It's Only Love (Green Mountain Series #5)

It's Only Love (Green Mountain Series #5)

by Marie Force

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It's Only Love (Green Mountain Series #5) by Marie Force

The new Green Mountain Romance from the New York Times bestselling author of And I Love Her.

Ella Abbott has long been secretly in love with Gavin Guthrie. A few recent encounters have only added to her infatuation, especially the kiss they shared at her sister’s wedding. It doesn’t matter to Ella that Gavin is in a bad place. He says there’s no hope for a future with him, that he has nothing to offer her. But all Ella cares about is the love she feels.

It’s been seven long years since Gavin lost his brother. He’d kept himself under control and moving forward until his brother’s beloved dog died and his brother’s widow re-married. Since then, he’s been drinking, fighting, and even getting arrested. It seems the only time his demons leave him alone is when Ella is around.

Gavin knows it wouldn’t be fair to drag Ella into his darkness, but when she inserts herself into his life, what choice does he have but to allow her to soothe his aching heart?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425275504
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/03/2015
Series: Green Mountain Series , #5
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 315,251
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Marie Force is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling, award-winning author of more than forty contemporary romances, including the Green Mountain series, the McCarthys of Gansett Island series, the Fatal series, the Treading Water series and numerous stand-alone books. While her husband was in the U.S. Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland, and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of a young adult, a teenager and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie.

Read an Excerpt


From It’s Only Love
Everything about this Thanksgiving felt different to Ella from every other one that came before it. For one thing, it was the first one they’d spent in the lake house. For another, the family football game happened on the beach rather than in the field next to the barn. It was strange not to have Hunter and Max with them, which was also a first. It was the first Thanksgiving in which they’d taken turns going to the hospital to visit Max and baby Caden, who’d had a good first night.

It was the first Thanksgiving that Ella had somewhere else she’d rather be—or rather the first time she wished she could be in two places at once.

After dinner with the family, Ella helped clear the table and pack up the leftovers before she went into her room to grab her stuff. To Charley, she said, “I’m going to head back to Butler now. Do you want to come or hang here for a while?”

“I’ll go back later with Will and Cam.”

Ella hugged her sister. “See you later then.” After saying her good-byes to everyone else, Ella headed off to Butler, pressing a little harder than usual on the accelerator because she was so eager to be with Gavin.

It had been an odd Thanksgiving for Gavin. He’d spent most of the day wishing Ella were there to make everything better, but his parents were also different today. Sure, his mom was scurrying around making the traditional turkey dinner, but they were also packing for their trip to Turks and Caicos in the morning.

By three thirty he was standing in front of the window that looked out over the driveway watching for Ella. He and his parents sat down to eat at four, and as it did every year, Caleb’s glaring absence left an empty space across the table and in Gavin’s heart. He missed him so much—every day, but more so on days like this that were set aside for family, and he was forced to confront how small his family had become.

Over dinner, his mom said she wanted to talk about what they were thankful for. “I’ll start,” she said with a warm, happy smile. “This year I’m thankful for my husband and son and what we’ve managed to weather together. I’m thankful to have been Caleb’s mother, to have the incredible blessing of his life to cherish for the rest of mine.” She took a deep breath, dabbed at her eyes and continued. “I’m thankful for the inn that Hannah started, which has given Dad and me all new purpose this year and for the grandbaby she will soon bring into our lives. I’m thankful for your beautiful smile, Gavin. I’ve missed it, and it’s nice to see it back again. And for that, I’m most thankful to Ella, who has given you reason to smile again. That’s my list.”

“Ditto,” his dad said.

“That’s a cop-out,” Amelia said, smiling at her husband.

“How so? I’m thankful for all those same things.”

“All right, fine. Be that way. What about you, Gav?”

Gavin felt surprisingly emotional after hearing his mother’s heartfelt list, and her inclusion of Ella touched him deeply. “I’m thankful for all those things, too. Mostly for you guys. I’m glad we always have each other even if we don’t see each other every day. You know I’m right there for you, or at least I hope you do.”

“Of course we do,” Amelia said, laying her hand over his. “You’ve been a wonderful son to us your entire life, but never more so than since we lost your brother.”

