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.
Praise for Irresistibly Yours
“Irresistibly Yours has it all: fun banter, hot chemistry, and a couple that you just can’t help but want to be together!”—New York Times bestselling author Marquita Valentine
“Lauren Layne had me at baseball, and I stayed up way too late devouring Cole and Penelope’s story. Sassy, sizzling, and sexy (with sports!). This one’s a grand slam!”—Tracy March, author of Should’ve Said No
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
Tonight was about Cole’s professional future.
The key to that future? Oxford magazine.
Oxford was the country’s top selling men’s magazine where Lincoln—and most of Cole’s other closest friends—worked.
But more important, it was also where Cole worked.
Well, sort of.
He would work there. Just as soon as he found the a-hole who was after his job.
Cole wasn’t going to pretend that he didn’t have a competitive streak. It was a prerequisite for someone whose bread and butter came from knowing the nuances of professional sports.
And it was rare that Cole felt a personal investment in a competition. But tonight? Tonight, it was definitely personal. Cole was the competitor.
The title of Senior Sports Editor at Oxford.
The magazine was finally getting a real sports section. Their token two-page spread on fantasy football squeezed in between cologne reviews and the proper way to wear a tie clip was being expanded to a multipage, multitopic sports section.
A section that needed an editor.
Cole was the right man for the job. The only man for the job. Not only had he been writing for Oxford as a freelancer for years, but the editor in chief, Alex Cassidy, was one of his closest friends.
When Cassidy had come to Cole and explained that he wanted to make Oxford a serious contender for the Sports Illustrated readers, Cole had been darn sure that Cassidy was offering him the job.
Heck, Cassidy had been begging him for months to join the team, and Cole was finally ready—ready for a steady paycheck.
Ready to belong to something.
Because, although Cole wasn’t exactly dying to buy a house in the ’burbs and settle down with a nice girl, it wasn’t just about Cole.
It was about Bobby, and the fact that Bobby’s care was getting more and more expensive. His brother needed more than Cole’s occasional freelance checks could provide.
Cole wasn’t just ready for this job. He needed it.
And that’s when Alex Cassidy had dropped his bomb.
The job wasn’t Cole’s for the taking.
So, goodbye to Easygoing Cole. Hello, Gladiator Cole.
Because, really, what the heck?
Cole hadn’t minded that they’d had to publicly post the position. He understood there were HR boxes that had to be checked. But never had Cole thought there’d actually be competition. Not only were the Oxford guys practically his family, but Cole was the best damn sportswriter in the city.
His application should have been a formality. Their request that he update his résumé and submit a portfolio should have been just a matter of documentation.
The position was his, darn it. Cole was the Oxford sports section.
Except he wasn’t. Not yet anyway.
Cassidy had called him yesterday to inform Cole that he was a finalist. A finalist.
Pissing Cole off even further, Cassidy wouldn’t tell him who his competition was. Cole had named every worthwhile sportswriter in the city, but Cassidy wouldn’t so much as grunt in confirmation.
Darn Cassidy and his unshakable professionalism.
His friend hadn’t left him completely in the lurch, though.
Cassidy had pointedly mentioned to Lincoln that the other candidate had been invited to the suite reserved by Berkin’s Hospitality Group for tonight’s Yankees game.
Lincoln had, of course, told Cole.
So here they were, trying to sniff out the competition.
It was the only reason Cole would be caught dead in the luxury suite. Cole hated luxury suites.
This wasn’t what baseball—or any game—was about. Baseball was about the peanuts, the rowdy crowds, the overpriced beer. It was about the sound of a fastball smacking against the catcher’s glove, the satisfying crack of a wooden bat when a rookie pinch hitter really got hold of one.
For Cole, watching baseball was about sitting with his brother in the stands, watching Bobby’s face go positively ecstatic every time they did the wave, and the way his brother never, ever got tired of the seventh-inning stretch.
That was baseball.
And Cole wanted nothing more than to be an anonymous part of the rowdy crowd, preferably on the third baseline, watching the Yankees hopefully trounce the Blue Jays.
Instead, he was stuck here with a bunch of fools who wouldn’t recognize a line drive if it hit them in the can.
Adding insult to injury, it was all for nothing. There was no sign of his competition. Cole knew every decent sportswriter in the city, and none were here tonight.
