BOOK REVIEW: Only When It’s Us (Bergman Brothers #1) by Chloe Liese

BOOK REVIEW: Only When It’s Us (Bergman Brothers #1) by Chloe LieseOnly When It's Us (Bergman Brothers #1)
by Chloe Liese
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads



Ever since she sat next to me in class and gave me death eyes, Willa Sutter’s been on my shit list. Why she hates me, I don't know. What I do know is that Willa is the kind of chaos I don’t need in my tidy life. She’s the next generation of women’s soccer. Wild hair, wilder eyes. Bee-stung lips that should be illegal. And a temper that makes the devil seem friendly.

She’s a thorn in my side, a menacing, cantankerous, pain-in-the-ass who’s turned our Business Mathematics course into a goddamn gladiator arena. I'll leave this war zone unscathed, coming out on top…And if I have my way with that crazy-haired, ball-busting hellion, that will be in more than one sense of the word.


Rather than give me the lecture notes I missed like every other instructor I’ve had, my asshole professor tells me to get them from the silent, surly flannel-wearing mountain man sitting next to me in class. Well, I tried. And what did I get from Ryder Bergman? Ignored. What a complete lumbersexual neanderthal. Mangy beard and mangier hair. Frayed ball cap that hides his eyes. And a stubborn refusal to acknowledge my existence.

I’ve battled men before, but with Ryder, it's war. I’ll get those notes and crack that Sasquatch nut if it’s the last thing I do, then I’ll have him at my mercy. Victory will have never tasted so sweet.

Only When It’s Us is a frenemies-to-lovers, college sports romance about a women’s soccer star and her surly lumberjack lookalike classmate, complete with a matchmaking professor, juvenile pranks, and a smoking slow burn. This standalone is the first in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.


Only When It’s Us was a slow burn romance that will keep you smiling. While it was more emotional than I expected, there were lots of banter and moments that had me laughing out. Ryder made this book for me! I loved learning everything there was about him. He was kind, thoughtful, sweet, and such a fabulous book boyfriend! I was so grateful that he could be so calm and logical. Because Willa desperately needed that from him. Plus Ryder’s large family was everything. Ryder’s moments with them were heartwarming and left me excited to hear about their stories in future books!

I don’t even know what I am feeling, just that I’m feeling too damn much. Whatever emotion it is, it’s a hot, stinging ache that incinerates the path from my throat to my stomach.

It took me a while to warm up to Willa. She could be so emotional at times. She also blamed others, instead of taking responsibility. How in the world she thought she was being polite when she stormed up to Ryder and had a stare-down in the beginning is beyond me lol. It all left me wanting to shake her. But as the story progressed, I was so happy that she won me over! Willa continued to make mistakes, but I understood that this was new territory for her. She had severe trust issues with men and she was so guarded around others. Willa was a character that needs patience from the reader, or at least she did when it came to me. My favorite things about Willa was when she would mess with Ryder, those scenes had me laughing out loud!

“I love you, Mama,” I whisper. I count her heartbeats. I feel gratitude for each of them.
She presses her lips to my hair, a soft kiss that’s as comforting as her strong hugs. “I love you, too, my Willa Rose.”

Willa and Ryder played the most hilarious games and it made this story so much fun. I loved their antics. I loved their frenemies relationship. But I loved it even more when they started to toe the line from frenemies to just friends and more. I will say, I had a huge personal connection with this book. We had someone we loved View Spoiler » So I struggled and cried multiple times, because past feelings kept surfacing. But even through that heartache, I had a lot of fun reading this book! I guessed a few of the twists. And that ending left me excited to read the next book about Ryder’s brother, Ren!

My grinch heart grows twice as large.

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  1. Sophie

    All in all a good read then Jen!

    • Jen

      Yes ♥!

  2. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    I’ve read four by Leise and finally came to conclusion that I just don’t gel with her. (I’m a slow learner apparently. LOL) I came to realize that I found her female leads almost always unlikable. They always seem to be very prickly characters and it started to feel repetitive. Here, Willa was so rude to Ryder for no reason, and made several assumptions about him that just weren’t true. I did warm to her a bit as the story progressed but I found myself much more sympathetic to Ryder. I’m sorry to hear about the way in which you found yourself relating to the story. 🙁
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Best Reads of 2022 | Days 7-13 #BestReadsOf2022My Profile

    • Jen

      Ya know what’s funny, I’ve come to that conclusion too about the type of female characters she writes. It reminded me of the Bromance Book Club in that regards. I still enjoyed it but would have loved it if the characters were different.
      Jen recently posted…Monthly Wrap-Up: January – FebruaryMy Profile

  3. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    I’ve wanted to read this one too. I love a book that can have me laughing one minute, but getting all the feels the next! Great review!
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…Top 10 of 2022: Top 10 Book Boyfriends (Characters)My Profile

    • Jen

      Thank you so much!

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