11 July 2013

Title: By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)
Author: Lyla Payne
Publisher: (July 1st, 2013)
Add to: Goodreads
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.

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+


Hi Lyla! Thanks for hanging out with me today and answering some questions. It’s always a pleasure talking with you so I’m excited to have a chance to find out some info on some of my favorite books and characters!

First off, congrats on the second book in the Whitman University Series’ release – By Referral Only. The two books are very different, so I was wondering what challenges you faced when writing By Referral Only that you didn’t have in the first book?

Thank you so much! The books are different, but I feel like they’re similar in tone – lighter than some of the NA running around out there. That said, BY REFERRAL ONLY challenged me more than BROKEN AT LOVE, for sure. I missed the multiple POV, since not having it made Cole a bit more of a mystery than Quinn. Also, Ruby isn’t as inherently likable OR as forthcoming as Emilie, which made her harder to write, and also made me worry people wouldn’t like her. I love her, though, and she is who she is, no matter what.

For readers who have yet to read By Referral Only, can you tell us a bit about your two main characters – Ruby and Cole.

Ruby’s an actress with plans to try to make a career out of it after graduation. She’s been dumped more than once by the guys at Whitman who don’t think her family is good enough, so she’s more focused on sex than relationships. Cole, with his sweet nature, killer swimmer’s body, charity-loving family, and Scottish accent, might seem like the perfect guy, but beware—he has his secrets.

Can you ask Ruby and Cole to each describe the other in 3 words?

Ruby says Cole is sexy, frank, and unnerving. Cole describes her as intoxicating, irresistible, and honest.

In both books you tackle some pretty strong emotions with your characters. Was there any part that proved to be harder to write, or emotionally hard on you during the process? And if not, what about the easiest to write?

It’s always hard to write the scenes where one or more of the characters realizes the other one isn’t perfect. Those are hard moments in fiction, and in life. That said, without them I wouldn’t get to write my favorite moments, which is when they realize they love that person in spite of those flaws or mistakes.

What’s the message you’d like your readers to take away from this story and these two characters?

Hmm, what a good question! I’d say it’s that we can’t pick and choose when people come into our lives and change it, for better or worse.

And lastly, will we be reading anything more in the Whitman University? And if so, care to share with us which two characters we’ll have a chance to spend some quality time with next?

I’m planning to (hopefully) drop TWO more Whitman books before the end of 2013, and both will be boy POV. The only hint I can give right now is that we met both boys in BROKEN AT LOVE, and both love interests were introduced in BY REFERRAL ONLY. Any guesses?

Lyla, it’s always awesome having you here. Feel free to visit anytime! As far as my guesses go for the next two books... I have NO idea!! Though I'm kind of hoping for one boy... a nasty piece of work! And I'm LOVING the idea of having both books be in the BOYS POV! This is exciting!!! 

Thank you for having me! I hope everyone enjoys Ruby’s book as much as I loved getting to know her to write it!

Lyla Payne Bio: 

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked.  In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.

Find Lyla Online:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads


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  1. I want to find out what the secret to Cole's low ratings is! Besides, this sounds like a good, fun book.

  2. I have been trying to read more "new adult" books since they have become such a hot commodity and this one is intriguing. I am curious.

  3. Because it sounds like a good book. Thanks for sharing.


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