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I Belong

Review: One & Only by Viv Daniels

One & OnlyTitle: One & Only

Author: Viv Daniels (Diana Peterfreund)

Genre: NA Contemporary

SeriesCanton  (Book 1)

Publication Date: November 6, 2013

Format: Ebook, 264 Pages

ASIN: B00GI27E8A (Word for Word)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: A wonderfully woven story about true love and growing up.  Filled with sizzling chemistry, remarkable writing, and a cast of engaging of characters, New Adult Contemporary fans will be sure to love it.

Opening Sentence: I was six years old when I found out my father had another family.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review

Tess McMann has always kept her family’s secrets. She is the illegitimate daughter of a very prominent businessman who happens to have another family.  Her parents have had an ongoing affair for years now, but her father is married and has another daughter.  He provides for them as long as no one ever finds out their secrets.

Tess wants more than anything to get out from underneath her father’s thumb. At 18 she saves up to attend a very prestigious summer program for science majors.  There she meets the adorable Dylan Kingsley.  They do a project together and fall in love over the summer.  Once the summer ends, Tess ends their relationship. Dylan is attending Canton College and since Tess can’t afford private school, she is forced to go to the state university. Tess refuses to let a man dictate any decisions in her life. But she never fought that one hot night they shared together.

Two years later, Tess gets a scholarship that takes her to Canton College.  She majors in bioengineering, which happens to be the same major as Dylan.  When it comes to science, Tess and Dylan are the perfect team and they still are undeniably attracted to each other.  But there is a small problem, Dylan has a girlfriend, a girl Tess is never suppose to ever meet, her half sister Hannah.  If Tess isn’t careful the web of lies that she has kept her whole life is going to unravel and she may lose the only boy she has ever loved.

Tess is a wonderful protagonist.  She is extremely smart and driven.  Going to Canton was her dream, but she gave it up to please her father. So when she got a second chance at her dream she took it without hesitation. She obviously has some serious daddy issues, but it was interesting to see how she dealt with them.  She is willing to work really hard to get what she wants in life, which made me respect her.  I found it easy to sympathize with her situation, and I was really able to connect with her.

I absolutely adored Dylan.  He totally rocked the nerdy hot guy persona. He is brilliant and brutally honest, which were some of his best traits. Dylan never beats around the bush, he will always tell you the truth, even if it’s awkward or hurtful.  While growing up he was slightly chubby and not very popular. Once he left high school behind he was able to transform into the confidante smart guy he has become. Tess was the first girl he ever really cared about, and she really broke his heart that summer.  Their romance is sweet and very well done.  I loved Dylan, he reminds me of someone I would have wanted to date in college.

This was a great read for me.  I loved how Daniels implemented the hot nerdy guy and girl, because being smart really is attractive. I also enjoyed the way she portrayed that college really is a whole different playing field than high school.  You get a fresh start and you can make yourself whatever you want to be.  I found the characters unique and very engaging.  The plot was a little predictable, but still interesting.  The pacing is really well done, and I honestly had a hard time putting the book down.  Daniels has phenomenal writing that is easy to get lost in.  This was a great start to a new series, and I am really looking forward to see what happens next for these loveable characters.  I would highly recommend this book to anyone that is a fan of new adult contemporary novels.

Notable Scene:

“Tess? Tess McMann?”

I looked up to find Dylan Kingsley standing across the table from me. The glasses were gone, the hair was tamed, and whatever baby fat might have lingered on his eighteen-year-old features had disappeared entirely, leaving behind perfectly planed cheekbones and a sharp jawline. The slim teenage body I’d never quite managed to forget had matured too, and he nicely filled out the expensive-looking blue-gray sportscoat he wore over a close-cut button-down open at his neck. I was sure, if I’d been able to see, that his pants were just the right length.

I found my tongue. “Dylan. Hi.”

He blinked at me. “Did you transfer to Canton?”

I nodded. Algae. Biofuel. I should have guessed that the other student those two professors had been talking about was the one I’d once slept with. This wasn’t State, with its tens of thousands of science majors. “Are you a bioengineering major now?”

Canton Series:

1. One & Only

2. Sweet & Wild (2014)


FTC Advisory: Viv Daniels graciously provided me with a copy of One & Only. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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