ONLY EVER YOU                                C.D. REISS

Rachel knew exactly what turning thirty would be like. She had a plan, after all. First college, then a climb up the professional ladder. Love, marriage, children. All of it was on the schedule.

The cheap Hollywood apartment wasn’t on the list. Neither was the string of heartbreaks. Or the effect her mother’s cancer had on her career.

It’s hard to stay practical and on point when everything takes a left turn.

Enter Sebastian, the nerd across the street. The boy she defended when he couldn’t defend himself. The best friend she promised she’d marry if life didn’t go according to plan.

Not only is he successful, confident, and gorgeous, but he also still has their handwritten marriage contract.

No one goes through with childhood wedding pacts.

That’s crazy.

But their families might just be crazy enough to rent a hall and set a date. All Rachel and Sebastian have to do is fall in love.


Friends to lovers’ tropes are always fun and this was not disappointing at all.  The characters were quirky and not at a loss for words and quip.
     You have Rachel who lives across the street from Sebastian.  Unfortunately, Sebastian was known as a dweeb and a nerd growing up.  Something to this day Rachel will take issue with you over.  Why because she has always been Seb’s superhero at least in his eyes since he was eleven when she moved into the neighborhood.
     At sixteen after being suspended for three days (both of them for defending Seb/himself against the bullies who cried about it.)  They made a contract that; at thirty if they’re not married, they would marry each other only after a list of other important items.  The things, now at thirty, Seb’s mom hand delivers a note before Thanksgiving when visiting her parents.
     Not knowing while she was reading her parents could read it.  The note was letting her know he would finally be home for a holiday.  It had been over ten years since she’d seen him.  As a P.S. he added ‘Do you remember our contract?’  Now she was excited to see him and a little fearful. 
     On Thanksgiving after a short hug and chat in the hallway while doing the pee days from the long drive.  They hear their parents talking about renting the hall for the big event.  And how Seb had always had a crush on Rach.  When awareness hit the made them move like lightening.  They needed to set them straight.
     They tell them their crazy that was just two sixteen-year-olds messing around.  But when things are adding up to a recurrence of her mom’s cancer Rach gets into a panic.  She finds a need to spring into making her happy.  Meaning planning her daughter’s wedding.  Also meaning getting Seb on board to fake marry her.
     Rachel’s whining did bite.  I have to say half the time she seemed irrational and the other half she wanted to be loved by Seb but only on her terms.  Never caring too much about Seb.  In the end, she is able to win me over.
     I give this: 4 stars.  Provided by  Follow us at

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