It was possible, he supposed, that Cassidy was considering some out-of-town jock for the position, but a quick scan of the room showed only familiar faces, all corporate bigwigs.
“Let’s get out of here,” Cole said to Lincoln, downing the rest of his beer in three gulps.
“You don’t want to wait for Cassidy?”
“Nah, I’ll catch him tomorrow.”
Before Cole turned to leave, he couldn’t resist one last look in the direction where his Tiny Brunette had been sitting.
He paused when he saw that she’d returned and, incredibly, the woman had just become more appealing.
Her face was turned to the side slightly, her notebook now on the open seat to her right instead of her lap, and she wrote furiously with her right hand, while her left hand held . . .
A hot dog.
Be still my heart.
Apparently, Miss Glued-to-the-Game had managed to tear herself away long enough to get a good old-fashioned hot dog. Mustard only, from the looks of it. Personally Cole would have added some ketchup, but still . . . a woman who’d so unabashedly eat a hot dog?
He had to talk to this woman.
Cole was beside her before he’d even fully committed to the decision to move, ignoring Lincoln’s snicker behind him.
Up close, she was even smaller than he expected. Narrow shoulders, no chest to speak of, skinny little arms.
He had yet to see her face full on, thanks to the cap pulled low on her forehead, and suddenly he wasn’t sure what he was more desperate to see, her face or her notebook.
He cleared his throat. “Hey.”
Not exactly his best opener, but it sufficed to get her attention.
Tiny Brunette’s pen stopped its furious scribbling, and her jaw paused in its steady chewing of the hot dog.
Slowly her face lifted to his and Cole had the strangest sensation of the breath catching in his chest as he waited to finally meet this woman’s eyes.
And, wow. What a pair of eyes they were.
If the rest of her was tiny, her eyes were enormous by comparison. Huge and dark brown and friendly.
Damn she was cute.
Not gorgeous. Not beautiful. But she had the girl-next-door, wanna-grab-a-pitcher? kind of appeal.
She also wasn’t Cole’s type. At all. He liked ’em blond and leggy and seductive.
Still, that dang notebook . . .
“Cole Sharpe,” he said, sticking out a hand.
Her eyes widened just slightly, and for a second he thought maybe she’d recognized his name, but then she smiled and it was pure friendly curiosity.
“Hi!” Her voice matched the rest of her. Girlish and guileless.
Cole found himself oddly enchanted. She was so . . . different.
“May I?” he asked, gesturing with his chin toward the seat beside her.
Cole started to reach for her notebook under the guise of making room for himself, but she pulled it onto her lap before he could touch it.
He sat and allowed himself to fully satisfy his curiosity, taking her in now that he could see her face-to-face.
The Yankees cap still shielded the top part of her face, but he could clearly make out a pointed chin, small nose, and those big, gorgeous brown eyes. As far as he could tell, she wasn’t wearing a speck of makeup, which allowed a light dusting of freckles to display loud and proud over her nose and the tops of her cheekbones.
Cute. Definitely cute.
And already, she was refocused on the game.
Cole’s eyes narrowed slightly as he realized that he’d been the only one doing any staring. Her attention had returned to the field, almost before he’d sat down.
What was this bullshit?
The lack of female appreciation was unusual enough—and uncomfortable enough—to make him slightly peeved. So, instead of doing the decent thing and letting her watch the Yankees’ starter reclaim his spot on the mound, he talked to her.
At her, really. She still wasn’t looking his way. Not even to check him out.
“First game?” he asked.
Brown eyes flicked to him, barely. “What?”
“First baseball game?”
That got her attention. For the first time, she seemed to really look at him. Her eyes drifted over him slowly, before returning to his, her tone just slightly annoyed. “No. Not my first game.”
“Ah,” he said, already mentally maneuvering into a backpedal. “Bad assumption of me. You were just so into the game . . .”
“So you figured I must be trying to figure out how it all worked?” she asked. “That I must be trying to understand why some of the field is green and some is brown, and whatever could those white squares on the dirt be, and why-oh-why are those men running toward the white squares, but only sometimes . . .”
“All right,” Cole said with a laugh. “I’m an idiot. You know baseball.”
Her smile was quick and easy, and he was relieved to see that she wasn’t one of those snippy, hold-it-against-him-forever types. “I know baseball.”
Is that what’s in your notebook? Baseball stuff?
She took a huge bite of her hot dog, completely unabashed at her bulging cheeks, and Cole hid a smile, pretending instead to be fixated on the game.
