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.
Praise for I Wish You Were Mine
“A smart, sexy, and absolutely irresistible read!”—USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly
“I Wish You Were Mine is a sizzling-loud friends-to-lovers story with a unique twist of my-sister’s-ex-husband. A hot and sexy read with a strong bond of friendship make this a book you don’t want to miss.”—Keri Ford, author of the Turtle Pine series
Lauren Layne’s New York Times bestselling Oxford Novel series can be read in any order:
I WISH YOU WERE MINE
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
I THINK I LOVE YOU
Don’t miss any of Lauren Layne’s hot reads:
The Love Unexpectedly series: BLURRED LINES | GOOD GIRL | LOVE STORY | WALK OF SHAME | AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS
The Sex, Love & Stiletto series: AFTER THE KISS | LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | JUST ONE NIGHT | THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE
The Redemption series: ISN’T SHE LOVELY | BROKEN | CRUSHED
The I Do, I Don’t series: READY TO RUN | RUNAWAY GROOM
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
There was a perky knock at the door, and Jackson stifled a groan as he realized that it was that time.
His office door opened a crack, and the familiar face of his petite brunette coworker appeared with big brown eyes and a wide smile. Penelope Pope was always smiling.
He jerked his chin. “Hey.”
“A bunch of us are headed to Roundy’s to grab a quick lunch before the one o’clock brainstorming meeting. Come with?”
His smile was automatic and forced. “Sorry. Just ate.”
Penelope pushed the door wider, leaning a shoulder against the door jamb as she crossed her skinny arms. The woman couldn’t have been more than five feet tall, but what she lacked in stature she made up for in personality. Bubbly, friendly, and unabashed, Penelope was as likable as she was exhausting.
His coworker’s eyes narrowed as she scanned the office as though looking for proof that he’d just wolfed down a turkey sandwich.
She wouldn’t find it. Because he hadn’t eaten yet.
Penelope didn’t accuse him of lying, but it was impossible to miss the disappointment in her eyes. At her small sigh, Jackson was about thirty seconds away from squirming under the scrutiny of his pint-sized colleague.
“I’m not going to stop asking,” Penelope said, lifting her eyebrows in challenge.
“Not going to stop asking what?” said a tall blond man who appeared at Penelope’s side, tossing a baseball from palm to palm.
Great. Now both of the sports editors were going to bust his balls.
Penelope Pope and Cole Sharpe were Oxford magazine’s latest power couple. Not that Jackson had made it his business to figure out their story, but best he could tell, the two of them had competed for the sports editor position a few months back and ended up having to share it as co-editors. And based on how often Penelope’s hair was mussed coming out of Cole’s office, they’d expanded their partnership beyond the workplace, and were darn happy about it.
Just wait, kids. That crap doesn’t last.
Penelope nodded toward Jackson. “I asked him to lunch.”
“Yeah? He fall all over himself saying yes like he always does?”
Jackson resisted the urge to give the other man the finger. Cole Sharpe was every bit the pain in the ass that Penelope was, except not as cute.
But flipping Cole the bird would convey the exact breed of familiarity with these people that Jackson had been striving for the better part of a month to avoid.
That was unfair. It wasn’t that Jackson didn’t like them. They were good people. It was just . . .
Jackson’s hand lifted to his shirt collar, a finger slipping into the neck of the white dress shirt as he tugged at it.
He didn’t belong.
For three weeks—three long-ass, bullshit weeks—he’d been trying to pretend that he, Jackson Burke, former quarterback of the Texas Redhawks, could change. That he could now be Jackson Burke, fitness editor for Oxford magazine.
It wasn’t working. He hated New York. Hated the suits. Hated the change.
“I already ate,” he grumbled for the second time, avoiding the knowing look his coworkers were giving him.
“Huh,” Cole said. “Heads up.”
Before Jackson fully registered Cole’s intentions, the other man’s wrist flicked, tossing the baseball toward Jackson.
The ball came to Jackson’s right side, but it was his left hand that crossed his body to catch it.
