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.
Before I start this review, if you’ve forgotten who Jackson Burke is, you’re going to have to re-read the epilogue of Irresistibly Yours, book one of the Oxford series. Of course, all books in the series can be read as standalones, but you will see quite a lot of characters from the Oxford and Stiletto series in I Wish You Were Mine!
I Wish You Were Mine follows the story of star quarterback, Jackson Burke, who, thanks to a recent car accident, has retired from the Texas Redhawks. But that’s not all he lost. His marriage was in trouble way before the accident, and with new reports emerging every other day about his various lovers, his wife Madison has walked away from him too. And because Alex Cassidy (editor for Oxford magazine) works in mysterious ways, Jackson finds himself as the newest addition to the Oxford family as the Health & Fitness expert.
As far as being the male lead in an Oxford book goes, Jackson Burke was a fucking pain in my ass. His demeanour was not like Cole’s, who was an easy-going type of guy, nor was it like Alex’s who had a stick up his butt, but a heart of gold. No, Jackson was completely different. He was a wallower and a whiner, and while losing your entire career is no small thing, he took his frustrations out on other people more often than not. And that didn’t sit too well with me. The entire woe is me deal got old pretty fast, and it took almost 60% of the book for Jackson to accept that certain things would never be. TIRING.
Mollie Carrington, as you may have read in the blurb, is the female MC in the book, and I must say. This is the first Lauren Layne book where neither the male, nor the female lead worked too well for me. Mollie was Madison’s sister, making her Jackson’s sister-in-law. She never ever hit on him while he was married, (which is a relief, I really hate books with cheating in them) even though she’s been in love with him forever. Now, here’s the thing: Being the younger, sweeter, slightly dorky sister has given Mollie the apparent leeway to be bullied, and not say a word about it. Madison, her older sister, manipulated her and literally utilised every tool in her I’m-the-older-sibling arsenal to control Mollie’s life and the funny thing here is, as smart as Mollie was, she let herself dance according to her older sister’s tune. It was something I don’t ever wish to read again, because it was so. dang. painful! Here you have an independent, strong young woman who is smart in every way but this one.
The romance between Mollie and Jackson read like it was fabricated and forced. Apart from some really, really raunchy sex, and the Stiletto girls, nothing really worked for me. Madison was re-introduced into the plot because she wanted to reconcile with Jackson, and that just made their whole story more complicated than it needed to be. I liked bits of the book, and I started to appreciate the romance between Jackson and Mollie only after she started to stand up for herself, so there’s that. Jackson was a bonehead and it took a lot to get him to think straight and we have Cole and Penelope to thank for that! Cole and Penelope are my favourite couple, so obviously I loved to see them there. All in all, I’d say I expected much, much more from this book owing to the fact that this author is one of my favourites! The writing felt a little rushed and that, again, is very unexpected. This book may work for others, but I just wouldn’t place it at the top of my list.