Author: Lyla Payne
Publisher: 199 Pages (July 1st, 2013)
From: the Author
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK
Check out my review of: Broken At Love (Whitman University, #1)
NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+
Synopsis: 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.
Review: 4 Stars - Author Lyla Payne’s “New Adult” title By Referral Only is the second book in her Whitman University series that follows a new set of characters with each book. I loved the first title, Broken At Love and was highly anticipating the release of this one. It’s a fun series with some series issues that people of all ages can relate to all wrapped up with some fun moments, some laugh out loud moments and some moments that’ll leave you swooning or ready for a cold shower.
Our two main characters are Ruby and Cole. Ruby has had a few tough breaks when it comes to romantic relationships. She’s pretty much anti relationship and is only looking for something short term with no strings attached. Being at Whitman means coming from money and Ruby’s parents weren't born into their money so she sees herself as different then her peers around her. She feels judged and to a certain extent she is which makes her leery of looking for anything serious under after college.
It’s part in turn to Ruby’s own issues with the opposite sex and hearing stories from friends and dorm mates of failed dates, that she gets a hair brained idea to create a website where girls can go on and rate their dates. This will give other girls a chance to find out ahead of time to know an idea what they might experience in a guy if asked out.
This is where our male lead character comes in. Cole is mysterious. He’s charismatic and one of those guys that could pretty much have any girl he would want. Oh and I should mention he’s Scottish. Also, he gets some of the lowest of the low scores on Ruby’s site.
Now, Ruby… gosh I loved this girl. She’s smart, honest to a will tell you like it is point, and has some seriously funny moments throughout the book. She is a fanatic character to read and watch her try her hardest to stay away from the very attractive and very persistent Cole. The two have issues and secrets. It’s these things that keep them from opening up and seeing what’s right in front of them. However it’s these flaws that endear characters to my heart.
One thing I loved was that Payne made sure to include little scenes here and there with Emilie and Quinn which was extremely welcomed. Even the smallest amount of these two brought a huge smile.
All in all I loved By Referral Only. It’s lighter than Broken At Love on many levels. There’s so much to love in Payne’s characters and their friends that I’m not sure I’ll ever get enough of this series! I recommend this title but do suggest starting with Broken At Love, however they can all be read as stand alone, I only suggest starting with the first title because each now book in this series will be centered around secondary characters from books past. I love this series and am looking forward to what I hope will be many, many more books to follow. Enjoy!