Monday, 18 November 2013

Review: One & Only by Viv Daniels

Title: One & Only
Author: Viv Daniels
Publisher: Word for Word
Release Date: 8th November 2013
Source: Bought
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Description: 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.

One & Only is a swoony romantic read staring wonderful protagonists. Dylan and Tess’s story is realistic and different compared to other new adult book out in the market. It’s a welcome change of pace that showcases great character development. This is a thoroughly enjoyable story and one thing is for sure, Viv Daniels makes science sexy.

Tess has always lived a life full of secrets. She is the product of an affair between her mistress mother and her businessman father. All her life she has had to live in the shadows and could never acknowledge her father or her half-sister. Before she goes to University she meets Dylan Kingsley and falls in love with him, however at the end of the summer they go their separate ways. Two years later Dylan and Tess meet up again. All the feelings they had two years ago come rushing back. The only problem is that Dylan has a girlfriend. His girlfriend is none other than Tess’s half sister Hannah. Now Tess has to decide if she wants Dylan back and if she’s willing to follow in her parent’s footsteps.

This book has loads of tension, mainly between Tess and Dylan as they try to define their relationship. Viv Daniels does a great job maintaining the tension and suspense. The line between right and wrong and perceived notions is tightly navigated. Its what the whole book hinges on. The decisions Tess’s made and their consequences were the focal point for this story. The story was about Tess discovering herself and defining herself away from her parent’s relationship and learning how to be her own person.  It’s quite a tough job to portray a relationship that blurs the lines between cheating/steeling and Daniels does it so well because Tess’s struggle is genuine and she wants the best for her sister.

I love the journey that Tess goes on. When we first meet her she doesn’t want to go against her parents and is stuck with the decisions they force on her. She also has a tendency to runs away from relationships and friendships. However when the story picks pack up two years later Tess is a little more defiant, learning how to step out of her father hold and become her own person. She has many struggles that were well explored such as juggling a job and a demanding coursework along with finding time to make friends and be a normal human being. She shows so much growth as she figures out how to be her own person separate from her parents.

Dylan was a great love interest. He was also different from standard NA cutouts.  No tattooed up bad boy here. He was sexy and intelligent, compassionate and supportive. He helps Tess at every opportunity.  He always tells the truth and it’s an interesting contrast to all the secrets that Tess is keeping. It adds more tension to their relationship. Dylan also changes from when we first meet him but he dose not have as much character growth as Tess. He remains a constant. Sylvia and Annabeth were great friends who gave Tess perspective.  Hannah was not someone to hold a grudge and be vindictive. It was refreshing for her not to be a mean girl. I can’t wait to see where her story is going in her companion novel. I loved all of the passion Tess had for science and biomedical engineering. Both her and Dylan were driven and intelligent. They were the perfect combination as they complimented each other so well.

My only problem with One & Only was that Tess and Dylan pick up right where they left off. I wish that there was a longer period of them getting to know each other.  Although they have a definite connection. Also in my opinion Dylan seemed to forgive Tess for just leaving and never contacting him again very easily. I would have liked to have seen that he was more affected by that and maybe even a little angry.

If you want to read a story that stands out in the current NA market than I suggest One & Only. It a refreshing and enjoyable read.

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