The Only One by Lauren Blakely
Standalone Contemporary Romance Novella.
Lauren Blakely bookended 2016 with amazing reads all year long. She started the year phenomenally well with top favorite Big Rock, and ended it with The Only One, and I loved every book in between. She has become a “drop everything to read” author, and her books are pretty much perfect reads with smart characters I love and want to hang with, lots of humor, hot sex and tons of romance. The Only One may be a little shorter than her average book, but it didn’t feel like it was missing anything. It was a fully developed story filled with all the heart humor and heat I expect from Lauren Blakely.
Ten years ago, on a trip to Spain after college when she was 21, Penny fell in love with a young chef. At 24, for three whirlwind days, Gabriel fell in love with a beautiful American. He spent his life wanting to be a chef and planned to come to America to work. So they planned a meet in New York City a week after they parted. But Gabriel didn’t show, and heartbroken, Penny never heard from him again.
Penny works for a non-profit dog rescue (yes, she has come up in other books from Lauren Blakely, but you don’t need to read them first at all). She is planning a big picnic in the park for all the benefactors when her catering falls through. So at the last minute, she has to find another service who can cater a large group in a short time. Enter the hottest new chef in NY, straight off a reality cooking show….Gabriel.
Penny worked herself up for the meet. Should she confront him? Be angry? Fall at his feet? What would happen?
But as he strides toward where I wait by the door, the saying take my breath away means something entirely new. Oxygen flees my body. The twenty-four-year-old guy who dazzled me when I gave him my virginity a decade ago has nothing on this man in front of me.
“It’s so good to meet you. I want to hear all about your charity and to see if we can work together for your event.”
Whaaat? Meet her? He doesn’t remember her. OMG.
What she doesn’t know is that he thinks it’s her, but she didn’t say anything. She used to use the name Penelope and was supposed to be a Wall Street analyst. But when he asks if they’ve met, she decides to deny it. But there was no denying the electric attraction between them.
And when they reconnect for real, it’s even better. They start to fall for each other again. Gabriel still keeps feeling a sense of déjà vu, and I love it when he realizes he is sure that Penny is his Penelope.
This book was so romantic!
“My feet don’t touch the ground. Gravity has no hold on me. I’m floating, falling, gliding….his lips both wonderfully familiar and yet fantastically new.”
One thing I really loved was the maturity of the characters, and the ability of Lauren to write about things that normally cause major angst, and surprise us with a mature result.
Love isn’t all or nothing. It’s a million variations, and some days are better than others. Some are luminous, and others are muted, but none of them mean the end.
- Felt like a full length novel, if I wasn’t told it was a novella, I wouldn’t have known, It was a very full story that never felt rushed.
- I really liked both characters a lot.
- Dirty talking.
- Hot sex.
- Very romantic.
- Dual 1st person POV.
- The flashbacks worked perfectly.
- Mature reactions to things that normally cause major angst.
- I would still recognize a guy I fell for 30 years ago. Maybe not by looks so quickly, but the minute I heard their voice I’d be sure. And for her to have a variation of the same name and he not recognize her for sure 10 years later seems a bit far-fetched.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 4.5 Heat
Purchase The Only One by Lauren Blakely