Series: Oxford #1
Published by Loveswept Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Humorous, Romance, Sports
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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 book was a no brainer for me. I love Lauren Layne’s books, she’s one of those authors where I know if I pick up one of her books I am going to enjoy reading it. Plus this book in the synopsis had a lot of things going for it, it had a sports theme (yay, I love me some sports romances) and it had that whole rivals/opposites attract thing going for it (and I love the tension that builds up in those scenarios). So needless to say this was an easy book to say yes to.
So this is the first book in the series (although I believe it is a spinoff), and it introduces you to Penelope and Cole. So Penelope is just really likable, at least to me. She is kind of the perfect amount of laid back cool and smart. I love girls who love sports, frankly because I am one of them, and for the me there is nothing better than sports talk. There is some awesome sports talk in this book, and it made for some really fun scenes. Penelope is also really kind of leery about Cole and his attention to her, and all of her hang ups about him are all completely relatable, so in general Penelope is one of those girls I would love being friends with in real life, which made me love her.
Cole is kind of… I want to say cocky but I don’t really think it’s the right word, he’s very self-assured, but not in such a way that makes him come off as a totally jerk. He’s definitely a ladies man, and from his description you know he is hot. But you can tell he did not expect to have the feelings her did about Penelope. I also really liked how he called Penelope Tiny, it was cute. I liked him, and I liked him with her.
Part of why this book worked so much for me is that there was a great sense of humor within it. And it also has the slow build up that I love with a couple, it makes the payoff so much better. If I had one issue with the book it’s probably that the ending felt a little bit more rushed then I would have liked, but other then that I really enjoyed the book. If you really like a sports romance then this is definitely the book for you.
Cole had been watching the brunette for the better part of three innings.
Which was just wrong on a couple of levels.
For starters, it was a rare woman who could come between Cole Sharpe and baseball. Or between Cole and any sport, for that matter.
And at Yankee Stadium in particular, the game came first. Especially a game in which the Yankees were trying to establish early dominance over the Blue Jays in the American League East division.
Cole’s eyes should have been glued to the field. Not only because the Yankees were his team—he’d been a die-hard fan since his Little League days—but because Cole was a sportswriter. Come tomorrow morning, Cole would be expected to know the details of every single at bat.
And yet . . .
His eyes shifted once more to the narrow figure of the brunette as he took another sip of beer.
There was something about her that demanded a second look and at the same time, there was nothing about her. She was utterly, completely unremarkable.
And that was the other reason why Cole’s fascination with the woman made no sense.
Cole loved women almost as much as he loved sports, but this woman?
Cole liked women curvy, but this one was slim to the point of being skinny. There was no noticeable definition of her waist through her Jeter jersey. No womanly flare of her hips.
Plus, Cole preferred blondes, and this one’s messy ponytail was just a couple shades lighter than black.
As for her face? Well, he hadn’t seen it yet. Not fully. But she’d turned her head once in the third inning, giving Cole a quick glance at her profile. The upturned nose was cute enough, but the rest of her features were hardly so arresting as to explain why he continued to stare at her.
It took Cole another half inning to realize what it was that had captivated him.
For the first time in his life, he was seeing a woman who was more absorbed with a baseball game than he was.
Tiny Brunette, as he’d started thinking of her, hadn’t lost interest in the game once. Even between innings, when the rest of the stadium was refilling on beer and peanuts, she merely scribbled like crazy in a little notebook she kept in her lap.
It was like clockwork. The third out would signal the swap of the players on the field, and Tiny Brunette’s attention would dip toward the damn notebook.
Her left hand would sneak around to twirl her ponytail around a finger while her right hand busily wrote . . .
What did she write in that notebook? And exactly why did he want to know so badly?
Normally Cole would just ask. The seat beside Tiny Brunette was free. Everyone else in the suite was there more for the networking and the free food and booze than the game. It would have been so easy just to plop down beside her, strike up a conversation. Flirt.
But for some reason he was hesitant.
Cole told himself it was because he didn’t want to interrupt whatever it was she was so diligently working on, but there was an unfamiliar fear too.
The fear of rejection.
Because nothing about this woman signaled that she’d be interested in a conversation with him.
And that would be a first.