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review 2018-06-17 11:12
The One You Can't Forget by Roni Loren
The One You Can't Forget (The Ones Who Got Away) - Roni Loren

***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Rebecca Lindt, Long Acre survivor, and Wesley Garrett, former chef and recovering alcoholic after his nasty divorce, meet (again) in a stressful situation. She's about to get mugged and panicking, having flashbacks, as he runs to her rescue. The attraction is instantaneous, but there's just one little problem—she's the divorce attorney who helped his ex ruin him...Plus, there are both their issues, her demons, his addictive personality...So what should the two do? Give it a shot, of course.

Like its predecessor, this one was a straight-up romance. There were no dead bodies, no villains (well, maybe her dad for a second toward the end), and no mysteries or investigations. Just two regular people, albeit with loads and loads of problems, issues, and inner demons, experiencing regular human drama and emotions.
And I liked it. I liked that I didn't have to "think" much during the story. It was straightforward, poignant, realistic and normal.

The characters were wonderful, well-developed, and nicely layered, the plot itself had some pretty heavy pondering moments, the romance might've felt a bit rushed, but it somehow worked giving both characters, and the conflicts were (thankfully) pretty quickly and easily resolved.
Though I found the heroine somewhat annoying in her rather self-centered guilt and her nobody-loves-me-and-those-who-might-don't-really-know-me-so-I-better-push-them-away-just-to-be-safe mentality. It started to really get old as the story progressed, but lucky for her (and the reader) there was her hero, Wes, to set her straight and make her see reason.

The pacing wasn't perfect, yet the story flew nicely, the writing was great, and the humor provided that needed levity.

This was a story of regular people going through normal human stuff and emotions, a story of (self)forgiveness, (self)discovery and growth, showing us everything clicks into place when the time is right and (if) you let it.

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review 2018-02-14 09:01
The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
The Ones Who Got Away - Roni Loren

They were together in a janitor's closet on the night of their prom, where the majority of their class was shot dead, and then he left her alone, trying to save as many of their classmates that he could, leaving her exposed to the shooters.

Now they meet again, twelve years later, during interviews for a documentary. They're strangers, completely different from the boy and girl that used to make-out in secret, the experience having shaped them both, but the spark is still there...

Sometimes giving a new-to-you author a shot pays out big time. This book is one of those. I went in without expectations, and was blown away by the story and its characters. I'm not really a big fan of straight-up contemporary romance, but this one hit all the right notes, despite not having any real suspense or dangerous situations.

It's a lesson in life, really. How a tragedy can shape a person, influence their choices, and how much strength and stubbornness, it can take to get out of the boundaries of predictability and "safety" a life without risks offers. But that is only a half-life, as both Olivia and Finn proved with their story.

I liked their relationship, the reunion that showed there was still something there between them, but I loved how they tried to be just friends in the beginning, tried to ignore the big elephant of their attraction. And I loved how they made the decision to give it a go despite knowing it was temporary and it was going to hurt in the end.
Did I find the romance, the reunion, the reconnection somewhat too easy, too much like it was nicely tied with a bow? Yes, I did. It was too convenient and neat they way they found each other and slipped into a relationship, but it worked because it was so convenient. They've been through that night together, they knew the "pressure points", and they knew the drill. I don't think it could've worked without that experience and that "intimate" knowledge from twelve years prior.

This was a poignant story with wonderful, nicely-developed, layered, scarred characters (supporting cast included, and I cannot wait to read the other three girls' books), filled with friendship, snark, humor, and topped by a sometimes bittersweet, sexy second-chance romance.

Speaking of humor...

“Do you need us to get you anything, sweetie?” Kincaid asked, sitting on the opposite side of the bed from Finn. “Water? A pill? A former football player in his underwear? Because we’ve got the last one covered. And I can make the first two happen.”
Liv looked up at that, registering the fact that Finn was shirtless and his thick hair was sticking up every which way. Her gaze drifted down to his black boxer briefs. “You’re in your underwear.”
“’Fraid so,” he said. “Good thing I don’t sleep naked.”


“We’ve got to up our game. Liv’s about to tackle a letter item and her football player. She’s officially become my patron saint.”


“Hey, erect is a perfectly proper word. I can’t help it if your mind was in the gutter.”
“I’ve been celibate for two years. Assume it’s always there. I’ve set up shop and built a little gutter town. We’re about to elect a mayor.”


“You’re allowed to have fun. You’re allowed to have a fling with an old boyfriend and not feel like it’s some big life decision or an unhealthy coping mechanism. Be smart about it, but don’t deny yourself some simple life pleasures. Taking your photos. Hanging out with your awesome, amazing, super-wise friends. And hot cop penis.”
A real laugh burst out of Liv this time, and she quickly pressed her hand over her mouth to staunch it. “He’s FBI, for the record.”
Federal cop penis,” Kincaid corrected. “That’s top shelf. It has authority across state lines.”