Gavin forced a smile for his mom as he contended with the lump in his throat. For as long as he’d lived, he’d done so in the shadow of his much more accomplished older brother. He’d never minded the shadow and had missed it after it was gone, but the irony that Caleb had been the one to die young wasn’t lost on him. It should’ve been him. Caleb had a wife he’d adored, an incredible career, so many talents and a future filled with promise.

Whereas Gavin had none of those things. He would always wish it had been him instead of Caleb. It would’ve been easier for everyone if it had been him. But as he waited to see Ella again, for the first time in a long time, he was glad it hadn’t been him. He finally had something worthwhile to live for again, and he couldn’t wait to see her.

They had finished dinner and were cleaning up when a knock on the mudroom door had him bolting across the kitchen. Gavin threw open the door, and there she was looking fresh-faced and beautiful and as happy to see him as he was to see her. He pulled her into his arms and held her tight against him, breathing her in and filled with relief to have her back where she belonged.

Two weeks ago, he would’ve shied away from that thought, but now he couldn’t deny that she belonged to him, and he belonged to her. And he liked it that way.

“There you are,” he said after a long moment of silence.

“Here I am.”

“Missed you.”

“Missed you, too.”

He drew back from her and gazed down at her lovely face before stealing a quick kiss. It took all he had to remember where he was and that he couldn’t lose himself in the kiss or her. Not now anyway. But the minute he could spirit her away from his parents’ house all bets were off.

He helped her out of her coat and took her by the hand to lead her into the kitchen where his mother was preparing to serve up the one pie she’d made—apple because it was his favorite. She normally made a lot more food, but because they were leaving town for a week, she’d dialed it back this year.

“Ella!” Amelia rushed over to hug and kiss her. “Happy Thanksgiving and congratulations on the new nephew.”

“Thank you. He’s beautiful.”

“I’m sure he is, and I love his name.”

“I do, too.” She hugged and kissed his dad and gratefully accepted the pie his mother offered.

Gavin fixed her a cup of coffee the way she liked it and brought it to the table, which now seemed less empty with that fourth seat filled by someone he loved. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. She looked so good, but then again she always did. From her shiny hair to the rosy glow of her cheeks to her gorgeous brown eyes and delicious pink lips, she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever known—inside and out.

He couldn’t remember a time when he hadn’t been drawn to her. She was so kind and sweet and always thinking of others before herself. He’d recognized those qualities in her long before the time they’d recently spent together and had probably been in love with her for years, if he were being honest with himself.

Every time he’d laid eyes on her, he’d wanted her. Never more so than right now when she chatted happily with his parents about their upcoming trip while enjoying her pie and coffee. She seemed to be in no particular rush to get out of there while he was on the verge of spontaneously combusting from the desire that coursed through him.

Running her fork through a dollop of whipped cream, she brought it to her mouth, her eyes catching his across the table.

He covered his moan with a cough that didn’t fool Ella. Standing so fast he nearly knocked over his chair, Gavin took his plate to the sink, rinsed it and put it in the dishwasher. “We’ve got to get going.”

“So soon?” his mom said. “Ella just got here.”

“Yes, Gavin,” Ella said. “I just got here.”

The glare he sent her was met with a grin that told him she knew what he wanted and was enjoying making him wait. Well, two could play at that game. As soon as he had that thought, he had to squelch it or risk walking around with an embarrassing bulge in his pants.

Rather than indulge in thoughts about his plans for later, he continued to load the dishwasher, making as much noise as he could to vent his frustration.

“Go easy on my plates, Gavin,” his mother said sternly, making Ella laugh.

It was nice to hear laughter in this house again, even if it was at his expense. He’d happily take the lumps to bring some light back into his life and that of his parents. Ella was all light and joy and peace. He was drawn to her like a magnet to steel, the pull impossible to deny or resist, not that he wanted to do either of those things. Not anymore.

Right in that moment, standing at his mother’s kitchen sink, he became acutely aware of the fact that he needed to marry her to ensure she’d never be anywhere other than with him, where she belonged. If one night away from her had left him reeling, the thought of the whole rest of his life without her was like imagining a return to the barren wasteland of nothingness where he’d been stranded for far too long. After the taste of heaven he’d had with her, he had no desire whatsoever to return to that life.

Filled with irrational fear of all the many ways he could still screw this up, he resolved to act sooner rather than later to make this relationship permanent. Once she had his ring on her finger, she wouldn’t be able to get away. She’d be stuck with him, for better or worse. And he’d be gloriously, blissfully stuck with her.

