I Only Have Eyes for You
by Bella Andre
(Mira, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-07783-1559-9
Previously released only as a digital purchase, Mira has decided to publish the stories by Bella Andre about the Sullivans from San Francisco. There are 8 children and all will apparently have a story. This one opens at the wedding of Chase and Chloe. Sophie is the youngest sister, a twin with Lori, who has always been seen as the “nice” one. In fact, her teasing nickname is Nice. Sophie is a librarian, as she has always loved books and stories. She has had a crush on one man for what feels like her whole life. That man is family friend, Jake McCann.

Jake grew up with the Sullivans and was often at their home, with his best friend, brother Zach and all the boys. While the Sullivans lost their father, their mother was a rock and maintained a home that many envied for its love and laughter and security. Jake was one of those who envied it. His mother deserted them when he was young and his father was both an alcoholic and abusive. Jake spent as much time as he could with the Sullivans. Only Zach and their mother knew his secret…both about his childhood and about his lack of reading ability.

But Jake persevered and with the help of a retired school teacher, he learned to read enough that he could manage his own bar business. His math prowess was his saving grace. He is now the owner of several Irish pubs. He does have his father to thank for teaching him to bartend. Jake has loved Sophie since he first met her at age 11 but he has always known she is off limits. Her brothers would have his head but more, he knows he is not good enough for her.

But following the wedding, Sophie decides to act on her feelings for Jake and shows up at his house. When she strips naked in his living room, his best intentions go out the window and they make love. Two and a half months later, Sophie discovers she is pregnant and their adventures begin. Can they forge a loving relationship when Jake is scared emotionally as well as physically? Can Sophie find the love and romance she has dreamed of?

I enjoyed this story and was intrigued by my first glimpse of the Sullivans. They are a family I want to get to know more of and will definitely look up the past tales. Jake and Sophie take a little long to realize they are in love and it is this stubborn reluctance that keeps the story from being more than average. While I enjoyed it, there were too many familiar plot lines and a lack of something unique.

If you haven’t read previous stories, it is easy to catch up. Andre has a nice style to her writing and I look forward to seeing more of this “new to me” author.

--Shirley Lyons

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