Review: Only the Beginning by Elle Thorpe

only the beginningTitle: Only the Beginning

Author: Elle Thorpe

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Actress Bianca James

The hero: Carpenter Riley Clarke

The blurb: I’m the darling of Australian TV. A good-girl actress with a spotless record. Or at least, that’s what I let the public believe. But what I do behind closed doors would shock them all. I’m a far cry from the girl next door I play on their screens each night.

Riley Clarke knows that better than anyone.

I loved him once, but for the past ten years, all we’ve done is fuck and fight. Some might say we’re friends with benefits, but the truth is, we aren’t even friends. All we are is explosive chemistry and screw-you-senseless sex. He makes me hot. He makes me feel. He makes me reckless.

When scandal rocks my carefully constructed world and my secrets are exposed, it’s Riley’s arms that close around me, protecting me from the storm. But storms create floods, and a flood can drown you. You and the people you love.

Standalone or series: This is book four of the Only You series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: I really enjoyed this story about two people in love, but for different reasons are unable to make it work. Bianca is a household name thanks to her decade long lead role on a famous Australian TV show. Riley is a carpenter who became a father at sixteen. Because they have the same small circle of close friends, they are part of each other’s lives, and all they do when they’re around each other is fight or rip each other’s clothes off, sometimes both.

Riley has loved Bianca for ten years, but he’s tired of their dance. Bianca has loved Riley for ten years, but she’s afraid to be in a serious relationship with him because of her life. Dragging him and his daughter in front of the spotlight is the last thing she wants, especially because of what – or more precisely, who – she’s already lost to fame.

When they finally agree to give a relationship a go, it backfires spectactularly, thanks to the paparazzi and a secret Bianca didn’t even realise she was keeping. Once Riley knows the truth about everything, will he stand his ground and keep her close, or will he walk away forever? How will Bianca bond with his daughter who hates her?

I adored Riley. He was a really lovely guy just trying to do his best, even when he was out of his depth. I felt for Bianca, for the little girl whose childhood was marred by tragedy and the woman who’s sacrificed the man she loves to protect him. It was a pleasure to read their story.