|To Add to Goodreads Click HERE|
Whitman University #2
By: Lyla Payne
Published: July 1, 2013
After being unceremoniously dumped freshman year because of her family’s “new money” status, Ruby Cotton has taken care not to put her heart on the line. No matter how enticing Emilie and Quinn make it look, relationships are scary and hard—while a string of flings is easy and fun. That’s what Ruby wants. Easy and fun. The only problem is, when it comes to satisfaction in the sack, most of the boys at Whitman are nothing but pretty window dressing and false advertising.
Ruby takes it upon herself to make campus life more fulfilling, creating a referral database that allows female students to rate their sexual experiences, thereby informing girls of what they’re getting into before agreeing to a date.
When her acting partner, Liam Greene, finally shows some interest, Ruby figures she won’t need to utilize the helpful gossip. He’s handsome, fun, and most importantly, not a guy she’d ever fall for hard enough to let him break her heart.
Not only that, but dating Liam gives Ruby the perfect excuse to say no to Cole Stuart.
As a star swimmer and heir to honest-to-God Scottish royalty, Cole sits at the top of Whitman’s A-list—but he’s also the lowest rated referral on Ruby’s website. The ratings make rejecting his repeated requests for a date a no-brainer, but her real reason for avoiding Cole runs deeper than a string of unsatisfied exes.
He’s gorgeous, he oozes sweetness and charm, and the electricity between them could power half of Whitman, but Ruby knows it will only last until his family or friends convince him she’s not good enough.
Before she knows it she’s falling anyway, waiting for the other shoe to drop but clinging to a tentative hope that Cole might be as different as he seems. When the secret behind his low ratings comes to light, that hope is torn apart, and Ruby wonders if she was right to give him her heart…and whether she has the strength to let him keep it.
Whitman University Series:
*To Read My Review on Broken at Love Click HERE
I am excited to feature and spotlight Lyla Payne on A Bookish Escape today. I was part of her Broken At Love Tour and enjoyed the first segment in the Whitman University Series. Now that I have also read, By Referral Only, which is the sequel and is Ruby's story, (Emilie's best friend), I look forward to continuing with this great series. Ruby attends Whitman University, belongs to the Delta Epsilon Sorority, and has ambitions of moving to New York and pursuing acting after she graduates from college. Her heart was broken her freshman year of college when she was rejected after her boyfriend's parents didn't approve of her because she came from "New Money." Ruby came from a family that had poor beginnings, but then became wealthy through the innovation of her father in the computer industry. She constantly feels judged, and like she is looked down upon because of her background. So, she just has flings with guys, and has no intention of having a serious relationship until she graduates. When one of her sorority sisters takes the "walk of shame," one morning and complains about her date, Ruby begins discussing, along with other sorority sisters all of the shortcomings they've had to deal with as part of their dating and sexual experiences. Ruby gets the idea that in order to help other women at her college she should start a referral system where women anonymously rate the men from 1-5 stars and then answer yes or no to if they would give them a referral for their sexual prowess.
When Ruby is checking her referral database, the one man that comes up with the worst ratings, and least amount of referrals is Cole Stuart. Ruby ends up meeting Cole in her required speech class. They are instantly attracted, and can't stop staring into each others eyes. After class, Cole asks Ruby out. She is attracted to his beautiful green eyes, swimmer's body, scottish accent, and charming demeanor, but turns him down based on his lack of referrals and low ratings. She decides to have a fling with her co-actor Liam Greene who she has been attracted to for quite a while. Unfortunately, Liam is a total disappointment. In the meantime, Ruby's director, Geoff, has her volunteer to teach Shakespeare and acting to a group of kids at the Coterie. The board of directors includes professionals that can help Ruby's acting career. Cole is also on the board. Pretty soon Cole and Ruby are around each other constantly, whether from school, volunteering to teach acting to kids, or when their sorority and fraternity get together for social gatherings. The more Ruby gets to know Cole, the more she can't understand his poor ratings, and the more she realizes that she is falling for him. It becomes evident that Cole harbors a secret, and Ruby is scared to let her guard down, and get her heart broken.
I really enjoyed By Referral Only. It was an entertaining, simple, sweet, and fast paced story about falling in love, not prejudging others, and taking chances. The story was romantic, fun, and true to life. It reminded me of how horrible being in the dating circuit can be, getting your heart broken, and the process of finding yourself in the college years. I was glad to see how great Emilie and Quinn's relationship continued to be, as well as how close of friends Emilie and Ruby were. My favorite secondary characters in this story were Cole's siblings Audra, Gavin, Law, and Nox, and one of Ruby's little acting pupils, Caroline. They added to the story, and made me relate to my own siblings, how close and overprotective we can be, but also how we love teasing and embarrassing each other. This story was light hearted, and I would read it, if your looking for a non angst filled book that is fun, romantic, and easy reading.
I give By Referral Only 4 charming, romantic, sweet, and dreamy stars! You will fall for Cole, a gorgeous, sweet, and romantic guy with a sexy Scottish accent. He teaches Ruby about self love, confidence, and how special she is. He makes Ruby see things in a different light, question her own prejudices, re-evaluate her beliefs, and how she lives her life. He frees her, and the love he gives her is empowering, and beautiful.
My Favorite Quotes:
"I think, Ruby Cotton, that you should expect everything from any man who spends time with you with romantic intentions. A man who will please you and be proud of you." (eARC, Loc. 2222)
"My heat pounded. I knew now that I hadn't ever been in love. I'd never felt the way I did in Cole's arms, or when I saw him waiting for me after class, or just the way being with him made me feel worthy of my own skin." (eARC, Loc. 3094)
"No. There are no other girls, as far as I'm concerned, and there never will be. When I look into the future, all I see is you, and us, and a million more moments like this." (eARC, Loc. 3713)
About the Author:
Lyla Payne is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She has long had a love of stories. A few years ago she decided to put them down on the page, and even though Lyla has a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where she found a home. When the idea for (her first New Adult title) arrived, Lyla couldn’t wait to try something new – and she’s hooked. In her spare time, Lyla watches a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), plays a ton of tennis, and dedicates a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.
Lyla Payne is represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.