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A Review A REVIEWS A- Review B REVIEWS B+ Review Contemporary Romance

Group Review – Only by HelenKay Dimon

OnlyPublisher: Berkley
Publish Date: Out Today
How we got this book: NetGalley

He’s a man who fixes difficult situations. She’s the one thing he can’t handle—and the one thing he can’t resist…

ONLY

Sebastian Jameson negotiates for high-end clients who need problems taken care of quickly and discreetly. Accustomed to being in control, he’s still reeling from his ex-wife’s decision to write a tell-all about their private life, one that highlighted their bedroom activities. The fallout left Bast’s love life in chaos, making him a magnet for women who thrive on risky fantasies, and a pariah to all others.

Kyra Royer knows all about Bast’s reputation—and is intrigued enough to try to change him into a one-woman guy. But getting him into her bed will be a challenge. He’s known her brother for years, and her brother, with his rough past and sniper abilities, is not a man you cross. Kyra knows Bast thinks she’s off-limits, so she’ll have to get creative to make him hers.

As Kyra turns up the heat, Bast struggles to resist the sexy young woman’s considerable charms. But when Bast’s job turns from tricky to deadly, keeping Kyra nearby might be the only way to keep her alive—even if it means getting closer than he ever intended…
*Blurb from Goodreads*

Thoughts on heroine

E: I found Kyra a refreshing heroine in the big brother’s best friend trope (which I love) because she didn’t quite fit the typical mold. She knew who she wanted, she did the work to make sure her attraction and intent were known, and she knew what treatment was acceptable and what wasn’t. I loved how each time Bast screwed up, she told him what he had done wrong and refused to accept him continuing to behave in such a matter. I also really enjoyed her loyalty to her brother and his friends even though the combination of her loyalty and her past made it challenging for her to get out of a particular nasty situation.

Lou: I adored Kyra. I loved how uncomplicated she was in what she wanted. She wanted Bast and she was going to get him. I loved her confidence and I loved how she talked things through with Bast instead of letting misunderstandings get in the way. She was very forthright when Bast screwed things up (which he did often, but he was sexily adorable about it so I didn’t get mad at him) and I loved how sexually confident she was with Bast and was always his equal. She may be younger than Bast but the age difference wasn’t an issue at all.

MinnChica: I really liked Kyra as well. I found her to be mature and sexy and strong, despite the crappy upbringing. I loved that she had this spirit about her, the way she refused to let anything keep her down. Like E, I loved the brother’s friend trope here, especially since Wade and Sebastian have such a unique relationship. I loved the way Kyra fought for what she wanted – Sebastian – and refused to feel bad about getting her way. 🙂

Thoughts on hero

E: Bast wasn’t quite my favorite because in several ways I thought he was an idiot but I still really enjoyed him as a hero. Bast was very very smart and he knew how to play hardball. He was also extremely loyal to his small circle of friends and his clients because he knew what it was like to have your life taken away and reputation forever tarnished. Yet with all of his professional smarts he needed some help in the personal side. I could understand why in a certain sense because of his past relationship issues, but he kept his mental walls up so tight he refused to see people could like him for who he was and not who they heard he was. This also lost him Kyra for good until some friends helped him see exactly what he was doing to their relationship. However, despite his personal blindness he was completely aware and capable of manipulating his friends to help nudge their personal happiness towards the right track.

Lou: I loved Bast. He wasn’t perfect and he made a lot of mistakes but he thought through his mistakes afterwards and made sure he made things better with Kyra. Bast was sexy and I loved the banter and sexual chemistry he had with Kyra, especially when she teased him about leaving his glasses on when they were smexing. Bast’s worries and concerns about Kyra came across as authentic. He is older than Kyra, and there’s the fact he’s friends with Kyra’s brother. Bast was an idiot for wanting to keep Kyra a secret but Kyra pushed him and never gave him any leeway when he screwed up. I also thought his history with his wife was sad so I understood why he was so hesitant in getting serious with Kyra, though that took him a little while because they were definitely serious from the get go.