Heck. When had he ever had to pretend to be fixated on the Yankees?
“You were partially right,” she admitted, after swallowing.
He glanced at her. “Oh yeah?”
She grinned. “This is my first Yankees game.”
“I knew it,” he said, matching her grin full on. “I knew there was something virgin about you. But tell me, how come a baseball fan like you never made it to Yankee Stadium until now?”
“Well . . .” She licked a spot of mustard off her finger, but not in the slow, deliberate way that most women he knew would have done it. “It’s a long way from Chicago . . .”
Cole tore his eyes away from the way her lips closed around her thumb, sucking off that mustard. “You’re from Chicago?”
“From there, yes,” she said. “But let’s just say that as of two weeks ago, I’ll be spending a lot more time here than at Wrigley.”
“Ah. You’re new to New York.”
“How do you like it?”
She hesitated. “It’s . . . intense.”
“Meaning . . . we New Yorkers are scary as hell?”
She smiled. “Well, it’s not as hostile as I’d been warned, but yeah. We Chicagoans are a bit more openly friendly than you New Yorkers.”
“I’m friendly,” he countered.
Tiny Brunette laughed. “No. You’re just incredibly charming. And a smidgen good-looking.”
He gave her his best bedroom look. “Am I?”
She smiled. “You know you are.”
Their eyes held for a moment, and Cole was startled to realize it was the most relaxed—the most himself—he’d felt around a woman in . . . hell . . . he didn’t know.
Mostly he was used to throwing out a couple of witty lines, a few slow smiles, and watching women counter with moves of their own.
There were no moves with this woman. She merely was.
Cole realized he didn’t even know her name.
“So tell me, as a Chicago baseball fan, are you Team Cubs or Team White Sox, Ms. . . .”
“Pope,” she said. “Penelope Pope. And both.”
Cole’s subconscious acknowledged that Penelope Pope was somehow exactly what this woman’s name should be. Perky and alliterative. His consciousness, however, latched on to another fact. “Both?”
It was not a typical answer. Most people had one baseball team, even if you were from a city with two teams, as Penelope was.
She shrugged. “Baseball’s not about who wins. It’s not even about who’s playing. It’s about the game. The consistent flow of it, the smack of the ball against the glove when you’re lucky enough to be sitting along one of the baselines, instead of stuck up here in this stuffy box—”
He stared at her. The words so closely echoed his own thoughts from just moments before that he wanted to kiss her.
She might just be his dream woman.
“That explains the hot dog,” he said.
He nodded his chin at the last bite of hot dog, ignored in her left hand. “The hot dog. You’re in a luxury suite in Yankee Stadium with a whole buffet of gourmet foods, and yet you went and fetched the most basic hot dog you could find.”
She grinned. “Guilty.”
Cole turned his body all the way toward her now. “Tell me, Penelope Pope, what brings a Cubs and White Sox fan all the way to New York where you’ll face a whole new dilemma of choosing between the Yankees and the Mets . . .”
Tiny Brunette never got to answer.
The shadow of someone coming up behind their seats caused them both to turn. It was Alex Cassidy, Oxford’s editor in chief, looking down at them with a half-amused, half-worried expression.
“Cassidy,” Cole said. He lifted an eyebrow and silently added, Nice of you to show up.
“Sorry I’m late,” Cassidy said, not really sounding sorry at all. “I got held up.”
Automatically, Cole’s eyes scanned the luxury suite until he found the pretty woman he knew was likely to be somewhere around here . . .
Yup, there she was.
Emma Sinclair, Cassidy’s long-ago runaway bride, with whom he’d recently reconciled, was surreptitiously wiping smudged lipstick from the corner of her mouth.
His eyes returned to his boss, this time looking closer . . .
“Third button, dude,” Cole said wearily.
The always polished Cassidy glanced down, and without so much as wincing, fixed the misaligned buttons of his shirt.
Cole should have known. A naked Emma Sinclair was the only thing that could throw Alex Cassidy off his rigid timetable.
But Emma and Cassidy’s sex life was where the predictable part of the evening ended, because Cole was absolutely not prepared for Cassidy to reach out a hand to Tiny Brunette, a polite smile on his usually impassive face.
“Alex Cassidy. I’m so sorry I’m late, Ms. Pope.”
Cole glanced between the two of them. They knew each other?
