Her One and OnlyTitle: Her One and Only (Porter Family #4)

Author: Becky Wade

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Lit

# Pages: 400

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars


Why I Chose It:

Sadly, friends, I didn’t pay very close attention when I selected this book.  I’m a sucker for romance novels (and pretty covers), so when I read the publisher’s blurb I quickly selected Her One and Only.    What isn’t there to love about a story that mixes sports, romance, and a creepy stalker?

Publisher’s Blurb:

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?”

What I Thought:  

Unfortunately, coming in to a series on the last book is rarely a good idea.  I had a really hard time getting into this book.  I’m not sure how much of that was due to a lapse in background knowledge of the characters and how much of that was just a personal disconnect from the writing.  Other reviewers seem to love this author and her writing, but many were excited because they had read her other writing before this book. While I’m a sucker for romance books, I either love them or hate them (there is little middle ground for me). For this reason, I’m going to take the fall on this one and call it a fluke.

There are a lot of things to love about this story, especially if you love a kick ass female lead character.    Dru Porter is, in an attempt to break the stereotypical mold of female characters, a stereotypical “woman in authority.”  She is frigid and reserved, putting on a tough front and refusing to let down her guard even for love.  Unfortunately, this is reality–she isn’t allowed to openly hold feminine characteristics associated with being soft in order to uphold her reputation.  Gray is your stereotypical professional athlete–rugged and tough without fear (or common sense), often appearing shallow and unable to commit.

The main theme in this book was finding the ability to let go (in this case, let go of past trangressions in order to fully engage more in the present).  Having characters with baggage is necessary for this theme to work, but the characters felt too heavy, too closed off.  Even when Dru and Gray revisit Gray’s home town, what should have been an emotionally charged chapter with the potential to come together for support fell flat and left me feeling empty.

Honestly, my favorite part was the epilogue (not because the book was over, but because it was crisp, clean writing that didn’t feel fluffed.  It was real, it was descriptive, and it left me rooting for the characters’ futures).   I can’t share my favorite lines with you (no need to spoil the end), but the characters finally round out, finally seem real enough to be people I would like to get to know further.  Too bad it’s the last book in the series.  I might have given book 5 a chance.

**I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.