Only with You,
by Nicole McLaughlin
Publication: Swerve; June 5, 2018
About the book:
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.
What a fabulous book!! My heart is full and happy! Unfortunately, I have not read any of the earlier novels in Nicole McLaughlin’s Man Enough series, and didn’t even know it was a series prior to reading Only with You. It didn’t matter in the least and I was crazy about Aiden and Hannah’s story.
Aiden is the quite, polite, yet sexy and brooding type guy, whereas, Hannah is pretty wide-open with her thoughts and feelings. At the beginning of the novel that are developing a friendship versus the primarily casual acquaintances that they were before. The friendship builds slowly, but they each find themselves thinking of the other, as well as, leaning on one another and sharing feelings. As soon as things really begin blossoming with these two, Aiden puts on the brakes because of his past and present issues that he is unwilling to share with Hannah. Thus begins such a beautiful, yet frustrating relationship where on one hand, Aiden opens up easily about some things, but he also hurts Hannah when he is unwilling to complete confide in and trust her. However frustrating it was at times, I still loved their story.
I had a few problems with this book, starting with Jase and Becca. Perhaps they were different in previous novels in this series, but I found it hard to believe that Becca and Hannah were twins and that Jase and Hannah had been BFFs since childhood. Why? Because Jase was just downright hateful to Hannah, treating her more like an enemy than a friend. Then there is Becca, who could have cared less to spend any time with her twin, and seemed overly pleased with herself. Not only were they unlikable, they didn’t add anything to the story. My other issue was, I felt as if the first 1/3 of the novel could have been cut out, and instead, shared more about Aiden and Hannah between the last chapter and the epilogue. Just start it a little before the road trip and then give us more meaty stuff later!
Anyway, I absolutely loved Aiden and was rooting for these two characters from beginning to end. I definitely recommend this to contemporary romance fans, however, be aware of possible triggers involving sexual abuse. This was my first time reading Nicole McLaughlin but will not be my last. I enjoyed her writing style and her realistically flawed characters, and once I got into this one, I was completely hooked!
*Thanks to NetGalley for providing this arc in exchange for my honest review!