He felt a flash of rage, wondering if Cole had done that on purpose to test him—wanting to see for himself if the rumors about Jackson’s injury were exaggerated.
Believe it, Sharpe. The right shoulder’s every bit as useless as everyone thinks.
But Cole wasn’t paying attention to whether or not Jackson had caught the damn baseball. He was too busy shooting the shit with Lincoln Mathis—another Oxford staffer, and one who didn’t feel the need to lie about already having had lunch. Lincoln had that sort of easy confidence that he belonged here. They all did.
But then they hadn’t had their entire life turned upside down the moment a multitasking businessman had thought he was the exception to all the don’t-text-and-drive statistics. They hadn’t gone from NFL superstar to international douchebag. Although the douchebag part he couldn’t blame on Mr. Text-and-Drive. Jackson’s reputation was a gift from his toxic ex-wife.
As he lifted his finger to his too-tight shirt collar once again, it occurred to Jackson that maybe it wasn’t the shirt that threatened to choke him. Maybe it was the anger.
Anger that not so long ago his biggest worry had been Tirone Alberts’s occasional butterfingers in the end zone. Now the closest he’d be getting to any end zone was through the seventy-five-inch flat-screen in his living room.
“Hey, Burke!” Lincoln Mathis said, seeming to realize for the first time that they were standing in the doorway of Jackson’s office. “You coming to lunch?”
Even Jackson Burke could admit that Lincoln was one good-looking dude. Black hair, blue eyes, shoulders that knew their way around a gym.
And just like Penelope and Cole, Lincoln had no respect for the fact that Jackson had zero interest in joining their little clique.
“No. Not coming to lunch.” Jackson cleared his throat when he realized how terse his response sounded. “I have a couple things to work on here, otherwise I would.”
Penelope tilted her head, her long brown ponytail swinging to the side. “I thought you said it was because you already ate.”
Jackson lifted a hand to his forehead, relieved not to feel any dampness. Good Christ, were these people out to kill him?
Jackson had jumped at the job offer from Oxford magazine’s editor in chief with an odd mixture of reluctance and desperation. Reluctance to relocate to New York, to cease being an athlete and start being a journalist.
Desperation to escape Houston. Desperation to get to—
“So that’s a no, then?” Cole asked, interrupting Jackson’s dark thoughts.
He gave a curt shake of his head. “Maybe next time.”
Someone snorted at that. He wasn’t sure who.
“Yeah,” Penelope said quietly. “Maybe next time.”
One of them closed his office door with a quiet click, and Jackson shut his eyes in gratitude for the silence even as he felt a stab of regret.
How many times would he have to say no until they quit asking?
How many times until he wanted to say yes? Until he wanted to be one of them, going to the casual lunches, the after-work happy hours, and the weekend whatevers.
But something held him back. No, everything held him back. Accepting a job offer with Oxford magazine had been foolish. Worse than the time he’d thrown an interception at his first Super Bowl. Worse than the time he’d had an affair with his professor in college. Worse than the time he’d blown his entire first year’s salary on a Houston mansion he hadn’t yet been able to afford.
Worse, even, than marrying the woman who’d nearly destroyed him.
But none of that—not the interceptions or the affairs or the money mistakes or Madison—quite measured up to the acute stab of foolishness that had Jackson staring rather desperately around his barren office wondering what the heck he was doing.
For the first time in . . . well, ever, Jackson Burke was the outsider. The one who didn’t know how to fit in among the high-rises and the pinstripes and the stupid lunch meetings.
Jackson ran both hands over his face slowly until his fingertips dug into his jaw, hard, as though trying to wake himself up from this new life. With a muttered oath he turned back to his computer.
But not to the article he was writing, “Shortcut to an Eight-Pack,” which was due tomorrow. Instead, Jackson’s big hand closed over his computer mouse and navigated to his Gmail account.
There was the usual crap. Spam. Propositions from dedicated groupies. A handful of curt but well-meaning messages from his former teammates. One from his mother, whom he’d catch hell from if he didn’t respond soon.
But not the email he was looking for. No email from the head coach of the Texas Redhawks.
