Series: Oxford Series

Review: I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne

Posted July 14, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford Series #4
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017
Pages: 215
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New York City’s hottest bachelors are stirring up trouble in this fun, flirty Oxford Novel, as a love triangle forces a feisty beauty to choose between winning back Mr. Right or giving in to Mr. Wrong.

Taylor Carr has it all—a sleek job in advertising, a stunning Manhattan apartment, and the perfect man to share it with: Bradley Calloway. Even after Bradley dumps her for a co-worker on move-in day, Taylor isn’t worried. She’ll get her man eventually. In the meantime, she needs a new roommate. Enter Nick Ballantine, career bartender, freelance writer—and longtime pain in Taylor’s ass. Sexy in a permanent five-o’clock-shadow kind of way, Nick knows how to push Taylor’s buttons, as if he could see right through to the real her.

Nick’s always trying to fix people, and nobody could use a good fixing more than Taylor. Sure, she’s gorgeous, with mesmerizing silver eyes, but it’s her vulnerability that kills him. Now that they’re shacking up together, the chemistry is out of control. Soon they’re putting every part of their two-bedroom apartment to good use. Then Taylor’s ex comes crawling back to her, and Nick figures she’ll jump at the chance to go back to her old life—unless he fights for the best thing that ever happened to him.


“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 “A smart, sexy, and absolutely irresistible read!”—USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly, on I Wish You Were Mine

“Lauren Layne is a new auto-buy author for me. I can’t get enough of the men of Oxford!”—Christi Barth, author of the Naked Men series

And look for her exhilarating Sex, Love & Stiletto series:AFTER THE KISS | LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | JUST ONE NIGHT | THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE

I Knew You Were Trouble is the fourth book in the Oxford series by Lauren Layne and it’s a book that I’ve been pretty anxious for. I love all things Lauren Layne and I especially love all things Oxford so the minute this book found its way onto my Kindle, I dug in and finished the entire book in a day.

If you read the other books in the Oxford series then you’ll remember Nick Ballantine as the fill-in guy. He’s a freelance writer who fills in for Oxford writers who are on vacation or out sick or whatever. Lincoln Mathis isn’t a fan of Nick’s because he tried asking Daisy out in Someone Like You and Lincoln didn’t appreciate Nick trying to slide into his girl’s DM’s. So this book is that Nick’s book and while it wasn’t my favorite of the Oxford bunch, I still rather enjoyed it.

Nick’s heroine works at Oxford on the marketing side of the magazine and Taylor Carr is the real deal. She’s fierce and she’s sassy and Nick wants her bad. Too bad, she hates his guts and wants nothing to do with him. Their chemistry was off the chains and I enjoyed their work encounters. This hate to love story was so much fun for me. I enjoyed getting to know both Nick and Taylor and their story was a solid one.

There was a lot about Nick that we didn’t know in the other books and I’m glad that we got his backstory in this book. He’s been through a lot of heartbreak and man did I feel for him. I felt for him when we find out what happened with Kelsey and I wanted to wring Kelsey’s neck when she popped up on his doorstep like she had every right to.

Taylor was a bit extra at times but I never hated her. I understood where she was coming from when she would act crazy and I can’t say that I blamed her for moving on to Bradley the way that she did. In my opinion, the back and forth between Nick and Taylor had to happen for them to get to where they were in the end. They were in such a good place at the end and the ending scene had me smiling like a crazy lady because I was so happy for both of them.

I really like Lauren Layne’s writing style. Her characters are always smart, charming and just all around great people and you can’t help by cheer them on. These characters were no different than the editorial Oxford peeps. They felt like my friends and I was glad to see all of my favorite characters from the other Oxford books.

I can’t wait to read Brit’s book and I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that her man is the man I’m thinking about. I’m so ready for that book.

Overall, this was a great romance featuring two people who fought their way to true love and even though it wasn’t my favorite book, I still recommend it because it’s a solid story as all Lauren Layne stories seem to be for me. Nick and Taylor are great and if you missed the other Oxford folks, look no further than this book because they’re all back!

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Review: Someone Like You by Lauren Layne

Posted December 16, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 11 Comments

Review: Someone Like You by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Someone Like You by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #3
Also in this series: I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5), Irresistibly Yours (Oxford, #1), I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford, #2), Someone like You (Oxford, #3)
Publisher: Random House, Loveswept
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
Pages: 228
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Lauren Layne’s bestselling Oxford Series continues with the poignant, heartwarming story of New York’s most eligible bachelor, Lincoln Mathis, a man who’s living a lie—until his dream woman takes away the pain.

