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By Referral Only (Whitman University Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Lyla Payne
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews


Sequel to USATODAY BESTSELLER Broken at Love.
17+ due to sexual content and language.

About the Author

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked. In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life. I also write YA science fiction as Trisha Leigh.

Product Details

  • File Size: 639 KB
  • Print Length: 291 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1489544453
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DP3KR2A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,144 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet, hot, and heartfelt June 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
By Referral Only is a bit sweeter and a good deal hotter than Lyla's first, Broken at Love. I just ADORED Ruby and Cole, and I can't get their story out of my head.

What does a loyal sorority sister do when her friends keep having the same old less-than-awesome experiences between the sheets? She takes action with a site designed to let other girls know. Each reporting session on the site ends with one question - would you recommend him?

Ruby, the genius behind the site, is just another girl who's been dealing with a hot boy doling out less-than-hot action between the sheets. She's determined not to let it happen again, until Cole shows up on the scene. She wants him so bad she can taste it, and she can tell he feels the same way - she's NEVER felt so much chemistry with a guy. There's just one problem - not a single girl on the site would recommend him.

What she learns about Cole - and the reason for his abysmal ratings - will challenge everything she's learned about college life and love.

By Referral Only is the story of a girl who's been burned a dozen times, and how she has to stretch her heart to try to believe that, this time, things might just be different. Its sweetness doesn't diminish its sizzle at all - Ruby and Cole's relationship explodes off the page with more tension and heat than I've read in any other novel of the genre.

Recommended, for sure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review: By Referral Only July 9, 2013
By Annie
Format:Kindle Edition
When I first read Lyla's debut, Broken at Love, I was struck at how different it was from other NA novels. Bad boy meets good girl with a twist. This companion novel was equally as great to me, and I loved how it featured a good `ole good boy!

Ruby Cotton's family comes from new money and she attends a school full of students from old money. After being burned her freshman year, she carefully guards her heart from everyone. When she starts a man rating website, Cole Stuart is continuously ranked low, and since Ruby keeps running into the Scottish charmer, she's determined to find out the reason behind the low ratings. After she finds out his secret, Ruby needs to decide if Cole is worth all the trouble after all.

Ruby Cotton, whose name I love by the way, was a really insecure girl when she really didn't need to be. She was pretty and funny, and it must've been horrible for her to go through what she did just because she was not `old money.' It made me so mad because basically her whole school was stuck up preps. I really loved her unfiltered mouth and she really wasn't shy to say or do anything.

Cole was the sweetest good boy ever and he is SCOTTISH which makes him 10 times hotter. He made some mistakes when he was a bit younger, but they changed him for the better. I adored how shy he was with Ruby, which was a nice change from the playas that are normally showcased in new adult books. Cole was always good in a sticky situation, and I loved how he appreciated where Ruby came from and how it made her into the girl she was today.

I am loving the companion novel trend because it always has cameos of couples from the previous books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Book Boyfriend for me! January 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
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?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying main character November 2, 2013
By Jen R
Format:Kindle Edition
Ugh. I really couldn't stand Ruby. She was horrible. Her self loathing poor me attitude was just horrible. I hated her so much. She came from new money and so apparently people expected her to act like a white trash princess so what does she do? Acts like a white trash princess then gets mad when people see her that way. Um okay...if you don't want people to see you that way stop acting that way? Then she complains about poor her everyone judges her without knowing her, but she does the exact same thing! With everyone! So she had a boyfriend dump her once, because she thinks his family didn't like her, so that means everyone at her fancy school will be like that. Everyone. It doesn't matter how nice they are to her or the sweet things they do, they don't actually like her. Um okay...pot meet kettle. It was so frustrating!! So then she doesn't want a relationship she just wants a sex partner. Fine, but why in the world would you stay with Liam then? The sex is not good, he is a complete jerk to you so...why stay with him? If you just want a sex partner I am positive you can find someone to actually have enjoyable sex with. I didn't get it.

Ruby just complained and whined and made assumptions about everyone the entire way through the book. Sure suddenly at the end she see the error of her ways and that Cole might actually like her and so she changes overnight. Sure. I buy that. I liked Cole and couldn't understand why he wanted Ruby. I mean she was pretty terrible to him. I mean after he reveals his humiliating secret that he is super ashamed of she just storms off and calls it off with him. Nice. Way to go. I wish it would have taken more groveling to get him back. It was way too easy. She pretty much just smiled at him and he was all okay! Boo. You deserve better Cole!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Kelly Durst
4.0 out of 5 stars "By Referral Only" is not only about love but it's about...
Lyla Payne has a way of turning a New Adult story around so that it is not your typical intense all-or-nothing-falling-at-top-speed college romance. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C.C. Sowers
3.0 out of 5 stars Likable series!

I finished the first book in the series only a couple of weeks ago and since I was still feeling it, I decided to go on with the second quite fast, so here... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sugar Spice
4.0 out of 5 stars I think I'd like a referral please!!!
Goodness! This was a fun and good read..
It was intense in some parts too! Cole Stuart and Ruby Cotton were a perfect match... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Obsessed with romance
5.0 out of 5 stars Find out how the boys rate!
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? Read more
Published 5 months ago by Book Babe
3.0 out of 5 stars Failed to keep my attention
I found the book easy to put down. It took days to read it as opposed to hours. There was nothing wrong with it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Justirishgirl
2.0 out of 5 stars h is a major buzzkill
This was similar to book 1 except reversed where the h had the MAJOR chip on her shoulder. Book 1 annoyed me because the h would keep going after the H even though he was a total... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Love a great book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruby and Cole
I read the first book Broken at love about Emilie and Quinn and it was amazingly good. I expected this book to be about Ruby and Liam because there were hints in the first book... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jackie
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as good as broken at love
Lyla Payne knows how to draw in her readers! I loved this as much as the first and I will definitely continue to read her stuff! amazing!
Published 10 months ago by Shelby Hogarty
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good story
Even though a lot was somewhat predictable, it was a fun read and a nice story. I enjoyed it as a break from the down and dirty thrillers and detective novels I normally read!
Published 10 months ago by Kelly
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More 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.

Lyla Payne is represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

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.

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