Just a drive by to let you know that BY REFERRAL ONLY is part of a boxed set right now SIX amazing NA novels actually SET IN COLLEGE for under 1 s got a new cover, guys What do you think Hey beauties In case you fans and supporters of Whitman University need some fun and feisty and Scottish weekend reading, here s a heads up BY REFERRAL ONLY is available a few days early I am so, so hoping y all enjoy Ruby and Cole s story because I am beyond pleased with how it turned out I can t wait to hear everyone s thoughts Links Kindle is on the way, hopefully soon OMG OMG OMG WE RE FINALLY LIVE ON ITUNES YOU GUYS REFERRAL ONLY is ON SALE, TODAY ONLY for Kindle Grab it for.99 3 starsI liked the first book But this book, it was disappointing I almost put By Referral Only in my DNF shelf because of Ruby She was very annoying After a few chapters, the story was no longer appealing to me She ruined it for me and I hated her for it I d rate this book 2 stars but I put it 3 stars because one star is solely for Cole I liked him a lot Anyway, this book could be better without someone like Ruby in it.Read on your own peril. Also posted to Jen in BooklandUgh I really couldn t stand Ruby She was horrible Her self loathing poor me attitude was just horrible I hated her so much She came from new money and so apparently people expected her to act like a white trash princess so what does she do Acts like a white trash princess then gets mad when people see her that way Um okayif you don t want people to see you that way stop acting that way Then she complains about poor her everyone judges her without knowing her, but she does the exact same thing With everyone So she had a boyfriend dump her once, because she thinks his family didn t like her, so that means everyone at her fancy school will be like that Everyone It doesn t matter how nice they are to her or the sweet things they do, they don t actually like her Um okaypot meet kettle It was so frustrating So then she doesn t want a relationship she just wants a sex partner Fine, but why in the world would you stay with Liam then The sex is not good, he is a complete jerk to you sowhy stay with him If you just want a sex partner I am positive you can find someone to actually have enjoyable sex with I didn t get it Ruby just complained and whined and made assumptions about everyone the entire way through the book Sure suddenly at the end she see the error of her ways and that Cole might actually like her and so she changes overnight Sure I buy that I liked Cole and couldn t understand why he wanted Ruby I mean she was pretty terrible to him I mean after he reveals his humiliating secret that he is super ashamed of she just storms off and calls it off with him Nice Way to go I wish it would have taken groveling to get him back It was way too easy She pretty much just smiled at him and he was all okay Boo You deserve better Cole You deserve way better than Ruby You deserve someone who will treat you with respect and love you like you love them Not stupid Ruby poor me whiny pants who treats you like crap I really don t get it I also wanted to slap Ruby so many times and just be like so what you are new money and people think less of you for it At least you have money to get an education at a fancy school and make all your fancy contacts so you will probably have a leg up after you graduate Plus you can go to New York and try and make it big on Broadway without having to worry about money or anything so I really feel bad for you Suck it up and be thankful for what you do have because there are plenty of intelligent driven people who just cannot afford to go to school and do not get the opportunities you have I don t feel bad for poor little rich girl Man I hated her I really wish she would have been written so that she was somewhat sympathetic, but she was just horrible. BY REFERRAL ONLY made me reconsider my usual wariness of contemporary romances I devoured it in one sitting, and finished it smiling I don t think I ve ever laughed so much reading sex scenes and I mean that as a compliment This book is smart, funny, and unputdownable.BROKEN AT LOVE fans will be pleased to see Emilie and Quinn make a reappearance in this novel, but will be equally captivated or even , as I was by Ruby and Cole Ruby is smart, tough, and ambitious and, as we already know, a fantastic friend Her insecurities are believable and heartbreaking though I must admit to being a bit mystified by Whitman s world of old and new money and family status, which sounds horrifying Likewise, Cole is well, clears throat A sweetheart with a killer swimmer s body and a Scottish brogue, he is pretty much irresistible I fell happily into the fantasy that such people do exist at least for the several hours I spent reading the novel Readers will not be disappointed by to use Ruby s term the hanky panky, which is even sexier than in Payne s first new adult outing, but the rest of the book is equally compelling, thanks in large part to the cast of uniformly entertaining characters I would be remiss in not mentioning Cole s family, who are loyal, funny, and all around delightful I would happily read stories in any genre about their adventures, because they are awesome.The initial premise, upon which the title plays, is clever and fun Ruby masterminds a database where the ladies on campus can rate their sexual partners and decide whether or not to give each Whitman guy a referral Payne sets this up as a question of female solidarity why let another lady get in bed with a guy if it s not going to be good As in BROKEN AT LOVE, Payne s characters are refreshingly sex positive the novel plays out a nuanced version of the sex with and without emotional intimacy debate I was left wondering if there were parallels between Sebastian and Quinn s schemes in BROKEN AT LOVE and Ruby s database whether the database leveled the playing field as information passed along among friends would , or whether there was something