Review: Only For You by Genna Rulon

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lorraine

4 out of 5

When I started reading Only For You, I really didn’t think I was going to like it.  I don’t typically go for the college romance genre, but the synopsis sounded really good for this as well as the next in the series, so I wanted to give it a whirl.  Very glad I did.

Only For You started out on the lighter side, and Everleigh really did remind me of a typical snobby college girl.  My impression quickly changed though.  I imagine if Everleigh was a real person, that many on the outside looking in would have the same initial impression as I did.  As the layers peel away, you get to know a sensitive, strong, and caring individual that is mature beyond her age.  As the story progresses, she needs all of those qualities to help her and her friends through the rough situation going on around them.

I liked Hunter from the start.  What’s not to like?  A sexy alpha male who has brains on top of brawn.  And then I started to not like him so much.  It pissed me off how he was stringing Everleigh along, but I had a few ideas about what was going on, so I reserved judgment.  In the end I was right, so I allowed myself to forgive him for his jerk moments and like him again.

I got my warm fuzzy HEA and some really awesome build up to the next book, Pieces For You, which I’m thinking is going to be even better than this was since I’m already half in love with Sam and Griffin.  And yet another bonus, I just found out Genna Rulon has a short story companion piece available for FREE from Hunter’s POV, it’s really good, and you can link to it from here!

mandy

4 out of 5

I was bossed by JJ at The Book Bosses to read Only For You and I am so glad that I was a good girl and listened. Genna Rulon is an immensely talented storyteller. I wouldn’t have picked this book on my own since it’s a college romance, but after reading it I can honestly say that it is not a teeny bopper new adult novel. This book is full of intelligent and quick wit. The characters are not only likeable but relatable. There is plenty of angst and drama, but not too over the top. The story pacing was well done and I never felt like there were lags or holes in the story. The banter between Hunter and Everleigh was fun and laced with sexual chemistry right from the start.  I had the mystery aspect figured out pretty early on, but this did not take away from my enjoyment in watching it play out.  After what plays out in Only For You, I am salivating for Pieces For You. Pieces For You will be Sam and Griffin’s story. The books can be read as standalone, but why miss out on the goodness that is Genna Rulon’s writing?

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“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 by her best friend to attend a school sponsored self-defense seminar, where she meets volunteer instructor, Hunter Charles. After Everleigh’s biting sarcasm induces Hunter to eject her from class, an explosive relationship is born.

Everleigh is determined to forget the striking man, but fate—that 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 story is appropriate for readers 18+

• Though Only For You is a part of the For You Series, the book can be read as a stand-alone.

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gennarulon

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Genna Rulon is an up-and-coming contemporary romance author who loves nothing more than a good love story.

During her 15 years in the corporate world, Genna, inspired by her love of reading, fantasized about penning her own stories.  Encouraged by her favorite authors, many of whom are indie writers and self-published, she committed to pursue her aspirations of writing her own novels.

Genna was raised on Long Island in New York, where she still resides, surrounded by the most amazing family and friends.  Married to a wonderful man who patiently tolerates her ramblings about whichever book she is currently working on, even feigning interest relatively convincingly!  Genna is blessed with two little boys who do their best to thwart mommy’s writing time with their hilarious antics and charming extrapolations.

All of Genna’s reviews are brought to you courtesy of copious amounts of coffee and Disney Junior (something has to entertain the boys when mommy is writing).

You can find Genna online at:   www.gennarulon.com

Be sure to join the mailing list for updates about future books, as well as giveaways, and other fun facts.

Genna would love to hear from you, and will personally respond to all messages!

You can contact her as follows:

Email:                  genna@gennarulon.com

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We fangirled on Genna Rulon a little bit and she was awesome enough to send us an excerpt from Pieces For You, Book 2 in the For You Series, out on December 17th.  Make sure to check out our reviews scheduled for the 17th as well!

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Excerpt:

breathing as I gathered the courage to face a history I would prefer to forget.  Confident I had done all I could to prepare myself, I entered the office suite.  I was comforted by the refined elegance of the space.   There was minimal clutter and several flowering plants, adding both color and life.  I settled myself in a comfortably stuffed chair and waited.

A few minutes later, the door in front of me opened and an attractive woman in her early fifties emerged.  Dressed in a colorful sundress and ballet flats, she conveyed warmth and acceptance.  I wondered if she had done this deliberately or if she just thought the floral pattern was pretty on the hanger.

“Sam?” she asked in a strong, clear voice.

I nodded.

“Hello, it’s nice to finally meet you.  I’m Dr.  Cynthia Veritus, but please call me Thia.”

“Hi Thia, it’s nice to meet you, too.  I have heard great things about you; I’m hoping they’re all true.”

She laughed at my joke, which set me at ease.

“Come in, Sam—let’s get this over with.”

I followed her into the adjoining office, confused by her choice of words.  It wasn’t the most encouraging opening statement, but perhaps I had misheard.  I sat down on the comfortable, tan love seat and noted that her office matched the style of the waiting room. Thia sat across from me in a navy wingback armchair and offered me a kind smile.  I returned her smile and waited for her to begin.  She continued to smile at me but said nothing, which was becoming exceedingly uncomfortable.  My own smile began to fall and she smirked knowingly.  I rededicated myself to what was apparently a staring/smiling contest, determined to emerge victorious.  She smiled even wider and I caught a glimmer of laughter in her eyes, but she was rock solid and unwavering.

Son of a bitch!  I was going to lose this contest…I’m not even sure what that meant, but it couldn’t be a good sign.

“Fine, I give,” I acquiesced with a sigh.

Thia smiled before raising her hand to muffle what I can only imagine would have been a chuckle if permitted to escape.

What the heck?  She was laughing at me…how unprofessional!

“What gives?  Aren’t you supposed to be asking me what brings me here?  The details of what I experienced?  What dysfunctional ways I have coped with everything thus far?”

“Is that what you want to talk about?”

“Hell no!  That is the last thing I want to relive for the umpteenth time,” I virtually shouted.

“You don’t want to talk about what is past and I’m not asking.  So what is the problem?”

Well that took the wind right out of my sails.  I had no idea how to respond, so I resumed our staring contest.  It was juvenile, I know, but it felt really good being defiant.

This time she did laugh aloud and I glared back at her.  Was I actually paying her to laugh in my face?

“Okay, so what is your biggest concern right now?”

She finally asked a question…thank God!

“I’m not sure.  I’ve been back almost two months and I think I have kept it together—for the most part.  I’ve been having night terrors occasionally.  I’m still a little uncomfortable out in public when alone and I find myself looking over my shoulder.  The deep breathing exercises help to center me, but I wish I could get rid of the paranoia completely.”

“It definitely is normal after what you have experienced, but I think you are ready to conquer this particular fear.”

“Okay, what do I do?”

“We will get to that in a little bit, it’s a part of your homework assignment.”

“Homework?”

She nodded in reply.  Dammit, I thought I was done with homework.  Oh well, I would try anything once.

“What else?” she prompted.

“My parents have requested I come to dinner next week.”

“And?”

“I don’t want to?” I asked, as if it may be the wrong answer.

“Why not?”

“Because they never make time to see me.  They only came to visit me in the hospital once after the attack—and I wasn’t even conscious!  They never bothered to visit me when I was at The Phoenix Centre and I haven’t actually spoken to either of them in over six months, since before the attack.  The only communication I received was an email from my father’s secretary reminding me to use the Platinum Amex for any medical expenses.  Trust me, whatever they want, it’s not going to make me happy.”

“Are you certain?  Maybe they had an epiphany after almost losing you and want to work on improving your relationship.”

