Review: Only Ever You by C.D. Reiss

only ever you hires

☆☆➹⁀☆ 3 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

What It’s About:

The boy next door is now the man of her dreams.

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.

That’s crazy.

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.

My Thoughts:

As a long time fan of author C.D. Reiss, I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel, Only Ever You. The premise of the book grabbed me! How cute is a childhood marriage pact!?! I started reading assuming that Only Ever You was a romantic comedy, but found it was more serious than it was funny.

Rachel was a driven teenager with big plans, and she was confident she would not need a back-up plan for her professional or personal aspirations. However, one left turn lead to another–as it usually does, and while the message is clear to the reader, it takes a lot of existential angst on Rachel’s part for her to see that she can’t force the path that she is meant to take. The more she does, the less true-to-herself she becomes.

Re-enter Sebastian, the nerdy neighbor who Rachel befriended and championed throughout their childhood. Sebastian is now gorgeous and successful. This character is charming, sincere and down-to-earth. Time and again, Sebastian proves he is a romantic with a big heart. In adulthood, Rachel and his roles have essentially reversed.

It was easy to be charmed by Sebastian, and it was hard for me to like Rachel. Rachel came off more self-indulgent and whiney than empathetic. I wanted to like her more than I found that I could. That said, I did enjoy the chemistry and banter between the two main characters. Additionally, their parent’s create some humorous situations that I loved.

Only Ever You has a great premise and plot points, I just didn’t care for the focus on the details of Rachel’s profession. I had hoped for a fun, breezy read with a little romance. Only Ever You is more women’s literature than romantic comedy.  There is a mature, realistic romance between two friends who find, after some soul searching, that they are truly in love.  A good read with a lovely epilogue.




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About the Author: CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. 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.

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