Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I’ve been waiting on writing this review about Lea Coll’s Only with You. As I’ve read some of the earlier reviews, I felt, honestly, like I was missing something. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the basic premise of this story: a young woman trying to move away from the confines of her father’s purvey of her life (especially because her father is self-absorbed and cruel), a hero with tragic past who has struggled to truly live his life in the shadow of that tragedy, and new beginnings. All of these were the highlights of this story. As Cade and Hadley grow and move closer to each other, this book’s strength is clear. Even more, Lea Coll has situated it in one of my favorite areas of the U.S. I adore Annapolis and Baltimore, so walking these places with Cade and Hadley reminded me why I love this part of the Eastern Seaboard.
Yet, there were parts of this story where I struggled. For one, there is an unevenness in the storytelling. What I mean by that is one minute Cade is “all in” and the very next he is out. Hadley feels as through Cade won’t be able to love her as he did his deceased wife, but the next line is her submission to him. Now, I know some of you will say…but “Professor A” this is romance, they become overcome by their chemistry and lose their self-reflection on the romance. I’ve read that often in other stories who write it well. They give those moments space to breathe, but Coll doesn’t quite do that. It makes the reader feel as though they have whiplash from the quick change of pace. Secondly, I am not a personal fan of repetition. When an author has to continuously remind us of the challenges facing the hero and heroine either personally or together, it reads like filler. And this tended to happen quite a bit in this story.
Overall, I appreciated Cade and Hadley’s story. As these two find their happy ending, you cheer them because they struggle to find it. And many of Coll’s early readers LOVE this story. For me, though, it was difficult because the story felt slow. If you love two people working to find their HEA after personal tragedies and challenges, then you’ll like Lea Coll’s Only with You.
P.S. Please don’t hate me.
In love and romance,