Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Only for You by E.L. Todd


When Scarlet realized Penelope was dumping Sean, her best friend, she was devastated. Penelope was the love of his life, the woman of his dreams. Scarlet knew how far her best friend was going to fall and she had to catch him. Scarlet became Sean’s rock and helped him through a very painful breakup, but her own hidden desires bubbled to the surface in the process. When they finally gave in and slept together, she thought it was the start of their new relationship. Unfortunately, Sean didn’t feel the same.

Humiliated and heartbroken, Scarlet moved across the country and found what she least expected. She rekindled her damaged relationship with her brother, who she hadn’t spoken to in a year, and her brother’s best friend was attractive and interesting. Their relationship was natural and unforced, and she was immediately drawn to him. Would she be able to get over Sean, forget about him, by sleeping with Cortland, or would that just be another repeated mistake?

This story pulled me in right away. The main character, Scarlett, meets with her best friend, Sean’s girlfriend, Penelope. It is at this meeting that she finds out he is about to get dumped. Scarlett feels awful for him, since she knows that Penelope is the love of his life. He had already bought a ring and was going to propose to her. She tries to convince her to change her mind. When she realizes that it isn’t going to happen, she is there to help him pick up the pieces of his heart.

Sean and Scarlett become more inseparable than ever. He begins to really depend on her to hold him together. If he is not at work, then he needs to be with Scar. The author creates fun, witty dialogue between the two. She does a great job at pulling the reader into their friendship. She also does a great job showing their changing feelings for each other. They hide their more than friendly feelings from each other and try to push them aside in order to maintain their close friendship.

While Scarlett is helping Sean through his heartbreak, she is also going through issues at work. Her boss begins threatening her job if she does not comply with his sexual demands. When she refuses, he makes work difficult and almost unbearable. Of course, she keeps this from Sean since he is going through his own issues.

Things definitely change between the two one night when they finally give in to their passion. As a result, Scarlett finally realizes the depth of her love for Sean. However, their one night together turns out to be a major miscommunication between the two, and Sean breaks her heart. This sets off a chain of events that leads Scarlett to move back to her hometown, Seattle. Of course, after she runs away, Sean wrestles with his own demons. He keeps working to get over Penelope, and while doing so, realizes that he has loved Scarlett all along. But, she wants nothing to do with him. What will he do?

I loved Sean and Scarlett’s easy going friendship. It just seems so natural. Scarlett is a great character, and she is strong, most of the time. I love her loyalty to not only Sean, but also her brother, Ryan, and new friend, Cortland. She did MAJORLY overreact after she and Sean slept together. I just kept thinking, “Snap out of it girl” and “What the heck are you thinking!?” I understand that her freak-out (along with a couple of other things) is a major catalyst in this story, so as much as I wanted to slap some sense into her, I got it. She learns from her mistake, admits her momentary craziness, and stands on her own two feet and then some.

Sean is a great character as well. He is loyal to Scarlett. I didn’t fault him at all for thinking the sex with Scar was a one night stand because there was a lack of communication between the two. While I think he is awesome and a great friend to Scarlett, I’m not quite sold on his love for her. Yes, he loves her, but does he really, truly, deeply love her? I mean, he just broke up with Penelope, his great love. So, I guess I need little more convincing. The ending to this book felt a little rushed to me, but I was left feeling pretty satisfied. There are a few loose ends, which I’m guessing the author will tie up in the other books. Overall, this is a really good story.

This is a three book series. It is my understanding that the books will follow along Scarlett and Sean’s relationship journey together. I’m also hoping that in these books, we seem more of Ryan and Cortland. I really like these two and hope to see them find their own happily ever afters. Book 2, Forever and Always, and book 3, Edge of Love are already out. Thankfully, E.L. Todd published all of them together, so we don’t have to wait to find out more about all these characters.

E. L. Todd was raised in California where she attended California State University, Stanislaus and received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, then continued onto her master’s degree in education. While science is interesting and a hobby, her passion is writing. After writing novels as a small child, her craft grew until she found the confidence to show her closest friends—which is how Only For You, the first installment of the Forever and Always series, and the Soul Saga series began. 

When she isn’t reading or writing, she is listening to indie rock music. Her current favorite artist is Mumford and Sons, whom she credits most of her inspiration for her novels. She also enjoys running and swimming, as well as working as a high school teacher. She also works as an assistant editor at Final-Edits.com. She has an unusual obsession with dogs, even though she doesn’t own one, and her favorite vacation spot is Disneyland, which she visits several times a year. The most important aspect of her life is her friends, whom contributed so much time and energy into all of her novels. According to E. L. Todd, “Without them, Only For You and Soul Catcher never would have come to fruition. I am theirs forever.”

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