Jackson’s other hand reached for his phone. He could text Jerry. It would be so easy to text his former coach, ask if Jerry had considered his proposal. But it was bad enough that Jackson was going around his agent. Texting crossed a line that would send his agent over the edge.
Plus it smacked of desperation, and Jackson wasn’t there.
He was just about ready to close the Internet browser and get back to his godforsaken day job when a new email came through.
Not from Jerry. But this email was as good. No, it was better.
See, the whole darn world thought Jackson had hightailed it out of Houston because of a Carrington sister. They were right.
Where they were wrong was that it wasn’t Madison Carrington who’d inspired Jackson’s move to New York, although getting away from his ex had been a pleasant bonus. But Jackson’s new Manhattan address didn’t have anything to do with Madison. Or even Oxford.
No, Jackson’s presence in New York had everything to do with the other Carrington sister.
He’d been keeping his distance. He’d had to. But today he didn’t want to. He wanted to see her. Needed to see her.
He needed Mollie.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Review 5 Touchdown Passes I must admit that I am a fan of Lauren Layne. I have read several of her books and have never been disappointed. When offered the opportunity to read and review one of her books, I jumped at the chance. True to the expectations that I hold for this author, I Wish You Were Mine was well worth reading. If you went by appearances Jackson Burke and his wife Madison are the perfect celebrity couple. When Jackson met Madison at college he was blindsided. Madison was everything he thought he would want in a girlfriend. He pursued her as he did everything else. Winning is the only option. Several years later, things are not what they seem and definitely not what Jackson wanted. After a career ending auto accident, Jackson is served with divorce papers while still recovering in the hospital. Not only is his foot career over, but his marriage is over, and he is accused of having many affairs with different women. Leaving Texas to take a job as a fitness journalist with Oxford Magazine, Jackson keeps himself secluded in his office resisting the friendship of his fellow Oxford writers. Mollie Carrington has looked up to her older sister Madison all her life. After their mom died of an overdose, Madison took over raising her little sister. Mollie has never forgotten how much she owes Madison for taking care of her, but Mollie has a secret. She has been in love with her sister’s husband since their wedding day. It is a love that Mollie never thought would be reciprocated. Jackson has always treated her as a little sister. They have shared a friendship and a sibling closeness. When they get together in New York City, Jackson sees the beautiful woman that Mollie has become. True, she is still a little awkward in a science nerd kind of way, but she has become a beauty and unlike her manipulating older sister Madison, Mollie has a wonderful loving heart, and a body that he can’t resist. Unfortunately, Jackson wants to get back on the football field, and his ex-wife may have the ability to get him there. If he goes back to Texas he may have to give up Mollie, something that he does not want to do. This is a taboo love story, but it works. Mollie and Jackson are wonderful together. If you are anything like me you will hate Madison and hope that Mollie and Jackson get the happily ever after they deserve. ARC provided by Give Me Books via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Mollien from Alpha Book Club.
Jackson married the wrong sister and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now his world has turned upside down. He and Mollie both have to find their direction and fix their lives. It's a good read, enjoyed it much.
I loved this slow burn romance between Jackson and Mollie. It was sort of a forbidden romance, as Mollie was the sister of Jackson's ex-wife. However, given the circumstances of the divorce and personality of the sister, Maddie, there was really no sympathy for her. Jackson was part of Oxford magazine due a car accident and injuries which ended his pro-football career, and he wasn't happy about it. He kept himself apart from the rest of the crew, but Cassidy finally had a talk with him that changed his attitude. I loved how the Stiletto ladies brought Mollie into the fold, also. There were definitely some dark moments, mostly due to Maddie. I wasn't sure how they would overcome this obstacle. Glad they did. Looking forward to the next book - Lincoln!
Very good read! You feel part of the characters
Well-written story and a great read!
Loved everything about this book... Great plot, relatable characters even the nasty one intent on ruining lives... Super supporting cast and very well written...Again I read Book 2 first so now on to Book 1 and then Book 3 which comes out December 6th... This one had just the right amount of everything... I suspect many of the reviews are spoilers but this is a book that should not be spoiled, it's too good...
