I feel STRONGLY about this couple – and most of the time, not in a good way. Their relationship is toxic, emotional, and SUPER angsty for much of the story, but the writing is excellent and I just could not put the story down. I’ve been loving this series, and all of my favorite components are still there – the chemistry, the banter, the family moments, and the steam – but this one also has an unhealthy dose of heartache. I didn’t love it (or even like it some of the time), and that’s mostly because I didn’t actually feel like this couple should be together. But it was also very compelling and I stayed up til 2 am reading so that I could see how it all worked out. So, I’ve got all kinds of mixed feelings about this one, and my rating could honestly fall anywhere between two and five stars – depending on what I choose to focus on.
The story follows Seth and Delilah, former high school sweethearts who broke up after college and have been in an unhealthy cycle of fighting and “frolicking” ever since. They both know that they’re bad for each other, but something keeps them coming back for more. For the last two years, they’ve had a truce of sorts, but that all changes once they cross the line once again. Mixing flashbacks with present day, we learn more about this relationship and what keeps these two connected – for better or worse.
Having read the other books in the series, I was extremely hesitant to start this one. Not because the series hasn’t been great – it has been – but because I knew quite a bit about the relationship already. Seth is the “town bicycle” and everyone in their small town has taken a ride, so the idea of him getting back together with his first love (who has been in the picture while he’s slept around) is somewhat vomit-inducing for me. There’s no cheating, but they both deserve better, and Seth’s mindset is a major red flag for me when future issues arise. Honestly, this book might be triggering to anyone who has been in an abusive relationship, it gets that messy at times. There were moments when I loved Seth, and moments when his cruel words hurt me – and Delilah really isn’t much better.
All of that equates to a book that’s engrossing, unpredictable, and so well written that you just cannot stop reading. I want to emphasize that the author does a very good job depicting this kind of relationship. There were moments of lightness and humor that broke the tension, and the steam is there throughout. I’d love to rate this as four stars based on the writing quality (and strongly considered it), but there was SO much time spent laying out why these two are toxic, and not enough focus on why they actually should be together. There’s essentially no groveling, no resolution of deep issues, no romantic moments. No reason to believe they’ll actually have a HEA. Yes, relationships take work, but they need to be based on more than a foundation of hurt. It’s a compelling, raw, thought-provoking read, but I can’t honestly say that it’s successful as a romance. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this steamy, angsty read.
Seth Loveless has been my weakness since I was sixteen years old.
Two years ago, I moved back to my hometown. I started a business, bought a house, took up yoga, and went on hiatus from dating. Life is good.
If I never had to see Seth, it would be perfect.
After all, my history with my ex-boyfriend is anything but simple. It’s taken us years, but we’ve finally learned to live in the same town without killing each other.
Is there an elaborate set of rules governing our every casual interaction?
Do I still think dirty, off-limits thoughts every single time I see him buying apples at the grocery store?
Of course. I’m only human, and Seth and I are practically experts at the two F’s: fighting, and…
Still, we’re managing just fine.
He shows up at my sister’s wedding. The man looks like pure sex in a suit, handsome as the devil himself and twice as charming.
Worse, he claims he’s my date.
We break every one of our carefully-crafted rules, and we… should stop.
Too bad I’m having the time of my life.
I know I should end it. After all the heartbreak, hurt, and anger we can’t be more than enemies.
But Seth asks me for one more night.
Just one night.
Then, we’re back to being virtual strangers to each other.
I know I should turn him down.
I know this ends with my heart shattered into a million pieces.
I know lunacy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
But I’ve always been bad at resisting a weakness.
One Last Time is a standalone romantic comedy and the final book in the Loveless Brothers series.
Start the series today!
Now, I don’t want this mixed review to put you off of the series, because it’s great. There’s a heavy dose of humor and steam throughout, and each book has its own vibe (One Last Time without a doubt has the most angst). I actually started with Best Fake Fiancé and have been hooked ever since, so they can all be read as standalones, but there’s a rich family connection that ties the books together. Noir has a very distinctive style that pulls you in, and she loves to play with different tropes. The series is well worth a read, especially Best Fake Fiancé and Break the Rules.
Links to Amazon:
Enemies with Benefits: https://amzn.to/3ePcHd7
Best Fake Fiancé: https://amzn.to/2UktH1q
Break the Rules: https://amzn.to/35oxwc0
The Hookup Equation: https://amzn.to/38DhwoG
One Last Time: https://amzn.to/36pribu