This post may contain affiliate links or I may be reviewing a book that I have received for free as part of a review program or as an advanced reader copy. That being said, all opinions are my own. The book cover, author photo, author biography, and plot summary for All I Want Is You are courtesy of eltoddbooks.com.
When you see romance book advertised for free until the beginning of 2017, what do you do? You buy the book, of course! I saw All I Want Is You by E L Todd advertised as the first of a series available for free for a short time after I finished reading another favorite book of mine and immediately picked it up. It had a great plot summary and it was a long book, though I was slightly confused why it said it took the average reader over seven hours to finish! Nonetheless, read on if you’re curious my opinion on my first Todd novel and the story of Skye and Cayson.
All I Want Is You in 85 Characters or Less
Childhood friends realize their love through miscommunications and other romances
Full Plot Summary
Cayson is in love with Skye Preston, his best friend for over twenty years. They grew up together, bathed together, and spent every holiday together. Hoarding the secret hasn’t been easy. Every time Cayson sees her with a boyfriend, he wants to smash his fist into a wall.
But he could never tell her the truth.
The close friendship they have is too good to be ruined. If he confessed his deepest feelings, how would it change what they have? Would he lose her altogether?
But everything changes when Cayson finds Skye at a party, drunk and incoherent. Unable to stand on her own two feet with breath reeking of alcohol, she’s easy prey to the men staring at her noticeable chest. Cayson immediately scoops her into his arms and takes her home. But when they arrive at the house, Skye doesn’t want to sleep. Instead, she wants Cayson in a way she’s never had before.
What will this mean for their relationship? Is it the start of something Cayson has always dreamed of? Or will it be the end?
A Solid Plot Idea
The plot summary caught my eye, and I’m happy to say that the plot of the book itself did the same! Todd successfully built in many elements of a great book; she had the over-protective parents, the crazy friends and family, the many miscommunications that halted Cayson and Skye’s love from developing, and the other relationships that added to that confusion. Todd even built in the parallels between Cayson and Skye’s relationship and Skye’s parents.
This plot was definitely something that we can all relate to. I’m pretty sure everyone’s had that one friend from their youth that they thought was a tad cuter than would fit a strictly platonic relationship, and I know I’ve had the familial concerns too. I vividly remember my grandfather telling me to study the animals and not the boys when I went away to veterinary school, and my cousin asks me every time he speaks to me if there’s any guy in my life he should know about. It’s somewhat annoying, but I’m not gonna lie. I love that they care so much.
The plot is definitely something I would read again or watch in a movie if it ever did come out. That being said…
…I don’t think the plot was as well-represented or as developed as it could have been. The vast majority of the text of the novel was dialogue. In my opinion, you need some internal thoughts going alongside the dialogue to deepen your characters and get me emotionally invested in the novel. All I Want Is You sadly didn’t have that.
I know some of you out there are probably saying, “But, Jessi, you can tell so much about the characters by what they say!” And that’s true! You can. I just don’t think you can tell it all because your average book character doesn’t go on constant monologues to their friends about their inner workings and kinks.
That being said, the text outside the dialogue did give me a very vivid description of the characters and their surroundings. Todd did a great job of saying what her characters were wearing, for example, or telling about their body types. I would have loved to hear more about their heart and mental types, though. Just saying.
(Side note: I was scared of Skye’s dad on behalf of Roland and her sometimes. Well done on that front, Todd)
It Took Some Time To Get Going
As I mentioned before, this book is a long one. My Kindle told me it was just under 400 pages, and when I started, I was in for the long haul. Despite the perhaps lack of character depth, I still read 45% of the book in one 90-minute sitting. In that time, though, I could describe the development of the characters in pretty much on sentence: Cayson was continually friend-zoned and kept bemoaning that fact. It wasn’t until 50% that anything changed, really, between Cayson and Skye, and this moment was the one that was advertised in the plot summary.
The following 40% was much of the first 40%, but with added distress and more desperate attempts to avoid the other. Granted, there were some twists that I did not see coming in the middle of the book, and those sections were totally page turners. Then, the relationship between them didn’t progress until a close until really the last 10%. Personally, I would have loved to see a bit more of Cayson and Skye together in the book.
Skye’s Devotion to Family was AMAZING
Skye is one of those characters where you definitely are screaming “GIRL POWER” and running around with a flag for womanhood in the back of your mind. No? Just me? Oh well. You should give it a whirl.
Anyway! Skye’s relationship with her first boyfriend in the story deteriorates, to say the least. Zack (the aforementioned boyfriend) isn’t too happy about Skye’s close relationship with Cayson, but Skye was having none of it. Every time Zack started complaining about Cayson, she told him that because Cayson was family, he would never compete with Cayson. Go her. I love it.
She also gave a great verbal slap to Zack at a critical moment in their relationship (no spoilers – read to find out what I’m talking about! You’ll know it when you see it.). It was one of those ones where you hurt for him but are also happily applauding Skye because you know Zack totally deserves it.
Now, I know I said earlier that there wasn’t a ton of character development or depth in All I Want Is You, but Skye’s character, her prioritizing of her family, and her ability to stand up for herself and what she deserves is evident nonetheless. She has the backbone and loyalty we all strive for.
Where to Buy
Amazon Bestselling author, E. L. Todd, was raised in sunny California where she still lives today, claiming it’s the best place in the country. Easily hypothermic and hateful of the cold, she prefers to be warm all year round. She attended California State University, Stanislaus and received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences, but still pursued her dream to be a writer.
She’s written several novels and many series’, and her imagination can’t seem to stop. She tries to find the good in people and she exploits that in her writing, proving that people can make mistakes and rise above their past. Her hobbies include sunbathing, swimming, eating at Surf Taco in San Diego, reading, and learning everything she can about hippopotamuses’, her favorite creature. Her greatest dream is to make people forget about the harshness of reality and dive into a good story with lovable people. When fans tell her they love her work, it gives her the greatest sense of accomplishment.