Series: Bergman Brothers, #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing on 1st April 2020
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Ever since she sat next to me in class and gave me death eyes, Willa Sutter’s been on my shit list. Why she hates me, I don't know. What I do know is that Willa is the kind of chaos I don’t need in my tidy life. She’s the next generation of women’s soccer. Wild hair, wilder eyes. Bee-stung lips that should be illegal. And a temper that makes the devil seem friendly.
She’s a thorn in my side, a menacing, cantankerous, pain-in-the-ass who’s turned our Business Mathematics course into a goddamn gladiator arena. I'll leave this war zone unscathed, coming out on top…And if I have my way with that crazy-haired, ball-busting hellion, that will be in more than one sense of the word.
Rather than give me the lecture notes I missed like every other instructor I’ve had, my asshole professor tells me to get them from the silent, surly flannel-wearing mountain man sitting next to me in class. Well, I tried. And what did I get from Ryder Bergman? Ignored. What a complete lumbersexual neanderthal. Mangy beard and mangier hair. Frayed ball cap that hides his eyes. And a stubborn refusal to acknowledge my existence.
I’ve battled men before, but with Ryder, it's war. I’ll get those notes and crack that Sasquatch nut if it’s the last thing I do, then I’ll have him at my mercy. Victory will have never tasted so sweet.
Chloe Liese is a new author to me and it’s the glowing number of reviews that led me to ‘Only When it’s Us’.
There is a lot here that delivers: so much heart, so much vulnerability that revolves around how teens/young adults coming into their own dreams and ambitions, then having those cut short by tragedy. Starting as frenemies forced to work together, snide pranks and cutting words, Ryder and Willa were sort of funny together…until they weren’t.
Learning to recalibrate with every upheaval seemed to be the prevalent theme that runs through this book, at least for Willa and Ryder, two individuals brought together by a meddling professor. Forced to go an emotional journey together, it became clear that Willa’s (annoyingly) modus operandi was pathological avoidance while Ryder (continually) pursued the chase.
There were overly dramatic moments, where every emotion was taken, written or talked about, writ large. Sometimes it made for engaging reading, sometimes it simply caused eye-rolling frustration when the plot got caught in a pattern of Ryder-pushing, Willa-running-because-of-her-daddy-issues right up to the end.
The saving grace perhaps, was the cast of secondary characters found mostly in the form of Ryder’s large Swedish-American family who provided the chuckles as Ryder/Willa were caught in their angst bubble. I’d stay for them and it’ll probably be because of them that I’ll continue with this series.