Oct 20, 2013

Only For You

“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.

I received a copy of this story for an honest review.


Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way… Author Genna Rulon has created a character driven gem in “Only for You” that in turns is a charming romance and also a suspenseful drama. I was quickly sucked into the story and loved every single page. The witty banter between the characters is so solid and quick I felt like I was watching tennis pros volley back and forth. The smoking hot hero who manages to be mysterious while still treating the intelligent and strong heroine with respect and affection, an added bonus. This story hit every single fangirl button I’ve got and is easily one of the best books I’ve read in 2013.

The story opens with the women of Hensley University under attack. Brutal assaults are occurring on a weekly basis and the police are nowhere close to catching the culprit. Everleigh ‘Ever’ Carsen and her best friend Sam are trying to enjoy their final year at Hensley but fear is starting to weigh on them. Self-defense class offers a needed sense of security with the added thrill of training under alpha male defense instructor Hunter Charles.

“He was no altered ideal – he was authentic sex incarnate.” 

Ever’s big mouth gets her quickly ejected from class and sets her on a course of full-fledged verbal warfare with Hunter. Hunter proves to be a worthy opponent and quickly works his way under Ever’s skin.

“You can’t move past an incident and then bring it back up at a later date as if there had never been a resolution. He doesn’t have the right, he’s not a woman. We own that privilege exclusively.” 

As the attacks on women at Hensley turn from violence to murder, the frenemy relationship with Hunter gives Ever a needed spark to power through the daily fear. Frenemies become besties and besties become something much more. Snark and sarcasm quickly turn to passion and heat. When Ever realizes that she’s given Hunter her heart she’s broken to find he may not be willing to hold it for her. As she faces an immense tragedy she’s forced to draw a line in the sand with Hunter.

“Hunter, you’re tearing me to shreds so that you can keep the pieces of me you want and discard the rest, and you’re destroying me in the process. You don’t get to keep my heart anymore if you refuse to give me yours in return.” 
There are some dark elements to this story as a key component of the plotline deals with violence against college age women. Rulon addresses the matter honestly and respectfully. When a key character to the story is impacted I felt a gut punch. I was invested and I suffered for her and those around her. The feeling of hope that Rulon creates in the period of darkness for her characters is part of the reason I loved this story. There is angst but it’s not overwhelming, you still see the light. Love and friendship don’t erase hurt but they have the power to heal.

“Only for You” ends with a solid resolution, no cliffhangers. I was so happy with the ending I wound up rereading the whole thing. It’s that good.

With zero reservations I recommend checking out “Only for You.” I need more stories like this. You need more stories like this.

This December “Only for You” will be followed by “Pieces for You,” which will focus on Ever’s best friend Sam and soulful musician/bartender Griffin. I fell in love with both characters in their supporting roles in “Only for You” so I’m beyond excited to check out a story with them as the focus.

Happy reading.

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