Happily Ever After Book Nerd Recommendation
The One You Fight For by Roni Loren
The Ones Who Got Away #3
Taryn Landry has dedicated her life to researching ways to stop mass shootings so that no one else will have to experience what she did on her prom night. While Taryn survived that horrible night, her little sister did not, and it’s haunted Taryn ever since. With a huge proposal to the school board coming up, the last thing she needs is a relationship, but Taryn can’t help her attraction to trainer, Lucas Shaw. But Lucas has a secret: he’s actually Shaw Miller and his younger brother was one of the shooters that killed Taryn’s sister. All Shaw wants is a quiet life away from reporters but there’s something about Taryn that makes him want to reveal all his secrets.
I’ve been loving this series but The One You Fight For was just amazing and hands down my favorite of the series so far. Roni Loren is a master writer and the way she handles such difficult topics just blows me away. It could be so easy to trivialize Taryn and Shaw’s problems or to ignore them completely but Loren just dives right in and forces the characters, and us as the reader, to experience the good, the bad, and the ugly. And every second of it is just beautiful! There was so much emotion in The One You Fight For and it really allows the book to just grab your heart and hold on for the ride.
I’ve been interested in Taryn from the very first book in the series because she reminded me a lot of myself in high school. Studious, nerdy, and very focused so I was really happy to have her story. Taryn has maintained that focus to the point of almost burning herself out but she’s determined to get her program into schools where it can help others. Taryn doesn’t believe that killers are born that way but instead are shaped by their environment. There are key moments where someone can step in and begin to help a child who is lonely, depressed, or angry. I really admired Taryn for always keeping an open mind and embracing that there are many victims in a shooting, not just those who are killed or injured.
As an Olympic hopeful, everything was ruined for Shaw the day his younger brother shot up his prom with another student. Shaw became a target for paparazzi and a bit of a temper made it hard for him to keep his cool. He’s made some mistakes and now many people, thanks to the media, believe he’s just like his brother. Shaw absolutely broke my heart because his story is so poignant and sad. All he wants is to be forgotten and left alone but that also means that Shaw is very lonely; he only has one friend who actually knows who he really is. I loved that Shaw was kind of this gentle giant but because of a few mistakes after the shooting he doesn’t think the best of himself.
Taryn and Shaw have no idea who the other is when they meet so their attraction is natural and unexpected for both of them. Of course, once things are revealed it creates a whole mess they never saw coming. I really enjoyed the way Loren handled their relationship so that they both went into things with their eyes wide open and no secrets between them. The chemistry is amazing and these two are incredibly hot together! But as you can imagine, how could Taryn explain to her friends and her family who Shaw really is and this creates the majority of the tension in their relationship.
As a final note, I really love the way Loren writes about female friendship. She has built a really amazing bond for Liv, Becca, Taryn, and Kincaid and it’s awesome to see women supporting each other and leaning on each other. I’m so looking forward to the next in this series!
ARC provided by NetGalley for honest review
5 out of 5 stars
Discussion of and flashbacks to a school shooting
How hard would you fight for the one you love?
Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life’s work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan…
Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother’s horrific actions. After losing everything—his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity—he’s changed his name, his look, and he’s finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right?
When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy…
How do you find your happy ending?
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 1, 2019
The Ones Who Got Away reviews
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