Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Only You - Contemporary Romance Review

Only You (Bachelor Brotherhood) by Denise Grover Swank

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description:  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-slteringly hot neighbor...
Ex-Marine Kevin Vandermeer 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... (from Goodreads)

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been looking for some new romantic contemporary authors and this one sounded really fun!

My Impression:  It's hard to write a review when my brain is full of jazz hands and happy dances but I enjoyed this book so much I'm going to try and settle all that down so I can write down my thoughts.
For the last few years my gold standard for contemporary romance has been Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series.  She has just the perfect balance of quirky but realistic characters, snarky humor, a good dash of heart, and a community so well drawn and welcoming that you just want to visit.  I haven't really found a book that measured up until now.

I loved Holly.  She's funny and smart and doesn't take herself to seriously.  She loves her job and is realistic about her boss.  Her bond with both her cousin and her grandmother is very strong and very sweet.  She doesn't always act the smoothest and occasionally comments come out of her mouth before she can stop them but she always means well and is really trying.  Kevin is a little more generic.  He's gorgeous, a former Marine, and trying to forge a better relationship with his sister and soon to be niece or nephew.  He has two friends that he's been close to since childhood and their banter provided quite a bit of humor.  Those ex-girlfriend stories!  Each one is equally crazy.  I'm guessing that these friends - Matt and Tyler  - will be the subject of the next two books and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens.  Kevin's sister Megan is amazing. She's hilarious and basically bulldozes her brother into doing what she wants because she knows it's what is best for him.  Plus she uses the world "asshattery" which is pretty fantastic.  Even the villain, Nicole, Holly's boss, isn't all bad.  While I wouldn't want to work for her or be related to her you do see what is driving her and some of the motivations behind her actions even if she isn't acting like she should.

The romance itself is really sweet.  I absolutely loved how their relationship developed and I really liked that Kevin understood and took Holly's concerns seriously.  The end was a little contrived and wrapped up a little fast but this is an HEA I can believe in.

In conclusion I want to be BFFs with Holly and Megan, hang out with Kevin, Matt, and Tyler and get a kitten (did I mention Kevin adopts a little grey kitten?) and if Mel can have her own book that'd make me even happier.  I'm so excited to find a new to me contemporary romance author that blends snark and sweet, fun and heart, AND manages to throw in a big Marine holding a kitten.

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Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!  I'm looking forward to Matt and Tyler's books and am keeping my fingers crossed about Mel's story

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Definitely!  If you enjoy Jill Shalvis' books I think you'd love this one.


  1. I have to look for this one. It sounds wonderful and I love Jill Shalvis type books so this sounds like it would be great for me.

  2. I have this and haven't read it! SO MANY BOOKS.

  3. I absolutely need to check out this book. Jill Shalvis is absolutely amazing, and it's hard to find another contemp. author that measures up. Have you ever read Julie James' US Attorney/FBI series? If not, I think you would really like them. The banter is freaking awesome, and the women are just sooo good at their job, and I love that.

  4. I haven't read this author yet, but I do have a book at home by her that I need to read! Great review, makes me more eager to get that book I have read.

  5. That is definitely a cute cover. Added it!

  6. Hmm I like a good contemp romance and this one sounds like it could be a possibility. I always like the final part to be fully developed and don't like it so much when it rushes to an end! Do you read Susan Elizabeth Phillips - I am very much looking forward to her one coming in couple of months.

  7. It's been ages since I read a romance, I've been so busy with police procedure books. This sounds fun, a lighter read for vacation.

  8. I really need to read Denise Grover Swank. Her work has been on my radar for a while but now that I see you comparing her to Jill Shalvis - I must read this book! The main character sounds delightful. Great review, Katherine!

  9. Sounds like a fun read - off to look it up on GR!

  10. Aww, this sounds like such a cute summer read! I'm happy to see you enjoyed this so much!! The author is new to me, but I think I'll have to check her out! Also, I'm such a sucker for heroes adopting pets, haha. Lovely review, Katherine!

  11. The cover is so cute, I*d read it :D

  12. Looks fun, sweet, engaging, pretty cover, and nice blurb! Glad you enjoyed it. I never read this author but when I'm looking for a light read, I'll try to remember this title, so thanks.

  13. This sounds so good, Katherine! I'm adding it to my wish list.