Review: Only For You
ONLY FOR YOU - Jacquelin Thomas
Harlequin Kimani Romance
BUY
January 2017
Category Romance
REVIEWER:  Janet Caldwell | RATING:  C
REVIEW: Jacquelin Thomas delivers the second installment of her series, THE DUGRANDPRES OF CHARLESTON, about a wealthy and influential legal dynasty of Charleston, South Carolina. In ONLY FOR YOU, Jordin DuGrandpres, an attorney and twin to sister Jadin, is overjoyed when her teen crush returns to Charleston. Not everyone is as welcoming to Ethan Holbrooke and the metaphorical baggage he is toting.

Jordin and Ethan have been best friends since middle school.  Although they shared a special bond, there was no communication between them for eleven years after Ethan abruptly left town. At sixteen, Jordin was devastated to lose her best friend and spent years wondering why he didn’t keep his promise to stay in touch. When Ethan does return he is sporting a huge chip on his shoulder and his mantra is “I don’t need anything from anybody”. He vowed, when he returned to Charleston, it would be on his own terms and not until he was a success, therefore, avoiding pity from the townspeople.  Now he is wealthy and owns a chain of rigorous physical training gyms. The opening of his newest location in Charleston is the pretense for his return.

Jordin learns of Ethan’s arrival and hesitantly drops by his office to welcome him home.  Their meeting is awkward with Jordin wanting to pick up where they left off and Ethan, although secretly excited to reconnect, being cordial, and reserved.  What proceeds is a journey to rediscovering their friendship as adults and dealing with the “white elephant” in the room - the reason why Ethan left Charleston.

In addition to our main characters, Ethan’s mother, Lydia, plays a pivotal role.  She alone knows the reason Ethan was snatched from his hometown and forced to live with a father and stepmother who barely tolerated him.  Jordin’s family, her parents, sisters and brothers, although hesitant, are cordial to Ethan.  They are concerned for Jordin and hope she isn’t setting herself up for heartbreak believing Ethan isn’t the same person who left eleven years ago.

I am a fan of the friends to lovers storyline and I enjoyed that aspect of
ONLY FOR YOU, however, that is where my admiration ends. Like the first installment in this series, this novel contains some glaring problems.  There is too much dialogue between the main characters and not enough narrative. The dialogue is stilted producing conversations that don’t flow naturally and seem too formal for this genre. This second installment is better than the last, so if this practice continues, this series can only improve.  Thomas’ unique storylines deserve better execution.

25th March 2017 | romcol@caribsurf.com