Cover Image: Only When It's Us

Only When It's Us

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Member Reviews

From the start of this book i was hooked and knew I had found a new favorite author. I thought this would be just another college sports romance, but it was so much more than that. The connection between Willa and Ryder was the kind you dream of having.

The pair got off on a rocky start, but it really pulled me in that much more and had me empathizing with them both. Their banter and back and forth was so fun and you could feel the sexual tension rolling off of them. Chloe weaved in so many tender and beautiful moments as well that I dont. want to spoil for you because they are that special. It made me so emotional and I felt so connected to their story.

Another aspect I loved was the found family and entire dynamic of the Bergman family. Each character presented their own endearing qualities and I want to read each and every one of their stories. This book is special and Chloes writing is special, you need to add this series to your TBR.

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Part of a bigger series, that I have enjoyed Liese as always has built a good and fun universe to grow into

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Fun & steamy twist on the sport jock frenemies to lovers romance.
This does also come with hidden depths as both leads deal with some heavy duty adjustments and responsibilities. This book hits ya in the feels as well as turns up the tension & heat between the MCs who thankfully do communicate better than a lot of adults in similar romcom type novels - a trope we all know I hate.
Now don't get me wrong there is some serious lack of communication at times but the way this feeds into what the characters are dealing with counterbalances well and deff sucked me into their story and rooting for this modern day Lizzie & Darcy.

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Having fallen in love with Liese's newest series (The Willmont sisters) I was excited to see where her career kind of began with these books, and while I did enjoy the first book in the series I didn't enjoy it quite as much as her other books. I'm not 100% sure how much the content of this book was revised (if it was at all) for this edition, but it does seem like her writing has evolved between then and now, if her newer books are any indication. That's not to say that this book was bad, it wasn't, and again I greatly appreciated Liese's portrayal of both mental and physical disabilities and her dedication to showing that people who have one or both deserve love. I think the biggest reason this story wasn't a full 5 stars for me was mainly that both of these main characters badly needed therapy, but it took them SO LONG to get it (if it all). Like, your son looses most of his hearing in college? HE NEEDS THERAPY! You move your daughter around constantly and then are dying of cancer? SHE NEEDS THERAPY! Seeing as therapy isn't seen as bad I'm a little mystified as to why neither of these characters, who had so many people who loved them, weren't already in therapy. I also didn't love how petty Willa was from time to time. Part of the reason their whole prank war started was because she was mad at Ryder for wearing hearing aids without telling her. I'm sorry, but what? How is that okay? If he does or doesn't wear hearing aids it's none of your business. All of that being said I still did enjoy this story, and I'll probably read more of the series down the road. I'll also certainly continue to read what Liese writes, because she's a great author writing important stories that more people should read.

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[4 Stars😊] Only When It's Us was my second book by Chloe Liese, and I'm upset it took me this long to read another book by her! I read Always, Only You first, and it's my all-time favorite romance after Pride and Prejudice. I feared my opinion of Always, Only You would change if I picked up another book by her, but I was pleasantly surprised by Ryder and Willa's story! Though it took me a while to warm up to Willa, I fell in love with her character! I loved how messy and guarded yet sensitive she was, and I loved Ryder's slow and determined pursuit of her heart. Chloe Liese wrote two complex and nuanced characters with compassion and delicacy, and I'm so glad because her care and empathy for Willa and Ryder's characters radiated from the pages. Chloe Liese is quickly becoming an all-time favorite author, and I can't wait to read Ever After Always next!

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Chloe Liese is an amazing writer and has created a boisterous and loving fictional family that anyone would want to be a part of.

