Review: Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne (Oxford #1)
Note: This ARC was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for an honest review.
Nothing comes between freelance sports journalist Cole Sharpe and baseball, especially when it's a Yankees game. But there's something about the woman who's into the ball game just as much as him, if not even more so since she isn't the least bit distracted by his presence. When he realizes that Penelope Pope is his competition for the position of sports editor at Oxford magazine, a job he wants and needs, he knows she'll give him a run for his money. Soon, they're working side by side and have a great working relationship that mixes well with a comfortable friendship and Penelope is more than okay with that. After all, she knows men like Cole will never look at her as anyone more than a work colleague or friend. But all it takes is a single kiss to open their eyes to the possibility of starting something much more between them.
Irresistibly Yours is the first novel in the Oxford series from bestselling author Lauren Layne, which is a spin-off of her Stiletto series, one that I have yet to read but it's safe to say that you can go into this new series without any prior knowledge of the original series. Of course, if you're like me, you're going to end up adding the Stiletto books to your to-be-read list for that complete reading experience...or simply because you can never have too many books on your TBR list. This new series is about the writers of Oxford magazine, the male-driven counterpart of Stiletto magazine. Aside from Cole Sharpe, I believe that Lincoln Mathis and Jackson Burke are also going to be a part of the series, mainly because Lincoln is Cole's best friend with a dark secret and Jackson's name and journalism degree were mentioned in the epilogue.
This was an irresistibly whimsical romance between Cole and Penelope, two people who have an affinity for anything and everything sports-related and begin the story with both of them vying for the same position on Oxford magazine. I lost count of how many times I smiled while reading this love story because these two were as cute as you could get without ever being sickeningly sweet. I saw the book going in one direction but Lauren Layne put her own spin on things and surprised me with her creative touch, making this a sports-related romance that relied heavily on themes of family and friendship. The fact that Cole and Penelope really do become friends before falling in love led to bonus points in my book. This wasn't a case of insta-anything and the development of their relationship was well-paced while remaining exciting.
Cole and Penelope were a great couple and I loved that what they had felt genuine and without all the frills that tend to feel like they're overcompensating for a lack of spark or chemistry, something these two had in spades. In their being seemingly ordinary individuals, they turned out to be an extraordinary twosome. Family was an important component for both of them, clearly seen in Cole's relationship with his older brother Bobby and the support that Penelope got from her parents and sister. Then you've got the endearingly meddlesome but always well-meaning pack of friends that Cole has that take Penelope in and make her feel as if she truly belonged. This is a series starter that has me excited for the books to come and for the series that came before it and you can't get much better than that. Five stars for Irresistibly Yours. ♥
Release Date: 06 October 2015
Date Read: 06 October 2015
Learn more about Lauren Layne here.