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.
Aside from the fact that Ruby was very pushy and judgy in the sex departement, she was also very shallow and childish. Apparently, because she comes from ‘new money’, unlike any of her fellow students, everyone expects her to be white trash. So, by her reasoning, instead of trying to prove them wrong and actually be yourslef in the process, why not prove them right? So there she is, snapping at and acting bitchy to anyone and everyone. Well, that sure won’t make people think any better of you. Even when she goes to apologise to Cole for being an impatient, inconsiderate bitch, she just pushes past him into his house, feeling nosy and entitled, just to embarass herself in front of his entire family. Well, I’m guessing karma really is a bitch?
On top of that, she constantly pitied herself and was just really mean to Cole, who is actually one of the sweetest bookboyfriends I’ve ever read.
And that was this book’s only redeeming quality; Cole. Thank God for him or this book would’ve been an entire waste of time.
* I only want to add one thing and that is that slut shaming and such goes both ways.
For example, in By Referral Only we meet Ruby who comes up with the ‘brilliant’ idea to create a website where you can rate your male fellow students’ sexual prowess.
How is there this little reaction to that?
If it were a guy making a website like that, people would be all over it, complaining about how men have this certain standard and expectations of women. But since here it’s girls doing it, they can go ahead and, when found out, Ruby doesn’t even get any real punishment from the university/dean himself.
Same goes for Cole. So the poor guy didn’t want to have sex with his semi-girlfriends after only a few dates. So what? That is his goddamn business. I can’t believe no one’s frustrated at how angry his dates were at him, they actually whined and cried and pushed him. Good for him, he didn’t give in, because if he did, how would that be any different from girls being coerced by a ‘pushy, rape-y asshole who should be in jail’. Because that is what girls would be calling him if it were one of them.
Even though I originally was planning on giving it 3 stars, this alone made me give one less star and I am disappointed and surprised not (m)any other people feel this way, much less commented on it.