This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on January 1, 2019
From the beginning of this series, when the three women were introduced, I had a premonition that one of these friends’ romance was going to go there. The part of me that shies away from deep angst and tearjerker books hoped I was wrong, but another part of me was intrigued and wanted to see what the author would do with such a romance. Bet you are wondering what I’m talking about. I’ll explain later, promise. Incidentally, the author turned in what I thought was the best book in the series and rivals many of her backlist triumphs.
So, The One You Fight For is book three in The Ones Who Got Away series. In a pinch, it can be read out of order because it introduces new leads and situations, but there is a sense that each book builds on the ones before it leaving up to this, too.
Taryn is a research psychologist and professor who is driven to study the dark corners of the mind to find a way to prevent devastating tragedies like the one she lived through when she was in high school and to prevent deaths in those school shootings like her sister’s. She meets a wonderful man who appreciates and accepts her, the chemistry between them is off the charts, and then she learns a shocking truth.
People stand behind, pity, and look solicitously upon a victim’s family and a few even make noises about the ‘sick’ person who did the deed, but what of the shooter’s family? They are villains by association. They should have known or, they share a propensity toward evil. Shaw Miller, Olympic hopeful’s life was ruined the day his brother shot up the school. To even have the appearance of a normal life, he had to move away and change his name. Now, it all circles back. He’s face to face with a survivor and the relative of a victim all in one and they share more than an attraction. Any chance with Taryn is destroyed, right?
So, yeah, a romance involving a survivor and someone from the victim’s family was the scenario I had a hunch was coming even from the early chapters of book one. First, I was chicken to read it because of the inevitable angst, but then I worried that even this capable author would somehow miss the mark on this delicate situation. While, there were moments that didn’t fully satisfy me with plot choices, for the most part, I think this was a really good book. And yes, it tore my heart out. I was emotionally exhausted after reading this one. Good thing I’d read a fluffy sweet holiday book before it and now I need more rainbows and unicorns to restore me.
I loved both Taryn and Shaw. I wish I didn’t because at that pivotal point, I was aching for them. I kept grasping at the hope provided that this was a romance story because I needed this pair- most especially them- to have their chance at happy. This is not the first story that reminds us to withhold condemnation of an innocent person as a target of grief, anger, and blame. It also reminds us of how far reaching such tragedy can be when Taryn tirelessly gives her all to find an answer.
All in all, this is a book I will not soon forget and am still feeling the aftershocks of emotion, but I’m glad I read it. Those who like their contemporary romances to include a great deal more than girl meets boy should give this series a go.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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COYER Winter #15
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