Lincoln Mathis doesn’t hide his reputation as Manhattan’s ultimate playboy. In fact, he cultivates it. But behind every flirtatious smile, each provocative quip, there’s a secret that Lincoln’s hiding from even his closest friends—a tragedy from his past that holds his heart quietly captive. Lincoln knows what he wants: someone like Daisy Sinclair, the sassy, off-limits bridesmaid he can’t take his eyes off at his best friend’s wedding. He also knows that she’s everything he can never have.

After a devastating divorce, Daisy doesn’t need anyone to warn her off the charming best man at her sister’s wedding. One look at the breathtakingly hot Lincoln Mathis and she knows that he’s exactly the type of man she should avoid. But when Daisy stumbles upon Lincoln’s secret, she realizes there’s more to the charming playboy than meets the eye. And suddenly Daisy and Lincoln find their lives helplessly entwined in a journey that will either heal their damaged souls . . . or destroy them forever.

I couldn’t start this book fast enough. Nick and Nereyda had already read and loved it so I knew that only good things awaited me so the first chance I got, I jumped in. I’m so happy to report that Lauren Layne does not disappoint with Lincoln Mathis’ book.

From the moment readers have met Lincoln Mathis, they have been intrigued by this man. He’s not the relationship type, gets all of the girls but at the end of the night, everyone leaves happy and with no hard feelings. There aren’t any crazy ladies trying to break down his door for explanations about why he never called. There aren’t any hurt feelings. Everyone loves Lincoln Mathis and with everyone in his circle of friends pairing up, it’s Lincoln’s turn, right?


Lincoln has no interest in pairing up with anyone. You find out why he feels the way that he does when you dig into his story and I won’t get into those things in this review because…you have to read those things for yourself.

Lincoln was everything I hoped he would be and more. I went into this book, ready to know what Lincoln’s been hiding from the rest of the group and to really dig into his personality and his background. I wasn’t disappointed. I got all of that and more. I think Layne did a great job of giving readers what they’ve been waiting for and bringing Lincoln to life. We got to see what Lincoln was really about and I was here for that party. I loved every minute.

Daisy Sinclair was the last person I was thinking of for Lincoln. He was such a big character that I was afraid nobody would be good enough for him. I didn’t think he had an equal (yes, he was that big a character for me) but Daisy was perfect for him in every way. The way that she saw right through him from the jump had me sitting up and taking notice. I loved that she could relate to him on a level that nobody else could. Nobody got him the way that she did and man, her story really hit me in the feels. She was such a lovely character, so different from her twin sister but no less wonderful and I came to love the hell out of her.

I really liked the way that these two came together. First as friends and then their friendship grew into something so much bigger than either of them was expecting. They were both so lonely, their stories so different but they understood each other. They cared about each other. I loved it all.

Lauren Layne is my author of the year. She has literally knocked me on my ass time and time again this year alone and in a year that has been one craptastic day after another, I was glad to have so many of her books to look forward to. This was another wonderfully romantic story that hit me in my feels at every turn and fans of Lincoln Mathis will not be disappointed with his story because it’s great, you guys. So stinkin’ great. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

5 out of 5


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Review: I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne

Posted March 3, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
I Wish You Were Mine by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #2
Also in this series: I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5), Irresistibly Yours (Oxford, #1), I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford, #2), Someone like You (Oxford, #3)
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 260
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

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.

I Wish You Were Mine is the second book in the Oxford series by Lauren Layne. I was a bit surprised at how much I wanted to read this book, considering I’m not a huge fan of the ex-brother in law love trope but as I’m starting to realize, Lauren Layne delivers good stuff. This book was no exception.

Jackson Burke was briefly introduced in Irresistibly Yours and if I’m being honest, I wasn’t all that excited to hear that he was the hero for this book (his introduction was that brief) but from the first page of this book, I was hooked. I was hooked because our first introduction to the couple of the book is at his wedding…to her sister. [raises eyebrows] Yes, you read that right.

Not to fear though, I thought Lauren Layne did a fabulous job of working through the obvious obstacles in this relationship. I was cheering for both Jackson and Mollie to figure out how to be together right from the jump.

Jackson is in a new town, working at a new job and is trying to move on from his old life. It’s hard because he liked his old life but he’s trying to adjust to not playing football anymore at the same time that he’s trying to figure out a way back into his old life. He’s not ready to completely give up on his old life so if there’s any way that he can keep football in his life, he’s going to try to get it. His divorce is final and the only person that has ever had his back is his sister in law so when she starts coming around (ha, they both live in New York now) checking on him, being his friend again…he’s surprised by the attraction that hits him hard. It’s an attraction he’s going to ignore because she’s his freaking ex-wife’s sister.

