Immediately after the car accident, in a very public move, his wife filed for divorce. Though Jackson was always faithful his ex had been covering her bases and had been promoting rumors of cheating for many years. In order to escape the public eye in Texas he accepts the Oxford job and moves far away from the home he has always loved.
Mollie Carrington is Jackson’s ex wife’s sister. Madison, the ex, is a real piece of work and is not very nice to anyone. She stepped in and raised Mollie when their mom died so Mollie feels a big of obligation to be her. She knew Madison at a time when she was there for her. Madison has not always been this awful person and Mollie finds it hard to not defend her actions.
The trouble is, Mollie has long since fallen in love with Jackson. He was kind to her from the start and she ended up being the one he confided in. When things started to fall apart with Madison, Mollie was the person he leaned on. They formed a very close friendship but for Mollie that friendship only hid what she really wanted from him. Now Jackson and Mollie are in the same city and Jackson is no longer married to her sister. Madison will remain between them but maybe they can be friends without her actual presence tainting everything.
Mollie needs a place to live and Jackson has space. He thinks it is no big deal to offer her a room but she knows how she feels about him and believes it will be a very big deal. Plus, Madison will freak out about the two of them living together. But Mollie needs a new place and a tiny part of her really wants to be close to him again. Against her better judgment she moves in and that is when things all start to go wrong.
Let me start by saying I love Lauren Layne’s books. There hasn’t been one I didn’t really enjoy. I Wish You Were Mine is definitely my least favorite Lauren Layne book. So many things about it bothered me. I never felt like Mollie and Jackson were on the same level. Mollie had been in love with him for so long, there was a power imbalance from the start. He had come to depend on her and it felt like he only wanted her around so he could continue to have some who looked up to him and adored him. It was hard to believe that all it took was for Mollie to walk in in a sexy red dress and suddenly Jackson saw her as something other than his sister in law. The transition was too quick and very unbelievable.
My second issue was with Madison. She never freaking went away and I don’t think we ever really saw Jackson move on from her. Yes, there is a scene at the end showing Mollie and Jackson several months out but I wasn’t convinced. Every scene Madison and Jackson have together Mollie notes the remaining connection between them. Late in the book Jackson and Madison share a dinner and Jackson thinks how they talked for hours and it was just like old times. This from the man who is supposedly falling for the woman’s sister? I won’t even get into Mollie’s unwarranted devotion to Madison. That was beyond annoying.
Overall, the relationship didn’t work for me. I never saw them fall for each other, or really Jackson fall for Mollie, without the interference of Madison. She was always there. She was never out of the picture. It took away from the story and made most of what happened unbelievable. For me, that is. Maybe others will feel different. I still loved all the secondary characters and cannot wait for Lincoln’s book. Bring it on! Final grade- C
He nodded in thanks just as Jackson came up and smacked his hand off her arm. “No touching my girl.”
“Fair enough.” Lincoln walked away, but not before he smacked Jackson’s ass.
“What the fuck, dude?”
“I’m trying to speak football,” Lincoln said.
“We do that on the field, not in an office!”