Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on January 2, 2018
Relevant, passionate, healing-filled Reunion Romance by one of the most intuitive writers out there for deep human motivation and emotion had me in high anticipation for the beginning of a new series by a favorite author.
The Ones Who Got Away took me to a contemporary world that most of us are fortunate we will never have to experience- the survivor of a mass shooting. Exploring the aftermath and pairing it with a nearly desperate, cathartic romance that was always meant to be sent me to so many places inside my mind and heart. In few other author’s hands would I trust them to tell a story like this and get it right. I do not say that to be dramatic, but because its true. I wasn’t even nervous that Roni Loren would fail to show a group of high school shooting survivors a decade later, capturing their past thoughts and actions as teens, then young adults, and now the adult versions. Oh yes, at the heart, we have a salacious and passionate reunion romance between the jock and the artsy girl from the other side of the tracks, but this is twisted up in PTSD symptoms, people just getting by, and oh, the honesty and lust for life that happens when they trigger something in each other because they do know that life is an iffy thing.
That said, Finn and Livvy are gun shy about relationships. For Finn, as an undercover FBI agent, he knows he only has just the summer before he gets sent deep undercover again and he is filled with darkness and barely holds onto his true self by a thread . And for Livvy, she can only make things work if she stays detached. People she loves leave and die like her mom and Finn and all the kids gunned down and she doesn’t believe her splintered, damaged, nightmare-ridden self can connect with anyone. I wanted them to heal and heal together so badly.
The pair of them were combustible together. They were secretly dating in high school because Finn’s family and even Livvy’s would have fought them on it, but now as adults, they are like gasoline and a match. Up they go as soon as they get near each other. Honest, sexy, dirty talking and hot sweaty sexy times ensue. Livvy is a firecracker and drives Finn wild and back into a lighter, happier place and Finn is a smoldering hottie that pushes her through her ice walls and makes her release her artistic, passionate, devil may care self. They are good together and I was left with no doubts. Even when they were on the outs, they were mature, honest, caring, and oh so in love.
Beyond these two, I liked the other layers to this story and setting the stage for the other series stories to come. Livvy and the other survivor girlfriends she has that all do a time capsule letter and realize that none are living up to their teen self dreams, but also realize that they have each other.. Finn and Becca dealing with their friendship, her teen crush, and their shared past. And the need to find closure with Finn’s family.
I know that I have totally gushed and rambled through this review, but I’m still on a reader high and wanted to convey the fabulousness that I was feeling so others would catch the bug and go grab this one.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #3
Literary Pickers #16 Napkin
Books N Tunes #3 COYER #30 Tune: J Geils Band’s Love Stinks