**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
"In its purest form love is self-sacrificing, eternal, selfless, enduring, truthful, forgiving and indulgent. It also feels an awful lot like a kick to the stomach when you try to fight it!"
All Everleigh Carsen wanted to do was complete her final semester at Hensley University and begin the life she carefully planned.
When a wave of violent crime seizes campus, Everleigh is persuaded to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar by her best friend, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh's biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, a tempestuous relationship is born.
Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fate--the fickle shrew--continuously intervenes. Unable to escape him, she declares Hunter an enemy combatant. The only complication...Hunter is resolutely pursuing vindication...by any means necessary. Verbal warfare ensues, and despite Everleigh's ingenious efforts, in Hunter, she has finally found her equal.
Only for you is a compelling tale of friendship, desire, and redemption--brimming with intelligent characters, witty dialogue, unexpected twists, profound sorrow, unfettered hope, and love's unassailable perseverance.
This is a great debut novel. I loved it. It had my emotions running high and I couldn't put it down! I read until the wee hours of the night. I had to finish it, it had me obsessed to the point that I couldn't have slept anyway. The plot is based in a college setting. I was almost expecting something Beautiful Disaster-ish but this book is nothing like that. I was invested in the characters. I wanted Hunter and Ev together so badly and I was dying trying to figure out why he wouldn't be with her. It also had great supporting characters. I loved Ev's best friend and the relationship they had. I loved the verbal warfare between Hunter and Ev. Lets face it, I loved everything about this book. There were a few things I didn't particularly like but it didn't take away from the story.
Things I liked:
- The banter between Hunter and Ev--there were some great remarks and comeback. These two kept me laughing!
- Ev is snarky and sarcastic
- Hunter could be extremely sweet when he wanted to be
- He couldn't have her but he'd take her any way he could get her
- The mystery and drama--enough to keep me guessing
- The quotes!!!
Things that didn't work:
- Predictable--I had the rapist nailed the first time I met him.
- Sam's boyfriend Robbie--total doormat
- The amount of time it took to get his secret out
- There's a certain thing she thinks about him...it wasn't believable. There is no way she could spend that much time with him and not figure it out. Months went by and she never even considered it.
All in all, Only for You was an amazing book and worth every penny spent. If you haven't had a chance to read this one then put it on your TBR list. It's worth it!
Everleigh (love the name) is blonde with blue green eyes. She isn't tall nor short...average I guess. She's snarky and sarcastic. She has no problem saying what she's thinking. She's a senior in college and shares an apartment with her best friend Sam. She was a strong heroine and I loved her.
Hunter is beautiful. He's in his mid 20's, 6'2, with blue green eyes and black shaggy hair. He's the instructor of the self defense course that the school is offering. He's strong and has some alpha tendencies about him. I feel in love immediately...almost. He has passion and he cares about Ev very early on.
The college has a rapist on the loose. Women are being raped and beaten and left for dead once a week. Everyone is scared and as a way to help the girls protect themselves, the school begins a self defense course. Sam (Ev's bff) talks her into taking the course with her.
Hunter and Ev meet for the first time in this class. He's the instructor and takes it very seriously. After Ev makes a sarcastic remark he kicks her out of the class. He's very cold and hateful about it and from that moment on he has a new enemy. Later in the day, at her first class, she comes face to face with him again. She insults him with a song without him realizing that's what she's doing and walks away.
She somehow comes to the conclusion that he's gay...and that they should be friends. I'm not really sure how she got that impression but I went with it. She begins playing nice with him and it scares him (it would have scared me too!). They eventually make friends and things are going well. They have an easy banter between them. She's always trying to outwit him and he enjoys messing with her.
Things go well for awhile and then he shows up at her job and acts like he doesn't know her. He does the same thing at the self defense class that she went back to. He tries talking to her but she's done with him. He deploys his secret weapon after a few days. (I'll let you read that one for yourself...I laughed so hard I cried). She eventually forgives him.
Now things between them progress in a friendship way. She still believes he's gay and this has been going on for awhile. There are times when they are dancing, and the way he looks at her that she should have seen it. There was no way this guy is gay. He wants her so bad it's not funny...and not just in a sexual way. She stays blissfully ignorant to it even while everyone sees it. Her best friend tries to tell her that he's into her but she's not listening. Griff, another friend, also tries to tell her and he finally gets through.
She begins dating a guy and Hunter is beyond jealous but the relationship (if you wanna call it that) doesn't last long. She finally accepts he isn't gay and when they talk she realizes that he's just as into her as she is him but he lets her know that he can't give her what she needs. He isn't in a place to be in a relationship.
Their friendship remains intact and they become closer and stronger together. Women are still being attacked and he won't let her go anywhere alone. He's very, very protective of her. Time passes with much of the same. She's attacked twice by a guy named Heath. He's the president of a fraternity that her bff's boyfriend is with. He is a little rough with her the first time and a little more so the next time. For all intent he looks harmless but doesn't know what no means. I saw this guy for what he was the first time I met him.
Sam is attacked by the rapist and left for dead. The damage is bad and she ends up having emergency surgery. While trying to hold herself together for her friend's sake she lets Hunter take care of her. He takes her home and they fight. The fight leads to an intense kiss and that kiss leads to extremely hot and steamy sex (about time!). She's in love with him and reads to much into it. She realizes pretty quickly that he regrets it because he can't be what she needs (we still don't know why) and he can't loose her either.
She is grabbed in the hospital parking lot by Heath. We find out that he is the rapist. He attacked her friend because he couldn't get to her. She manages to get enough of a head start to the entrance that she can scream for help. While the police are looking for him, Hunter takes her home.
She immediately realizes something is off with him when he tells her he is sleeping on the couch. She finally makes her demand. She tells him she's in love with him but if he can't give himself to her then he needs to let her go so she can move on. He's upset but stands firm on his word. She asks him to leave and he walks out of her life.
"I wish I could tell you how much you mean to me, but words would never be enough."
A month passes. Sam is healing physically but eventually Ev has to stand up to her and has her sent somewhere they can help her. We finally learn why Hunter couldn't be with her. It turns out that he is the FBI agent the news kept talking about. He was on the case and couldn't jeopardize it by telling her who he was. I saw that coming to.
He finally manages to get alone with her and she's still angry. She tries telling him goodbye again but he's not having it. He goes all alpha on her and he has no intention of letting her leave. He tells her a story about a guy who fell in love with a girl. The story is dead on with the way things are with them. He tells her about how much it hurt to see her date another man, how long he has loved her, how it destroyed him when she made him leave and why he couldn't tell her. She forgives him and they end up together. We finally get our HEA.
" I need you now, knowing you're really mine, not having to censor my words or shutter my emotions. I need you to see and feel how deeply I love you. Can I have you, angel? Can I take all of you and keep it?"
The only thing missing from Only for You was an epilogue. It had one but it was more about Ev and Sam. I wanted to know how things advanced with Ev and Hunter. I needed more. This is a great first book from Genna Rulon. I'm looking forward to more from her in the future. 5 stars! Check this one out, it's worth it!
My Hunter / Everleigh
"I never called you an a**hole--to your face--I simply left a trail of breadcrumbs from which you could deduce my meaning."
"Do you forgive me Ev? I don't want hostility to get in the way of our verbal warfare."
"Not yet, Mr. Charles, maybe after class."
"This is not a dream, angel--this is beyond my most fantastic dreams. I have my best friend back, my lover in my arms, and my heart where it always wanted to be."