The boy next door is now the man of her dreams.
Today we are thrilled to be on tour with ONLY EVER YOU from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss.
This story of friendship, growing into a love that was always there is an all-new swoon-worthy stand-alone romance you won’t want to miss!
Rachel knew exactly what turning thirty would be like. She had a plan, after all. First college, then a climb up the professional ladder. Love, marriage, children. All of it was on the schedule.
The cheap Hollywood apartment wasn’t on the list. Neither were the string of heartbreaks. Or her the effect her mother’s cancer had on her career.
It’s hard to stay practical and on-point when everything takes a left turn.
Enter Sebastian, the nerd across the street. The boy she defended when he couldn’t defend himself. The best friend she promised she’d marry if life didn’t go according to plan.
Not only is he successful, confident, and gorgeous, he still has their handwritten marriage contract.
No one goes through with childhood wedding pacts.
But their families might just be crazy enough to rent a hall and set a date. All Rachel and Sebastian have to do is fall in love.
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Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF
It isn’t news that I’m a diehard fan of Reiss. Goddess of romantic suspense and my go-to author, never in my dreams could I have imagined her writing a friends-to-lovers romance quite like this one! In fact, I’d as go as far as saying that it could be easily be classified under the rom-com genre as the classic one-liners had me laughing till my belly hurt. And don’t get me wrong, but highlighting all the quotes I liked became a tad tiresome! Whichever trope it may be, Reiss turned it inside out and back to front, making it work to a tee.
‘It was all a joke. A big, funny fantasy for our families’ benefit.’
I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting two such delightfully weird and wonderful families in a long while. And oh, my word…the banter is something else! Everyone’s trying to get a word in edgeways, giving crazy advice and them interrupting each other felt so natural and was so well-written that it was like being in the middle of their conversations. The part they play is an important one in the respect that both want two of their respective grown-up children to hmm… tie the knot! All said and done, Sebastian Barton and Rachel Rendell have reached their thirties and wedding bells are in the back of their parents’ minds. However, what one wants and what one gets is an entirely different thing.
“You like him.”
“I like him too much to marry him, if you want to know the truth.”
Young Sebastian who just happened to be Rachel’s new neighbour was on the receiving end from his school peers. Not only did she stand up for him, but she also became his best friend. And of course, the title gives away how one of them felt for the other. As future plans would have it, some things don’t quite work out how we want them to. Rachel went her way and he went his. A childhood pact was forgotten, or was it? It seemed that they needed a reminder and once found and much to Rachel’s dismay, the contract bought back her unaccomplished dreams.
“Anyway, we didn’t sign in blood.·
“We spit in our hands and shook on it.”
“I don’t know how I forgot that.”
“An exchange of DNA makes it official.”
If Sebastian were a scrawny but talented lad, now he’s a strappingly handsome guy and successful to boot. Rachel’s flowered in an unassuming beauty too and trying to keep their eyes off each other while carrying out their charade made me rub my hands with glee. What occurs before the supposedly big day gave me all the feels. This read has a little bit of everything and the unexpected certainly propelled the story towards some rather lusty scenes. However, emotions run high and not just because they’d got themselves into a pickle.
“Sebastian was the biggest nerd in school.”
“You know what happens to nerds. They get gorgeous and rich.”
Tiffany. I fell hard for Sebastian’s younger sister. Listening to brilliant sarcasm wasn’t lost on me, and ribbing her brother mercilessly along with her mobile phone shenanigans had me in fits. Can’t say I was taken with her taste in music but that’s another story.
“They were following that Instagram post of you and Sebastian. Do you know Tiffany has half a million people following her? All strangers.”
“She’s very active online,”
Have to say that although I liked Rachel hell of a lot, Sebastian won me over with his oh-so gentlemanly ways and the cardigan…bloody hilarious! Not your typical hero either, his actions spoke louder than words. Loved Roy, his quirky mum’s Guy-with-a-Pickup-Truck, and Joy and Rob Rendall are fabulous characters. It’s a book to get lost in this summer and I can’t recommend this beautiful couple’s love story enough. Bravo, Reiss!
“Yeah, I mean it. You find a guy who looks that hot in a grandpa sweater, you found a guy for life.”
© 2019 CD Reiss
All rights reserved.
“Plan a wedding?” he asked. “Just because it’ll make you happy?”
My first instinct was to minimize. Call it nothing. Say the plans didn’t have to be big. We could just say we were getting married in city hall in three years.
But I was committed to the pitch, and that meant no backpedaling.
“Yes. The whole thing. A hall. A band. A long white dress. A honeymoon in Paris. It’s all talk, but if we’re going to talk, we might as well talk big.”
“You really want to do this?” he whispered.
Did I? No, I didn’t. But even though it was an insane lie for an intangible result, something about it felt ambitious. As if fake dating him was fine and dandy but faking a marriage was reaching for the stars. Thinking small hadn’t gotten me anywhere. Somehow, this was going for the glory.
Leaning in to me, he breathed on my cheek. The arm he’d draped over the railing stroked my hair. His lips moved to my jaw while he caressed the back of my neck.
“Let’s do it,” I said. My brain had become completely untethered from my body. I would have said yes if he’d promised me a plate of chicken.
He kissed me, and for a second I didn’t kiss him back. I was too stunned at his gentleness. I was a feather pillow, bending under him, barely holding my shape.
I was going to regret this. He was handsome. He was a wonderful person. I wanted to kiss him. A little pucker. A little change in the angle of my head. A taste of his tongue on mine. A little groan I had no control over before we were in full make out.
Oh my God. My body was praying for more, and my mind was reminding me not to get attached because in the end he was still a guy I was attracted to, and guys I was attracted to broke my heart.
“Gross!” Tiffany said from the driveway. Not expecting to hear her so close, we yanked apart. “You’re eating her face, dweeb.”
She rolled her eyes so hard I could only see the whites.
“You came out here to criticize how I kiss my fiancée?”
It was on.
About CD Reiss
CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up she’s at the well hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
She’s frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
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