on September 24, 2013
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“In its purest form love is self-sacrificing, eternal, selfless, enduring, truthful, forgiving and indulgent. It also feels an awful lot like a kick to the stomach when you try to fight it!”
All Everleigh Carsen wanted to do was complete her final semester at Hensley University and begin the life she carefully planned.
When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar by her best friend, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh’s biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, a tempestuous relationship is born.
Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fate—that fickle shrew—continuously intervenes. Unable to escape him, she declares Hunter an enemy combatant. The only complication…Hunter is resolutely pursuing vindication…by any means necessary. Verbal warfare ensues, and despite Everleigh’s ingenious efforts, in Hunter, she has finally found her equal.
Only For You is a compelling tale of friendship, desire, and redemption—brimming with intelligent characters, witty dialogue, unexpected twists, profound sorrow, unfettered hope, and love’s unassailable perseverance.
• This story is appropriate for readers 18+
• Only For You is the first book in the For You series by Genna Rulon. Each book in the series can be read as a stand alone novel.
Now that’s how you write a debut novel!
I found what I was looking for. I found a debut author who not only had a great plot; she had well developed characters, and excellent writing. You know I’m not going to summarize the story. Well sometimes I do because I can’t help it, the review needs it sometimes. This story not so much.
What I really loved about Only For You was that even though set in college, we didn’t have fake id’s, heroines drowning themselves in meaningless sex because they don’t want to get attached, hero’s covered in tattoos who moonlight as rockers who are players. We didn’t have seriously troubled backgrounds where the characters dwelled on their miserable upbringings.
So what makes it good you ask?
Only For You is a thriller at heart. Is there a romance? Absolutely. Is there sexual tension? HELL YEA! But it was definitely about the horror they were experiencing as female students on a campus where attacks were becoming more frequent and more vicious.
Your heroine Everleigh (LOVE the name btw), attends a college where the female students are being attacked. She’s tough but not ignorant to the fact that she could be a target. She’s relatively happy (aren’t we all), she’s not a bitch because of her upbringing. She’s just a normal college student trying to graduate and move on with her life. Is she looking for love? Maybe. Is that the crux of her story? No. She’s not afraid of love. She’s not running from intimacy. She’s just a “if it happens it happens” kind of girl (she does want it to happen lol).
Our hero, Hunter…is a hunk! One a side note, my daughter/co-blogger Emma, informed me last night that I can under no circumstances call a guy a ‘hottie’ or ‘hunk’ but I can call them a stud muffin. So let’s change that sentence shall we?
Our hero, Hunter is a STUD MUFFIN!! He’s a self-defense instructor and student at the college. Here is just a snippet of the way Everleigh describes him:
“I watched as he walked, his gait confident and fluid, the stride of a man who knew his effect on the occupants of the room. I subtly attempted to track his journey; as he passed me I was rewarded with an unhindered view of his brawny back and muscular butt, beautifully showcased and begging to be bitten.”
I really enjoyed Everleighs wit. She had some of the best lines in this story.
“Was he a cyborg created to epitomize masculine perfection, testing the restraint of earthly women?”
I found myself smiling and laughing at the banter between the two of them. Things started off pretty rocky for Everleigh and Hunter. Hunter is rude to Ev. He not only embarrasses her but he infuriates her too. This anger towards him causes some pretty great dialogue to take place between the two. She wasn’t too impressed with Hunter regardless of his looks at least not until she realizes something about him.
“Of course—how obtuse I have been—it was as obvious as a hooker at a debutant ball—Hunter. Was. Gay.”
From that point on their interactions were priceless. Ev is convinced he’s gay. Hunter is now her new best friend. She can’t wait to tell her roommate and best friend Sam. I really really liked Sam. She too was a normal college student. Her background was different from Ev’s and their friendship was real. She had wealthy parents who were indifferent when it came to parenting. Personally, I did not like them at all! Sam however, didn’t dwell over her past; although I’m sure it affected her. She was funny and smart and I thought her interactions with Ev were priceless. They suited each other well. In fact I think Sam had my most favorite lines in the entire book.
“Robbie and I were hot, I’ll give you that, but you and Hunter set the building on fire. Anyone standing in a five foot radius had spontaneous orgasms by proxy.”
LMAO…whoahahahahha I totally need to have an orgasm by proxy. Ahem, I digress.
Ev kicks herself several times in the story because she knows she’s got feelings for Hunter but he’s batting for the other team and when she does finally realize that he isn’t, he tells her he can’t have a relationship with her. She tries really hard to set her feelings aside and just be his friend. Nothing more just friends but she can’t. Unlike a lot of other heroines, she tackles it head on and tells Hunter exactly how she feels. She doesn’t run away and cry and dwell over it. Not really anyway. They have a normal, healthy, adult conversation. She may not like what he has to say, but that’s not the point. The point is that Genna Rulon gives us adult characters that act like adults. This book reads as it should, like two adults attending college and trying to create what they hope are meaningful relationships that will last beyond college.
Then the unthinkable happens. Everyone is challenged. It’s difficult to read because at this point you’re emotionally connected to these characters. It will hurt. However, there is also honesty in what Genna writes. She allows what happens to mold these characters even more. She allows them to move on and find a way to survive. To heal and to come together more closely than they were before.
I know I said before I had a favorite line but I might have fibbed I actually had two.
“He had a skull and crossbones label on him, but I drank his poison nevertheless and loved it; now I needed an antidote.”
Is this book perfect? No, but that’s the beauty of it right? There is always room for growth. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
I’m giving it 5 perfect stars though!
Only For You is a refreshing, electric, thoughtful, witty debut novel and I’m honored that Genna asked me to read and review it.
I can’t wait to get my hands on book two, Pieces For You.
*ARC was given by author in exchange for an honest review.*