BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, June 4, 2018

Bea Reviews The One You Can't Forget by Roni Loren

Bea's Book Nook, Review, The One You Can't Forget, Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: June 5th, 2018
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | iBooks* |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter...


The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn't deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she's thrown herself into her work. She can't dwell if she never slows down.

Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca―the attorney who helped his ex ruin him―his simple life gets complicated.

Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca's secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other

She laughed and kissed him. This morning she'd melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed.


She felt...light.

She'd forgotten what that felt like.


My Thoughts:

So, if you didn't read the blurb, you need to know that this book, and the series it's part of, is about a school shooting. The books themselves take place years later when the survivors are adults but they are tied together by the shooting and each of the survivors in the series deals with the aftereffects of the shooting. Although the book was written probably a year or so ago, the events share some uncomfortable similarities with recent high school shootings. There's also child abuse.

Still here? Okay, here we go.

What I Liked:

1) Realistic portrayals of survivor's guilt and PTSD. Rebecca believes that she's responsible for the shooter's action's. She's not, but it takes her a long time to realize and accept that. She rejected him, publicly, shortly before they shooting and blames herself for his actions. I was simultaneously irritated and empathetic with her misplaced guilt. Irritated because a male's inability to accept rejection is not the female's fault. Yet, given the timing and that they were teenagers when it happened, with the emotional storm that can bring, combined with survivor's guilt, I could understand where she was coming from. The PTSD was handled respectfully and realistically.

2) Also well done was the depiction of alcoholism and recovery. Loren doesn't glamorize it, doesn't dwell it, but lets us see the challenges and consequences and what living with it is actually like.

3) The romance. It was sweet, funny, and passionate. Despite their past history (see blurb), they are attracted to each other and can't stay away. They do have to get past their past, sort out their feelings, and deal with misconceptions. Rebecca can be quick to judge, a trait that runs in her family. Wes was slow to forgive. At times I wanted to smack both of them on the head. Happily, they talk, you know, like adults, and work things out. The romance had ups and downs, they had hurdles to get over, but there wasn't a Big Misunderstanding, and that always makes me happy.

4) I enjoy Loren's humor; it's been a definite plus in this story and the previous one.

"Tonight, I have a plans (sic) with a dog...and a man."
"A man?" Taryn said, a playful tone returning to her voice. "Like a real live human with a penis?"
Rebecca grinned. "Yes, there is definitely a penis."
Taryn gasped. "Wait. You said that with full authority. You've already verified the presence of this penis, haven't you?"
"I said no such thing. We're only friends."

What I Didn't Like:

1) Rebecca's father was an asshole. He may have done his best to raise her and care for her, but frankly his best sucked. It was hard to believe her cared about her at all.

2) Wes's brother Marco was a jerk too, though it seemed to come from caring about Wes. He had a shitty way of showing he cared but he did seem to genuinely care. Unlike Rebecca's father.

3) As I mentioned above, Rebecca's misplaced guilt over her part in the shooting was frustrating. Women are often too quick to take the blame for a man's bad behavior and too quick to let him off. It bothered me that Loren had Rebecca do this though at least Rebecca did realize that she was wrong to feel guilty and she shifted all the blame back to the shooters.

4) I had mixed feelings around Wes's 'cheating' in his marriage. Honestly, I'd have preferred a different way of dealing with it. He was technically guilty but not really guilty. Also, his ex is a fairly standard romance ex - greedy, conniving, blah blah blah. Rebecca was judgmental but otherwise a paragon of virtue. Blergh.

Verdict:

Despite its problems, I enjoyed this story and I am looking forward to the next one. "The One You Can't Forget" is sweet, sexy, funny, and engaging. Had it not been for work and sleep, I could have read this in one sitting.

2 comments:

  1. This does look interesting and I am glad that the PTSD and trauma were handled well (except for misplaced blame). However, I don't think this is the book for me right now. I'll keep it in mind for when I'm in the mood for something a bit heavier.

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    Replies
    1. The book is actually not too intense but I wouldn't call it light-hearted either.

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