On a soccer scholarship and caring for her sick mother, Willa is finding it challenging to keep up with her school work, and the fact that her Professor won't give her a break but seems to show Ryder, this brooding, flannel-wearing mountain man preferential treatment irks her to no end. The fact that this feisty, chaotic ray of sunshine, who is also the next generation of women's soccer, is set against him, suits Ryder just fine. He doesn't want or need the constant reminder of the game he no longer can play, or the temptation to upend the quite outdoorsy life he has planned for himself. He’s happy to use her animosity as an excuse to keep his distance. But life and a meddling Professor/brother-in-law have other plans and force these two opposites to work together on their final class project. Begrudgingly Willa and Ryder start a prank war that leads to unexpected feelings and the fight for a victory of the other's love. What can you expect as their forced-proximity love story unravels? Lots of sexual tension and slow burn, great deaf representation, flannel as a wearable safety blanket, Pride and Prejudice references, meddling family and friends, and lots of soccer, hiking, and waterfalls. Also an introduction to the Bergman family's famous A-frame.

TW: cancer and death of a family member.

Stars: 4/5
Spice: 3

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“Only When It’s Us” is the newest upcoming release by @chloeliese. Set in my hometown, beautiful Southern California, this frenemies-to-lovers romance read between Willa, a women’s soccer star and Ryder, a sexy hipster lumberjack classmate is as fun as their pranks and banters, sexy and hot as their love for soccer, making this slow burn romance a swoon worthy read!

I enjoyed reading about Willa and her strong character physically but emotionally protective creating a wall to the outside world. She is a no excuse kinda girl and I love that about her.
Ryder is the sweetheart and handsome Brawny lumberjack. Enveloped by a loving family who supports him through his tough times.

Chloe Liese writes strong and lovable characters who are marginalized and underrepresented, the less than perfectly ideal and oh so real, whose characters we can all relate to. Character driven stories like these swallow me up into their lives and you will be too. There is always excitement that will make you turn those pages with the alternating story lines giving you the depth of the characters’ thoughts.

I really had fun with this read and hope you will too! Add it to your TBR for a great escape read!

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DNF. I really liked the premise but the writing did not work for me at all. It wouldn't be fair to the book if I finished reading and gave it a low rating.

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I absolutely adore this book. This is my first Chloe Liese book and I will be slapping a staff pick sticker on every single copy I can get my hands on as soon as I work my next shift at the bookstore. I was so impressed with how Liese portrays her characters as having disabilities but not necessarily being disabled and have that be a part of the character but not who the character is. I am very excited to continue the Bergman series as I hear there is a Type 1 Diabetes book in the series and as a person with T1D myself I am loving the representation and I have high hopes now for it!!

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A perfectly adequate enemies to friends to lovers romance!

I wasn’t wowed by this book, mostly due to some of the cringey and icky writing from the author. I couldn’t believe that the characters compared their relationship to Pride and Prejudice.

I also wish I had been warned about the extremely heavy topics in this book. I was blindsided and wasn’t prepared.

Thank you for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

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A solid start to the beginning of the series! Ryder and Willa’s journey was fun to watch and I appreciated the inclusion she included in the novel.

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I LOVEDDDDD this book so much! 4.5 stars. I’m already devouring the second book. I think the Bergmans are going to be my new favourite romance sibs. *Giggling and kicking my feet*

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Willa and Ryder get off to a rocky start when she sits next to him in class and it seems he is blatantly ignoring her. She is a student-athlete and needs the notes the professor informed her he has, yet when she asks for them he doesn't respond. Ryder has no idea why the beautiful surly girl who sits near him in class hates his guts but he is happy to lean into the sentiment to keep his distance. This idea is short lived when they are forced to work together on the final project for the class. The two begin doing a series of pranks on one another and both are trying to come out on top. However, they both start to develop feelings and victory might just look a whole lot sweeter when they are on the same team.

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Read if you like:
😭 Emotional Reads
🦻 Hearing Loss/Deaf Rep
⚽️ Soccer Players
😠 Enemies to friends to lovers
🔥 Slow-burn romances
🌶️ Spice

This was such a good read! I loved the complexities the author wrote in with each of the MC’s having HUGE life-altering things in their path that they are struggling with and how they take those struggles very differently, but how well the compliment each other.