“Not a problem,” she said, turning an easy smile on Cassidy. It was the exact same friendly smile she’d given Cole, and it very much made Cole want to punch his friend in the mouth.
“It’s refreshing to see you two playing so nicely,” Cassidy said with a droll look at Cole.
He narrowed his eyes at his boss, not sure what he was missing, but certain that he was missing something.
Cassidy answered Cole’s silent question with his usual professional businessman smile. “Cole, this is Penelope Pope.”
“We’ve met,” Cole said slowly.
“Excellent. So then you know that Penelope is our late-stage applicant for the sports editor role at Oxford?”
Very slowly, Cole turned toward Tiny Brunette. Took in her friendly smile even as he took in the sorry-not-sorry glint in her eyes.
This was his competition. This was the person standing between Cole and the job he so desperately wanted.
“I suppose I should have been more thorough when I introduced myself,” she said sweetly. “Penelope Pope. Sports editor.”
Plus side? At least now Cole knew what was in her damn notebook.
The downside? Everything else.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cole has been a favorite friend-zone guy in the Stiletto series, so what a wonderful story to have his friendly lines crossed by someone he never saw coming! Love, love, love this group of characters, and looking forward to the Oxford series.
Lauren Layne has worked her magic again!! It's time that the guys of Oxford get their own series! The ladies from Stiletto have had their turn and now it's time for Oxford's men to be front and center! Lauren couldn't have chosen a more perfect leading man for her first Oxford book! Cole Sharpe is a man's man! He loves sports, loves beer, and loves women! He views Yankee games like a religious experience until he becomes mesmerized by a pixie in front of him. Suddenly his world is turned upside down as Mr. Irresistible becomes Mr. Friend Zone! Penelope is a woman after my own heart! Her tomboy personality and love of sports is one I totally relate to! Constantly being relegated to the friend zone, um, does Lauren Layne know my history? Penelope immediately tugs on your heart and makes you stand up and cheer for her frankness and willingness to laugh at herself! This is a wonderful start to the series! Whether you've read Stiletto series or not you won't want to miss this wonderful start to a great new series! Oxford men here we come!
I wasn't so sure I would love Penelope. I loved Cole already, from the previous books. However, so glad to say she grew on me and I ended up loving these two together. And, of course, the meddling Stilettos girls & their guys. Great story!
Love the story.
Loved this well written book with a great storyline... Cole and Penelope are both sports writers competing for the same job at Oxford... When the brass decides to hire both to split the job lots of fun and fireworks begin.. Loved the supporting cast and loved the relationship that quickly developed between Cole and Penelope.. Several different story lines carefully woven into this one make it an excellent read.
Penelope has moved to NYC she has applied for a Senior Sport Editor position at Oxford press. Cole is a freelance sports editor that has worked with Oxford Press for years. he wants the staff position even though competing for the same position as Penelope when he thought the job would naturally just be his. But even with going against Penelope for the job they become friends. Since Penelope had been hurt before going to NYC she doesn't want a serious relationship. Cole is a kind of player. Penelope has always been one of the guys and plans to stay that way. But she is attracted to Cole just like he is to her. I like the plot to this story just a little slow at times but it did keep my interest it just had enough going on that I finished the book. I really loved the characters especially Cole and Penelope once they got going. the ins and out Cole and Penelope went through was just good reading. I recommend. I received an ARC of this story for an honest review.
I have really enjoyed this series, but I have to admit that this one is probably my least favorite. The story had promise, but for me never really took off. Still worth the read, but it's a bit slower than the rest.
