The Only One is a One Love Series novella from Lauren Blakely. Fans of her books might recognize these characters from Well Hung and The Sexy One, but don't worry if you haven't read those as this story is a complete standalone. I have really loved books by Lauren Blakely, but lately I have been struggling with her newer releases. While I liked this one, again I found myself not fully loving it. I did enjoy it though, even with the criticisms I had.
Penny and Gabriel once shared a brief fling before promising to meet back up. But when Gabriel never showed, Penny was heartbroken and forced to try and move on with her life. Now ten years later Penny is desperate for a restaurant to cater an event for her work, and she comes face to face with Gabriel as he is the only option she has left. But while the attraction and chemistry have never faded, Penny is upset to learn that Gabriel doesn't recognize her.
I liked both Penny and Gabriel, but I felt like these two really didn't have much substance to them. Unfortunately I think a lot of that was because this was a novella, and there just weren't enough pages to really do them justice. Things felt instant with them, and despite their past, they really didn't know each other well. We never really got to see them truly get to know one another and fall as it just didn't seem like enough time. While the attraction and chemistry were clear, I just wasn't really seeing that connection form between them despite what they said or the author tried to convince us of. They were sexy together though, and that is one thing that Lauren Blakely really excels at. The steam between them kept me flipping pages to see what would happen next.
The other thing that I struggled with her was that this book was just so sweet and cutesy, bordering on cheesy and cliche at times. Things were just too easily forgiven or explained and it just felt forced to me. There wasn't really anything new or different here, and while it was enjoyable it was just okay. It felt like any other sweet romance and it just didn't do it for me. So while I liked this one at times, this is one that I doubt I would go back and reread or really remember. I think that fans of the series will enjoy seeing familiar faces and if it sounds like a story you might like I encourage you to give it a shot. It wasn't bad by any means, it just wasn't great for me either.
**ARC Provided by Inkslinger PR**