Monday, November 4, 2013

R U Mine? - A Review of One & Only by Viv Daniels

(Goodreads Blurb)
One night they can't forget...

Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she's sworn to keep: the father who won't acknowledge her, the sister who doesn't know she exists, and the mother who's content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets the distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets. But when summer ends, so does their relationship -- Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university.

One love they can't ignore...

Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan's life. Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess's legitimate half-sister. Tess refuses to follow in her mother's footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time. 

...And only one chance to get things right.
Thank you to the author for providing an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.  

First off I have to say that this is the best New Adult book that I've read in a very long time.  I enjoyed it immensely.  

The Story..

I don't even know how to sum this up in words.  This story did not follow any formulas.  There was no NA pattern adhered to.  Daniels has a way of writing that makes you forget everything you've ever read before.  She has wit and tells a beautiful tale of fear, longing, and an ache to just be loved.  

I was riveted.  I couldn't put it down.  It had the innocence of a Young Adult novel combined with the sexy adult-ness of the New Adult genre.

What Worked...

Dylan and Tess's relationship was amazing right from the start.  He wanted a romantic relationship with her, but when she says no, it doesn't knock him off his game.  He continues to be his awkward, sweet self.  He's her steady rock throughout the science program.  When they finally give in to temptation, Dylan is patient and sweet and so giving.

When Dylan and Tess meet again at Canton University, Dylan does try to make Tess think that he is over her, but he doesn't play games.  He is straightforward and honest with her.  He never tries to hide the truth and seeks to make things right as soon as humanly possible.

Tess's reasons for staying away from Dylan are legit.  She keeps secrets that aren't hers to tell, even though it would make things much easier for her with Dylan if she were to spill the beans.  I've read so many books where complications arise that are contrived and feel forced.  The situations that Dylan and Tess find themselves in are quite natural and completely believable.

The yearning felt between Dylan & Tess is so strong every time they are together.  I ached for them.  It's an amazing thing when an author can make me believe that her characters are people that I know, and people that I care about.

What Didn't...

Hmmm... the only thing I can think of that didn't work for me is maybe the cover.  To me it seems like it is for a completely different book.  I can kind of see how it fits in, but it had me expecting something more along the lines of a cheesy romance versus the tale of challenges met, obstacles overcome, and love accepted that I read.

5 out of 5 stars

Viv Daniels Bio:

Viv Daniels writes love stories for the young and young at heart. Like many of her characters, she met her husband in college, and knows all the ins and outs of navigating that kind of relationship — from how to date when you’re both flat broke to how to fit two people in narrow dorm room bed. Her favorite new adult authors include Tammara Weber, J. Lynn, and Cora Carmack. Viv can usually be found on her Facebook page or Twitter feed, chatting with readers about her favorite New Adult fiction, or sharing pictures of cute boys. She lives outside of Washington D.C. with her family.

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