Elaine White is the author of multi-genre MM romance, celebrating 'love is love' and offering diversity in both genre and character within her stories.
Growing up in a small town and fighting cancer in her early teens taught her that life is short and dreams should be pursued. She lives vicariously through her independent, and often hellion characters, exploring all possibilities within the romantic universe.
The Winner of two Watty Awards – Collector's Dream (An Unpredictable Life) and Hidden Gem (Faithfully) – and an Honourable Mention in 2016's Rainbow Awards (A Royal Craving) Elaine is a self-professed geek, reading addict, and a romantic at heart.
I’m an author and reader, who just can’t get away from books. I discovered the MM genre a few years ago and became addicted.
Top #50 UK reviewer on Goodreads
#1 reviewer on Divine Magazine
Case Holden hates his life. Made rich at a young age, he slipped into a lifestyle of partying with multiple boyfriends who only wanted to be with him for what he could give them. After confiding to his aunt that he’s miserable, she extends an invitation for a visit. Case plans to spend the time in small town Clover City to reprioritize and plant his feet on the road to happiness. He does not expect the Clover City sheriff to step into his world and wreak havoc on his emotions.
Two years ago, after the death of his partner, Rawley Kane moved to Clover City, trading the painful memories and big city madness for a less stressful existence. Even as sheriff, his life is uncomplicated and quiet. That is until Case Holden rolls into town and reminds Rawley just how lonely he is, and of everything he’s been missing.
Case is everything Rawley shouldn’t want. The man has six boyfriends and a life back in Denver, not to mention he’s quite a bit younger than Rawley. No matter what he tells himself, he can’t get enough of the young man. And Case has made it clear Rawley is the only one he wants. Now if they could just get past Rawley’s guilt and Case’s insistent boyfriends, they just might stand a chance.
Book – Only You
Author – Kay Doherty
Star rating - ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 141
Cover – Nice!
POV – 3rd person, dual character
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Contemporary, MM, Romance
** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **
WARNINGS: deals with issues of mental health and PTSD
The acknowledgments highlight an early warning that this book deals with the invisible illness that is PTSD. As someone with an invisible illness, though not PTSD or a mental health issue, the acknowledgment speaks to me in a way that promises to handle these issues with gentle awareness, compassion, understanding and, most of all, an intimate awareness of how debilitating and all consuming an invisible illness can be. That is before taking into consideration outside influences, such as other people's impressions and their treatment of those invisible illnesses, which can often be as debilitating and harmful as the PTSD itself.
Holy cow! That was an emotional rollercoaster and a half!
This is a new-to-me author and I'll definitely be giving Kay Doherty another go in the future. The writing was spot on, exactly my kind of writing style, and with exactly my kind of balance between description and dialogue.
With great attention to detail – well balanced, not over-done or exaggerated – the story began with a great set up of mood, location, atmosphere and characterisation, beginning the story with our all important introduction to Casey, on the day all his luck has run out. I loved that we were immediately in his head space and aware of his issues, without it being an info-dump. Then, when the POV switched to Rawley, I was thrilled. Dual POV is my favourite, especially when one of the MC's is a broody, grumpy sheriff!
Both these MC's have a past and a history that has left deep emotional scars, but they work so well together. I could feel the chemistry between them the minute they met, and that carried on throughout the story, growing and becoming solid. Saying that, however, I really loved how realistic they both were. Rawley and Casey accepted that they barely knew each other, that their feelings were based on lust and a physical attraction, and some deep seated need to be loved. It didn't stop them from being together, but I always knew they were going in with their eyes wide open. Each of them, at some point, considered the challenges and consequences – Casey's numerous boyfriends, Rawley's past, their age difference, how little time they'd known each other, Rawley being closeted in town, even the consideration that Casey might leave and go back to his numerous boyfriends. Though they often got swept up in the romance and the lust, neither of them ever forgot the bigger picture and that's rare to find in a romance novel.
What I also loved – but can't say too much about, because it would be a huge spoiler – is that even the MC's have to face the consequences of their actions. I'm talking about the end of the book, which is why that's all I'm going to say about it. It's great to see it happening, because it's real and logical and, sure, it may not be romantic, but the author sure made it feel right for the characters and the moment. And, in a way, it really was quite romantic, all for reasons I can't explain.
Were there any negatives? There were some minor editing issues, with a missing word in one or two places, but surprisingly very little for an early release/ARC copy. I did find that some of the early chapters had a flow/timeline issue that just didn't have the seamlessness of the rest of the novel, but those are all minor things and really didn't make an impact on my reading.
Overall, it was a fantastic read. It really lifted my mood with the perfect ending, despite the rollercoaster I'd had throughout. I loved everyone! Jordan was over the top. Trent was adorable. Aunt Sylvia was amazing! Jake and Ryan were brilliant. Ted is awesome! Everyone is awesome!!! In fact, I would absolutely love to read more about this little community, especially if Ted or Trent were to have a story of their own. Please????
In the end, I can only say that it was pretty perfect. From the chemistry, the characterisation, the plot, and the writing style, it all came together in a great book that dealt sympathetically with some very serious issues. It's a story of self-discovery, of healing, of emotional torment, of self-acceptance, of recovery, and of the realities of PTSD. But it's also a story about growth, love, change, and letting go of the things that hold a person back and stop them from moving on.
“The way his aunt was talking, Case had to wonder just how well she was acquainted with the sheriff. Uncle Ed had been dead for five years, but Aunt Sylvia was still fairly young and lively. If Case found out he was salivating over his aunt's newest, much younger love interest, he was going to dig his eyes out of his skull.”
““You don't stop loving someone just because they die, Rawley. You loved him then, you love him now, you will continue to love him for the rest of your life.”