MinnChica: I liked Sebastian, despite his many faults. He was confident in every aspect of his life, except his love life. I liked the vulnerability about him, even if he couldn’t see it. 🙂 There were a few things I didn’t get about Bast though. The first being the relationship with his ex-wife. even after he explained it, it just didn’t seem to fit with him character. The take-no-prisoners lawyer didn’t strike me as the type to let bygones be bygones, especially in that case, but…. who knows.

Favourite part of the book

E: So many different part of this book I really enjoyed. It is hard to pick just one. I think I am going to go with one of Krya and Bast’s many arguments. Kyra is at his place and it is time to go to bed so she says she wants to go to bed just to sleep. He is disappointed but being a considerate man *rolls eyes* says if she he tired he won’t push her. She then makes sure he understands her statement had nothing to do with being tired, but more to do with being emotionally hurt by him, wanting the comfort of his presence but not wanting to let her emotional barriers down which would happen if they had sexytimes. To me this seemed to be when Bast started to understand Kyra meant a lot more to him than just a convenient private sex only relationship.

Lou: The whole book! I really adored Only and for me it surpassed the first book and I really enjoyed that one! Bast and Kyra’s relationship was sexy and uncomplicated. There’s not a lot of external plot when it comes to Kyra’s dealings with her horrible father, and the sex and their romance was perfect for me. Also…

WADE AND ELI. OMG. LOVE THEM. LIKE WOAH.

No seriously, I adored Wade and Eli’s secondary romance but I wanted moar. I would love to get a novella on these guys even though they have their HEA. **HelenKay Dimon has said Eli and Wade get a novella in April. YES *pumps fists in air*

MinnChica: There were a lot of really great parts in this book. I think for me, I loved the first sexual encounter scene, because the interplay between them was seriously smoking hot. I loved the way Kyra kept pushing Bast, and he kept dishing it back to her. It was hot and sexy and set the tone for the rest of the book.

Dislike

E: I really didn’t like Bast’s ongoing relationship with his ex-wife. No, not a sexual one, but to me it seemed as if she didn’t quite realize they were over and had been for years. He also wasn’t doing anything to make sure she knew other than not taking her up on any unspoken offers. And when I contrasted his behavior towards her with how he behaved towards Kyra I will admit I bristled on Kyra’s behalf. Although I will say I did love how Dimon DIDN’T portray his ex-wife as the “evil woman how ruined him for life and now wants to keep him from ever finding happiness” which would have been very easy to do.

Lou: Nothing I disliked about this book. I actually thought Bast’s relationship with his wife was very grown-up and I think after all the years they spend together, it was natural that he would have some time with her. I could understand Kyra’s insecurities but never for one minute did I think Bast ever had any old feelings for his ex-wife. My only critique of the book is that I thought the ending was anti-climactic with Kyra’s father and it didn’t seem to go anywhere.

MinnChica: Again, Bast’s relationship with his ex-wife was my only dislike in this book. I second everything E said above. 🙂

Misc thoughts and final grade

E: I really really enjoyed reading Only! The character interactions, Bast’s emotional screw-ups, the overall suspense plot and theme, Kyra’s independence, and the extremely flammable tension between two of my favorite male characters. I love seeing their relationship play through everything else and I can’t wait to find out what is going to happen between them next *fans self*. I am also really looking forward to seeing what happens between a former CIA agent and her unwanted bodyguard. Dimon has created a great series with Holton Wood by combining suspense, sexual tension, characterization, and a whole lot more. I am looking forward to the next installment.

I give Only an A-

Lou: I adored Only. I loved the romance, the sexy times and I loved Bast and Kyra together and as individual characters. I loved seeing Jarrett and Becca together, and I’m really looking forward to seeing Natalie and her (I’m guessing here) her possible romance with a hulking bearded hero (rawr) and to see what lies underneath Natalie’s steel. A wonderful sexy romance with great characters, Only is a book I would definitely recommend for contemporary romance lovers.

I give Only an A

MinnChica: All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I think Dimon knocked it out of the park in terms of the heat level, and Bastian and Kyra smoked up the pages of my eReader front start to finish. I love getting to see all the secondary characters, and I can’t wait to find out more about Natalie, as well as Wade and Eli (OMG, I love them together so much!!!!). Dimon has certainly become one of my go-to authors this past year.
I give ONLY a B+

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

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