“Spoken like a rational person who has an empathetic bone in their body.  There’s a reason I am an only child, Thia.  My parents thought having a kid would be a great addition to the illusion of their Rockwell portrait life.  Once I arrived, they handed me to the nearest nanny and resumed business as usual.  My mother was horrified by the effects pregnancy had on her previously impeccable body, and spent well over a hundred grand to repair the damage I caused.  Ultimately my cost exceeded my value, so they determined children were a bad investment and a hindrance to their quality of life.  These are not the type of people who have sudden moments of introspection—nothing good will come of this dinner,” I finished with conviction.

“Well, I’m convinced.  Next?”

“Are you mocking me?” I asked, confused by her quick dismissal of my mommy and daddy issues.

“Not at all.  You seem to comprehend that their issues are theirs, not yours.  While you’re understandably apprehensive about the dinner, you aren’t harboring any unrealistic expectations and have already developed healthy coping strategies to process your feelings concerning your parents.  Unless you begin to exhibit inappropriate emotional responses to their behaviors or indulge in self-destructive coping mechanisms, I see no reason for us to explore this any further.  Do you want to analyze the minute details of every disappointment you have ever suffered at their hands?  We can do that, but I’ll need to grab my calendar to schedule all the additional weekly visits.”

“Sarcasm much?”

“I am happy to waste your time and money by exploring every little facet of your past and psychoanalyzing the myriad ways each has shaped your psyche…if that would make you feel better,” she deadpanned.

“You should grab coffee with Everleigh some time—you two would have a blast out-snarking one another.”

“Since Everleigh is your best friend, I will take that as a compliment,” she countered, successfully turning my poke around.

“Two peas in a freakin’ pod,” I muttered.

“Next?”

“Geeze, I might as well be waiting my turn at the supermarket deli counter holding a little ticket with a number on it.”

“Sarcasm much?” she parroted my earlier barb.

“I’m not sure if you are the best therapist ever or the worst.”

“I get that a lot,” she offered without concern, causing me to laugh.  “Don’t worry, I’ll grow on you.”

“If you have a magic solution to cure my night terrors, I will commit to providing you an organ of your choice should a transplant ever become necessary.”

“Now that is a tantalizing offer.  Unfortunately, there is no magic pill you can swallow…just kidding.  Of course I could prescribe a sleep aid if you don’t currently have one, but that would not be my suggested course.”

“What do you suggest?”

“Homework.”

“Such a dirty word to be throwing around so casually.  Okay, lay it on me.”

“I want you to find a part-time job in an environment you feel safe to help increase your comfort level in public—consider it exposure therapy.  Plus, you need something to do besides shopping,” she said as she eyed my outfit, correctly pegging my current method of passing time.  “You should attend the dinner at your parents’ next week.  At the very least it will clear them off your list of worries.  I also want you to establish a regular exercise routine.  Sign up at a gym and use it.  It will aid your sleep and possibly help reduce the number of night terrors you have been experiencing.  Not to mention, it’s another public venue for you to build comfort and confidence.”

“I can handle those assignments.”

“Oh, one more—eat!  The Italian in me is dying to shove heaping piles of carbohydrates into that scrawny little body of yours.”

I laughed at her exclamation; it was clear she wasn’t exaggerating for effect.

“Will do, Chef Boyardee,” I teased, glad to be ending on a positive note and with several manageable tasks to focus on.  “It’s been…strange, but good…I think.”

“Excellent.  You handled me better than most do on their first visit.”

I didn’t think she was kidding, which gave me an odd sort of pride at the unexpected accomplishment.  As I departed, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had just found a guide through the minefield of recovery or if I was being “Punk’d” by Ashton Kutcher—if it was the latter, this would have made for some great TV programming.  I glanced around to make sure there were no cameramen hiding in the bushes.  Nope.  Thia was a therapist unlike any I had encountered thus far.  I resolved to follow her directives and get a jump on my homework assignments.

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2 Comments

Filed under 4 Stars, Contemporary, Indie Authors, Lorraine, Mandy, Recommendations, Review, Standalone

2 responses to “Review: Only For You by Genna Rulon

  1. Pingback: Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: Pieces For You by Genna Rulon | Raw Books

  2. Pingback: Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: Pieces For You by Genna Rulon | My Website

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