One & Only

The real woman inside screamed silently, knowing she’d wilt and die if she didn’t get out soon.

M. K. Chester
One & Only


August 2021 update: audiobook

Publisher’s Synopsis:
A desperate woman meets a man on a mission.

Maggie Sturgus thought she knew the man she married. She couldn’t be more wrong. Trapped in an abusive marriage inside a prominent family, she sees no means of escape when her husband announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

Four friends enlisted following Pearl Harbor and the secret they brought home will rock their small town and tear families apart. But Josh Parrish made a battlefield promise to protect his best friend’s sister, the girl he’s always loved.

And it’s high time he kept his word.

Rellim’s Thoughts:
Note: While part of a series, all the Bryeton Books are set in different eras. This time there is a familial connection with & mention of characters/events from Bootlegger’s Bride – though you could enjoy this without having read/listened to it.

I really enjoy MK Chester’s writing and the Bryeton series as a whole. I was so happy to see this addition and enjoyed it as much as I did the others. This is a great book when in the mood for a closed door romance with some mystery & suspense elements as well. Set in 1950 and a small town dominated by a financially and politically influential family it’s easy to see why Maggie is trapped and can’t find a way to escape. Joshua is burdened with personal missions, perceived failures, and mostly by the fact that everyone thinks he’s dead.

I enjoyed and was haunted by getting to know Josh & Maggie while loving the development of their relationship. There are a lot of secrets and surprises to be revealed and I won’t spoil them – but I did enjoy the way Chester handles it all.

While part of me wishes there was a tidy epilogue, I do enjoy getting to imagine where I feel like life would have taken them. I also can’t help but wonder whether Chester will revisit Bryeton in subsequent decades in future books. I would buy those in a heartbeat. (Chester replied when I posted my original review that she is planning at least one more! Yay!)

While I missed the stronger southern accents of the previous books, I thought that Hannah Kopen’s voice was a good fit for Maggie’s timid and Josh’s secretive nature. She also brought forth the personalities of the nastier characters that emphasized Chester’s writing. I’m looking forward to Kopen narrating more audiobooks.

Note: There are several places where it seems the recording is picking up background noises that sound like bumping the mic, lip licking, papers moving, etc. It wasn’t insurmountable to listen to but did pull me out of the experience a few times.

While I originally purchased the ebook, I did receive a free copy of this audiobook from Story Origin.

About the author:
M.K. Chester is an RWA award-winning author of historical and contemporary romance, urban fantasy and non-fiction.  M.K. is a native Buckeye who lives in Tennessee. She’s married to a veteran, MoM (Mother of Marine), and a grandmother. She adores her Scottish Terriers and is fighting Multiple Sclerosis.

You can connect with M.K. Chester here:

About the narrator:
Hannah has been featured in national and regional commercials, modeled with some of the city’s best photographers, been immersed in the local theater and music scene, and has starred in award-winning independent films. a web series that went all the way to Cannes Film Festival in 2018. Trained in Chicago, New York, London, and Evanston at Northwestern University, Hannah is a prolific working actor and voice over artist with representation at Big Mouth Talent agency.

You can connect with Hannah Kopen here:

My Favorite Quotes

Fated and scripted were not the same thing. – One & Only by @M_K_Chester #Audiobook narrated by @HanniOqt #BryetonBooks #Historical #SecondChance #RomanticSuspense #SmallTown #Mystery #ClosedDoor

Who the hell did he think he was and who else knew about his scheme? – One & Only by @M_K_Chester #Audiobook narrated by @HanniOqt #BryetonBooks #Historical #SecondChance #RomanticSuspense #SmallTown #Mystery #ClosedDoor

The real woman inside screamed silently, knowing she’d wilt and die if she didn’t get out soon. – One & Only by @M_K_Chester #Audiobook narrated by @HanniOqt #BryetonBooks #Historical #SecondChance #RomanticSuspense #SmallTown #Mystery #ClosedDoor

Some burdens a man needed to carry for himself. – One & Only by @M_K_Chester #Audiobook narrated by @HanniOqt #BryetonBooks #Historical #SecondChance #RomanticSuspense #SmallTown #Mystery #ClosedDoor

The layers of lies and schemes pressed down upon her until she became as small and insignificant as an ant on a blade of grass. – One & Only by @M_K_Chester #Audiobook narrated by @HanniOqt #BryetonBooks #Historical #SecondChance #RomanticSuspense #SmallTown #Mystery #ClosedDoor

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