By Referral Only (Whitman University)

By Referral Only (Whitman University)

by Lyla Payne

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After being unceremoniously dumped freshman year because of her family's "new money" status, Ruby Cotton has taken care not to put her heart on the line. No matter how enticing Emilie and Quinn make it look, relationships are scary and hard--while a string of flings is easy and fun. That's what Ruby wants. Easy and fun. The only problem is, when it comes to satisfaction in the sack, most of the boys at Whitman are nothing but pretty window dressing and false advertising.

Ruby takes it upon herself to make campus life more fulfilling, creating a referral database that allows female students to rate their sexual experiences, thereby informing girls of what they're getting into before agreeing to a date.

When her acting partner, Liam Greene, finally shows some interest, Ruby figures she won't need to utilize the helpful gossip. He's handsome, fun, and most importantly, not a guy she'd ever fall for hard enough to let him break her heart.

Not only that, but dating Liam gives Ruby the perfect excuse to say no to Cole Stuart.

As a star swimmer and heir to honest-to-God Scottish royalty, Cole sits at the top of Whitman's A-list--but he's also the lowest rated referral on Ruby's website. The ratings make rejecting his repeated requests for a date a no-brainer, but her real reason for avoiding Cole runs deeper than a string of unsatisfied exes.

He's gorgeous, he oozes sweetness and charm, and the electricity between them could power half of Whitman, but Ruby knows it will only last until his family or friends convince him she's not good enough.

Before she knows it she's falling anyway, waiting for the other shoe to drop but clinging to a tentative hope that Cole might be as different as he seems. When the secret behind his low ratings comes to light, that hope is torn apart, and Ruby wonders if she was right to give him her heart...and whether she has the strength to let him keep it.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940016570280
Publisher: Author Published
Publication date: 06/28/2013
Series: Whitman University , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 291
Sales rank: 112,408
File size: 561 KB

About the Author

Lyla Payne has been publishing New Adult romance novels for a little over a year, starting with Broken at Love and continuing with the rest of the Whitman University series. She loves telling stories, discovering the little reasons people fall in love, and uncovering hidden truths in the world around us – past and present. In her spare time she cuddles her two dogs, pretends to enjoy exercising so that she can eat as much Chipotle as she wants, and harbors a deep and abiding hope that Zac Efron likes older women. She loves reading, of course, along with movies, traveling, and Irish whiskey. Lyla’s hard at work, ALWAYS, and hopes to bring you more Whitman University antics and at least one more Lowcountry ghost tale before the end of the year.

If you want to know more, please visit her at

If you’re a fan of Young Adult fiction—science fiction or otherwise—please check out her work that’s published under the name Trisha Leigh.

