Jane Hollinger is the wrong side of thirty, divorced and struggling to pay the mortgage her cheating ex left her with. As a qualified genealogist, teaching family history evening classes is a way for her to make ends meet. But she begins to wonder if it’s such a good idea when a late enroller for the class is a little... odd. “Badly-blond Bloke” both scares and intrigues Jane, and when she discovers he is her all-time favourite actor and huge crush, Robert Armstrong, she’s stunned. Even more stunning to Jane is the fact that Robert is interested in her romantically. He’s everything she ever dreamed of, and more, but can she overcome her fear of living in the public eye to be with the man she loves?
Last year I was contacted by Lorna Peel, author of contemporary and historical romance fiction, about possibly reviewing her romance novel ‘Only You.’ I did a bit of research and stumbled upon Lorna’s website (http://lornapeel.com/) and was quite curious to check out her work. ‘Only You’ was released as an e-book in October 2014 by Tirgearr Publishing and appears to be a promising romance read with its romantic black-and-white cover. Lorna will be releasing another novel this upcoming Spring, titled ‘Into the Unknown’, which also sounds like a fascinating read. However, for now I had ‘Only You’ to dive into which provided me with the chance to get to know Lorna Peel’s writing!
Thirty-something Jane Hollinger is trying to pick up her life after her divorce. Her ex-husband has left her with some trust issues after he cheated on her, and a mortgage to pay. Jane tries to focus on making ends meet thanks to her job as a teacher at the local adult education centre. Her sister Mags and best friend Carol believe it's time for Jane to move on and find something new, so they get her to join a dating website. However, it is during one of her genealogy classes that Jane's attention is caught by a slightly strange guy; a guy who turns out to be famous film actor Robert Armstrong. Jane can't believe it's actually him and she's even more stunned when she realises Robert has feelings for her. But is she ready to start a new relationship, let alone one with an incredibly popular actor?
The storyline of 'Only You' is quite a classic one; a normal woman meets a famous and handsome actor who falls in love with her, which results in her suddenly being thrust into the spotlight. While the storyline is quite predictable, I am always interested in seeing how different authors deal with a classic storyline like this one. Lorna Peel managed to create two interesting main characters; both Jane and Robert were easy to like and had their own individual background stories. While Jane has trust issues, Robert is looking for an honest woman who can offer him some normality in his crazy film star life. I loved how Jane and Robert met and felt myself rooting for them from quite early on in the novel, which I personally think is crucial to any convincing romance story.
While the novel definitely has a good basis, I occasionally missed things to make the story more complete. For example, some of Jane's actions were quite sudden and unexplained, and I sometimes missed certain story details such as why exactly Robert falls in love with Jane. I would have loved to have read more about the genealogy aspect of the storyline and Robert's family history, and Jane's previous marriage; maybe if these items had been explored in more detail I would have been able to connect with both the characters and the storyline on a deeper level. Overall, 'Only You' is an enjoyable retelling of a classic storyline with interesting characters at its core; however, to me personally some elements seemed to be missing which prevented me from really diving into the story, which was a shame. I am curious to see what the author's other works are like, though, and will hopefully have the chance to read another one of her books in the future!