He couldn’t wait for that.

Ella decided an hour with Amelia and Bob was enough to be polite, enough to make Gavin suffer a little.

“You ready?” he asked from his spot next to her on the sofa.

“If you are.”

He glared at her, letting her know how ready he was to leave—how ready he’d been for some time now.

“It was so nice of you to cut short your holiday with your own family to spend some time with us,” Amelia said when she walked them to the door.

“It was well worth it for that pie of yours,” Ella said. “I need your recipe.”

“I’ll write it down for you. It’s Gavin’s favorite.”

“Thanks for a fabulous day, Mom,” Gavin said, kissing her cheek. “Have a great trip and be safe.”

“We’ll call you while we’re away.”

“Don’t worry about me. Just have a good time.”

“I will worry about you, and I will call you.”

“Thanks for the warning,” he grumbled with a good-natured grin for his mother.

“He’s all yours for the next week,” Amelia said when she hugged Ella.

“I’ll keep a close eye on him.”

“That sounds good to me,” he said. With his hand on Ella’s back, Gavin led her out of the house.

“Your place or mine?”


She could tell he was surprised to hear her say that, because they’d been spending most nights at his place thanks to her nosy landlady.

“It’s closer,” she said meaningfully.

“Hurry.” He patted her ass and sent her along to her car, which was parked behind his truck.

As Ella followed the speed limit to the letter, she could almost feel him boiling behind her. She’d felt him on slow simmer the whole time she’d been at his parents’ home, trying to be polite while she visited with Bob and Amelia when all he wanted to do was get her out of there.

It was heady stuff to be wanted that way by the man she loved. But it was also fun to play with him a little, to make him wait, to build the tension.

She pulled into her driveway with him right behind her. Before she could gather her purse and the backpack she’d taken to Burlington, he was upon her, opening her door and reaching for her seatbelt. “Gavin! Wait.”

“I’ve already waited long enough.”

“Five more minutes won’t kill you.”

“It just might. Move it.” He “helped” her out of the car and propelled her along with the force of his own desire. Her feet barely touched the ground on the way inside or as they went up the stairs as one being, his arm around her waist moving her along. Once again, she felt swept away by him, overtaken in the best possible way. The potent excitement of being back in his arms was overshadowed only by the lingering fear of how her surprise would be received.

Inside her apartment, he took the backpack from her and dropped it with a thud inside the door. Then he removed her coat, her sweater and was working on her jeans by the time she caught up to him.

“Gavin, wait, I want to talk to you—”

“After. We’ll talk after.”

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for New York Times Bestselling Author Marie Force:

“Marie Force makes you believe in the power of true love and happily ever after.”—Carly Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of Dare to Touch

“If you’re a fan of Robyn Carr and Jill Shalvis, then you will want the Green Mountain series by Marie Force.”—Fresh Fiction

“Marie truly just has a way of telling a story that draws you in, and never lets you go. Not even when you reach the end of the book.”—Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Customer Reviews

