Friday, December 13, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Only for You by Genna Rulon


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.

4 star review by Jen Hagen

Female assaults have been reported at the college that Everleigh attends.  In order to promote their safe, she and her best friend (Samantha, AKA Sam) are taking self-defense classes taught by the gorgeous Hunter Charles.  Unfortunately, Charles doesn’t see the humor to Everleigh’s snarky side and he kicks her out of their very first class.  Everleigh and Sam have very unique senses of humor that I could completely relate to.  They aren’t afraid to say what they think and usually find someone to be the source of their humor.  After a couple casual run-ins at campus, it seems that Hunter and Everleigh can move past their first introduction/embarrassing eviction.  It now becomes the girls’ mission to make certain that Hunter becomes another best friend.

“It’s a game now – albeit one he keeps winning – but I’ll get points on the board soon.  Beside, how could he not want to befriend us?  Beautiful, smart, witty, fun, and loyal; he won’t be able to resist.”

Oh but Hunter can resist.  He is a strong-willed man, and even though he and Everleigh become very, very good friends there remains a line between their friendship that he refuses to cross.  Their friendship runs very deep and there is love between the two, but it’s not the same love that Everleigh wants to be reciprocated.  Hunter has made it very clear that this is not the right time in his life to pursue a relationship. 

In a perfect world Hunter would share my sexual attraction and we would have an epic romance, but reality didn’t follow the plot of romantic comedies.  I accepted the best friend alternative with gratitude for the grace it was.

On more than one occasion Hunter re-iterates his stand on their friendship:  “I can’t explain it any better than I already have. ..I’m asking you to be my best friend.”

This is Everleigh’s senior year and she has the premonition that as soon as college life is over, she and Hunter will go their separate ways, never to see or hear from each other again.  She becomes despondent  thinking of the future and the fact that she may be losing one of her best friends.  She embraces the time she and Hunter spend together, even if it means nothing more will become of their friendship.  An incident that touches very close to home effects their lives.  Everleigh seeks comfort with Hunter, and Hunter wants nothing more than to provide that comfort.  All lines are crossed for one night.  The next day has Everleigh seeing blurred lines and wondering  if anything has changed.

“Nothing has changed.  Yesterday should never have happened.  I have told you all along that I can’t be with you, I’ve never wavered from my position…I’m hoping we can put it behind us and not lose what we have.  I don’t know how many times I can say it.  I’m not at a place in my life where a relationship with you is a possibility.”

 You have to give Everleigh a ton of credit for being able to hear that response over and over again and never waver from her determination to have something more with Hunter.   If she were a weaker person, she would be plotting revenge on behalf of her heart being stolen.   But eventually Everleigh becomes weighed down and needs to be released from the invisible hold Hunter has anchored to her.  She wants him either in or out.  Again, Hunter chooses not to be in.  This becomes the driving force in the demise of their friendship.

“I can’t do it, angel.  I can’t give you everything.”

Not being friends is not what Everleigh or Hunter want, but it’s what Everleigh needs in order to gain control of her heart again.  Sam’s life has been turned sideways and upside down.  It is the thorough attention and decision making effecting Sam’s future that gets Everleigh through the days absent of Hunter and the lonely nights ahead of her.   Maybe the future will be brighter for Everleigh once all questions have been answered.

“I love you, from the depths of my soul.  My heart beats and my spirit lives for you…only you.”

I enjoyed the humor the author incorporated into the story.  When I first started reading I was caught a little off guard with the flourished language the author was using. To some this may not matter, but I read for enjoyment and like things kept in a simple text.    Eventually the feeling of being forced to learn new words waned, and a combination of two things must have happened during the story’s progression -- 1) I became used to it and it didn’t bother me as much, or 2) the author eventually broke it down into simpler terms.  

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