Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 376 pages
Author: Chloe Liese
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 11th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
Brace yourself for longing, laughter, and a swoony slow-burn in this brother’s best friend sports romance about scoring the love of your life when you least expect to.
I’m the youngest player on the National Soccer team, the baby of my family, and thoroughly sick of being underestimated, so I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Which is where my brother’s best friend and teammate, the infamous Sebastian Marchand, comes in.
Seb needs to rehab his reputation. I want to give mine an edge. So I propose a fake friendship with real benefits: spending time in the public eye, my good-girl image and his bad-boy notoriety rubbing off on each other. He’s my devious, dark-haired fantasy come to life, but his destructive ways make it easy to keep him in the (fake) friend zone. Or so I thought, until I start to see the heart of gold he’s been hiding beneath that sinister surface…
Like any self-respecting reprobate, I’ve been spiraling downward, and finally I’ve hit rock bottom. My hockey career and sponsorships are in jeopardy, and while I’m not ready to actually reform my ways, I’m happy to pretend that I have, to secure the life I’m on the brink of losing.
So when my best friend’s sister, Ziggy Bergman, proposes a public “friendship” to revamp our reputations, it’s an offer I can’t refuse. Up till now, I’ve stayed away from Ren’s sweet, shy little sister to avoid any risk of ruining my one good friendship. But I reassure myself there’s no risk in our scheme. I’ll fake a friendship with Ziggy, fix my reputation, and get back to hockey, the one and only thing I love. At least, it was, until what began as a transactional arrangement became the most loving relationship I’ve ever known.
If Only You is a brother’s best friend, (fake) friends with benefits to friends to lovers romance about a bighearted, quietly fierce soccer star on the autism spectrum, and a thoroughly unprincipled, almost irredeemable hockey player who has celiac disease. Complete with an absurd level of mutual pining, meddling family and friends, and a spicy slow burn, this standalone is the sixth in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.
I AM SOFT FOR THESE TWO.
Goodness gracious I binged this book so fast. Who knew I would love this take on fate dating?? I loved the fake friendship vibes. It was perfect and created all sorts of angst and tension and build. Had me absolutely wrapped up in Sebastian and Ziggy’s life.
I was smitten with the soft tender moments as Sebastian realizes just how much he loves Ziggy and the way that he works so hard to be the man he wants to be for her. But also how Ziggy balances that with showing him that that man is already there. I love that this was a slow burn and really gave time for the friendship to develop before bringing in a full relationship.
As usual, loved all of the side characters and familial moments. Loved the setting, the whole plot. All of the friend moments, sports moments and everything in between.
Overall audience notes:
- Contemporary Sports Romance
- Language: strong
- Romance: multiple open, explicit
- Trigger/Content Warnings: parental abandonment recounted, emotional child abuse recounted, anxiety, chronic illness & pain (celiac disease), alcohol consumption, emesis