Great addition to the Oxford family. Can't wait to hear about more of the guys!
Lauren, I love your books. This one, it was just difficult to get through. Maybe it was the characters? Maybe it was the story? It just wasn't my favorite, especially in this series. If the characters were separated and in different story lines I bet I would have loved them, but this one. Just not my favorite- but that's just my opinion. No matter what, the supporting characters make the book!
"I Wish You Were Mine" by Lauren Layne is book two in the Oxford series. This is the story of Jackson Burke and Mollie Carrington. Jackson was the quarterback for the Texas Redhawks, married to the love of his life, and life was great. Then he was in a car accident that ruined his football career and he is now single. Jackson is now working as a columnist for Oxford magazine, but very frustrated with his life. There is one person that has always been there for him and she is his ex-wife's younger sister. Mollie and Jackson have been friends for a long time. Their friendship lasted through his divorce to her sister Madison. Mollie has always loved Jackson but never acted on her feelings. Situations play into Mollie and Jackson spending a lot of time together. Will Jackson see Mollie as a woman and not his ex-wife's sister? Will Mollie act on her attraction to Jackson? There were times in the book that I got frustrated with Jackson and Mollie. Jackson still seems to be hung up on his ex-wife who is a nasty person. Nasty doesn't even describe how bad a person she is. Even though Madison treats Mollie horribly, she feels obligated to her since she practically raised her. I enjoyed Jackson and Madison's story. The intimate scenes were steamy too! The supporting characters were great. I want to go back and read the first book in this series. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley/Random House Publishing Group for an honest review. FYI, contains mature content.
*ARC received from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in return for an honest review* This is the second book in the Oxford series. This book focuses on former NFL player Jackson Burke, who is having a hard time adjusting to the end of his career, due to an injury. Bitter about the way both his career and marriage ended, nothing soothes him except for the presence of his close friend and former sister-in-law, Mollie Carrington. She needs a place to stay and he has an extra room and suddenly he's not seeing Mollie as a little sister anymore. Mollie has fought her feelings for Jackson for years and just when she finally thinks she's over him, he becomes her roommate, stirring up all those old feelings. This book is a story of two people with seemingly insurmountable obstacles who are meant to be together. I enjoyed this well-written romance a lot. I love not only the characters of Mollie and Jackson but also their friends at Oxford and Stiletto magazines. They are like one good natured and well-meaning nosy family, getting in each others business. This book was hard to put down.
Mollie and Jackson have been friends for years, ever since he started dating, then marrying, and eventually divorcing her older sister Madison. While she might have had a teeny tiny crush on him when they met, she was years younger, and never acted on that crush. They had a strong friendship that survived the breakup of his toxic marriage and now they are both in New York City, where Mollie finds herself in need of a new place to live and Jackson offers her a room in his penthouse suite. But suddenly Jackson is seeing just how grown up Mollie is, and realizing how she's always been there for him. And Mollie's crush never went away, becoming much stronger feelings over time. Can they find a way to get a happy ever after out of a situation they never expected to find themselves in? I love Lauren Layne books! She's one of my go-to authors for contemporary romance, with just the right amount of humour and sexiness, tension and sometimes tears to make for a compelling story. If you're worried that there is cheating or inappropriate behaviour during Jackson's marriage to Madison, there isn't (well, not between Jackson and Mollie anyway, Madison is a whole other ball game). I liked seeing how Jackson came to realize how important Mollie really was in his life, and finally seeing her as a woman. The attraction between them startles Jackson, but it's not long before they are headlong into a fling that they both know is going to cause them problems down the road but one they just can't resist. Because being together just feels so right. There is no hiding the fact that Madison is the third wheel in this story. She was a frustrating, vindictive woman, and while Jackson knows her true self, time and time again Mollie gives her older sister the benefit of the doubt, feeling a sense of obligation to her because when her parents were gone it was Madison who raised her. I wish we'd gotten more of a sense that Mollie was finally seeing Madison's true character, but it never really happens. I loved seeing the guys from Oxford (where Jackson has taken a job after an injury ended his football career) and the gals from Stiletto, their camaraderie makes for the best scenes, and lots of laughs. It takes some time for Jackson to realize that Mollie is everything he really wants, and we have to get to some grovelling for him to make up for some serious mistakes that he makes. But in the end we get our happy ending. 3.5 stars.
