Nyx Book Reviews

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Review: One & Only by Viv Daniels

Title: One & Only
Author: Viv Daniels
Series: Canton #1
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

264 pages
Published November 8th 2013
Review copy received from author

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One & Only is the first New Adult romance book I’ve read, written by one of my favourite writers Diana Peterfreund under a pen name.

Tess is ambitious and driven, but because she is the daughter of an important man’s mistress she can’t be anywhere near him, his family, or near his alma mater. But when she meets old flame Dylan again, it’s hard not to break the rules.

Three cheers for good guys in romances! This is a recurring theme for books written by Ms Peterfreund, but they seem so sparse in the romance genre. I personally love books that feature a guy that wants to do the right thing, that doesn’t play mind games, that’s honest. Really, I’m sick of all those men seducing women by pushing her in a corner, by forcing her into uncomfortable situations and by being an overall ass. Dylan is a great guy, even though he falls in love with someone else while he still has a girlfriend. He is human and has his faults, but he doesn’t like to lie or deceive. That’s the kind of guy I can root for.

The focus of this book is quite college-heavy. There is a lot of talk of Tess working on projects and trying to navigate the college social system. For me this all feels very familiar – I’m a college student myself, and haven’t really made any “friends for life” in there either. The book is quite science-focussed, since Tess spends a lot of time thinking about her project, which might put some people off the story. Of course, there is also plenty of smooching to make up for that.

One & Only is a very realistic book about being in your early twenties and navigating love, friendships and school. Another layer is added by Tess’s relationship with her father and the half-sister that doesn’t even know that she exists. The beginning of the story is a bit rocky. There is a LOT of telling and near to no showing. After a few pages this gets better and the narrative gets flowing. Tess is a realistic girl, but we spend a lot of time in her head and her adherence to the “rules”, although making sense, annoyed me sometimes. Would recommend it to romance readers around their twenties.


One night they can’t forget…

Tess McMann lives her life according to the secrets she’s sworn to keep: the father who won’t acknowledge her, the sister who doesn’t know she exists, and the mother who’s content playing mistress to a prominent businessman. When she meets the distractingly cute Dylan Kingsley at a prestigious summer program and falls in love, Tess allows herself to imagine a life beyond these secrets. But when summer ends, so does their relationship — Dylan heads off to Canton College while Tess enrolls at the state university.

One love they can’t ignore…

Two years later, a scholarship brings Tess to Canton and back into Dylan’s life. Their attraction is as strong as ever, but Dylan has a girlfriend…who also happens to be Tess’s legitimate half-sister. Tess refuses to follow in her mother’s footsteps, which leaves her only one choice: break the rules she’s always followed, or allow Dylan to slip away for a second time.

…And only one chance to get things right.

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