Blog Tour: One & Only by Viv Daniels

Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: November 8, 2013
Publisher: self-published
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
Format/Source: DRC, from the author
Status: first book in the Canton series
Summary: 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.

About the Author: 
Viv Daniels writes love stories for the young and young at heart. Like many of her characters, she met her husband in college, and knows all the ins and outs of navigating that kind of relationship — from how to date when you’re both flat broke to how to fit two people in narrow dorm room bed. Her favorite new adult authors include Tammara Weber, J. Lynn, and Cora Carmack. Viv can usually be found on her Facebook Page or Twitter feed, chatting with readers about her favorite New Adult fiction, or sharing pictures of cute boys. She lives outside of Washington D.C. with her family. You can visit her website for more information about her upcoming new adult romances.

Author Links:

Keep reading for my review, a One & Only excerpt and two awesome giveaways!

I haven't read any of Viv's other novels, written under her real name Diana Peterfreund, but I jumped at the opportunity to help with One & Only because I've heard really good things about her work. I'm so glad I did. I freaking loved One & Only. New adult is brimming with self-published romance novels, and honestly, most of them just aren't any good or at least aren't very polished. Not only did Viv's publishing experience help her shape a polished novel that can overcome the stigma of being self-published, but her writing helped her create realistic and wonderful characters and set them in an engaging story. Honestly, I couldn't put this one down. It took me a couple hours to just read it right through. I could sense that the other shoe would drop, but it didn't happen when I expected it and it didn't happen exactly how I imagined it would either, which kept me reading.

I found the characters really well-developed. Tess is a pleaser with big dreams. She's spent her life trying not to rock the boat of her precarious relationship with her dad and witnessing her mother do the same. So when Dylan comes around the first time, she's afraid he'll prove nothing but a distraction from her studies at State. I really empathized with Tess, who wants big things and is just told no time after time. She's afraid of doing things that will make people, particularly her father, not love her. I really like that One & Only is really about Tess learning how to stand up for herself and take what she wants. It's not that she learns to be selfish, but she figures out how to be confident and assertive. I also really liked Dylan, who is not a perfect person. He makes some pretty serious mistakes in One & Only, but he takes responsibility for them. A guy who tries to do the right thing but owns up when it wasn't the right thing at all? At the risk of sounding like Paris Hilton, that's hot.

You know what else is hot? The romance. I'm not talking about the scenes in Dylan's dorm rooms (although those are definitely steamy!). I'm talking about the chemistry between Tess and Dylan. The force is strong with these two. They've got a serious physical connection that is absolutely palpable, but they also challenge each other mentally. In the excerpt, Tess and Dylan have just completed their summer project, and that puts them in a mental high that leads...well, you'll just have to read it to find out. I love that this book does focus on two intelligent characters who pretty much pop mental boners whenever they work with one another for various projects (Yes. Brain boners. Totally a thing). This romance really is proof that guys like smart girls, even if it's fiction. As for the actual "romance scenes," I found them to be tasteful and just enough. They don't fade to black, but they don't get super gross and raunchy. It's mature content, yes, but it is actually mature in the sense that it's not crudely underdeveloped smut.

In short, One & Only is a lovely romance that defies the common belief that new adult novels lack characterization or plot. I felt connected to the characters, and the plot was both engaging and believable. I haven't talked much about the plot because I don't want to give too much away on that front, and it is much more character driven. I wouldn't classify it as a fluffy read by any stretch, but it's an easy read for a quick escape, and I really recommend it. I will most definitely be checking out Hannah's story Sweet & Wild which is due sometime in 2014. Read the synopsis and add it to your Goodreads TBR here. Keep scrolling to check out the steamy excerpt and the giveaways!

"I took a look at your project last night," Professor White said when everyone else had gone, "and I have to say that I'm very impressed. There's a level of meticulous detail here that is uncommon for early undergrads, even in a program of this caliber. If it's all right, I'd like to share your work with some of the other faculty members here."

"We're scientists," said Dylan. "W always want our work shared."

"Miss McMann," the professor said, turning toward me, "I took a look in your file last night. I understand you're interested in bioengineering?"

I nodded. "they have a really limited program at my college, but I'm going to do my best to get in–"

"I doubt you'll have much trouble," Professor white said. "In fact, I know a professor there you should meet. If you like, I'd be happy to contact Dr. Stewart and put you two in touch."

I brightened. Maybe things wouldn't be so gloomy at State after all. "Thank you!"

"I think he only teacher upper-level classes, but I'll let him know that if he's in the market for a research assistant, he couldn't do better than you."

I was speechless. I probably managed to stumble out a thank-you. And here I was thinking I'd be making ends meet by slinging coffee.

It wasn't until we were dismissed that I noticed she'd made no explicit promises to Dylan. Perhaps, though, she figured he wouldn't need any extra help at a school like Canton, whereas I was going to have to scramble to make sure I could take all the classes I needed for my major in the overpopulated crush of State.

Dylan was beaming as we waited for the elevator together. "Well played, algae girl. Who knew you might get a job out of this?" The doors dinged open and we stepped inside.

I still felt a little breathless. I turned to Dylan, who was pressing the button for the lobby, and threw my arms around his neck. "Thank you," I whispered, hugging him tight. Yes, the project was mine, but I hadn't done it alone. It was dylan's idea, dylan who'd helped push everything to the next level.

His arms slid around my waist as he returned the hug. "Tess..."

To this day, I don't know who started it, who moved first. But suddenly, his mouth was on mine and my hands were weaving into his hair and he'd grabbed the back of my shirt in his fists and crushed me against him. By the time the elevator dinged open, we were both breathing hard. We flew apart, staring at each other. Forever. Forever.

"Are you going to run away again?" he said at last, with a kind of anguish in his voice I'd never heard before.

"No," I replied and came at him again. "No."

We kissed until the doors shut on us and the elevator started lifting, and then we stopped and retreated, faces flushed, hair mussed. On some upper floor, the doors parted again, and some students got in. No one I knew, thankfully, though I might not have recognized my own mother in that instant.

On the ground floor, we left with everyone else and walked back to the dorms, first side by side, then hand in hand, then running until we reached his room.

"I wasn't sure...," he managed to get out as we wrapped ourselves around each other and fell back on his narrow dorm room bed. "You said you were here to work..."

"Shhh," I admonished. "Project's done. Didn't you hear Professor White?"

Book Links:

Also available from Amazon UK & Smashwords

There are actually TWO international giveaways for you to enter here. One is tour-wide and the other is just for you, my readers. Up for grabs are two One & Only swag packs which include a One & Only bookmark and charm as well as various other books & swag from both Viv and other new adult authors. Prizes will be mailed by Viv at the conclusion of the tour. Best of luck!

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  1. Yeah...I won't say the name to protect the innocent, lol. But if I could go back in time, I'd definitely do things differently with this person.

  2. Probably yes. Not that I can think of right now because I don't think I've lived a long enough life…who knows?

  3. I really love your blog. it helps me fall in love with books more and more

    1. Thank you, Sabrina! That is so kind of you to say!

  4. This book looks really good!

    1. It is! NA isn't for everyone, but One & Only is really well written and pretty relatable.

  5. For the longest time there was one guy in my past that I definitely wanted a second chance with... then I met my husband and realized that the only reason I wanted a second chance with the other guy was because I was lonely LOL!!!!

    1. That takes some definite introspection to realize that! Glad it worked out the best for you!