This is the first book to Jess Dee’s new two part series “Circle of Friends”. Only Tyler is the second book I’ve read by Jess Dee, and I enjoyed it immensely. I knew that I wanted to read more of her books after I read Photo Opportunity, and jumped at the chance when I saw her name – and also the premise of this book.
I’ve always been passionately fond of a good love triangle (likely carry over from adoring Cyrano De Bergerac), so that combined with a new Jess Dee book was irresistible. I absolutely adored the opening to this book. There’s a real warmth to all the characters – and yet the story has a lighthearted and humorous vibe. It all works very well – and fits the setting of Down Under.
The heroine Kate is a well written character. She’s smart, kind, and generally has her head on straight. Unfortunately, there were [about] two chapters where I wanted to smack her. I’d just finished another book with a similar problem, so my tolerance level was low. Luckily, the beginning and end soothed my irritated soul.
What bothered me about Kate was that she could be a bit melodramatic — as well as wishy-washy. I wish her character would have been just a tiny bit stronger, and that she had been more honest with herself. The fact that Kate continued to perpetuate the farce of her relationship with Steve after she and Tyler essentially got back together was a bit much for me. But still, and aside, Kate is quite likable. It was nice that Kate could be independent, and had her own life outside her emotional ruin with Tyler. It’s also not too difficult to forgive her emotional confusion between the two men she loves. (In entirely different ways.)
Tyler was a great character. Well written, well meaning, and a great match for Kate. He was human, and reasonable. Willing to give his all to win back the woman he loves, yet not abrasive about it. I respected the Tyler who made a decision and decided to go for it. (His reasons for leaving while potentially understandable, were a bit weak.) Tyler also has personality and depth. He’s smart, driven, pragmatic, and… yes – extremely sexy. (Come on, that is a major positive!) He’s sweet, and caring, and I loved his emotional depth. Ms. Dee did a wonderful job of portraying Tyler’s dilemma between wanting to build a life with the woman of his dreams, and not destroying the precious relationship he has with his best friend. And you know what? Tyler’s just fun – and it’s always good to read a story with a hero like that.
One thing I didn’t like in the book was all the intrigue and secrets- pertaining to Tyler and Pen. I can understand it, but when detached from the story itself — or reflecting back on it after having read the story, it seems like its main purpose is to draw the reader to getting the second book — which I think is unnecessary. I want to read Circle of Friends: Steve’s Story regardless of that – and possibly despite the lures. And as I said before, the drawn out misunderstanding between the characters. It was slightly reminiscent of those comedic sequences on a sitcom in the not so wonderful sense. Then there were the issues that could have been resolved with five words, but instead were ignored and then turned into major productions.
Okay, and normally I don’t say anything about them — and be objective here — especially not about eBook covers, but I really liked the cover for this book! Kudos to Scott Carpenter! And also, another thing I generally don’t mention — the dedication. In these times, I think it will resonate with a lot of readers/people.
Anyway, this was an extremely cute, feel good read – with well developed characters, as well as an extremely well written story line. I found Only Tyler hard to put down and am eager for the next book. (Yes, I went and read the excerpt for Steve’s Story!) A good love triangle is one of my favorite story lines, and I think they’re all too rare these days. (Notice I wrote good.) I found the relationships between all three believable, and I definitely recommend this book to any fan of Ms. Dee’s writing, as well as anyone else looking for a great contemporary romance.
Love…or friendship? Does she really have to choose?
Katelyn Rosewood is facing a moral dilemma, one that’s six-foot-two, sexy as sin—and her fiancé’s best friend. Katie spent a lot of time getting over Tyler Bonnard, but now that he’s back in Sydney, he’s turning her carefully reconstructed world upside down.
Her relationship with Steve Sommers may be short on heat and desire, but after Tyler left her two years before, she’ll take security and solid friendship over wild passion any day. Except Tyler seems to have a good—if outrageous—explanation for why he’s returned.
After a tragic family secret tore him out of Katie’s life, Tyler is glad to be back with his two best friends. But one thing is out of place: Katie’s in the wrong man’s arms. And if her reaction to his return is any indication, she’s not quite over him. Which could mean hope for Tyler, heartbreak for Steve…
And another devastating loss for Katie, who must choose between the man to whom she’s committed her future, and the man who still holds her heart.
Warning: Keep a tissue or two handy while reading this book. While it does contain a few steamy love scenes, the rest of the story might just make you cry.
Read an excerpt here.
Other books in the series: