Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese
Series Bergman Brothers #1
Published independently on April 1, 2020
Format I read an e-ARC; Kindle
Available for pre-order here
Available on Kindle Unlimited here
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Spoiler Free Review: I loved Only When It’s Us. I hate to boil this book down to tropes (because it is so much more) but it truly had every trope I love in romance – slow-burn, enemies to lovers, sports romance, forced proximity, and it loosely referenced the themes in one of my favorite novels, Pride and Prejudice. Was this book written just for me?? Yes. And I loved it. This is my fourth Chloe Liese book and my favorite to date.
There is so much to love here. Let’s start with the characters. I loved Willa and Ryder. Willa was strong willed, headstrong, and fierce. Plus, I loved that she was the star in this sports romance instead of the hero character for once! It’s funny because I found myself getting frustrated at times with Willa’s stubbornness and reluctance to let people in….but then I remembered I am literately the exact same way in my real life. I know how hard it is to be vulnerable, to have experienced loss, and to grieve just as Willa does here. It made me open my heart to her. I truly empathized with Willa and could understand and relate to all of her decisions even when it frustrated those around her.
Ryder was also such a loveable hero. He truly was the best grumpy hero with such a softness under his hard exterior. I loved how his backstory unfolded and all the growth we experienced with his character.
The relationship between Willa and Ryder was intense, emotional, and very sexy. Chloe Liese did what she does best — give me an emotional story that breaks my heart and puts it back together. Liese gives you all of the feels. The happy, the sad, the angry, the frustration and rolls them all up into one beautifully complex love story. The slow burn only adds to the romance. It slowly builds a foundation for their friendship and their love story so that when they finally, finally get together…it’s magic! (and sexy. don’t forget sexy).
Another shining bright spot in this story is Willa’s relationship with her mom. I don’t want to say much to keep this spoiler free, but it was a beautiful relationship to watch unfold. Something I love to see in romance is complex family dynamics and this one definitely delivered.
Lastly, we can’t forget about the auditory experience that Chloe Liese provides. Oh, yes. There is an accompanying playlist to this book and it’s amazing! I love hearing the music that inspires the author, the story, and the characters. It’s adds such depth to the storytelling. Whether you listen to it while you’re reading or even let it play afterwards, it helps round out the worldbuilding that Liese has done. It really allows the story to play like a movie in your mind.
All in all, I loved Only When It’s Us. If I were you, I’d one click this author permanently and add her to your auto-buy list. You won’t regret it. Now, I ~patiently~ wait for her next release!
About the Author: Chloe writes stories that, like people, resist categories. Her contemporary romances are hot, witty, full of heart and keep you on the edge of your seat. She’s an avid reader, Harry Potter lover, and eats more peanut butter cups than she probably should.