Customer Reviews

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By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
BookBosomed_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Does your beau stop in the middle for a snack break? Never get started in the first place? Leave you doing a walk of unsatisfied shame? Well Whitney Brigs theater major, Ruby Cotton has developed just the web site to voice your dissatisfaction. Yep, that’s right. Ruby has enlisted the help of a computer science geek to help her set up a grading site on the male population at Whitney Brigs. Too many of her female friends have been left disappointed by lack-luster bedroom performances and Ruby’s out to make the spoiled boys at Whitney Brigs shape up and work for their dates. Ruby’s own neglected lower parts want fellow actor Liam, not Scottish swimmer, Cole Stuart. Despite his blonde hair, green eyes, dimples, charming personality, and accent, Cole’s ratings on Ruby’s new “referral” website are terrible. But when Liam’s big “performance” is a dud, and Cole’s one chaste kiss during a Romeo and Juliet scene for her after-school kids theater is awe-inspiring it makes it hard to get him out of her mind.   “Everyone knows you can’t wait to fall in love. It happens even if you don’t want it to, like in the Cinderella movies.”  That little piece of wisdom comes from Caroline, Ruby’s ten year old acting student, but it leaves an impression. Cole is attentive, chivalrous, adorable with his Scottish colloquialisms, and a big mystery. Oh yes, he’s totally swoon-worthy. He and Ruby have a great attraction to each other (that she fights), and the book (told from Ruby’s POV) moves along at a good pace. While the story is for the most part a fun and light hearted read, there is plenty of depth to the characters. Though outwardly out-going, Ruby wrestles with self-esteem issues stemming from not being born into wealth like her fellow old and ancient money co-eds.  Yet hurt by love in the past, she’s not as different from Cole as she thinks. Cole’s secret is a little heart-wrenching (all I’m gonna say so as not to spoil it). Its reveal is a pivotal point in their relationship and a great climax to the story. Emilie and Quinn from Broken at Love also appear, and if you enjoyed Quinn in the first book, he has some gem comments in this one too. Are the girls rating the guys based solely on bedroom skills and sexual satisfaction or are they letting their feeling and relationship expectations get in the way? What secret is keeping Cole’s ratings low? Can he and Ruby let go of the issues they harbor? And will Ruby finally get to see Cole in his kilt? The HEA is sweet, sexy, and superb! An amazing ending to this cute campus tale that raises the question of the different ways men and women view sex, dating, emotions, and relationships while showing how two new adults overcome their fears, doubts, insecurities, and pasts to succeed at love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story and well worth the time and money. Very descriptive and easy to follow. I will definetly read more from this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! I really enjoyed reading this! Cant wait to read more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Lagalloway More than 1 year ago
5 Referrals-Included Stars! By Referral Only is the second in the Whitman University series by Lyla Payne (first being Broken at Love) and I loved this one just as much as the first. Ruby is a junior at Whitman University, she excels at theatre, dreams of New York with Broadway twinkling in her eyes. She is stunning in beauty, brains, and loyalty, social chair for her sorority, can easily attain any guy she deems worthy of a fling, but she isn’t perfect. At least to herself and the families of those at Whitman. Ruby comes from new money and does not have the appropriate upbringing to be a lady of class and high stature. Ruby hides behind a wall that she erected years ago, seemingly uncaring of what others think of her, keeping others at bay by not allowing them close, not getting attached, and just enjoying the pleasures of another’s company. Too bad for her, Cole Stuart walks into her life and he refuses to leave.  Too bad for Cole, Ruby has started a referral website rating guys on their sexual prowess and he is bottom of the barrel. Too bad for Ruby her body and heart don’t seem to care.  Cole is the hottie Scottish Royalty of campus, built like a god, on the swim team, multiple non-profit boards, cares for children, and knows his Shakespeare; Ruby doesn’t even stand a chance from the first time his green eyes capture her blue ones. As Cole slowly makes his way into her life, seeing past her façade, Ruby is helpless and feels out of control and ultimately unworthy. As things heat up, their lives continue to collide, secrets from their pasts, secrets of heartbreak and betrayal surface, reminding each other why they have always closed themselves off. Will their walls go back up or will they forever crumble? Ruby is sassy, quick-lipped, and doesn’t take crap from anyone. She is a strong individual who doesn’t find herself worthy of her peers. I adore Ruby. Cole is one of the ultimate book boyfriends I have been in need of! Fighting demons on his own, his first thought and instinct is to be there for Ruby, take care of her and get her to see herself how he sees her. These two have an explosive chemistry that most people only dream about and they truly deserve to be envied. I am ready for the next Whitman University novel  Get It! Like, Now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This author was part of a bundle of books and Ihave to say that I really liked and enjoyed her writing.( And having a surname like Payne, who wouldn't like her. As a Payne, myself I maybe but the characters were very likable and the story did its job of telling me a great story. I will be buying her other books as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't usually read teen or young adult but I goht the book for nothing and it was pretty good it really dwelled on low self esteem which I feel most young adults do I probably will not buy any of the series but if the authors writes other books I would give them a try
TheAutumnReview More than 1 year ago
