REVIEW: The Only One by Lauren Blakely

Release Date: December 6, 2016
Rating: 3/5
I volunteered to review an ARC.
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Let’s say there was this guy. And he gave you the most mind-blowing night of sex in your life. And you never saw him again.
Until ten years later.
Now, it turns out he’s the ONLY ONE in all of Manhattan whose restaurant is available the night of my charity’s gala.
The trouble is, he doesn’t recognize me.
This woman I’m working with is so damn alluring. The first time I set eyes on her, I’m captivated and I can’t get her out of my mind. Even if it’s risky to tango with someone I’m working with, she’s a risk I’m willing to take.
The trouble is, she won’t give me the time of day.
But I’m determined to change that.

THE ONLY ONE is a standalone novella following characters first introduced in THE SEXY ONE (Gabriel) and WELL HUNG (Penny).

It’s been ten years since Penny had the best days of her life in Spain with Gabriel. After being stood up on the day they were suppose to meet, Penny guarded herself and moved on from that devastating day and Gabriel himself. But fate had a weird way to turn things around. Ten years later, she’s moved on, established and now at his own restaurant in New York for a proposal regarding an event for animal rescue. Yes, her one and only Gabriel owns the place but surprise, he didn’t even recognize her.

This novella is all sort of short and sweet—generally. It’s a second-chance romance between a love lost but found again.

I liked that Gabriel cared so much for his family and the man seriously had mad talent in the kitchen. He wouldn’t be tagged sexy chef for nothing. He’s persistent, thoughtful, sweet and filthy at the same time, but also kind of stupid in a way? While Gabriel loved to cook, Penny loved dogs. That’s why after deciding corporate work wouldn’t do it for her, she started working for an animal shelter and didn’t look back. Penny took the fall hard when Gabriel didn’t show up on their date ten years ago but the girl did know how to stand up and walk again because she had to. She’s determined and driven.

I am not fond of the miscommunication plot of the story because I don’t think it’s mature. There are many loopholes on that. It’s also kind of unbelievable that after three days of them having sex (no getting to know you’s), Penny knew she loved the guy? I mean, girl, already? After giving him her virginity, she fell in love already? I don’t think a three-day fling would mean that much. And after they got together and worked out their issues from the past, while they’re having sex they finally admitted their feelings for each other? I’m sorry but I think that’s just sex talking. It could have been better if the confession of feelings happened at least after they worked out their sexual tension and while they’re having a heartfelt discussion of them being together. The jealousies from both parties didn’t seem so understandable as well because of the huge ten year gap that happened in between them. You couldn’t really blame anyone if they tried dating others, right?

Lauren did something at the start of the book that didn’t work for me. The flashback in a flashback was confusing and I felt a little lost in getting the hang of it in the beginning. Perhaps just concentrate on one thing? Flashback if flashback, not flashback if not flashback.

Overall, I think the book was just fine. It was paced well and Lauren’s writing was always enjoyable. This may be one of her books that carries light drama and romantic emotions. The main and sub plots could have improved a little better to be believable, the characters could have been more rational. Despite that, I think their relationship was bordering on sweet because of the little things they’ve remembered from way back and on passionate because of their intense feelings for each other. And that fate had planned things better for them because they had to be better themselves first.