Sister Should have done it right the first time. I very much enjoyed the 'Sex, Love, & Stiletto' series. I went into this read with my eyes wide open. I wanted. No, I expected a lot of it all. I found it. In this read you will find that little bit of taboo/forbidden but not exactly out in far left field. I gave this one a 5 star Sister Should have done it right the first time. Jackson has to move on from his former glory days as the quarterback to the Texan Redhawks. Life has all changed for him and getting back his former life is not where life will begin for him. In comes the love of his former life (or so he thought) little sister, Mollie. The forbidden pied of fruit that was way out of reach of this mortal man, Jackson. More @ http://mileythebookjunkie.blogspot.com/2016/02/promo-i-wish-you-were-mine-oxford-2-by.html **This ARC was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
Not a really WOW - kind of story but passable & I must say enjoyable to read.
5 Stars Amazing Book! Let me ask you... how would you feel if you were a young twenty-year-old and realized that you had the biggest crush in the world for your sister's groom? Yep, at the wedding, he makes an effort to bring you into the fold of the celebration while you awkwardly sit on a bench away from everyone? He is always supportive of you and cares for you. But you are hopelessly lost in this crush you have for him. How would you feel if your sister dumped him after several years of marriage for another man? And now, you both are in the same city, sharing an apartment temporarily, with all these hormones flowing? I hope you read this amazing book and enjoy it as much as I did. It is well written, full of passion, mature, classy, and most of all... INTELLIGENT! It also asks the question can you dreams change and will you recognize what is important in your life? Don't let happiness pass you by!
Favorite Quotes: “She loved her sister, but the closest her sister ever got to science was her monthly chemical peel.” “Jackson, no offense, but that's the most constipated non-compliment I've ever heard.” “He hated interruptions – hated these well-dressed colleagues with their easy confidence and witty repartee who had him feeling helplessly out of place and longing for a beer and a porch swing like some sort of backwards hick.” “Mollie still loved her sister. But liking Madison... that was harder.” “I'll have you know that I have the deluxe man card. I can 007 it up right now baby.” “Say the word 'coitus' again and I pretty much guarantee you'll never get any. Ever. From anyone.” “'Sam, honey, we need whiskey and girl time,” My Review: I Wish You Were Mine kept me feeling a bit anxious through much of the book, and then it broke my heart. My experience with this author was limited to only one prior yet highly satisfying experience, but I wasn't trusting where she was going to take me or that I would get my highly prized HEA. No spoilers here, but I was more than happy by the last page, even though Ms. Layne made me work for it with her broody and conflicted main characters and their complicated relationship... although their sensual chemistry and sensual scenes were off the charts. Mollie was at times annoyingly naive and blind to her heinous sister, although she was sweet and endearing overall. I was most entertained by the humor and easy banter between the co-workers and found them highly likable characters. I enjoyed my time in the Oxford offices and definitely want to spend more time there.
Came across this story and was really looking forward to a good read. Sorry but this was a miss. The story took too long to develop the characters. The romance doesn't pick up till the last few chapters . You have to read three-fourths of the book before you really see the characters come alive. Sorry this book should've been 99 cents.
