Author: Lauren Layne
Date of publication: 6 Oct 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports
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My rating: 4 stars
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.
I generally enjoy sports romance and this one does stand out among them since it's about the sport journalists and not the players, but the game and the fan love for it is so very strong and noticealby present in the story. It's was such a sweet, funny romance I greatly enjoyed.
This is a spinoff series but I haven't read the previous set of books and this didn't affect my enjoyment of the story in the slightest.
Irresistibly Yours is my first book by Lauren Layne and I liked her easy, comfortable writing and the smooth flow of the story as whole. There was the right balance between drama, humour, sex and tender emotions.
Penelope (Tiny) is not your typical romance heroine - she is a tomboy, a real sports fan, who tries to act as one of the guys because she ultimately doesn't believe she is attractive/sexy. This self-depreciation could easily come off as annoying and too contrived but that was not the case. I found it fitting her character and when it came to being with Cole she didn't act shy despite her inexperience and insecurities.
Cole was an interesting character as Penelope, though certainly more typical than her. A sports writer, a lady's man but also someone who starts feeling the pressure of being all alone, of being his brother's only support system. His gradual realisation of his attraction to Tiny was sweet and it did take him by surprise.
Taken on its own some elements in the story should not work for me - a tomboy heroine who doesn't realise how attractive she is, a womaniser hero who falls for a woman who is not his usual type at all and he is all baffled by it. Surpringly put together these elements the way Ms Layne did, I found them true-to-life and strangely attractive.
I loved the sports aspect of the story as well, the sense of loving a game, caring about it and respecting the players. I liked the easy camaraderie between all the characters, the sense of community and friendship which I always appreciate in a romance novel.
Cole's secret side, his relationship with Bobby was also wonderfully done, without going overboard in sentimentality, just real, emotional but also messy and at time tiring and confusing.
Overall, this turned out to be a very enjoyable, sweet and light romance and I'm very much looking forward ot reading more in this series!