USA TODAY BESTSELLER • In this charming Oxford Novel, hailed by Keri Ford as “a sizzling-loud friends-to-lovers story,” Lauren Layne poses a provocative question: What do you do when you fall in love with your sister’s ex?
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.
- The one woman he could never have. The only he wanted.
- An Amazon Best Book of the Year
- One of Lauren Layne's all-time bestsellers.
“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
“I loved this book! I Wish You Were Mine is the perfect combination of sexy and sweet—with a refreshing dash of humor that had me laughing out loud. I couldn’t put it down, and I can’t wait to read more by this talented author.”—Mari Madison, author of Just This Night
“Fans of Layne will enjoy this one, and for those new to Lauren Layne’s writing, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.” —Naughty Professora
“There is a great story line here and a wonderfully annoying villian . . . the ex-wife/sister. The writing is wonderful and the pacing is spot on.” —Obsessive Book Nerd
“When it comes to Lauren Layne, I expect engaging banter, sexual tension, and happy feels. She hit that in the bull’s eye with her new novel, I Wish You Were Mine.” —Will Read for Feels
“So if you are looking for that friends-to-lovers romance that will have you laughing, blushing and maybe even yelling a little, but that leaves you with a smile on your face, then this is the book to read!” —Book Bitches
“I am so excited for the rest of the world to read this book. As always, [Lauren Layne] knows how to bring it!” —Real Talk, Book Talk
“If you haven’t read anything by Lauren Layne and are a big fan of romance, well, what are you waiting for?! Go! Shoo! Buy her books—you won’t regret it!” —Mischievous Reads
“Friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite tropes, and I Wish You Were Mine delivered that in spades.”—Manga Maniac Cafe
Tonight, at her sister’s wedding, Mollie Carrington had gone and fallen head over heels in love.
With the groom.
Jackson felt a punch of lust in his gut, followed by something else . . . something low and dangerous, not unlike an eerie siren trying to tell him that his complicated life was about to get a whole lot worse
His gaze flicked over her just briefly. “You look . . . different.”
Mollie burst out laughing. “Jackson, no offense, but that’s the most constipated non-compliment I’ve ever heard.”
“Shit. I mean you look good. Or something. Or . . .” He glanced at his half-empty cocktail. “I’m going to need another drink.”
“Yeah, but I’m thirty-five.”
“I know. What I don’t know is why you think that’s an appropriate age to drape an afghan over your knees while sipping Ovaltine. You’re young and, frankly, hot. You should be grabbing drinks with coworkers right now. Or getting ready for a date. Or doing something other than being a big grumpy lump.”
He shook his head with a small smile as he lifted his beer. “Go away, Molls.”
She wiggled her fingers and moved toward him. “Come on. One hug.”
He laughed and tried to push her away. “Don’t be weird. I’m still annoyed at you.”
Ignoring this, Mollie wrapped her arms around him and squeezed, although it was a bit like embracing a redwood trunk. The man was thick and solid and hard.
For some reason, the thought of her moving out—leaving him—sent a ripple of panic down his spine. It wasn’t like he needed Mollie. Hell, like he said, she’d only been here a short while, and they’d barely been speaking for days. But he didn’t think he could watch someone else he cared about walk out the door.
They were toe to toe now, and although a tiny, rational part of Jackson’s mind registered the anger in her tone, another part of him—the man part—registered that she was correct. She was no kid. She wasn’t a young girl anymore. And with her just inches away from being pressed up against him, he was definitely aware that she was all woman. A gorgeous woman. Who, lately, had been able to light his fire just as adeptly as she could talk him down.
Jackson couldn’t explain it, but right now he wanted nothing more than to put his hands on her. He wanted to lower his mouth, and—
“That’s what you sleep in?” he asked.
She glanced down at her shorts and tank top. “What? They’re legit pajamas.”
“Mollie.” His voice was gruff.
“Yeah?” Her head tilted up just slightly of its own accord.
“Mollie.” His voice was lower this time. He was looking at her mouth.
“Of course I’m not jealous,” she said quickly. “I care about you, Jackson, you know that, but you’re like my brother.”
He stiffened slightly. “Your brother.”
“That’s what you were,” she said softly. “For years.”
“Is that how you’re thinking about me right now?” he asked, easing toward her just slightly. “Do I feel like your brother?”
Very gently Jackson laid his palm along her jaw, turning her face to his. “Mollie.”
He dipped his head slightly so his cheek was nearly pressing against hers. Not quite touching, but nearly.
Very slowly his other hand slid from the counter to rest against her hip, his fingers curving around to hold her, his touch possessive.
Jackson’s lips brushed the corner of her mouth, and Mollie’s breath hitched. He pulled back as though waiting for her to protest, but she didn’t. Couldn’t.
He moved in again, this time his lips touching hers square on, and damn it. Damn it. Their mouths fit perfectly.
Moving slowly, he pressed all the way against her, deepening the kiss as her arms wound around his neck.
Mollie had been kissed before. Plenty of times. But nothing—nothing—compared to the feel of Jackson’s mouth against hers.
“Well, make up your mind what you want to do about it!” she shouted back. He glared, but Mollie refused to back down. “You don’t get to pin me against the kitchen counter and kiss me and then wave me off on a date with another guy."
“I saw you, Mollie. I’ve been seeing you.” His voice was hoarse. Urgent.
He let her have control . . . for about five seconds.
And then he devoured her.
Jackson slid a hand behind her head, his thumb resting on her cheekbone. “I want you, Mollie. If you don’t want me, tell me, and I’ll back off.”
“You, Mollie,” he said, pulling her closer. “You were distracting me. You were all I could think about. All I’ve been thinking about.”
Her heart thudded. “Yeah?”
His thumb touched her lip
She lifted her chin. “You’ve finally given me exactly what I need to get over you.”
Mollie opened the door and was gone.
And by the time he heard the door close with a final click, Jackson was hit with a searing, awful realization.
He didn’t want Mollie Carrington to get over him.
His eyes flicked up to hers. “You want the full story, or the important part?”
“The important part,” she whispered.
“I love you.”