June 5, 2018
Blurb: The men in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series are tough Alphas devoted to serving their country and the women who love them.
National Guardsman Aiden King has been attracted to Hannah Walters for a while, but he never made a move because of her close relationship with his best friend. But when circumstances change, Aiden is surprised when his friend gives his blessing. Problem is, there’s a reason he’s still alone after all these years, and as much as he wants her, that secret keeps him from acting on his desires.
Hannah has finally decided to wait for the kind of love you read about in books and see in movies. After her failed engagement, Aiden’s unassuming support has become a touchstone for Hannah. It soon becomes apparent that he may be exactly the kind of man she’s been looking for. But the closer they become, the more he keeps her at arm’s length.
When Aiden suggests a road trip to take Hannah’s mind off her troubles, the two of them go on a journey neither one expected. She just hopes that the final destination is them together for good.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
In January, I reviewed Should’ve Been You by Nicole McLaughlin (you can read that review here). While it was a novella that I felt could have easily (and probably should) have been a full-length novel, it did introduce me to McLaughlin’s writing and the Man Enough series. Only with You proves that my intuition in wanting to follow up with this author and series was right on the money.
Hannah was the sister in Should’ve Been You who inadvertently kept Jase and Becca from each other over the years, yet, by the time the novella ended, I felt a lot of sympathy for Hannah.
So I wasn’t surprised that I truly liked Hannah when it came to reading her story in Only with You. Hannah likes to talk. In some ways she reminds me of a character that Zooey Deschanel might play: extremely talkative, vulnerable, seemingly ditzy but really smart. She’s the perfect companion for the stoic, nonverbal Aiden.
Aiden, despite being referred to as Alpha (a characterization that frequently leaves me scratching my head; probably because I always think of dogs), is sensitive, a great cook, and a gentle guy. He rides a motorcycle (I got you with that one, right?). However, he was the victim of bad stuff in the past, and it’s that stuff that threatens to keep soulmates Hannah and Aiden apart.
There are topics in novels that I tend to stay away from and if I had known from the start that one of them would appear in Only with You, I might have not read the novel. But McLaughlin handles the subject with sensitivity. I think it’s also because the heroine was Hannah a character who has some very human flaws and not some fervent do-gooder that made this palatable for me.
There were many instances where I laughed, appreciated the vulnerability of the characters, and had tears fill my eyes.
Nicole McLaughlin is an excellent writer considering that she can ably, and without calling on huge quantities of sentimentality, make her reader laugh, cry, and enjoy the steamy scenes in the space of a few hours. I look forward to reading more by her.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
You can purchase Only with You here:
4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies