“Her One + Only” by Becky Wade
Book: “Her One & Only” by Becky Wade
Series: The Porter Family #4
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Genres: Romance, Religious & Inspirational, Contemporary
Format: Paperback, 400 pages
Source: Bethany House Publishers (received for free in exchange for an honest review)
Gray Fowler, star NFL tight end, is being pursued by a stalker, so his team hires a protection agency to keep Gray under the watch of a bodyguard at all times. When Gray meets Dru Porter, an agent assigned to him, he’s indignant. How can an attractive young female half his size possibly protect him?
But Dru’s a former Marine, an expert markswoman, and a black belt. She’s also ferociously determined to uncover the identity of Gray’s stalker. And she’s just as determined to avoid any kind of romantic attachment between herself and the rugged football player with the mysterious past. But the closer they get to finding the stalker, the closer they grow to each other. As the danger rises, can Dru and Gray entrust their hearts—and their lives—to one another?
Her One & Only was brilliantly-paced, suspenseful and appropriately cheesy—appropriately so, because like me, the protagonist is an independent, doesn’t-need-a-man-to-make-her-happy, mid-twenty woman. I respected the accurate depictions of a woman not totally into romantic cheese and public displays of affection’s thoughts—from her surprise with herself to how she almost became totally okay with it, but couldn’t let her boyfriend know.
What I liked
I didn’t read the series
The most amazing thing about Her One & Only is, whilst the last installment of a series with three preceding novels, how well it works on its own. There is depth added to each of the characters. This is the first book I read from The Porter Family series, as I didn’t know it was part of a series when I was requesting it on the website. I usually try to start with the first book in a series, then decide whether I might want to read the latter.
Unlike when I was reading The 100, Her One & Only offers seamless perspective changes, even when jumping ahead a few weeks at a time. Wade did well in developing different tones for each of the characters. While I personally loved Bo and Meg’s minor story line/conclusion, I found it much too sappy for me, to the point that I skipped (at most) 5 pages (front-and-back being one page) of the book.
Much like Dru, I love the action.
I started reading this 19 September and completed it the 23rd. There was a lot of rawness to Dru’s story, which reminds me of food commercials, when the voice-over says, “wholesome goodness”. That’s what Her One & Only felt like most of the time.
I loved the twists and turns.
The rest of the time?
What I didn’t like
Hello, trigger warning!
Nice to meet you. Totally didn’t expect to enter a book featuring a deuteragonist with a dysfunctional family and past full of abuse! Being blindsided by such a thing is really, really great, especially when no part of the blurb even hinted at Gray having such a past. I mean, the copy is great. And maybe trigger warnings have become arbitrary and obsolete, what with the many varying triggers and whatnot. But I would have liked some kind of warning.
The cover image didn’t really fit well with me, because Gray was described as three times bigger than Dru in one instance, and the guy featured on the cover doesn’t have the wide shoulders, or any evidence of a huge football player’s build.
Siding with Gray
Once Gray’s background was out, I sided more with him than with Dru. The more she pushed and demanded and judged, the more she became one of my least-favorite characters. She makes herself out to be this wholesome Christian woman, yet she’s judging Gray when she knows little about him, like it’s her right to know whatever she wants to know about a person.
Knowing someone is a privilege. It is not a right.
And then I learn of the time they have known each other. And she’s upset, because he hasn’t adequately expressed his love to her in 10 weeks.
Dru, a strong, independent woman, shriveled into a raisin in less than ten weeks and became bitter toward the love of her life because, even though love is patient, Gray did not confess his love to her when she wanted it.
And this is, plus the previous point, is why I did not like the book.
But I loved the chase
And Gray did a stupid thing with his best friend, like guys often do.
And I—briefly—valued reading over the time I could have spent on my grandmother’s desktop. Her One & Only engulfed me, spitting me out only when I’d finally completed the book.
So I rated it a 3 out of 5. I don’t feel like it deserves as little as a 3/5, but I don’t feel it deserves a 4/5, either, due to the reasons that made me dislike this book (and I am trying to ground myself with whole ratings instead of point-something ratings).
How do you feel about romance novels? When’s the last time you read a book over 300 pages?