Ella Abbott has long been secretly in love with Gavin Guthrie. A few recent encounters have only added to her infatuation, especially the kiss they shared at her sister’s wedding. It doesn’t matter to Ella that Gavin is in a bad place. He says there’s no hope for a future with him, that he has nothing to offer her. But all Ella cares about is the love she feels.
It’s been seven long years since Gavin lost his brother. He’d kept himself under control and moving forward until his brother’s beloved dog died and his brother’s widow re-married. Since then, he’s been drinking, fighting, and even getting arrested. It seems the only time his demons leave him alone is when Ella is around.
Gavin knows it wouldn’t be fair to drag Ella into his darkness, but when she inserts herself into his life, what choice does he have but to allow her to soothe his aching heart?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I felt like I'd been run over by an emotional Mack truck when I finished this book. Marie Force creates an emotional journey that takes the reader right along with the characters. Gavin is a fantastic, complex character. The author really nailed what it's like to be drowning in grief. But Gavin's grief went deeper because it was intermingled with misplaced guilt.
I really liked watching how Ella navigated the beginnings of their relationship, especially since both of them quickly admitted that while the relationship was new, the feelings weren't. Their feelings went back years and it just took them this long to be ready to embrace them. Their relationship was messy, complicated, and intense and perfect for both of them. The one and only struggle I had with their relationship was Gavin continuing to promise that he wouldn't walk away; that he would always be there. Where he was in his grief journey and their relationship, I felt it would have been better for him to promise to try. Both of these characters are driven intensely by their emotions and as such, it's got to be difficult for either of them to make promises that they won't be driven by those emotions to make poor decisions.
I appreciate how the author included both Gavin and Ella's family in their relationship. It was no surprise to see the Abbott parents, as they are an integral part of the Green Mountain series, but I really liked how Gavin's parents were brought into the story and how Gavin's father, especially, helped Gavin work through all of the feelings he was having.
In true Marie Force fashion, the Abbott siblings play a role in Gavin and Ella's story. We get to check in with the ones who have already found their happily-ever-after, and teased with those that haven't. And there was definitely some "Abbott brother" intimidation of Gavin as he was navigating his relationship with Ella - and it was delightful and fun to watch. This family loves each other, protects each other, and closes ranks when they need to. We've been getting to know the Abbott's in each book and by the time a character's book comes out, we can't wait to see how they find their happily-ever-after. Such is the case with It's Only Love. Another wonderful addition to the Green Mountain series.
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About the Author:
While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of one young adult and one teenager and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie.