In LET ME BE THE ONE, the brand-new book in Bella Andre’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling series about the Sullivan family, high school unrequited sweethearts finally find their way back to each other after years of a strong long distance friendship.
When Vicki Bennett saved Ryan Sullivan’s life as a teenager, it was the beginning of a close friendship and a shared secret longing for more that never wavered despite Vicki’s failed marriage to someone else and Ryan’s well-earned reputation as a ladies man. So when she suddenly finds herself back in town after 15 years and needs a pretend boyfriend to protect herself and her career from a powerful man’s advances, he is the only person she can imagine asking. And he couldn’t be happier to jump into the role that he has always dreamed of.
Ryan will do anything to protect Vicki from harm, but when their “fake” kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night that neither of them can resist, they both fear that they have made the biggest mistake of all by irreparably jeopardizing their friendship. Or is it possible that what they’ve both been looking for has been right there the whole time…and the perfect combination of wicked and sweet, friendship and love, is finally within reach? This fear pulls at them both as they struggle with their raging desire for more and yet fear to voice their desires and possibly risking what they have because their friendship is by far the most important thing to both of them. As Vicki’s career is continued to be put in jeopardy by the power hungry men in her life Ryan is forced to up the game – turning him from a fake boyfriend into a fake fiancé hoping to solidify her appearance of “off limits” which in turn continues to blur the lines of their friendship. Publicly being forced to play the role of what they have both always dreamed of, they are both forced to decide is the chance of having all of this for real worth risking the friendship you can’t live without?
This is another beautiful story from Bella Andre and a wonderful addition to the series. It was nice to finally know more about Ryan and see the many facets and edges to his personality. The fact that Vicki and Ryan have such a long-standing relationship added depth to the story and made her the perfect match for him. She doesn’t see him for the star he is today but as the sweet, happy boy that she fell in love with at 15. She loves him for his caring, generous heart and protectiveness of her. She loves that he can always make her smile and feel safe. The fame and money that he brings to the table mean nothing to her. As a struggling artist she could have easily taken advantage of his fame and money but instead she sees him as a friend to talk to and lean on. And in turn he is her biggest fan cheering her on as she finds her footing and discovers that she is as talented as Ryan has always told her she is. His unending support enables her to grow and break out of her shy shell and into the strong women that was always waiting to break free. Although this story is mainly about their finally admitting their true feelings for each other, it is also about their own personal growth and discovering who they both are, want to be, and what they have to have in order to be happy. If you are not a follower of this series it can be read as a stand-alone. The siblings only appear in a couple of scenes and don’t have much influence on the overall story. However, since this book is later in the series there are references to the conclusions of how several of the other books turned out so they could prove to be a spoiler if you plan to go back and read the other ones. If that doesn’t bother you and you just want to try out one from this series – this is an excellent book! I had trouble putting it down – as I always do with Bella Andre. Simply a great treasure to read again and again – you can’t go wrong with this one!
RATING: Five Chocolate Dipped Strawberries