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Summary

From New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Carrie Ann Ryan comes a sexy new contemporary stand-alone series.

Hazel Noble has survived horrors she wouldn’t inflict on her worst enemy. Since then, she’s healed, found herself, and connected with a group of women she’s proud to call her friends. However, when they make a pact to start looking for love, Hazel finds herself not only up first but also forced to face a past she thought she'd escaped.

Cross Brady has no need for a relationship. As the oldest of five, he’s always been the one his family can rely on. Now, all he wants is to work in peace and live his life. His priorities shift dramatically, though, when Cross finds himself in Hazel's path.

Though the two initially fight their connection, they soon learn that it’s safer to fall for each other than keep running from what’s holding them back - not to mention, who wants them dead.

Includes a bonus epilogue.

©2020 Carrie Ann Ryan (P)2020 Carrie Ann Ryan

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Beautiful

I loved this book so much I love how naturally the main characters came together which surprised me as they didn’t seem like they would work in the beginning and then as the story progressed they just made sense. Absolutely loved this story and would love to listen to more in the series

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  • ajmeyer
  • 23-07-20

Accidental Date

Hazel and her three friends have made a blind date pact and Hazel drew the short straw so she is their focus first. When her blind date cancels and is sitting alone, Cross joins her thinking it's the client he is supposed to meet, who ultimately cancels as well. They decide to have a few drinks and get to know each other. As they begin to date, Hazel confides in Cross about her horrible past and the fear her ex may find her. Cross has issues of his own with his business partner and once best friend. As they navigate their issues and their relationship begins to heat up, will her past destroy what they have or is their love strong enough to find what they both are looking for; a happily ever after.

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  • Ashley K
  • 15-07-20

So good!

Carrie Ann hits this new series out of the ballpark and into the next state!! I couldn't stop listening and or reading this book until I finished it. The entire premise of the series intrigued me, and I cannot wait to see how the rest of the series goes. It is so nice to see some old favorites too, like Liam and Arden. I love those two. Back to the couple. Cross and that beard. I'm a sucker for a beard and add in a growly man and I'm all over it. Jason Clarke is perfect for the narrating the Brady men. He gives each one a distinct voice, you can really tell which brother is talking. Big points. I can say same for Emma Wilder. She nails giving each of Hazel's friends their own voice that really comes through. I love Hazel, her kindness, strength really stuck with me. Her friends are a total hoot and I cannot wait to see them find their HEAs. The suspense element of it all was really good, it kept me guessing. How would it all end. Can't wait for more!

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  • RP
  • 12-07-20

Cross and Hazel

Forever Only Once is the first book in the new Promise Me series. Cross is an artist/furniture maker and Hazel is a math teacher. They accidentally meet while she is waiting for her blind date at an upscale bar and he arrives for a business meeting with a client. I really appreciated that although cross is a manly man and tough, he is also a really good man. He's an alpha without being a complete a-hole. His genuine love and care for his family makes him even more sexy. There are some twist and turns in their story and also a little danger. Emma Wilder was fantastic as Hazel. She portrayed a strong but somewhat damaged woman. I honestly could listen to her read pretty much anything but she was particularly perfect as Hazel. Jason Clarke was great too, as usual. For me this is worth a credit and I will be happy to use credits for the next books in the series based on how much I loved this one.

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  • Karen
  • 08-07-20

Heartwarming love story with an unexpected twist!

A wonderful, sweet love story, or so it seems at first, but then unexpected danger threatens the lives of both Hazel and Cross and the tension levels in this romance go up immensely. But first there’s the falling in love bit… I loved the meet-cute in this story and how everything falls into place so naturally between Hazel and Cross. And I adore Cross! It’s so refreshing to have a hero that is not a stereotypical, testosterone-fueled alpha male, but instead is incredibly considerate, loyal and kind-hearted with a core of inner strength that doesn’t rely on brute force. He’s the perfect guy for Hazel, who definitely deserves to have a man like him in her life, after all she’s been through. I really like the setup of this series, with the group of friends that Hazel is a part of, and then the link to the Brady’s and the Montgomery’s. The secondary characters, as expected in a Carrie Ann Ryan novel, play a vital role in the story and are very well-written. Narration: both narrators did an amazing job with their performance of this story. Emma Wilder brilliantly captures Hazel’s vulnerability and hesitancy, the past hurts that haunt her even into the present, and her gentle courage. Jason Clarke is a great narrator and his warm, slightly gruff voice was a perfect fit for Cross. He did a wonderful job giving each character their own distinct voice and has a very laidback narrating style which perfectly fits the pacing of the book and the teasing camaraderie between the Brady siblings.

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  • Liz Thompson
  • 08-07-20

An amazing start to a new series! Loved it!

4.5-stars! I loved Forever Only Once by Carrie Ann Ryan when I first read it, so when I had the chance to listen to the audiobook, I jumped at the chance. Narrated by Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke, they brought Cross and Hazel’s story to life for me in new ways. Hazel was so strong in so many ways and yet vulnerable. She has gone through so much, but is it time to move forward? With strong friends beside her, can she open her heart to love? Cross is the oldest of five siblings. He is their protector and that is his priority. He has no time for relationships. Then he meets Hazel and everything changes. They feel an instant connection and chemistry, even if they try to deny it at first. I loved the characters so much and just loved their journey. It was not an easy one, but I devoured it. Cross’ siblings and Hazel’s friends were great secondary characters and I have a feeling we are in for a lot more of all of them! Forever Only Once by Carrie Ann Ryan is a story about second chances, love, family and suspenseful. Carrie Ann Ryan has quickly become a one-click author to me. Her writing, characters and stories are captivating start to finish. This is a must-read and/or listen! Happy listening!