a bit cruel about it Would an impersonal referral system ultimately fail because one person might be an exception to the rule, or because sex is complicated than star rating systems and yes no answers How would this play out with same sex couples I d love to see a broader range of sexualities in further Whitman novels, even amongst supporting characters Payne has done an absolutely fantastic job creating Whitman and its world It s a credit to her that every time I met supporting characters I wondered and hoped that they would get their own story one of these days I can t wait to see where this series goes.Absolutely recommended This review is of an ARC, courtesy of the author. All right I literally just finished this book, and I should probably wait to review it but I can t and I won t Because I loved it.Now, I have to say that it took me a minute I was immediately drawn in because Payne made me laugh my ass off pretty much straight from the beginning.Here was my issue Ruby s kind of a bitch.I did not find myself liking her The fact that her biggest problem is that she s not old money I thought was misguided and vapid But, that s kind of where Ruby is when the story starts.Here s my advice Stick it out HOLY COLE.Seriously Motherloving Cole, all day, all night, in a kilt, out of a kilt I DONT CARE I want one.Thank goodness for him seeing something in her and believing in her Because otherwise She was on self destruct JustI don t know I feel great after finishing it I m entirely satisfied.Great romance novel Pick it up, for sure. Please, Please, Please let this book be about Emilie and Quinn I still have so many questions Please give me a hint Where is this one going Ruby Cotton is considered new money Something she learned very quickly is frowned upon by those with old money After being dumped her Freshman year by a boyfriend because of it, she decided never to put her heart on the line again with a Whitman boy But she also doesn t want to waste her time with guys who aren t worth the effort After running into a sorority sister who had a bad evening with Cole fucking Stuart she comes up with the idea of a referral website A website where the female population of Whitman University can rate and refer the guys they date or have dated This should make it easier to pick the right guy to have flings with right It s okay though, Ruby, a theatre major, has her eyes set on Liam, an actor she is working in a production with which saves her from having to come up with an excuse as to why she can t go out with Cole Stuart Cole Stuart has the lowest ranking on the website though, so she wouldn t consider him either way But Cole isn t going to take no for an answer He s bound and determined to explore the chemistry he has with Ruby but he s got to break through her defenses first and get her to realize he s not a typical Whitman guy I really loved Broken at Love, even though Quinn wasn t your typical hero so when I got my hands on this one I was incredibly excited And I wasn t disappointed in fact, I loved this than the first I m going to blame that on a certain Scottish, kilt wearing, swoony guy.First let s talk about Ruby Ruby s hang ups with her new money status are just that Her hang ups But they re realistic Who wants to put their heart on the line when they feel like ultimately they won t stand up to family scrutiny She has been burned before, and she s not going to let it happen again I loved that Payne turned the tables on us readers by making Ruby the one who comes up with this idea of rating guys I mean who wouldn t use that website if it was really out there Exactly I think I actually laughed the loudest when the girls were telling their hook up horror stories In fact I believe I read that whole passage out loud to my sister Now Cole Stuart If you re looking for a swoony, sweet, guy who is actual royalty look no further Oh he s also a swimmer So go ahead and picture that in your mind now add a kilt I swear that I may have been fascinated by kilt wearing men previously, but after this book I m definitely intrigued You guys, he may have the lowest rating on Ruby s site, but it s not for any reason you might be expecting He s determined to make Ruby see him for who he is instead of who she thinks he is But that s the catch Cole has a few secrets and when Ruby finds out, well I ll let you find out all the details by reading But holy crap the swoon this guy givesWhat if I said I wanted to date you and yes, Ruby, go to bed with you but not for a few weeks or a month I want to talk about Christmas, and showing you Elgin, and maybe a spring holiday on the Mediterranean I don t want to see you with the expectation that it won t last Payne does an amazing job creating the world of Whitman University and the characters that go there While this one is a bit lighter in drama than the first, it s still a perfect read and I really loved the twist and finally finding out about Cole This is a book 2 in a series, but if you haven t read Broken At Love, it s not necessary even though I recommend that one too These can be read as stand alones if you want, they are companion books than series books Both Quinn Emilie from Broken at Love are in this one a bit, and it s nice to see where they are in their lives as well.Lyla Payne is one of the reasons I still go back to the New Adult genre She is an excellent writer and the stories she crafts, while on the surface they may sound like so many others, they are written with a fresh voice and I can t wait for even from her Thank you to the author for an advance copy for an honest review This review can be found on my blog, Fic Fare After Being Unceremoniously Dumped Freshman Year Because Of Her Family S New Money Status, Ruby Cotton Has Taken Care Not To Put Her Heart On The Line No Matter How Enticing Emilie And Quinn Make It Look, Relationships Are Scary And Hard While A String Of Flings Is Easy And Fun That S What Ruby Wants Easy And Fun The Only Problem