This fabulous book is Cole's and Penelope's story. Both competing for the same job. Having to work together is no hardship for Cole. She's nothing like he's ever wanted before but he can't help himself, her vulnerability, her smile, and those big brown eyes are his undoing. She's been hurt and emotionally scarred. When Cole Sharpe starts paying attention to her she tries to keep things in the friend zone but he's not having any of that. What an amazing, sizzling HOT, extremely entertaining read! I love watching the playboy fall. Penelope, well, my heart broke for her. She was in no way a weak woman but I'm happy this author wrote her as such a kick butt sports editor. I have some catching up to do as far as most of the secondary characters in this book that have their own stories already in a related series. I can't wait! Received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
I love Lauren Layne stories! They always have the perfect combination of bromance, romance, sexy times and laugh out loud moments, and this one is no exception. After meeting Cole in The Trouble with Love, I was wondering what kind of woman would capture his heart, and it stands to reason that it would be a woman as sports obsessed as he is. The fact that he first meets her at a baseball game (one where Cole finds himself studying her more than watching the game, a first for him) speaks volumes as he's never before been distracted from sports by a woman of all things. And this woman - petite, pretty but not outstandingly so, and focussed. Not to mention, when they actually speak to each other, her forthrightness and plain speaking are refreshing for him. She is guileless - no games, just her true self, in everything she says and does. More at home in a sweatshirt and jeans than a dress and heels, she's the opposite of any girl he's ever dated, but he finds himself falling for her with every encounter between them. I loved Penelope's character, her insecurities (that show up mostly in her thoughts and sometimes in her conversations with the ladies from Stiletto), and her no-nonsense yet very friendly attitude. And Cole of course, is the perfect type of book boyfriend - charming, handsome, sweet, and super sexy. He seduces Penelope quite effectively, and their love scenes are a blend of steamy sex and humorous moments. Cole's biggest worry is his brother Bobby who has Down's Syndrome, and having experienced people's negative reaction to him, he is very protective- sometimes overly so. When Penelope meets Bobby, Cole realizes quickly that his concerns were unfounded, as she treats him just like she would her own brother, and this makes him fall just a little bit more in love with her, if that's possible. Which is not to say that he doesn't fight these feelings, ever the playboy avoiding the big "C", commitment. But thinking of Penny ending up with another man once their affair ends doesn't sit very well with him either. The scenes with Cole and his co-workers at Oxford inspired many laughs as expected, the 'bromance' side of the story equally as fun as all the 'sex in the city' type scenes between the women of Stiletto. Truthfully they are some of my favourite parts. The overall story is low in angst, high on sexy, and with enough sweet moments to make the reader want to glom any backlist titles of the author they haven't read yet. 5 stars for an entertaining, lovely romance.
My Thoughts: When I heard there was going to be a spin-off of the Sex, Love & Stiletto series, I was ecstatic. I mean, I loved the four books in that series, and to be able to revisit some of the characters and meet new ones? Yay! Cole and Penelope meet at a baseball game when he's flirting with her, not knowing they were about to meet anyway. Their friendly competition leads them down a road to a kiss. Penelope doesn't want to get involved with someone like Cole because it's only going to lead to disaster... just like it did the last time she was going for a new job. Cole doesn't want to give her up, though, and the two of them find themselves entangled in their lust. But will the lust turn to love? Irresistibly Yours is simply irresistible. The spark is definitely there for Cole and Penelope, you can feel the heat as you read their interactions. As always, the characters themselves are wonderful--Penelope with her tomboy ways, Cole with his determination to get under her skin. It was perfection as all books by Lauren Layne tend to be. Can't wait to read the next book in the Oxford series! My Rating: Very Good
Enjoyed the quirky tomboy getting the super fine guy. Looking forward to the next one.
4.5 Sweet and Steamy Stars Favorite Quotes: “For all she knew, maybe Lincoln’s kisses were as good as it got. It had certainly been more skilled than most of the groping kisses she’d endured in college. And better than Erik’s, a guy whom she’d dated for a few months and who had borderline halitosis.” “The touch merely was. It said, I’m here, but only if you want me to be. And, oddly enough, he did want her to be. There was something calming about Penelope Pope.” “For Cole Sharpe, Penelope would have been one out of a million other women in his life. For Penelope, Cole might have been one in a million. The only one. It’s how she rolled, throwing herself all the way over the ledge without looking.” “Her dad was an avid sportsman, and rather than bemoan his lack of a son, had dragged both Janie and Penelope into the world of athletics. He’d had only partial success with Janie. He’d had to spray-paint her bat hot pink in order to get her to play softball on long summer evenings,” “Her mother wasn’t superficial – not quite. But Lydia Pope was definitely of the mind-set that a nice fuchsia lipstick could solve most of the world’s problems.” My Review: Being raised a tom-boy and slender of build with no boobage, Penelope Pope had resigned herself to being the girl-next-door type, who is typically stuck in the friend zone and treated like one of the guys. Her romantic track record was beyond disappointing, it was non-existent and embarrassing. I adored her. I also cherished her sweet co-worker and friends with benefits partner Cole Sharpe. I enjoyed the easy to follow, refreshing, and sweet story-line, and fell in love with the characters upon meeting them. I was relaxed and entertained all the way through. What a delightful change from all the angst and drama and decided I want much more of this! Irresistibly Yours is my first time reading Ms. Layne’s work but I quickly added her entire listing to my TBR soon after started this amusing book, as I was charmed by her breezy, realistic, and humorous writing style, and her steamy love scenes were just the icing on the cake.