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  • Nat (🎧AudiobookObsession)
  • 08-07-20

Forever Only Once

Carrie Ann Ryan is the Queen of spinoffs that keep on giving. It started with Montgomery Ink, Then we moved on to the Montgomery cousins of Colorado Springs, Then it was the Montgomery cousins of Boulder. From that we get the Promise Me series, all about Arden's brothers (Wrapped In Ink). I have been (not so) patiently waiting for this series from the moment they were introduced helping Arden at the hospital in her and Liam's book, before CAR had even announced them as an actual possibility. Let me say this one thing. CAR did not disappoint (not that she ever does). It was worth every single second of waiting. I loved how the girls decided to set each other up and get the blind dates started, I loved how Hazel & Cross actually meet without meaning to. Such a big start to this branch of the series I know that they will only get better and better. The Narration by Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke fit perfectly with the book. Amazing job well done.

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  • LeMiliere
  • 06-07-20

Hazel and Cross

This book is the first in a new series but one of the characters isn't new to us, we met Cross previously, he's Arden's oldest protective brother in Wrapped in Ink. He's an artist, who works with wood. He's co-owner of Chris, Cross a furniture-making business with Chris, a friend from school. But lately, things haven't been going well between them and he has serious doubts about keeping the company going. So when Chris cons him into attending a business meeting on his behalf, at a bar of all places, Cross is far from happy. But they say every cloud has a silver lining, and Hazel was his, she's smart, funny, beautiful and not the person he was supposed to meet at all! Hazel and her three friends have made a pact, they have all agreed to start dating again. Hazel drew the short staw so was first to be matched up. She's supposed to be meeting a friend of a friend but instead, Cross mistakes her for Chris' client and joins her at her table. Hazel, a math professor at the University of Boulder, has survived being married to a monster, who when she left him became her stalker and then her attacker. She has made a new family for herself in the form of three incredible and strong women, who like her are single. When they met by mistake both Hazel and Cross felt the connection between them. Their relationship builds slowly and although they both tried hard to fight their connection what they felt was too much to ignore. Just when they think they have everything sorted, the monster from her past comes back. The consequences of this are wide-reaching and fraught with danger, will their new love survive this latest threat? This book was one I didn't want to stop listening to the story is beautifully crated and the narration by Emma Wilder and Jason Clarke is so well done enhancing if that is possible this wonderfully moving book. I was given this audiobook as a gift and am voluntarily writing my review.

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  • M. Klose
  • 29-06-20

Great blind date!

Hazel and Cross have such a fantastic story. Cross ends up at a bar to meet his partners new client. Hazel is at the same place on a blind date setup. Neither has meet or seen the other that they are meeting and so they end up thinking that each is the person they should be meeting. Quickly is is figured out that they aren’t but have the ‘date’ that isn’t a date. Hazel is dealing with a past that is making it hard for her to open up fully to anyone even with the strong feelings she has for Cross. Cross is having a hard time with his business partner and trying to figure out what that future holds while starting a relationship he wasn’t looking for with Hazel. I just loved these two and the story that they share together. I love Hazel’s friends and of course Cross’s family as well. Some suspenseful moments and plenty of feels. Even though this is a stand alone with a HEA I am looking forward to the next blind date in the series. Loved that it had two different narrators for the chapters depending on which point of view it was from and the narrators did a fantastic job.

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  • Sarah
  • 27-06-20

Fantastic start to new spin off series

Book one in new Promise Me series by Carrie Ann Ryan Cross is Arden (married a Montgomery) oldest brother who co owns a bespoke furniture art shop. Hazel moved to boulder and after a very traumatic divorce that left her with a lot of baggage but she makes a pack with her friends that she starts to date and in the bargain starts to live her life and be happy. Hazel gets set up for a blind date and waits to meet him in a bar. Cross is ask by his co owner to meet a client about a commission but is only given a name and brief description. When Cross get to bar and assumes that Hazel is the client. I absolutely love the way they meet in beginning of book and how hazel and Cross didn’t contact each other straight away because they didn’t want to ruin a great non date. Carrie Ann Ryan pulls it out of the bag every time but she also has a great ear and pucks perfect narrators for her books. I do live duel narration between a female and male voice but instead of read chapters at a time it would be lovely if the read to corresponding line to there gender but still beautifully read.

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  • lclarke1
  • 25-06-20

Great story!!

This was a great book to start off this new spin off series with. Cross, who we met in the Boulder Montgomery books from his sister Arden, was a great character to start this series with. He was the perfect combination of Alpha and gentle for Hazel's character who was damaged from the events that took place in her past. The couple meet in a chance meeting that makes for the perfect meet-cute to then have it develop into a relationship. At first, I was concerned that Hazel's character was a little too meek for Cross given her past but I enjoyed watching her blossom into the stronger character that she became. Add in the supporting characters - Cross's family that we met in Arden's book and the new characters of Hazel's friend circle and this was a great story that makes me look forward to the future books of the series. In the audio version of this book, read by Emma Wilde and Jason Clarke, the performance of the two narrators made for an enjoyable listening experience. Overall, I would recommend this book and this new series to others.

2 people found this helpful