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It's Only Love 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for Gavin's story since Hannah's book and was not disappointed! Now I want to hear more about Wade but will have to be patient! Love this series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another hit from Marie Force!!! I love every book in this series and can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is an easy read, good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another hit for Marie!!! She's the best story teller...her characters come to life. You want to hang out with the Abbotts. Looking forward to next one in series! Thank you Marie! JR
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series and this one did not disappoint
Anonymous 9 months ago
Very romantic and real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended... sweet story...!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Polol33 More than 1 year ago
Marie does it again! What an awesome book...although I love ALL h er books in this series (and the others as well), this is hands down my most favorite. I cried, laughed and my heart was touched. I can't wait for Charly's story next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's over so quickly and can't stop reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey girl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello anyone up for rp or something? ~Allison
SaraBetty More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy Marie Force books and I particularly liked the story of Ella and Gavin... As a reader of this wonderful series I have waited for this book knowing it would be filled with so much torment because of Gavin's inability to recover from his Army Captain brothers death in battle... Ella has loved Gavin forever but he was unable to return her love until a series of events transpired... Wonderful storytelling by Ms. Force and I am sorry I have to wait until 2016 to see what happens to Charlotte (Charley)... Chloe had Max baby in this book and what happens to them will no doubt be very interesting since Chloe doesn't want anything to do with Max or the baby at the moment... Write fast Ms. Force, your loyal readers are waiting...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars Marie Force's Green Mountain Series is one that I've really enjoyed overall, some more than others, as is the case with any series, but I've enjoyed them all nonetheless. That said, Ella and Gavin's story is one that I've been especially looking forward to. I think it was because of the history they shared and how that history connected them, and the fact that we've seen hints of their relationship coming in past. Gavin had some major grief issues to deal with, which he didn't always handle in the best of ways, which in turn played a role in the issues he and Ella had to get past. They did get together, and when they did, they faced both heartbreaking and heartwarming moments, and then there is the whole Abbott clan........and if you know them, that's enough said. I love them all, but they are something else. While I did enjoy Ella and Gavin's story very much, I was hoping it would be a little more intense and have it's own uniqueness (more like books 1 and 2 in the series), I guess that is the best way to put it. It's Only Love is great, but it had more of a kind of an HBO (i.e. sexy moments) version of a Hallmark movie feel..........and that's not bad, but I was hoping for a little more depth. I love the Abbot family and I can't wait to read Charley's story, which is next in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great book absolutely loved it? I felt like I was there with them.
allromancereader More than 1 year ago
I felt like I'd been run over by an emotional Mack truck when I finished this book. Marie Force does creates an emotional journey that takes the reader right along with the characters. Gavin is a fantastic, complex character. The author really nailed what it's like to be drowning in grief. But Gavin's grief went deeper because it was intermingled with misplaced guilt. I really liked watching how Ella navigated the beginnings of their relationship, especially since both of them quickly admitted that while the relationship was new, the feelings weren't. Their feelings went back years and it just took them this long to be ready to embrace them. Their relationship was messy, complicated, and intense and perfect for both of them. The one and only struggle I had with their relationship was Gavin continuing to promise that he wouldn't walk away, that he would always be there. Where he was in his grief journey and their relationship, I felt it would have been better for him to promise to try. Both of these characters are driven intensely by their emotions and as such, it's got to be difficult for either of them to make promises that they won't be driven by those emotions to make poor decisions. I appreciate how the author included both Gavin and Ella's family in their relationship. It was no surprise to see the Abbott parents, as they are an integral part of the Green Mountain series, but I really liked how Gavin's parents were brought into the story and how Gavin's father, especially, helped Gavin work through all of the feelings he was having. In true Marie Force fashion, the Abbott siblings play a role in Gavin and Ella's story. We get to check in with the ones who have already found their happily-ever-after, and teased with those that haven't. And there was definitely some "Abbott brother" intimidation of Gavin as he was navigating his relationship with Ella - and it was delightful and fun to watch. This family loves each other, protects each other, and closes ranks when they need to. We've been getting to know the Abbott's in each book and by the time a character's book comes out, we can't wait to see how they find their happily-ever-after. Such is the case with It's Only Love. Another wonderful addition to the Green Mountain series.
lovestoryreaderNM More than 1 year ago
Very touching and emotional continuance of the Abbott family. Love the way Marie makes you feel a part of the family. Looking forward to more from this series!
ehaney578 More than 1 year ago
Marie Force once again tears out my heart in this latest installment to the Green Mountain series. Gavin broke my heart throughout the book. He just couldn’t come to terms with the loss of his brother, harboring insurmountable guilt. He’s on a self-destructive path that will only end in heartache for everyone. Ella has been in love with Gavin since forever. To watch the man you love go through what Gavin is going through, it’s the toughest thing she’s ever had to do. Should she keep hanging onto a man who “can’t” love her or move on to someone who can? I absolutely loved the book. Ella is certainly in a tough spot but she has an unshakeable inner strength that I admire. She knows her value and despite her love for Gavin, she will accept nothing less than everything. I also loved that we get to see more of the Abbott family. There are so many wonderful, exciting and hilarious scenes. And it’s not a Green Mountain book unless Fred the Moose makes a cameo. IT’S ONLY LOVE is not as gut wrenching and heartbreaking as Hannah’s book, but it’s certainly no walk in the park either. I highly recommend this and any book in the Green Mountain series. If you love a large and boisterous family full of laughter and love, then this is the series for you. ***I was gifted an eBook copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own***
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