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.
4 stars — This one started off *amazing*, but for me it fizzled about halfway through. Still enjoyable, just no longer 5 star-y, you know?
It’s always hard to read a book about a character that’s really really intrigued you. Because he probably intrigues each reader for different reasons, and as a series goes along you start to form theories in your own mind about what his story is going to be. And Lincoln was the ultimate in mysterious characters we adore, but are mega-intrigued by. And while I’m super satisfied by the mysterious tragedy in his past (I actually feel like I had that theory, but I’m not sure if maybe I inferred that from teasers for this book, not necessarily from previous books?), it really altered *who* Lincoln was, and it didn’t always fit with who I’d fallen in love with. It wasn’t his unbelievable good looks (which I just can’t picture, b/c I’m a personality makes a guy good looking kind of girl, I have a hard time being into a guy based on physical appearance alone). It was those moments of vulnerability that you spotted along the way in the series that sucked me in. His kindness, his understanding. And I felt like I got more of that in the first half of this book, and less in the second. Which, due to the nature of the story and what occurs, I can kind of understand. But I just wasn’t as in love with the real Lincoln as I was the Lincoln in my mind. It’s just expectation vs reality, you know?
Now all that’s not to say that Lincoln wasn’t a solid book boy. He broke my heart, made me cry, and really just gave me all the feels. But at a certain point in Part II and beyond, I just felt like I was missing some depth or something. The problem with maintaining a facade and putting on a performance is that I start to wonder what people liked about the real Lincoln. Who were they friends with? Where was the playfulness? It was there, but it also wasn’t anymore. Like was that who he was, or who he was pretending to be? GAH, too much thinking!! Honestly it had to be missing somewhat, he goes through a very big upheaval. But…I just…wanted…something. I needed something more, and I really can’t articulate what it was…obviously.
Daisy was a pretty solid book girl, sassy but damaged. A good combination. But I felt like something was missing from her too…like I wanted more depth. I don’t know. Maybe I was having a bad brain day? I just had a hard time getting a super good feel for her. Like I got a wavy feel for her, but not a solid feel for her. I don’t even think I’m making sense anymore, I’m abandoning this line of thought. I think I was expecting a bit more from her damaged past, and I thought I was going to get it, but then it was kind of glossed over fairly quickly and I didn’t necessarily buy her growth and change.
I LOVED Daisy and Lincoln in Part I. I loved the way they seemed to see each other and recognized a fellow damaged person. I felt that connection. I also loved the banter they had together, it was so perfect! I was highlighting sections all over the place! I loved how Lincoln let her in, how that was safe for him. And I enjoyed them together in Parts II and III as well, just not as much as in Part I. Like I was missing that spark. And not heat, b/c when we finally got to the steamy parts, my tummy was doing plenty of tingling! I just wasn’t as invested for some reason. And quite frankly, I wasn’t super impressed with the climax and resolution. It was kind of meh. Rushed and a bit cheesy (and felt like it had been done in other books in this series, so regurgitated too).
So this is a review of confusion. It sounds like a bad review. That’s my bad. I really enjoyed this book and plowed through it, I just lost steam at the end, and I’m trying to explain how it went from 5 stars down to 4. I really need to stop doing that, it’s probably odd to read about. Maybe it should be a 3.5 in reality, but I just loved that beginning so much that I’m giving it a boost.
So there you have it. A solid Oxford novel, and I loved getting glimpses of the past characters, even if they’re getting to be a large and unwieldy bunch. And was it just me, or does anyone else think there was a Wedding Belles cameo in there? Great emotions, great chemistry, FANTASTIC banter, just needed something more at the end.