Mollie fell in love at her sister’s wedding with the groom. It’s not something she’s proud of, but it happened all the same and she’s spent years trying to get over it. She’s not the same person she was back then anyway and seeing Jackson in New York, single and looking at her in a different light is exciting if it wasn’t for the fact that he used to be married to her sister. They’ve been friends forever and falling back into that easy friendship with Jackson doesn’t take long. When they become roomies, it gets harder and harder to forget about those feelings.

I liked both Jackson and Mollie right from the jump. I thought they were interesting characters with an interesting story to tell. I enjoyed seeing their romance progress, seeing their past mix in with their present and the complications that only this kind of story can bring. Layne did a great job of pulling my heartstrings with this one because I felt Jackson’s frustration with letting go of his old life and embracing his new one and I also felt Mollie’s struggles with her changing relationship with Jackson, her unresolved issues with her sister and then helping Jackson embrace the new life he has in New York. It wasn’t easy and when I closed this book, I was satisfied and deeply content with the way their story played out and then ended.

I enjoyed the story so much that I immediately started reading Blurred Lines by Lauren Layne. Her writing style is fun and keeps me laughing one minute then sighing the next. She pulls me into every single book that I read of hers and she’s definitely got a new fan in me. I’m slowly making my way through her entire back list because I can’t get enough of her stuff.

This was a great book and while there were times that I wanted to punch Jackson in the nuts and pull Mollie’s hair (don’t even get me started on Mollie’s sister), it was still an enjoyable read. I definitely recommend to fans of contemporary romance. It’s a good one.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Reading Order:

Irresistibly Yours
I Wish You Were Mine


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Review: Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

Posted March 1, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Irresistibly Yours by Lauren LayneReviewer: Rowena
Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne
Series: Oxford #1
Also in this series: I Think I Love You (Oxford, #5), Irresistibly Yours (Oxford, #1), I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford, #2), Someone like You (Oxford, #3)
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Pages: 236
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Meet the men of Oxford magazine! In the first captivating spin-off of Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series, a not-so-friendly battle of the sexes turns into a scorching office romance.

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.

This is the first book that I’ve read by Lauren Layne and it will definitely not be the last. This is also the first book in the Oxford series, which is a spin off of the Sex, Love and Stiletto series and it features a returning character from that series, Cole Sharpe.

Cole Sharpe is a freelance writer for the Oxford magazine. He’s a sports fanatic and when Oxford starts looking for someone to head up the new sports section of the magazine, Cole thinks he’s got the job in the bag. But he’s got competition and she’s pretty amazing at remembering sports facts and tid bits. Cole isn’t happy about this development but when he gets to know his competition, he likes her. A lot.

Penelope Pope wants out of Chicago so when she finds out about the position at Oxford, she’s all over it. She wants it bad enough that she’ll make the move even though her family is in Chicago. Getting this job will be the biggest break of her career and she really wants it but when she comes across the guy who is up for the job right along with her, she can’t help but be nice because Cole is real nice to look at.

Pen needs some friends and Cole isn’t asshole enough to deny her. She’s cute, she loves sports just as much as he does and with each passing moment, he starts to realize that she fits. With him. He likes having her around because she makes him laugh, she drives him crazy and he wants her. The chemistry between the two of them is undeniable and I thoroughly enjoyed their romance.

Penelope was such a great heroine. She was such a likable person but wasn’t a push over and I liked her personality over the course of the book. She wasn’t blind to the way men viewed her and she wasn’t expecting anything more than friendship with Cole but when they grew closer and closer, I was all in. I was wrapped up in their romance and I loved seeing Cole jealous over everyone that came across Pen’s path.

I didn’t know Cole before this book but I adored him. I loved seeing him struggle with his feelings for Penelope, being a bonehead over keeping his personal business separate from whatever was blooming between him and Pen. I loved seeing him with his brother, with his friends and with Penelope. He was just an all around great guy, totally normal and I loved him. I loved seeing him trade insults with the guys at Oxford. They’re a fun bunch.

The addition of the Stiletto girls and seeing them bring Pen into their group made me want to read their books and now that I have them all, I’m going to dig into that series.

This was a good book. A great introduction to non-Stiletto series readers and I’m looking forward to the next book. Jackson Burke? Come to Mama!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5


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