Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer — and former flame — Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn.
Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices — and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life — and in love.
Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.
Melanie’s 3-STAR Review:
The title and the synopsis of this book lassoed me in immediately. I was frantic to get my hands on it and ungraciously logged into my Netgalley account, anxiously praying for my request to be approved. You see, I am a total sucker for second chance romance stories; I think they hold such a romantic and redeeming notion to them. It gives people hope all the while finding a new level of excitement to something familiar.
The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase follows Sarina, our female protagonist and Eamon, the leading man in this story. I felt that the author did a good job developing their characters and really allowing her readers to get to know even the littlest of their quirks. This allows you to feel a personal investment to them and makes you want to know if they get their happily ever after; whether with each other or not. There were many times during this book that I felt sheer frustration with Sarina. Her inability to connect with me all driven by her “wishy-washy” persona. I understand that she was in a journey of self-discovery, but there were too many situations and too many decisions where she didn’t have any clue as to what she wanted and the self-doubt was a constant companion —in her career, in her relationships, both romantic and familial. It was a challenge for me well throughout the book. I had a love/hate relationship with Eamon. I loved how he was able to overcome his challenges, how he was able to bear the cross that life had given him. I thought this showed tremendous maturity and strength on his part but what I couldn’t get over was how overtly cocky he was. Now, I love a confident, rest-assured man. Who doesn’t? But when you go over that fine line, well… You just sorta become “douchey.” Eamon stepped over that line many times, especially when he dealt with Sarina’s situation with Noah. He was presumptuous times two. I couldn’t stand how he would always manage to turn the tables around on her; having her do the groveling and the apologizing when she didn’t need to. Ugh. I felt my blood pressure sky rocketing during those times. He definitely made me feel heated but not in a good way.
The attraction between Eamon and Sarina was palpable. This was not easy to miss and I bathed in it. I loved feeling those tiny flutters of giddiness each time the tension between them grew thick. Although however obvious their feelings for each other were, I wish that the buildup was done in a more seamless manner. It was instead abrupt and left me more disgruntled rather than feeling the rush of excitement. My endorphins didn’t have a chance to enjoy the ride, it didn’t have that slow burning fire that I crave for in romance stories.
There are a couple of scenes in this book that had the tears pouring down my face and you know what? Each other those didn’t involve Eamon and Sarina together. It was instead moments with her step-dad, John. Though their interactions with one another were subtle, the love felt real and it was powerful. Those scenes… those scenes were worth working my way through this book. They were raw and they were a reminder that the best kind of love doesn’t always have to be romantic. It can come from platonic friends and family. I found it incredibly funny and unexpected that this was what I took away from this second chance romance.
The One That Got Away is truly Sarina’s journey of self-discovery in all aspects of life. If you’re patient with her, then you will enjoy this book.
We Like It Big Tunes:
The one that got away- Katy Perry
About The Author:
A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.