REVIEW: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Happily Ever After Book Nerd Recommendation

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5 Stars Rating


My Review

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren
The Ones Who Got Away #1
Contemporary Romance

Liv Arias and Finn Dorsey thought the hardest part of high school was keeping their relationship a secret until the night of the prom when a deadly shooting left the school scarred, inside and out. Now, 12 years later they’re both back in their small town for a documentary and they discover their chemistry is just as strong. But Liv isn’t the same feisty, outspoken teenager she once was and Finn isn’t the easy going, star football player. As Finn and Liv begin to reconnect first as friends and then as lovers they realize it’s never too late to be the person you always wanted to be.

I’ll admit I was nervous going into this book because The Ones Who Got Away has gotten so much hype and I was really excited for it. I worried I was building up expectations that weren’t going to be met, so I was wonderfully surprised by how amazing this was! This was my first Roni Loren book and I must say that her writing is top notch; it flows really well, her characters all feel so real and genuine, and the storytelling just sucked me in from the beginning. School shootings can be a touchy subject in today’s world but I felt that Loren handled it really well and truly showed how life changing something like this can be. Each of the survivors have all been changed by that fateful night and it’s affects don’t just go away. The way Loren presents survivors, their fears, their guilt, their need for privacy, was all deeply emotional and thought provoking. For the rest of the world, we might move on from hearing about a shooting, but for the victims it never goes away.

Easily my favorite part of this book were the characters and not just Finn and Liv. Each survivor is unique, developed, and real and I don’t always see that kind of attention to detail from every book. Finn and Liv are of course our main couple and I was really impressed with the depth of character we see. Both have changed a lot from who they were as teenagers but neither is completely happy with the way their life as turned out. Liv has attempted to push her past so far behind her that she doesn’t ever have to think about it while Finn as used it to push him further into his career as an FBI agent and to spur on his desire to stop those who traffic guns to children.

One of the things so enjoyable about Finn and Liv were their interactions with each other. Liv has a wicked sense of humor and though Finn starts out a bit grumpy and growly he and Liv quickly fall into their old chemistry. They’re fun and flirty with each other and everything from their talking to their text conversations were filled with witty banter and accidental innuendo. Of course they share a history since they dated in high school but with so much time having passed they really are starting over in a lot of ways. Not to mention that their teenage romance was kept secret because Finn knew his wealthy parents wouldn’t accept him dating the gardener’s daughter. Together, they find the comfort and solace that has been missing from each of their lives since the shooting. No one can truly understand what they’ve been through except each other so that bond quickly becomes strong.

I was only half way through The Ones Who Got Away and I was already requesting the next book from my library. I’m really looking forward to more in this series as well as more from Roni Loren.

5 out of 5 stars

Tags: Artist | Hurt/Comfort | Second Chance | Special Agent | Trauma


Reader Safety

Discussion of and flashbacks to a school shooting

Hero and Heroine with PTSD


Book Details

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 and the look in his deep green eyes held no trace of boyish innocence.

It’s been twelve years since tragedy struck the senior class of Long Acre High School. Only a few students survived that fateful night—a group the media dubbed The Ones Who Got Away.

Liv Arias thought she’d never return to Long Acre—until a documentary brings her and the other survivors back home. Suddenly her old flame, Finn Dorsey, is closer than ever, and their attraction is still white-hot. When a searing kiss reignites their passion, Liv realizes this rough-around-the-edges cop might be exactly what she needs…

Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 2, 2018

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The Ones Who Got Away series
Roni Loren

Contemporary Romance

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