I really love that Chloe writes in disability rep to her books and how it helps to normalize persons with disabilities as main characters, worthy of love, and just like anyone else. We need more diverse disability representation, in romances and so glad that Chloe is always giving us that.

Even though Willa & Ryder are college juniors for the duration of the book and they are a bit immature, it’s definitely something you can look past if you think about how you acted or anyone else at 20/21. My biggest hang up with the book is the pacing felt a bit slow in the middle but then really sped up in the end, but again, something that didn’t make me not enjoy the book.

Thank you so much to Berkley for my ARC of this lovely romance in exchange for my review!

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Embracing the intricacies of life, this book beautifully weaves together characters with diverse backgrounds, drawing them closer in a tapestry of genuine connections.

The tender interactions unfold with an authenticity that mirrors the complexities of real life. While not every moment is tender, it captures the essence of life's varied emotions.

The serendipitous meeting of the two characters brings a heartwarming touch, and the Swedish connections add an enriching layer to the narrative. Falling in love with the characters becomes inevitable, especially as they navigate the ups and downs of life, creating a poignant and unforgettable story.

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this a really great balance of instant attraction and slow burn. I will say I definitely stuck around for Ryder. His steadfast, unflappable nature was super soothing. My anxiety has been understandably, extreme lately, and even reading his calming demeanor was insanely addictive.

I also oddly love Rooney, in the snippets we got of her as a side character. I looked ahead and was thrilled to see she gets a book. I get the sense, this book is a gateway drug and I'm going to inhale the rest of the series.

I will say, I don't know if starting this after Dating Dr. Dil made it stand out more, but there were a LOT of genital euphemisms. I dont mind a few, but I'm also of the mind, if you're mature enough to have sex, you should be mature enough to call a dick, a dick. Blessedly, in the heat of the sexy moment, there were no nicknames.

Honestly, the one that stood out the most is choo-cha, because it felt super immature, as opposed to tongue in cheek like the others. Again, this is probably a "me" thing.

My only real ding against the book is the HP reference of Hermione, twice, even doubling down in the second reference with "calling me Hermione Granger is not an insult." JKR has been a shit human for a long time, and it's time to drop the references.

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Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese is the incredible start to the phenomenal Bergmans series, which is my favorite series of all time. Chloe Liese writes gorgeous romances that are chalked full of amazing disability representation that is matched with enough heart & family vibes to give anyone the feels.

Only When It’s Us is great for fans of…
⚽️ Sports Romance
⚽️ College/New Adult Romance
⚽️ Dual POV
⚽️ Disability Representation
⚽️ Forced Proximity

I always get so excited when I see women’s sports at the helm of a romance. They deserve to be celebrated. Something else that should absolutely be celebrated is the disability representation in this series. They realistically showcase life with disability but they also shine a light on disabled joy & love & I think we all need more of that.

This book balances the fun prankster frenemies to more vibes with the heartbreakingly difficult moments of each of their very real struggles & it does it well. It hurts & it heals. This is a beautiful story of loss & love. I recommend being prepared to get your heartstrings pulled.

The bonus epilogue was so good. I love the fact that the bonus epilogue is such a hearty chapter. Chloe Liese put the us in bonus by giving the fans so much extra time with the Bergmans & for that, we send all the thanks & cheers.

If anyone is looking for the perfect combination of heart, humor & heat, I highly recommend checking out Only When It’s Us & the entire Bergmans series!

Massive thanks to NetGalley & Berkley Publishing for the gifted copy, which I voluntarily read & reviewed.

Content Warnings: terminally ill parent, grief

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I really enjoyed this. I ached for Willa and Ryder, and enjoyed how they gradually help each other be vulnerable and willing to take chances. Definitely a slow-burn, but the story is well paced so I didn't get frustrated with that. Recommend!

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The author continues to write good quality, REALISTIC, romances. Thank you, Chloe Liese!

