Book Review – Only For You by Genna Rulon

by Maryse on October 7, 2013 · 8 comments

in My Book Reviews

Only For You
Recommended by a few of our fellow readers, this one hit my “TBR list” FAST after a few compared it to my truest-book love (and favorite love story) of my life!

Tiffany: Last night I slept only for 3h. And today I was a zombie. WHY ? Because if this excellent book that kept me from sleeping last night !!! I’m talking about Only For You by Genna Rulon !!! It was AMAZING !!!!! Has this Travis/Pidge feeling in the relashionship and I LOVEd it !!

Jennifer: She has blown my socks rt off. I haven’t felt this way since I read Beautiful Disaster

Celeste: I have to second the recommendation for Only for You by Genna Rulon.  It was definitely superb for a first novel, and the story kept me intrigued.

And this part of the synopsis titillated me!

When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded by her best friend to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh’s biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, an explosive relationship is born.

Yahooooo!! YES TOTALLY for me! I love explosive book-relationships!!!

So it was part of my “Friday night sample-fest” and after a few starts and stops, I was thrilled to realize this one had me immediately! From the get-go, the witty writing alone convinced me this was my next read. I was already in love with the characters (especially the heroine!!) and the immediate “story flow” ease. Nothing about it seemed awkward or stilted. It found it’s pace immediately and the characters (even the entourage) had that “real-feel” about them. Great dialogue, real thoughts… intelligent. They acted the way we would… only funnier (but not over-the-top funny, you know? More… relatable). Which I loved.

And in a book like this, we need that touch of good humor. ‘Cause there’s a “dire” background story (female students being attacked on campus) and the girls are now taking self-defense classes as offered by the University. And ummm… it’s taught by a super-hunk MMA fighter who’s parents own a chain of gyms (that specialize in MMA fighting techniques) which only makes this better! Okay I know… MMA is my “magic-word” right? Tee hee!

Anyway, Hunter (the self-defense teacher) is a no-nonsense kind of guy, and sarcastic-silly Everleigh and him get off to the wrong start!

“You’re wasting my time, Crystal’s, as well as everyone else present. I believe this would be an appropriate time for you to leave,” he ordered firmly with no room for negotiation.

Oh the humiliation!!

I would not give some pompous, condescending muscle-head that type of power over me. My humiliation before fellow students and the Sports Illustrated swimsuit imposter was no excuse for tears.

How dare he? Who does he think he is? My righteous indignation swept aside my momentary weakness.

And lo-and-behold… a few days later, she realizes that they are also sharing some classes together in school. Hottie McMuscle-Grumps is now sitting behind her and now HE is the one humored by her obvious disdain of him. FUN!!!

Damn him and his supermodel gene pool! Recognizing I must address the interloper, I pasted a fake smile on my face.

“Hello, Mr. Charles. Fancy meeting you here.” Cheesy, but it was the best I could do in my current condition. Was fate toying with me? Had I committed some grievous crime unaware, for which I must now pay?

And as their passive-aggressive bantering continues, she realizes she has met her match!

How dare he pretend I paid him a compliment? He was undermining my moment of greatness.

“You…” I trailed off desperate for words to reflect the magnitude of my anger. I looked him dead in the eyes and started again. “Sir, you are no gentleman.”

With that parting gem, courtesy of Scarlett O’Hara from ‘Gone with the Wind,’ I strode to the exit, my shoulders back and held high.

As I reached the door, he called to me, “And you, Miss, are no lady.”

Shoulders sagged and my head bowed, I left defeated. He had done it again. Twice in as many days, that blasted man had circumvented my inspired attacks. What man can quote a scene from the 1939 film classic?

tee hee!!

Alas, this is not about an MMA fighter and his fighting career (and us groupi-ing along with him hoping for more), but it IS about a developing “crush” on someone she was insistent on hating, then starts liking… and really liking. Only to realize he’s more of a “friends-only” kind of guy.

‘Cause, you see… he’s got stuff on his mind, things to do, and settling down is not in the cards right now. So friends it is… and there is NOTHING sweeter to me, than a book about being “just friends” even though we KNOW they both are reeeeeallllly into each other. Ahhhh nice and deliciously slow. So slow in fact, that we sorta… hate him at first. And then we warm up to him… slowly. Verbal sparring at first… and it is SO good in that there is plenty of time for them to get to know each other… and eventually become friends. Only friends. Those sweet cuddly moments (hehe… yeahhhh cuddly friends that are attracted to each other are only looking for trouble! MY kind of trouble!). Ahhhh…. the teasing, hanging out, lunch, studying, bars… sweaty dancing… fun!

And then the angst starts setting in wonderfully, in various ways!

Were we reverting to his original state of being? We had moved passed this, and built friendship. We even had our thing – bantering and trumping each other. Now he wanted to pretend I was a random acquaintance and resume disparaging me?

And even funner when you get mini-blasts of jealous fits… and then stepping back thinking…. “er? What are we doing, here?” I was happily pining! But he was dead set on keeping it “friendly” no matter how much he cared for her. What’s HIS deal!?

You’ll find out. ;)

A few exciting/scary twists, some definite “bad guy” suspects and as the story progresses, the attacks are coming on stronger and the stakes are much higher. It’s becoming a life or death situation, and this book kept me guessing on numerous fronts.

