This is the fourth and final installment of the Only series, which must be heard in order.
There comes a time when Emma must face the secret she's kept from Grayson. But she never thought it would be while she stood on stage at Emerald's. The seconds she has to convey that her life is in danger are lost in the devastation that she sees rip through him.
She pinches her eyes closed. "Don't leave me. No matter how mad you are, please, please don't leave me here alone."
But there's more on the line than just Emma's safety. There's the danger that brought Titan's Delta team into the strip club in the first place - a threat that's too close to home, too close to the family Grayson plans to claim.
I push away the sudden spring of fear. Life's too unknown, with hidden enemies and unseen terrors. The idea that I could lose her again...it's unbearable.
A love story like Grayson and Emma's needs a forever love, and somehow, they'll find their way to her fairy tale.
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Okay, so here are my full thoughts and final review.
Book 1 - I enjoyed this even though the characters were much younger than I'd have personally liked, it's a love struck teen relationship kinda will they won't they and I guess they do. I have to admit, it wasn't really my kinda book. I came here as said to listen to see what dual narrators are like.
And for the most part this is done in an excellent way. It works because the POV chapters offer such insight into their own little worlds. You can connect with Emma because what girl hasn't had a crush on one of her brothers friends... it's natural. But the thing is they're friends to and in ways that you don't expect, and Emma's love for him right from the start is endearing and so awestruck, you kinda remember what it was like to be back there, and in love with your first ever crush.
Greyson's side of the story is much more dark, of course he loves Emma and is almost as worried about letting his feelings out as she is, but his home life marks everything he does, and it leaves you with a very bitter taste in your mouth.
When they're finally together and heading for what looks like a fab night, everything still manages to go wrong. In some of the worst ways you could think of, and as it's going to happen you know that it's coming. It doesn't leave you
I will reiterate what I thought of the ending here. Only because I hadn't planned on following the series. It did end abruptly, and you're left thinking WTH especially for me when I have never read or listened to anything from this author before. I'm just glad that someone pointed out it was a series, as I went away feeling an all matter of things. Some good, some bad.
Book 2 - Okay, this totally makes up for the bad feeling I was left with.
Of course he's not dead.. Greyson's love for Emma brings and keeps him alive even though the worst of his life, and throughout real war, the war where his friends all lost their lives and he's the only survivor.
Emma thinks he's dead - goes to see his father, and his father knows about their daughter, but is still such a nasty piece of work I wish I could slap some sense into him. Jeeze, he makes you want to scream.
What we do learn in this book is what Emma has endured after Greyson left her at the beech, such loss and such sorrow for the man she loved who left her, but also didn't know he had a daughter, she works too hard, with 2 paying jobs and one that she hopes will lead to a better life. I'm glad that at least she seems to have some amazing friends and family. Cherry and Ryan are just adorable as characters and I wish I'd had a sister like her.
The rollercoaster of feeling you'll have with Greyson's recovery and hunt for the woman he loves will have you on the edge of your seat. And when they talk and he realises she's so close he ups and leave his hotel in the middle of the night to track her down. I mean total stalker like, and kinda scary, but in a good way as after all he wants and needs her to make him whole again. The part where he says 'boyfriend and husband' can be fixed, had me laughing. Really this guy is so in love, if only he'd never left. sigh.
Book 3 -
This settles a little with how things are going to turn out. It's all about getting to know each other again. To learn about what happened, how it can be sorted through, family forgiveness, and moving forwards. Of course there's going to be a lot more heartache and pain, heck they've been through so much. It's one of those, shall I tell him/tell her parts, and you just know it's not going to end well. But you keep hoping. XE and Jeffrey do both parts with exquisite attention to details for their characters. From Emma's S Shoot S, to how hard Grey thinks and feels for both letting his team and Emma down, but I also think for letting himself down.
Again this is a real cliff hanger ending, but it's not a bad thing it just makes you really want to get to the ending. All the crap in the world can't stop this from coming to a head, and in a big, big way. I don't even think I expected any of this.
Book 4 -
The final part in the series, and yeah it wraps everything up, kinda nicely. But for me yeah kinda too nice. I would have like a bit more of the struggle and the pain. I'm sadistic, but the skips ahead in time just don't allow that, and I think the author here could have done a little better to get us to experience things as Emma and Grey have. It could have just had a slight better transition, to that happy place.
Emma - Such a teen in the first book, but she grows to become a wonderful hard working mother with the strength of an ox. She questions everything even herself, but she's capable. As the series progresses, of course we love her, she's everything each of us wants to be, calm, independent, and although so tired, she's still so full of life. The decisions she makes are her own. She learned to do it, and I'm glad she grows so well.
Grey - What a heartbreaking story he has. I mean you can't help but totally get where he's come from, and the why he did everything that he did. We really understand him on such a deep personal level and maybe that's because personally I've been through some of the things he had as a youngster. So I defo connected with him better.
Story - For the most part it got a 5 star, but there were just times I wished there were more in regards to skipping ahead in the characters lives, good back story etc when we got there of how they got to that point in time but I guess that has to come with the fact that these are pretty short parts to the one whole. One book really.
So for the duel narration - for me it really worked.
XE as Emma - Such a fun and lovable character she brought a deep connection to how Emma thought, felt and portrayed herself to the people around her. There was such rich diversity to each of the characters within the writing that even though sometimes the internal dialogue may have been a little repetitive, it was almost as if you heard it each time for the first time. That really is down to good narrator characterisation to the little innuendoes and pitch of the voice. From such happiness, to the down right heart breaking moments that bring you to tears.
Jeffrey as Greyson - perfect. Jeffrey brings to Greyson a very deep and gritty characterisation. It is the total opposite to Emma because of his circumstances, although there is both so much going on in their lives. He's in the deepest of it all, signed up for the army and headed to war, to see and live through what has to be the most horrific thing any soldier can, to be the only man standing from his team. Jeffrey bring to his character someone who we can totally relate to through all the good and bad of his life. Deep and gritty, he was a perfect fit to match the hard core character of Greyson.
I came in not knowing what I was getting into. I followed through and experienced a story I might never have because it was narrated so well and because I had thought Grey was dead (devastated of course at that) and he wasn't. The whole series and package fit like a glove. There's so much emotion in here, you get wound up, you relax and only to have yourself wound up once again. Pretty much just like real life and that is what we're all here for, yeah the fairy tale ending is a little out there, and maybe Emma and Grey don't quite get the life that we think they will. Wonder if we'll ever find out, haha.
Thanks to all involved with this and I will be looking out for more, from the writer and both narrators, as a duel or separately.