I was so excited to read Ruby's book. She was my favorite character in the first book. She's a bit girlier than I am, but I adore her sense of humor. Plus, there's a deeper side to Ruby that I felt connected to as well. Then, there's yummy Cole! I have a weakness for a handsome Scot. Cole was absolutely perfect for Ruby. I loved the book and definitely recommend the series! Quotes: ~"Cole Stuart." The accent. My drawers turned into water droplets and then disappeared, just like Ginny said.-pg 24 ~I loved the perfect way he had of phrasing things. The slight attention to detail made me believe it was me in the lingerie that excited him, not simply pretty cloth.-pg 151
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read By Referral Only without really knowing what it was about. I haven't read the first book Broken At Love. Shameful, I know. When I got my ARC copy and I began reading it I felt like I was missing something. I did some research and found about Whitman University. This is all so cool. I love how the authors are being creative and indulging readers into the worlds they have created. Anyway, back to the book. I began reading it and the writing made me stick with the book. It is a book meant to be read in one sitting. Those who have read the first are already aware how the Whitman University works. We have Quinn and Emily from the first novel making cameos in this installment. This is a book about Ruby Cotton- Emilie's roommate and best friend who takes it upon herself to make a referral site about guys- the girls rate the different guys and then make referrals so that other girls can be on the lookout if the guy makes a move on them. As 'no' referral on the site means the guy is not good in the sack ;) and the girl should stay away. Ruby has sworn off full relationships with guys that are higher in the Whitman world. She is more into casual endeavors. She is having a somewhat casual thing with Liam- her acting partner but he is disappointing in bed. But Ruby doesn't end things. There are two reasons: first, Cole Stuart (the guy with lowest referrals is after her), second, he is from the most wealthy families in Whitman. Anyway, Ruby focuses on her acting and takes a chance for once. I liked how Ruby made the referral site as guys are always objectifying women and for once it was nice to see that being done to guys. D: The book was told from Ruby's perspective and it was fun to be inside her head. I loved her passion for acting and the way she would immerse in whatever scene she was enacting. I liked how she put her career before guys. It was good to see her as this fierce character out in Whitman and making her own name. I liked Emilie- she was a good friend to Ruby. I liked that exchange between them where Emilie was trying to make Ruby make sense of how Cole was good for her. Liam was just an irritating guy. Cole was sweet and attentive. I loved Cole's family and how they were with Ruby. All in all, this book was funny to read and engaging. Teaser: "I'm a girl, Cole. We over-think everything."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read many books and this kept my interest. Definitely worth the purchase.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVED this book! I came across the first book by chance and read the synopsis and bought it. I am so happy that I did, because I could not put that book down once I open it and the same goes for this book as well! It's a tough call which one is better because I enjoyed the characters in both books so much. If you are on the fence about buy it, let me save you the energy...BUY it!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scottish accent....wears a kilt and nothing else at the end.....that says it all, doesn't it? Ruby is more than tad immature but twenty-somethings seem to require a longer "cooking" period than my generation, so that immaturity seems realistic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am really enjoying the Whitman University series. I love both Ruby and Cole as characters. They are very relatable characters with how they deal with their past and their own insecurities. I loved watching them and their relationship grow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is just amazing! It's all about finding the person you were meant to be with. You need to let go of your past, and you need to trust each other. Both characters grow a lot through the book. So many things threaten to tear them apart. They realize that love is worth the risk. @madbookreader
iloveladyporn More than 1 year ago
Another fabulose book by Lyla Payne! Ruby is a self sabatoger when it comes to guys. She thinks she's protecting herself but really she is missing out on what could be the love of her life. Cole has his own secrets and once Ruby decides to take a chance on him his secret blows up in her face. I think she's a bit harsh whith her reaction and hope she can see the light about Cole before its too late. Hot sex ,nothing raunchy. Fabulous ending. Quote: "Looking good never hurt anyone."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It started out a little off but as the story went on you saw the attractions, the chemistry. Fighting through your own insecurities is always challenging. However, Logan had his own insecurities and demons. Finally everything is out and she runs, but honestly with the information shared I don't blame her. Thankfully she realized what she wanted and what she is "worth" to Logan even if his family wont approve. Loved the ending.
KarenT More than 1 year ago
another great story by a very talented author., I love Ruby Cotton and love that she got her time to shine., she is the  ultimate character and we should all be so lucky and cherish people and friends that she reminds us of ...again this author delivered a fantastic story (that helps with real time issue in every day life, that shows us that no matter what there is about an individual we are all important and who we are matter's to our self's., no matter what others may think they knew or what there judgement may be.., because there judgement means nothing., cause in the end you as an individual are strong and don't need anyone's approval to be who your are or to be happy ) &  with   awesome characters that had you turning page after page to see what happens next...this was a great read that I enjoyed every minute of it and recommend this and anything else written by Lyla Payne .this is a must read for sure :) <3   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had so many laugh out loud moments, but it also had some sad poignant moments too. I really enjoy Lyla's writing style because it has a lot of humor and sass. Overall a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story makes me laugh and cry.