Release Date: April 11th, 2023
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Thank you to Penguin for providing me a copy of this book – views remain my own.
This is book #6 in the Bergman Brothers series, but if – like me – you haven’t read the first five, you can still dive into this one without a problem. But, fair warning, it will make you want to go back and pick up the rest, especially after seeing Ziggy’s older siblings in their various relationships. I will definitely be picking up the rest of the books as and when I can, and I’m really excited to do so.
So yes, of course, I loved this book. I’ve said it before, but for me a big part of what can make or break a romance is the characters. They have to be engaging, and I have to want to spend time with them, and in If Only You, I definitely felt like this for Ziggy and Sebastian. Both have reputation problems – Ziggy wants to be noticed a bit more, and she’s keen to be seen by her family and others as more than the youngest sibling. In contrast, Seb needs to rehab his ‘bad boy’ image, or he risks losing his place on the hockey team. So Ziggy – who happens to be Seb’s best friend’s little sister – proposes a fake friendship, allowing their reputations to rub off on one another.
The dynamic between the two is lovely, and Liese clearly has a knack for writing chemistry. From the moment we’re introduced to these two, you want them to end up together, and you see throughout why, exactly, they’re so good for each other. They’re supportive and encouraging, and there’s a real sense of admiration from one to the other. At various points, they stand up for each other without being prompted, and form a real partnership.
A big part is the fact that where everyone sees Ziggy as the youngest Bergman, stuck in their views of her formed when she was younger, and everyone sees Seb as little more than trouble, Ziggy and Seb both see beyond that, and together they help others see it, too. As I’m the youngest and only girl of three, I couldn’t help but relate to Ziggy’s struggles to get her family to acknowledge her as an adult, and it’s so crucial that when Seb ‘meets’ her (though they’ve been around each other previously, briefly), he doesn’t recognise her as his friend’s little sister, and even when he does realise who, exactly, he’s speaking to, he still treats her as more than a little sister.
This is the important thing – these two really get each other. They understand each other, in ways that others don’t. Ziggy sees the good in Seb, and Seb sees the mature young woman with a heart a gold, where others dismiss Ziggy as young and naïve. It works really well, and add into this a really entertaining side cast of characters, especially Ziggy’s family, and this book really hits a lot of romance sweet spots.
So yes, I’ll be looking to pick up books 1 – 5, and maybe even some other sports romances while I’m at it – if they’re anything like this, I definitely think I’ll enjoy them!
Netflix Movies & TV Shows
Prompt: Spinning Out – ice skating (or another sport) romance
Progress: 4/24 Completed