3.5 stars Overall I Wish You Were Mine was a good read. I liked Jackson and could totally understand his "woe is me" attitude after everything that happened with his career & the breakdown of his marriage. Now he finds himself in a new city, new job and trying to find himself. I loved Mollie, she was cute with her nerdy smart ways, she had a loyal heart that opened her up to getting her feelings hurt. I enjoyed watching relationship between Jackson and Mollie unfold, they were good together and even though I wasn't a fan of the ex being Mollie's sister it didn't take away my feelings that these two belonged together. Now here is what took some of the shine away for me, I hated Madison Carrington. She was a selfish, delusional, jealous and spiteful bi*ch. Every time she popped up in the book she would leave the people she supposedly "loved" feeling less than and hurt. It took time for me to switch off my feelings towards her to go back to enjoying the book. What I did thoroughly enjoy was spending time with all the gang. Loved the banter, the friendship and the unconditional support they gave to one another. Everyone one of them wouldn't hesitate to step up for the other, that's what true friendship/love is all about. The epilogue left me full of happy feels, seeing them all happy and in love made my heart smile :) I'm a huge fan of Lauren Layne's writing and totally recommend the Oxford series and everything else she's written. Ms Layne has a talent of writing witty, loveable and memorable characters with storylines that entertain you. Lincoln Mathis book is next in Someone like You, this cocky, playful and fun loving man has a touching story to tell and I can't wait to read it!
Sweet, sexy story has you cheering for a happy ending for Mollie and Jackson.
I find it so amazing how Lauren Lane tells a story, because once I start reading I am completely lost in it. Her stories are always fresh, engaging, sexy and entertaining. She always has these fantastic characters that I want to be friends with. She is truly a fantastic story teller. This will leave you smiling and feeling oh so happy. So, I loved this story. It was full of personality and charm, I couldn't get enough. Loved Molly, she was fiercely loyal, adorably awkward, brainy research assistant that goes from being the plain little ex-sister in law, to a beautiful, sexy, woman with long sinfully perfect legs. Also loved Jackson, with his sweet and sexy charm and his all American gorgeousness. Loved that these two both had it bad for each other, but still tried to remain friends until their chemistry and lust swept them away. Great secondary characters with the Oxford employees that add so much to the story as well. This was a love story with equal parts sexy and sweet about two people who are absolutely meant for each other in spite of their beginning. Definitely hot with a small twist of drama. Couldn't get enough, didn't want it to end. LOVED IT!! Highly recommended. Thank you Lauren Layne! Received a complimentary copy through NetGalley and Love Swept in exchange for a honest review.
Jackson Burke finds comfort in the one person who is so off-limits. For years, Mollie Carrington has carried a torch for Jackson Burke. Besides their mutual obsessions, Jackson and Mollie have another thing in common, Madison. She is Jackson's ex-wife, Mollie's older sister, and a completely evil and manipulative B%^&*! Jackson and Mollie have a shared history through Madison, but they also have their own relationship. As Jackson's marriage was falling apart, he found a friend in her younger sister. Jackson confided in Mollie his ambitions and day-to-day frustrations. Mollie relied on Jackson also as a confidant and supporter. When Jackson finds himself in New York, he realizes how much he has missed Mollie and her company. But, Madison is like a bad rash that just keeps coming back. Lauren Layne has created a fantastic villain. I despise Madison, and it is so much fun to hate a truly nasty villain! I really liked Mollie and Jackson. I was rooting for them to find their happy ending. This book is angsty - way more than I was expecting! When they were struggling with their relationship and their own feelings, I could literally feel my heart hurting for them. My tummy filled with butterflies from all of the romance and steamy scenes. One of the best parts of this book and series is the Oxford-Stiletto gang. It was great to check-in with Penelope and Cole. I love how this group has formed friends/family bonds and how fiercely they care for one another. (I'm dying for Lincoln's book! I can't wait to uncover his back-story!) I'm becoming a BIG fan of Lauren Layne! The Oxford Series books have everything I hope for in a romance novel. I Wish You Were Mine is well written, emotionally charged, character driven, passionate and delightfully sentimental. I'm anxious for the next book in this series and one of these days, I'm going to fit the Stiletto series into my TBR. If you love a really enjoyable, character-fueled romance, you should definitely buy this today! An advance copy of this book was received in exchange for an honest review. This book received a 4.5 rating on the BFF Book Blog. BFF Book Blog also uses a set of icon ratings. This book received additional ratings for: angst, butterflies, character development, romance, steamy and supporting characters.