Sunday, November 09, 2014

Review: Only by HelenKay Dimon

Series: Holton Woods #2
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: Romance, Erotica
Source: Galley provided for honest review
Rating: ★★ ½

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…


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…

This is one of those books that had bits I liked and bits I very much disliked.  It's an 'I'm on the fence' type book.

What didn't worked for me:
  • For one, I went into this thinking I could read it as a stand alone, even though it is the second in the series.  It can very much be read as a stand alone. Why? Because for about the first third of the book the author treats the reader to quite a few major info dumps.  They were a bit daunting for me, I can only imagine what they would have been like for a reader who had read Mercy and already knew that information. I could have done without a large chunk of it.  
  • Kyra.  Kyra really worked for me in some areas, which I will touch on below. There was one aspect of her that didn't work for me, at all.  She agrees to a relationship with Bast, a just sex relationship. She wants more, but that is not what she agrees to, it isn't what he offers and he's very clear on that.  Yet she constantly gives him grief for treating her as something casual.
  • Bast.  Bast is a high powered professional negotiator.  In my mind that makes him an somewhat of an excerpt on reading people.  Knowing what they think, knowing what they want, what they desire, and most of all... being clear and succinct in what you are willing to offer.  He failed in all of those aspects when it came to Kyra.  Not only with Kyra, but with others who he continually believed would think one way, yet proved to think something quite different. 

So, that's what didn't work. Now on to what did.
  • Though I had one large issue with Kyra, there was so much about her I did enjoy.  She's feisty, she doesn't take anyone's shit, especially Bast's.  She pushes him at every turn.  There is a gutsy strength to her that I wish more heroines possessed. Even with her wishy washiness on "the deal", she is still a very strong character with a little edge of fun and playfulness to her.  She's also very sexually secure.  She's not a timid little lamb looking for a big bad alpha to teach her how to perform. She's got that shit down.
  • Sebastian gave me similar feelings as Kyra. There were parts of him I enjoyed, parts that drove me crazy.  What I loved was that despite his initial confidence, he's really broken in the love department.  He fights it, but not well, his need for Kyra overpowers his past doubts.  This is proven by some of his actions but his silly mouth gets in the way.  I found his struggle to be adorable.  
  • The sex was damn hot.  The chemistry between Bast and Kyra had that fun kinky feel.  There is also a side M/M romance in Only and it too, worked really well for me. 

There you have it. My good and bad.  Where does that leave me? Well, nowhere really. Not really loving it or hating it.  While I don't think the things that bothered me are huge, they were there and they distracted me from enjoying the story.  Also, the things I really liked just were not enough to push out of my mind, the things I didn't. 

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