Friday, July 12, 2013

*Blog Tour* Lyla Payne's By Referral Only - Review + 10 Secrets about COLE! + a GIVEAWAY!

Hi readers! I have SO SO much to share with you today! a Review of the incredibly awesome By Referral Only, PLUS Ruby's 10 things that you don't know about Cole!! AND THEN an incredibly awesome GIVEAWAY! *Phew* so let's get right to it, shall we?

*Spoiler-Free* REVIEW: By Referral Only by Lyla Payne
Published On: July 2nd, 2013

*DISCLOSURE: ARC was provided in exchange for a fair and honest review

By Referral Only by Lyla Payne
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
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.

My Thoughts:

Though this is the second book in the Whitman University series, it was my first introduction to Lyla Payne’s work, and I assure you, the buck does not stop here. Lyla, Lyla! take my money and give me all your other books from here on out! *ahem* So, with that being said, jumping right in did not affect my enjoyment of the book in any way shape or form.

After her boyfriend unceremoniously dumps her, Ruby Cotton’s chip on her shoulder as a member of a “new money” family in a society full of “old money” socialites cuts deeper. As she faces the prejudice of those who have been wealthy all their lives, she plays into the role that she feels she is perceived in....going back to her roots of growing up poor and uncultured. She acts the part of the person she feels she is...not good enough for the likes of her peers. She decides to only seek out easy and fun, never getting close enough to be hurt by a guy’s eventual dismissal of her.

After her sorority sister comes home from a particularly horrendous date, Ruby comes up with the idea of a referral system, a way to discover whether or not a guy is a dud before the first date.

Then she meets Cole Stuart, Scottish, so hot you have to catch the drool with a bib, star swimmer, and holder of the lowest rating on her referral site. Their chemistry lights her on fire, but should she abide by her referral system or find out personally if their fire will burn hotter or fizzle out.

Now, I have to admit, I didn’t easily relate to the class system battle that Ruby faced, nor did I agree with her decisions regarding the referral system. But her tenaciousness, despite of her vulnerabilities, won me over. She makes some bad choices, but she grows and learns by the end. And that is a pleasure to experience.

Then there’s Cole. Cole is pretty damn perfect to me. Of course he’s sexy, just the right amount of bossy, with a dash of sweetness....but what I really loved most of all, is his caring personality. He treats Ruby with a respect and care that I think makes a guy a real man. It is through his interactions with Ruby that we get to peel back the layers of both characters and get to know and love them. It's not an easy road for them, even though their chemistry is truly effortless. There are real insecurities and flaws in play here, and this dash of reality, though frustrating at times, makes me love Ruby and Cole even more.
Yes. I want you, and not just in the bedroom, but anywhere you’ll have me. Let’s do this. Let’s try. I’ll be brave and try to believe you won’t break it off the first time someone makes a comment about my not being good enough for you.

That’s what I should have said. But the moment went on too long, and the words didn’t emerge, and eventually, Cole got up and left.

“I never wanted anything but for you to realize how amazing you are.” He kissed me gently on the lips. “And to deserve you.”

The Final Verdict:

By Referral Only, at face value, might seem to be a rather silly idea: A referral site to recommend (or not) college guys based on their skills in bed. Look beyond that and just start reading and you will find a thoroughly enchanting novel full of quick-witted humor, scorching passion, and heartwarmingly tender moments. It is a journey of discovery of self worth that makes you stand up and cheer for the happily ever after that Lyla Payne so beautifully provides.


About the Author: 
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.

And now, I have something special for you! Listing 10 things about Cole was really hard for Ruby, because most of the things all of you would find interesting, she prefers to keep for herself, BUT I managed to wrangle some out of her. Here we go!

1. He snuggles in his sleep—and yes, the boy despises pajamas, ladies.

2. Cole thinks I don’t notice, but he sneaks in to my rehearsals at least once a week and watches from the back row.

3. One of the most unintentionally sexy things he does is walk around the house barefoot. I just got shivers thinking about it.

4. He remembers birthdays after you tell him the date once.

5. Cole has a wicked sense of humor. I let it slip that Emilie had to go off the pill for two months because of a health thing, and he shipped Quinn the biggest box of condoms I’ve ever seen as a joke.

6. Ever since we got over that first secret, we haven’t had another. Cole hates them—he can’t even surprise me because he says it feels like lying to my face.

7. He has four kilts, and a dress kilt that he keeps at home in Elgin, but he brought one back to school JUST FOR ME.

8. I guess it’s because he’s from Scotland, but Cole loves having sex when it’s cold. We’re planning a ski trip this year, and he has big ideas that include snow and open windows and…I’ll admit, I’m pretty intrigued. He’s already shown me how much fun ice cubes can be. Also ice cream. Okay, I’ll stop.

9. It’s killing him that he doesn’t have a dog. His family has a bunch, and he’s never been so long without a pet, but we’re gone too much to take care of one. Instead, he brought home the ugliest, scraggliest kitten a few days ago and named it Pearl. He adores her. I’m jealous.

10. He totally thickens his accent when he’s trying to coax me into something, because he thinks it’s irresistible. And it kind of is.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

This Blog Tour is brought to you by the FAB:

all the best, dear readers!


  1. Yay! I really liked Broken at Love, but couldn't fit this tour in. Ruby was awesome in that story! I did buy BRO, though, and can't wait to read. So happy you enjoyed!

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