Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, this bright, funny debut from a fresh voice in fiction offers a delicious take on love, family, and what it means to build a home of one’s own.
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.
Was this really Bethany Chase’s first book? If so, she’s impressed the hell out of me because the characters and story were so strongly developed as well as some great writing and incredible insight. On the whole, it felt mostly authentic and believable with a few little glitches though I REALLY wish the writer hadn’t ended it with a 3/4 of a page chapter after a preliminary resolution.
It felt really abrupt and jarring. But there is so much to love here, because this story really isn’t a romance, for all that relationships and love is a chunk of it. It’s also about home, and loss, and grief, and the fear of being hurt. I found Sarina to be a pretty admirable heroine for the most part, especially in the moments connected to her career. A few big buts hold this back from being an absolute favorite for me, but I did read it on loan from the library and chose to buy the paperback.
There were only a few things that held it back from being an excellent book overall but they were such a shame. There were a few things concerning the details surrounding Eamon and Sarina’s initial hookup back in the day that made him seem like a total jerk, even as he’s explaining it to her 8 years later without much of an attempt at an apology. He was dating someone else and hooked up with Sarina, then realized during the night that he liked her too much so he had to leave. Um, what? When they meet again, she is with someone else, but has never quite gotten over Eamon and it makes perfect sense that between her mom’s death and her feelings for him, she’s afraid to be hurt again.
Even though it was probably realistic for a majority of men, the thing that really nettled me was when Sarina confronts him about having sex with someone else while they were talking again, he isn’t the least bit shamefaced or apologetic (and admits to multiple others) while trying to woo her into being with him. Frankly, he comes across as a huge douche in those moments, which is why I felt like the ending needed a little more. I wasn’t entirely convinced after everything Danny said about Eamon’s preferences that it was a happily ever after, really.
This book is definitely a #MustRead and I am looking forward to this authors next release! I will definitely be author stalking this one from now on!