Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Title: The Ones Who Got Away
Author: Roni Loren
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Ones Who Got Away #1
Main Characters: Finn and Olivia
Release Date: January 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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...

My Review:
Oh, wow, this was a fantastic book with an incredibly heart-wrenching premise. This book starts a series about a group of survivors who lived after a mass shooting at their prom 12 years ago. 

Liv was the class emo/goth girl. She was artistic and poor...definitely not a good match for the class's quarterback of the football team rich boy, Finn. As a result, he kept their year long relationship a secret...to the point where he took someone else to prom and then made out with Liv in the janitor's closet. It was while they were in the closet that the shooting began. Finn heard his date scream and took off to help her, leaving Liv vulnerable to the shooters. All three of them lived, but they survived with deep emotional scars and the relationship between Liv and Finn was just another casualty of the shooting. 

But now they're all back, doing a documentary about the shooting for the victim's families and having to face up with the realities of how much their lives got off track after that horrific trauma. To make the situation even more difficult, Finn is now in the FBI and he's just come off a 2 year undercover operation where he was living in extreme circumstances. It's really difficult to decompress after something like that. 

He sees Liv's pain. She sees his and they work out a deal. For the summer while he's here, they will spend that time together and try to remember what it was like to be the teenagers they used to be and find happiness again. 

This story is so good. It's about lost dreams and how easy it is to just get in survival mode and forget about what you really want and need in your life. The shooters targeted those who they saw as "happy" so the characters that were left unscathed were teenagers who had issues in their lives...scars made even deeper by the senseless violence. 

Finn went into the FBI because of what happened to them, but that's skewed his view of violence especially after working undercover. For Liv, who still suffers from panic attacks and PTSD, his life is incomprehensible. But as they hang out together, they do find that happy place that they had in high school...and it's magic.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The entire premise is riveting and heartbreaking. I love second chance at love stories and this was truly a fantastic one. I HIGHLY recommend it and cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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