Is, When It Comes To Satisfaction In The Sack, Most Of The Boys At Whitman Are Nothing But Pretty Window Dressing And False AdvertisingRuby Takes It Upon Herself To Make Campus Life Fulfilling, Creating A Referral Database That Allows Female Students To Rate Their Sexual Experiences, Thereby Informing Girls Of What They Re Getting Into Before Agreeing To A DateWhen Her Acting Partner, Liam Greene, Finally Shows Some Interest, Ruby Figures She Won T Need To Utilize The Helpful Gossip He S Handsome, Fun, And Most Importantly, Not A Guy She D Ever Fall For Hard Enough To Let Him Break Her HeartNot Only That, But Dating Liam Gives Ruby The Perfect Excuse To Say No To Cole StuartAs A Star Swimmer And Heir To Honest To God Scottish Royalty, Cole Sits At The Top Of Whitman S A List But He S Also The Lowest Rated Referral On Ruby S Website The Ratings Make Rejecting His Repeated Requests For A Date A No Brainer, But Her Real Reason For Avoiding Cole Runs Deeper Than A String Of Unsatisfied ExesHe S Gorgeous, He Oozes Sweetness And Charm, And The Electricity Between Them Could Power Half Of Whitman, But Ruby Knows It Will Only Last Until His Family Or Friends Convince Him She S Not Good Enough Before She Knows It She S Falling Anyway, Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop But Clinging To A Tentative Hope That Cole Might Be As Different As He Seems When The Secret Behind His Low Ratings Comes To Light, That Hope Is Torn Apart, And Ruby Wonders If She Was Right To Give Him Her Heart And Whether She Has The Strength To Let Him Keep It When I was in middle school and high school, I was all about romance novels and chick lit I couldn t get enough of largely idealized love stories As I got a bit older and realized the universe wasn t soon going to deposit a hot foreign guy on my doorstep, one miraculously only attracted to me and wealthier than Midas, I got a bit disillusioned Only in the last couple years have I started to enjoy romance novels again, though it s hard to say whether that s because of increased cynicism or optimism on my part There s something sort of comforting in a familiar, predictable plot arc sometimes, knowing that HEA is coming and that there will be hot sexy times.Second in the Whitman University series, By Referral Only is technically a companion novel, following the roommate of the heroine of Broken at Love Ruby Cotton and I got off to a bit of a rough start She s not as easily likable as Emilie, judgmental and intentionally crass Also, she s a virgin shamer, which isn t a good way to endear a character to me Still, she did grow on me a bit as time went by and she realized how bad her emotional hang ups were Also, the fact that she s an actress and loves Shakespeare and musicals, as well as being a great teacher for a class of children was good too.What s awesome about By Referral Only is that the traditional gender roles are pretty much swapped Ruby Cotton loves sex and hates commitment She intentionally seeks out hot guys that she s not attracted to any way but physically for extended flings, because one night stands aren t good enough to be worth the trouble Ruby s sexually adventurous and emotionally closed off, due to painful relationships in her past Now, when I say painful, I mean real life painful, not tragically abusive or anything like that, because this isn t one of those stories She s just had her heartbroken and doesn t want to go there again.Sick of subpar hookups, Ruby decides to launch a website so that the women of Whitman University can objectify the men on campus right back The ladies of Whitman can rate the men both in terms of how good the sex was and whether they would recommend him overall That whole premise is pretty hilarious to me, ngl Anyway, Ruby immediately catches the eye of a hot boy in class, only to realize he s gotten the lowest ratings of any guy on campus on her site Whoops.Of course, Cole, the guy, turns out to be too tempting to resist, despite the lack of referral from her peers Plus, the whole mystery of why he s such a good kisser, but apparently bad in the sack, engages her curiosity Oh, did I mention Cole is Scottish Seriously Where are all the hot European men in my life I feel cheated Cole turns out to be a really nice, rather nerdy guy, who shares Ruby s love of musical theatre He s also totally the innocent one in the relationship and very focused on commitment They definitely made a believable and shippable couple than Quinn and Emilie, with romantic issues that are way true to life.The other awesome aspect of By Referral Only is the focus on healthy female friendships, often absent from romance novels Emilie and Ruby get along really well, even if they are both busy with boys a lot of the time Still, when Ruby needs advice, Emilie comes through for her, not just telling her what she wants to hear but what she needs to hear Plus, it s not one of those situations where they secretly hate or envy one another Ruby s a bit jealous of Emilie s loving relationship, but in the I wish I had a love like that way and not in the misery wants company way Ruby also has a burgeoning friendship with Cole s sister Audra.The focus on how well off everyone at Whitman is did get old, though Seriously, you all bathe in twenty dollar bills, I get it Ruby liked to mope about because she comes from new money and a lot of the other Whitman students don t respect her Poor little rich girl, let me wipe away your tears with a big stack of money.If you enjoyed Broken at Love, By Referral Only will not disappoint If you re just checking in now, reading By Referral Only probably won t spoil anything, since it s not like it s a spoiler that the couple from Broken at Love ends up together The Whitman University series is fun, quick and totally entertaining.
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- Kindle Edition
- 290 pages
- By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)
- Lyla Payne
- 04 September 2019 Lyla Payne