But the best part? The “feel” of this story as a whole is about deep, GREAT friendship, whether they be old friends, or adding to their group with new friends. Often funny and sweet (not comedy-romance per se, but just… chuckle-worthy). And at times scary, and sad. And every step of the way… SEXY! Whether we’re just drooling over him in theory, or… reality ;) Hunter will keep you swooning.

Okay, I did have a hiccup. One that takes me from a 5-star “OMG I love this so much”, to a 4-star “loved… but not CRAAAAZY loved”.

While the quality of the writing and the unique “new adult” story-line merits 4 stars or more, I wasn’t as all-out crazy “in love” (romance-wise) with them, for some reason. There was a certain intensity to their “friendship”, but it wasn’t at the level that makes me want to pass-out from the non-stop endorphin rush with a need to scream about my “new love” from the rooftops.

Maybe I was expecting too much in terms of the “angst-intensity/LOVE-intensity” between these two? ‘Cause I keep seeing this one compared to Beautiful Disaster (in recommendations to me and other reviews), and while I “get” where many are coming from (due to that friendship)… romance-wise, this one just didn’t affect me nearly to that intensely.

Maybe I’m just Travis’s book-soulmate ;) and I think NOTHING can compare to him? There was just something about that crazy-over-the-top but most intensely-awesome love story, that is often compared to, but rarely (if ever) matched, to me. I once wondered if I was maybe… I dunno? Super hormonal when I read it the first two times, back to back and that’s why it got me so deep? Revved me up, and made me crazy, and had me bumping into things for days ’cause I was in such a thick love fog? I mean… the TWILIGHT kind of love fog. Remember that? Back in the day when Twilight was IT and NOBODY compared to Edward? Travis did that to me. So I keep testing myself. I’ve read it five times and STILL have that same intense feeling. I STILL get all goofy for days…

I dunno. I mean, Hunter HAS that potential, don’t get me wrong, but for some reason, I didn’t get lost in a love-fog. It just never got to that level, you know? That “crazy” addicted, can’t live without you, that “OMG this kind of intense love is so unhealthy for us but we love it!!” kind of feel?

Maybe it’s ’cause there was so much “other stuff” going on, that I was too busy working it all out (and having fun doing that!), to lose myself in “them”. Or maybe it’s cause these characters seemed so balanced and level-headed. They never really lost their heads, no matter what their hearts were feeling. Or maybe it was simply because while the romance was always lurking, I didn’t get to… “indulge” in it, as much as I wanted to. This could have been THAT. But… alas…. *sigh* Oh and another mini-hiccup… there was a bit of a… er…. character/scene cliché in one of the main reveals (there are a few reveals). Let’s see if you catch what I mean, if you read this book. I was all… really?! LOL!!! :D

No matter. This book is PLENTY great! You’ll read it with a grin, and plenty of yummy heart-flutters, too!  It’s got a bit of everything! Some of that mystery and crazy danger to keep our adrenaline pulsing, and best of all, love and that “friends-to-family” feel that warmed my heart!

4 stars!

P.S. Nice enough cover, but it doesn’t really feel “right” for the kind of story this is. Just looking at it (before I actually read the book), I couldn’t get a “feel” for what I was getting into. Was it paranormal? Or was this a “dark-ish” kind of romance book? Nope. It’s neither. It’s “New Adult” and all that we love about the “new adult” genre, with that well-rounded experienced writer “feel”.

P.P.S. Thanks to the author for sending me a review copy!

P.P.P.S. For those that have read this book, the author has posted a FREE “Hunter POV” on her blog here. But don’t read it until you’ve finished this book. ;)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Renate October 7, 2013 at 3:20 PM

I so agree with your view on this book. I have to admit Hunter had me at MMA.
Now if I could just get you to read Stinger by Mia Sheridan…..

Maryse October 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

LOL!!! On my TBR!! ;) So, you really think Stinger’ll make me love-crazy? ‘Cause that’s what I want…

Angela October 7, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Okay, you really have to read I Surrender now. This is very similar in the “we are just friends” category but I would hate for you to get burnt out and then not enjoy it so you might wait a while!

Renate October 7, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Not saying Stinger was all consuming like Travis (there is only one Travis!) but it really did give me the “sweet thing” vibe of Will….it was a mix of all sorts of emotions and a good pallet cleanser…i’m looking forward to reading what you have to say….enjoy (i did).

Celeste October 7, 2013 at 10:35 PM

Definitely agreed with you on this book! I think she’ll only get better as an author though and be able to bring more ‘oomph’ to the romantic relationship.

I saw someone mention ‘I Surrender’ above. I started it over the weekend but didn’t make it past the first chapter. The heroine wasn’t a very sympathetic character. I wonder if it/she got better…

swathi October 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM

I also kind of liked this one. and I agree with you..the romance was not angsty enough but the way the other storyline was handled is really good. i do believe there is a follow up story for the other characters. am looking forward to read that one as well.

julie o October 8, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I am reading “Stinger” now and about 50% and am loving it. Also read
“I surrender” and can;t wait for the sequel, I think comes out next month.
Maryse, you will like Jasper in Surrender, sweet guy!

Reanell Tisdale January 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

I loved this book too! I loved it so much I sent Genna a message after reading it and told her “I think I love you”…LOL. She kindly offered me the chance to read Pieces For You book 2 in the Only series and let me tell you, I fell in love with Griffin. I fell in love so much that he knocked Remington Tate out of the spot of my book soul-mate! Yes you read that right HE BEAT REMINGTON RIPTIDE TATE! Pieces For You is in my top 5 books EVER and I read a ton of books!

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