Saturday, January 31, 2015

review || ONLY FOR HIM

Only For Him by Cristin Harber

Publisher: Mill Creek Press (2/24/2015)
Series: Only, book one
Genre: New Adult
Source: NetGalley
Purchase from || amazon | bn
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Rating: ★★

Grayson Ford and Emma Kinglsey—close since they were kids, opposites in every way. He’s the stuff high school crushes are made of, Mister Popular, and captain of every team. She’s artsy, cute, and not in his league, though fully aware of Summerland’s "I Dream of Dating Grayson Ford" support group.

I can’t say no. The girl’s had my heart since before I knew it went missing.

He hides a life of hell. His father hates him, his mother’s gone. Emma is his only savior, yet she doesn’t know her power over him. She’s the only girl he wants, the only one he could ever tell—though he won’t.

I’m stronger, bigger, more of a man than he’ll ever be, but because I ruined his life, I’ve taken his crap, his attacks, the vulgar nature of his existence.

Until she discovers Gray’s embarrassment, his humiliation. Emma fights for him, for a chance. Theirs is a Cinderella story that she believes impossible. But as the layers peel back, it’s just a guy who needs a girl in order to keep breathing.

My mind is already doodling Mrs. Grayson Ford in imaginary notebooks. He has no clue where my head is at… But, given that I didn’t see what just happened coming, maybe I have no clue where his head is at either.

{ review } .
Cristin... oh, Cristin.

I've been a Cristin fan for approximately 8 months now -- it was around June that I first discovered SAVAGE SECRETS and the world of Titan. I devoured the Titan books, loved her little jump into New Adult when she visited Cash and Nic when they were younger, and have been excited to see where she takes Delta team.

When she first started mentioning a top secret project she was working on, I was intrigued ( many others).

And then, just a little while before ONLY FOR HIM hit NetGalley, she gave a brief little synopsis of what we could expect. Oh, the excitement. the moment it hit for reviews, I was all over it.

Cristin does emotion well (umm, Cat and Rocco's big scene? Mia breaking in front of Colby? Cash trying to explain to Nic what it was like to grieve alone?), and the emotion is dripping in this introduction to the lives of Gray and Emma.

Gray doesn't have a very easy life (and he sadly believes he deserves everything given to him), but has always been able to go to the Kingsleys as a second home -- his best friend is Ryan, and his little sister (by less than a year) Emma, is just as close. The three of them do everything together, and always have.

Gray keeps his home life a secret, but his one saving grace, the one thing that keeps him going, is Emma's face -- and he can't ever tell her.

Emma has been in love with Gray as long as she can remember, but she won't act on it. She's his best friend's sister; she's the art nerd and he's the sport jock that all the girls hang all over.
I'm distracted by one Grayson Ford, hottest guy in the room, and my platonic best guy friend. Yay...
He's got a cheerleader following him around, and he isn't ignoring her. Yay, again.
...but why I'm thinking about families and babies while staring at Grayson out of the corner of my eye is... pathetic. He's Ryan's best bro and a semi-permanent fixture around our house. Grayson is just Grayson, and even if I've imagined him looking at me the way I do him, it's just not a possibility.
So I'm glad he and Ryan are tight. I'm even happier that I at least can call him that close too. I focus on our friendship, our closeness. It's been the only way I can justify the homicidal tendencies that provoke my inner ninja warrior chick every single time I see some bippy-boppy, cliquey bitch succeed in getting his attention.
...I hate this, how I feel, how I react.  
Their friendship is super easy. They have an easy rapport and are so cute together -- even when they're both ignoring their attraction to the other. When senior year comes around and rumor flies about Emma, Gray, and Sadie Hawkin's... it's the turn their young relationship needs.
My eyes open, and my mind spins. The vibrant green of his are inches away.
"What are we doing?"
"I'm memorizing what takes me away. What saves me."
"You've--" My whispering voice cracks, but I don't care how I sound. I'm toeing the cusp of all I ever wanted.
 "We're done ignoring us."
Like every Cristin Harber book I've read for review, I have highlights and notes throughout the entire manuscript. There was so much done right in this story, and I feel like my little questions that I have (like what was the conversation about after the big fall-out {even though one can easily guess by context}, did he really just up and leave after that one scene?, and what in the world has such a bright girl needing to resort to her 'career choice' in the end?) will be answered in the following books, so I can't even be 'mad' about them.

...the only thing really keeping me going after that hell of an ending is the little blurb:  

The Only series follows Grayson and Emma as they find their HEA. There will be cliffhangers but each novella also takes on and completes an individual story arc.

...which calms my heart down a little bit... But then my mind goes back into overdrive, thinking well.. maybe books 2, 3, and 4 deal with those two years between the beach and the last chapters of ONLY FOR HIM. Maybe book 2 has more of a Grayson thought behind it, whereas ONLY FOR HIM, while both had voices, carried more with Emma's voice. Oh my goodness, gracious me (or, as Emma would say... Shit shoot shit).  

Until ONLY FOR HER.... I will be sitting anxiously at the edge of my seat (pondering... when does it come out? Will the entire series be done before Parker's book? How much does Parker play a roll in this series? Is he the main com-voice in Gray's ear, or is he the second one he heard? What about........................)

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