“They sell engagement rings at the airport?”
“Yep.” He smirked. “Next to the Cinnabon.”
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review 2018-02-01 01:55
good book and characters
The Ones Who Got Away - Roni Loren

Olivia/Liv stood in the gym, but this wasn’t the gym where it happened. That building had been knocked down within months of the tragedy  - a memorial now stood there. The school had a new name now also. A memorial now stood where the gym had been. Liv avoided the memorial afraid that it would trigger all the things she had fought so hard to lockdown. Even after twelve years  she couldn’t bear to look at a list of the names of the kids who  hadn’t survived  that prom night so long ago. Now they were just names on a stone. The interviewer said “ You said you weren’t in the gm when the first gunman came in. Daniel Morrow was the filmmaker and putting the documentary together. He had he had got eighteen survivors and one of the shooters mothers to agree to an interview.  Maybe Liv wasn’t going to be able to handle  letting the memories come forward again. She had agreed to do this  as the director was going to do good things with the money that was made. Liv hadn’t went to the gym because she went to the janitor’s closet to tell him off but passion overtook them both. Then they heard gunshots and Finn left the closet to protect Rebecca who was actually his date and the Joseph- one of the shooters had a gun pointed at Liv but Joseph- one of the shooters walked away and blocked hre in the closet. Joseph and Trevor -the other shooter had a list that was of the people they considered the happy people and if they were stupid enough to be happy in this world then they deserved to die.  Then Liv heard more shots and presumidly that was when Finn had been shot protecting Rebecca. Liv remembered the cries for help. After Liv was done Daniel said finn was the next person he was to interview. Liv had avoided Finn after everything had happened. Because seeing finn even his face on tv triggered the flashbacks. Liv was trying to leave as Finn approached  but she still felt that jolt of awareness she always had anytime Finn was around. Their eyes locked and Finn asked her to join him for a drink later on Liv said she was busy and Finn added if you change your mind call him at his hotel. Finn had saved her each day of the semester ,giving her something to look forward to. Seeing Liv had taken Finn back to the time when he looked forward to was sneaking away with Liv. A Bittersweet ache like Finn hadn’t felt in a long time had tightened his chest and stole his breath. Finn wanted to take the haunted look out of Liv’s eyes. He knew the scars of the past were permanent and he had left a vicious one on Liv. Liv had so many questions she would have liked Finn to answer.

I really liked this novella but i felt it was way too short. One minute I was reading snf loving this story and the next it was over and I felt I was left hanging. The ending too rushed for me.  I would have liked more backstory on the characters especially Finn and Liv. Also after they both left  town. I was just left wanting more. That annoyed me and I was disappointed for these reasons and that was why this was a three.

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review 2018-01-29 05:47
The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away #1) by Roni Loren
The Ones Who Got Away - Roni Loren
Finn and Olivia are part of a group of students that survived a school-shooting on prom night known as The Ones Who Got Away. He has been working as a cop for the past few years but returns home to take part in a documentary that will mark the anniversary of that fateful day. Once back home, he gets reacquainted with Olivia and other friends, but it’s definitely Olivia who’s never far from his thoughts and for whom he still has deep feelings.

I really liked their relationship. The traumatic event they went through helps them form a very unique bond since not many people around them are capable of understanding what their lives are like. At first they are a little hesitant to start any kind of relationship but then they realize that it’s in each other’s company that they will find the courage to move forward and live the lives they always wanted to live. I also liked how realistic and relatable the characters felt. I can honestly say I’ve never related to a character as much as I did to Olivia. Someone would say something to her and my mind would wander to a response and sure enough, that’s how she had responded in the book! I thought that was terrific and funny! Finn was such a perceptive and lovable man what with him being a cop trying to atone for past mistakes, and also being a regular man facing the same kind of problems any other person in his situation would. I thought the author did a great job in making such authentic characters. 

The story itself was different and even a bit gritty. While it has dark themes and deals with some PTSD issues it never falls into the extremes of angst or revenge, and it keeps the humor on the lighter side without being comical. In short, it was an endearing story about friendship, survival, leaving the past in the past, and above all, love. 

** I won a copy of this ARC through BookishFirst. This is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.**
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review 2018-01-23 00:42
The Ones Who Got Away
The Ones Who Got Away - Roni Loren
Liv came to help with the documentary, the twelve years that she had spent away was not long enough to erase the memories. Finn had changed, for what stood across the room from Liv was still the old Finn but time had been good to him. Meeting up with “the girls”, rereading on slips of paper their hopes and dreams, the girls saw that their lives didn’t fulfill what they had hoped to accomplish. The tragic event that had occurred 12 years ago had changed this group, had provoked in them an energy, a desire to make a difference and now, 12 years later as they meet up again, they are now readdressing this issue again.
I really enjoyed the plot of this novel. I liked how the characters were brought together, not the circumstances but how they rallied together twelve years ago. Since leaving, Liv has been diving into her work, focusing on making a name for herself and trying to put her past behind her. Finn has been on assignment and its time that he takes a break. The girls haven’t left the area and they realize they need to make some changes in their lives.
There’s sexual tension between Liv and Finn the minute that their eyes meet. There has to be some history between the two of them but no one seems to know anything. As Finn takes the summer off to relax at a nearby cabin, he offers part of the cabin to Liv so she’d have a place to fulfill her lost dreams on the weekend. Things definitely get hot at the cabin when Liv shows up and when she returns to her job, Liv and Finn can’t wait till the weekend when Liv returns. What will happen when summer is over and Finn goes back to work? Will any of them be able to make a change in their life? Are they able to change? I really enjoyed this novel, it definitely was a steamy one. 4.5 stars
This is my opinion of this novel which I have won in a BookishFirst drawing. Thank you for this novel.


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