Series: Say Everything #3
Release Date: July 5th, 2022
CW: mentions of (past) alcohol addiction, mentions of religious cults and suicidal thoughts, anxiety and panic attacks
Behind the careful façade, she’s struggling:
To feel like she fits in. To find her true voice.
Now, finally, she’s ready to start living her own story.
Eliza Catalano has the perfect life. So what if it actually looks nothing like the story she tells online? As a therapist, it’s part of her job to look like she has all the answers, right? But when Eliza ends up as a viral “Worst Date Ever” meme, everything in her Instagram-filtered world begins to crumble.
Enter the most obnoxiously attractive man she’s ever met, and a bet she can’t resist: if she swears off social media for six months, Beck Carter’ll teach her the wonders of surviving the “real world.” No technology, no dating apps, no pretty filters, no BS.
It seems like the perfect deal—she can lay low until her sudden infamy passes, meet some interesting new people, and maybe even curate this experience into a how I quit the online dating racket book along the way. But something about Beck’s raw honesty speaks to Eliza in ways she never expected. She knows he’s supposed to be completely hands-off…but as complex feelings grow and walls come tumbling down, rough-around-the-edges Beck may be exactly what Eliza needs to finally, truly face herself—and decide who she really wants to be.
For You & No One Else by Roni Loren was one of my most anticipated reads for 2022 because I absolutely loved and devoured the first two books in the Say Everything series as I got them and I loved what we got to see of Eliza through those stories. But, while I liked this one, it fell short in certain places.
“Would you let me lick your tattoos?”
“I’d let you lick whatever you want…as long as I got the same privilege afforded to me.”
But let’s start with what I really did like about the book. Gimme an age gap, strangers to friends to friends with benefits to lovers situation and I’m there in a heartbeat. And Eliza and Beckham had great chemistry, fantastic banter and a whole lot of back and forth that made their scenes together incredibly entertaining. Toss in a good dose of insta lust and this book was just bursting at the seams with all the wonderful things that could happen. I loved how vastly different these two were (outside of their age difference obviously) and how those conflicting thoughts and views really sealed the deal on their connection. And I cannot forget Beckham’s very subtle, but obvious, ‘touch her and I’ll hurt you’ vibe from the moment he and Eliza start to get close. I love that not even once does Eliza realise the effect she has on him till he makes that very clear to her.
One of the topics that Roni Loren has covered in all three books is the importance of mental health. We saw Hollyn and Andi go through their fair share of struggles, and as a therapist, it’s obvious that Eliza’s going to have a whole bunch to contend with too. I love the mental health rep in this series, for both the men and women in the books, because it makes them more real and relatable and you truly feel their panic and worries with every passing moment. For You & No One Else also talked about the world of social media and how it’s become a place to portray yourself a certain way even if that’s not who you really are. It’s a good wakeup call, but I’m not sure I’m ready to give all of that up just yet!
Now, for things I didn’t like and/or appreciate. Beckham’s whole life is a mystery. Even in his chapters or his POV, it’s all very vague and then when you really get to see past his charming appearance, it’s slightly unsettling. Please be aware that he’s gone through some pretty ugly stuff in his past and it makes sense why he would hide it. But that only caused a whole heap of miscommunication that slightly upset me. Also, Eliza handled their age difference a lot worse than I thought she would. She seemed to use it as a weapon against Beckham as opposed to looking past that and focusing on how good they were together.
“So I can spend my days trying to find a hypothetical someone for my future, or I can spend my right nows with someone who makes me happy today. I’ve really liked my right nows since I’ve met you.”
But there was definitely more that I liked than I didn’t like, including their mutual love and appreciation for all things Star Wars, Eliza’s incredible friendship with Andi and Hollyn, Eliza and Beckham adopting pets together—we need more Trent and Mabel, please and thanks—and of course all of the steamy goodness. While not as hot as the first two books, For You & No One Else delivers some pretty steamy treats through the book and I enjoyed every minute of it!
Thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca & NetGalley for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.