Only When it’s Us is about Ryder Berman and Willa Sutter. Both of them are university students who are taking Ryder’s brother in law’s course on business…math? Willa missed some classes because she’s on the university women’s soccer team and focused on making it to the pros. She failed to communicate with her professor, just expecting him to cater to her (he’s not wrong by not doing so) and now she’s running behind. The professor tells her to get the notes from Ryder, who gets his notes every class. Willa doesn’t know why, but Ryder has a hearing impairment.

Miscommunication/not being able to hear her creates some tension, which their professor notices and forces them into a group project together under the pretense that ‘you have to be able to work with everybody in the business world.’ So the two are forced to work together and the original hate tension starts to turn into another type of tension.

Willa is a little fireball, who is also, ironically, conflict adverse apparently. But she has little issue arguing with Ryder. At first, I was kind of on her side, but after her teacher explained why he wasn’t handing her things on a silver platter, I changed my mind. Willa is used to her teacher’s handing her things instead of taking the time to communicate with them and making sure that she has everything she needs when she’s missing classes. One teacher doesn’t give her special treatment and he’s the absolute worst. So she did come off as a bit entitled and I really believe if it wasn’t for Ryder she would have definitely flunked her course and it totally would have been her own fault.

What redeems her somewhat for me, is her mom. How often she goes to visit, even though she has school and soccer. How much she loves her. You can get why Willa is so stressed between school, soccer, her mother’s illness and everything else. Though it doesn’t excuse her man-hating attitude. Her reasoning? Well, her father left her mother pretty much after conception and therefore all men are trash because they will leave you. Painting with a broad brush, we are.

Ryder is a guy who is struggling with a late onset of impaired hearing. He can hear, with the aid of hearing aids, but it’s hard to pick out a voice from all the other noises. His left ear suffers from tinnitus, constant ringing/buzzing of the ear when no sound is actually present. For Ryder it’s super distracting and gets worse with the noise from his hearing aid, so he doesn’t like to wear it. Interesting, because in my experience, it’s the opposite. Loud noises can make it worse, yes, but playing music softly generally seems to help distract.

Other then his angst at losing his hearing, therefore refusing to talk as well, and his refusal, at first, to stick it out and work with his hearing specialist to help fix the issues he is experiencing with his hearing aids, Ryder is a pretty good guy. I did have to suspend my disbelief to his reaction of seeing Willa naked for the first time, and how he just fails to mention when he starts using said hearing aids again… but other than that Ryder is another near perfect man, Bergman style.

Willa and Ryder seem to have some serious chemistry. I, myself, cannot fathom arguing with someone until I want to make out with them. Not in my wheelhouse of turn-ons, but I can see, and believe, it working for these two. Ryder has the patience of a saint though, really. He approaches Willa with such patience and understanding, being there through her grief without pushing or expecting anything. Patiently waiting for her to work her way back to some semblance of normal…good guy.

Speaking of grief, I would just like to give the author credit for writing about an experience of grief from a very realistic and understanding point of view. A lot of author’s kind of gloss over grief, but Chloe Liese takes the time to illustrate just how crippling grief can be and what people can do to help themselves and others. It’s very well done.

Conclusion

Not my favorite Chloe Liese Bergman novel, but I honestly think it’s the enemies to lover trope that is getting me here. Though it’s realistically done, I don’t quite understand it as a person. Personal thing. Her depiction of grief was wonderful. Her representation of an unseen disability was pretty good. The romance, overall, was believable and well written. I really don’t have any real complaints. Another solid read from Chloe Liese!

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A heart warming romance dealing with greif and finding yourself again after loss.

Willa and Ryder have a very unique relationship because of the way Ryder communicates. This opened up challenges for them that they continually had to work through whether it was not understanding each other or becoming frustrated with the challenges that life had given to them.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought the romance was sweet as well as deep and strong. I liked how flawed the characters were and that they were experiencing very real struggles.
I do however wish we got to see more of Ryder’s process of talking again. It’s such a major part of the story and I would have liked to see more of it.

I rated this book 3/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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