I’ve enjoyed titles I’ve read from Lauren Layne, so this was an opportunity too good to pass up. In the companion series to Sex, Love and Stiletto, we are delving into the world of Oxford, a men’s magazine. We’ve met Cole in the other series, and I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of what I had seen. He’s a freelancer with a bit of a chip on his shoulder and a history of playing fast and loose with the women in his life. But, we only had some of his advice (bad) and quick pencil sketches of the man. Oxford wants to expand their sports section, everyone else can have their format dedicated to style and relationships, but sports will set them apart. To do this, they need an editor, and Cole, a long-time writer for the magazine, assumes the job is his. Until he discovers competition in the form of a pint-sized brunette with editing and writing skills, and the ability to be more than just the ‘color’ on a sport story. Penelope is from Chicago with a solid history, even obsession, with all things sport. A tomboy, she is the epitome of ‘one of the boys’ and Cole isn’t quite sure how to handle the competition. These two have some wonderful interactions, in which Cole is completely redefining how he relates to women, because Penelope isn’t about to fall for his tried and trues. She’s not a game player, in fact, she has a disarming honest approach to all of her relationships, and Cole finds that intriguing and exciting. Of course, since he’s a boy, he screws up often, but Penelope is also truly kind hearted and a good friend, she never lets things get too out of hand. But their relationship is cute and sweet, and feels solidly natural, even as I wished Cole had to work a bit harder before getting what he finally realized he wanted. You can read this as a newcomer, but you will find characters from Stiletto appearing and having some influence on this story: the two magazines are in friendly rivalry, and friendships and relationships between the two are evident and apparent throughout the stories. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Lauren Lane does it again with the combination of the Stilleto gals and the men of Oxford Magazine. This time, Alex Cassidy wants to expand his magazine and add a giant sports section, and Cole Sharp is the inside candidate for the editor position. That is, until a tiny brunette named Penelope Pope comes into town to interview for the position. Cassidy can't make a choice...and so he doesn't. He hires them both and lets them run the show. While Cole openly admits that Penelope isn't his normal type, he's attracted to her nonetheless. Penelope is completely unreserved, honest, going, but views herself as the "one of the guys" and not someone that thinks she's capable of catching Cole's eye. She doesn't know that she already has...even before he knew that she was his competition for the position. This one has the same quick witty banter between characters, includes lots of old favorites from Stilletto and Oxford, and introduces some new characters as well. Since this is listed as #1, be prepared for more of the Oxford men in future novels! Highly recommend you read this one, and if you haven't read the Stilleto series...go grab those first. You won't be disappointed.
Good length novel. Would have gotten a 5 from me if the leading lady wasn't so "insecure". I wish she was a confident no apologies tomboy. I'm a tomboy & don't think we need to be either pretty or tomboyish. We need to let young girls know they can be both & see no one as being out of their league!
Love this author. Read every book on the nook from her. Can't it for more!
Cole Sharpe is finally going to join the Oxford family as their Sports Editor. That is the plan anyway. Then he finds out he is in competition with a small but amazing woman from Chicago. May the best sports-buff win. Penelope Pope moves to New York to get over a man who took her job from under her back home. Then she meets the man who may win the job she has applied for. Cole is everything she would normally want in a man. She is everything he never wanted. They decide to be friends right off since as Penelope points out, she always ends up in the "friend zone" anyway. She figures she will start there this time instead of get her hopes up. Only, Cole does not like how she assumes she is not worthy of a good man and a good relationship. With a little help from couples who have been there, maybe Cole and Penelope can have an amazing future of their own. They just have a few bumps in the road to get past first. Definitely a few surprises in store for this couple! Oxford is the magazine in the same building with Stiletto and the Characters are all here from the hit Sex, Love & Stiletto series. There is humor, heat, sports celebrities and more! I just loved this story! As the beginning to the Oxford series - this was an amazing start with very a sexy read. ***This ARC was given from Netgalley.com and its publisher for review purposes only.