Review: Only With Me by Kelly Elliott

This is one of those rare times that I wished I never got the ARC I requested for.

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Yet, I have no one else to blame, but myself. This is, after all, my first foray into a Kelly Elliott book. Perhaps, I got way too hyped up by the blurb and by the extremely high rating it got from other beta or ARC readers. I’ve also got a backlog of KE books that I haven’t read yet, and, which, I am now contemplating to delete from my e-reader without even opening up to the first page. THAT’s how much I hated this book. Let me count the ways:

    1. We first meet book hero Nic in a pub eating a meal with his SWAT team co-members. He gets hit on by a new waitress for the umpteenth time; he blows her off; he reaffirms his declaration to be a perpetual one-night-stand type of bachelor forever to his friends; and, end scene. On the next page, scene two introduces us to book heroine, a nice Italian girl with secrets, named Gabi. All of a sudden, Nic and Gabi meet, insta-love and boombastic lust explode all over the pages, and badabingbangboom, Nic forgets his love disavowal. The cliches and the painfully bad writing (Nic has own own internal monologues ending in exclamation points! It’s so corny! His being Greek is overplayed! Cue in the eye rolls!) make this extremely hard to proceed with.
    2. The minor characters were also difficult to like or to relate with. Charity, Gabi’s best friend/roomie/business partner/only friend in her fake-ish life, is potty-mouthed, slutty, has verbal diarrhea, and is (to my point of view) unlikable. The portrayal of the bad-girl-yet-fierce-bestie, who also gets a love story of her own with Nic’s equally manwhore of a best friend and co-SWATter, is another cliche that I desperately wish would disappear from future books I plan to purchase. She’s naggy, irritating, overshares to point that I cringe every time she appears in a scene (“Greek dick meet Italian pussy,” Charity says to both Nic and Gabi, while they were making small talk before Nic and Gabi go out on their second date), and is just a useless/pointless/unnecessary character. I don’t get why she’s even there.

I stopped at the 5% mark, skipped all the way to the end, saw that it ended as I thought it would, and gulped down half of the bottle of wine sitting prettily on my right. While I thank the kind generosity of the author’s publicists for giving me this ARC that I requested for, I had to be completely, perhaps, even brutally, honest. I just didn’t like this book.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Read the other reviews. Maybe I was too hung up on the greatness of the book I read prior to this, and was just not in the mood. So, ignore me, please, while I glug down the rest of the above-mentioned wine, and go find another book to read.

1 star

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