*I received a free copy of Only You from Forever via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Only You by Denise Grover Swank
Series: Bachelor Brotherhood #1
Published by Forever on 14 June 2016
A Bachelor Brotherhood Novel Never say never . . . Romance isn't an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor . . . Ex-Marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead, he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world's craziest women. At least that last one he can fix: he and his buddies have made a pact to swear off women, and this includes his sweetly sexy new neighbor. After one hot night that looks a whole lot like a disaster in the light of day, Kevin and Holly are about to learn that true love doesn't play by the rules . . .
Only You has a lot of humor, flirty dialogues and characters who think they should stay far away from anything that resembles love…
Romantic comedy at is finest – Only You fits the bill, for sure. Between the whirlwind romance, the reluctant couple, the dragon-lady mother-in-law from hell and the fact that Holly didn’t really trust anyone, everything seemed to indicate that there were too many obstacles in the way of happiness for Kevin and Holly. While there is a lot of fun and lightness in Only You, there are some more serious themes explored as well. Like the fact that Holly’s parents were killed in a car accident when she was only five. Or how her grandmother, who raised her and her cousin Melanie has dementia and lives in a home for senior people with health problems.
And Kevin has seen his share of difficult situations, home from several tours overseas in the army, he just wants to have a nice, quiet life in his hometown. Close to his sister and friends, and – unfortunately – also close to his meddling mother. Next-door romances with mature characters always work well for me, and Only You was a sweet, quick read that hit the right spot. I kind of do wish there had been a little more exploration of Melanie’s bitchiness, though, even if I suspect she will show up in a future Bachelor Brotherhood story very soon.
Only you is the kind of story you can read either at home or at the beach. You’ll have some great laughs, some nice romantic moments, and even a few toe-curling hotness times. Written in third person point of view, past tense, from both Kevin’s and Holly’s perspective, the story is evenly paced, and moves forward nicely. Covering one month, the romance was fast, but still managed to make me believe in its potential.
Her face burned at the thought of their mouths touching the same utensil. Her eyes shifted to his mouth and she suddenly wondered what it would be like to kiss him. Would he hold her tightly to his chest like he had moments ago? Oh, my God. she had just turned into every clichéd woman she’d made fun of since high school.
“It was a long drive from San Diego, Mom. I wanted to be fresh when I saw you.”
“Fresh? I saw you covered in slime when you came from my body. How could anything be less fresh than that?”
“Mom. That definitely falls under TMI.” He was going to be traumatized by that mental image for weeks to come.
“Love is a very precious gift, Holly. Some people are fickle, falling in and out of love. But that’s not really love.” She waved her free hand back and forth. “But once you find real love, something so deep it sinks to your toes, a love that fills you so completely it makes you a better person than you were without him – once you find that love, don’t let it go.”
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: