Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
Twelve years ago, tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a small number of students survived, a group the media dubbed as The Ones Who Got Away. Now, web designer Liv Arias, along with the rest of the survivors, have returned to the small Texas town to tell their stories for a documentary. Which means Liv seeing former star-athlete and old flame Finn Dorsey. A lot happened between them that night and Liv is ready to end their decade-long riff and move on. But when her attempt at closure turns into a steamy kiss, moving on proves much more difficult than either of them thought... Liv's words cut off as Finn got closer. The man approaching was nothing like the boy she'd known. The bulky football muscles had streamlined into a harder, leaner package. The smooth face was now dusted with scruff, and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence. A thousand things were in those eyes. A thousand things welled up in Liv.
I really enjoyed The Ones Who Got Away, an adult romance about two people finding their way back to each other after experiencing a traumatic event together. Liv and Finn have coped with the tragedy of a school shooting the best they can for the past 12 years, mostly by shutting other people out and immersing themselves in their work.
When they reconnect during a documentary filming, the connection they felt 12 years ago is still there. Finn encourages Liv to try to push her safety net to the side and try really living for a while (though, of course, he's one to talk). As they get close, they wonder if this is something that can last, or just something that will carry them through the next few months until Finn goes back to his super top-secret dangerous job.
I'm a sucker for second-chance romances, and I really liked Liv and Finn and liked watching their relationship build as the story unfolded. It's both sweet and hot. Liv also has a good group of female friends around her, and they feel pretty fleshed out; I'm pretty sure we'll see them further developed in stories of their own. I appreciate that the book deals with the aftermath of the shooting rather than centering on the event itself. I'm still not sure how I feel about the handling of it as a whole, but I did love the message of the importance of living life to the fullest--to live the life that scares you.
Should you read it? There's some powerful stuff here, plus a lot of hot chemistry and great banter. I'll admit that the cover sucked me in--but it's more than just a pretty face.
3 1/2 Stars
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
Expected Publication January 2, 2018 by Sourcebooks Casablanca