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.
Things are going pretty well for Sarina at the moment. She’s excelling in her career as an architect and is blissfully in love with her boyfriend Noah (who is bound to propose very soon…as least her BFF Nicole thinks so.)
However, Sarina is thrown into disarray when one of her flings from the past, Eamon Roy, turns up in Austin. Sarina and Eamon shared a one night stand together, which was much more to Sarina than that, but clearly not to Eamon (he didn’t call…)
Noah is on a long-term project working abroad and when Eamon asks Sarina if she can help him to buy a place in Austin and renovate it into his dream home, Sarina finds herself agreeing.
It’ll be ok though. They’ve both moved on (Eamon clearly much faster than Sarina, but still.) There’s no denying that Eamon is still drop-dead-gorgeous but their relationship will be purely professional.
As the pair grow closer and become firm friends whilst working on the renovation together it still doesn’t worry Sarina. After all, things are different now – she’s in love with Noah for one thing. She can resist Eamon’s olive skin and toned body because she is happily in a relationship with a man who just happens to be thousands of miles away…
I was drawn to this book right from the off for a number of reasons. First up – that cover. It’s gorgeous and (rather like Eamon) you can’t help but be attracted to it… I love the colours, the font, the style; just everything about this book screams ‘read me!’
Secondly I saw that this book would appeal to fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin. I adore both of those authors and I’ve loved every single title of theirs that I’ve read so far – can you feel my excitement building?
Thirdly, the plotline. I love the premise for this story so much because I think it’s probably something that everyone can relate to. We’ve all got people from our past who we sit and wonder about occasionally (or in Sarina’s case google at 2am) It’s that classic case of ‘what if?’ and it gives so much scope for a juicy, intriguing story.
However, whilst The One That Got Away was completely juicy and utterly intriguing it was a lot of other things too and I couldn’t get enough of it. With so many other fantastic genres out there battling for attention, it feels as though I haven’t read as much chick-lit lately, but this novel reminded me why I love it so much. I got so wrapped up in the story and Bethany Chases’ style of writing is so refreshing and honest. Her descriptions of the interiors that Sarina is working on will really bring the scenes to life and I loved the fact that Sarina was a kick-ass, highly dedicated and competitive woman. She took her career seriously and I really admired her work ethic. I don’t recall reading a novel where one of the leads works in this industry so it provided a fresh and unusual take on things and I found myself genuinely interested in what she was doing.
Of course the thing I was mostly interested in wasn’t the size of Eamon’s swimming pool or where his kitchen was going to be – it was the love triangle between himself, Sarina and Noah.
It’s genuinely never obvious what is going to happen or what Sarina is going to do. I found myself wavering about who she should be with at times; I did like Noah and I really felt for him, but then I’d find myself getting frustrated with him and thinking that they weren’t compatible at all. But what could Sarina do? She can’t break Noah’s heart, can she? But can she break Eamon’s? ARGH.
By the end I knew what I wanted to happen, but then it looks like things are going to go wrong and I was all ready to throw a strop. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat, that’s for certain.
The blend of characters was excellent. Sarina’s relationship with her stepdad, John, made me want to cry. It was so sweet. I loved how she came to the conclusion of who she wanted to be with from a photograph involving John and her mother (who sadly died of cancer ten years before).
If you like your romance and want a book that will make you think about everything, including your past, present, family, friends and making the ‘right’ decision, then The One That Got Away is your book.
I am really excited about reading more from Bethany Chase in the future, something tells me she is going to be one to look out for…
A huge thank you to Ballantine Books for approving me on NetGalley to read The One That Got Away. ♥
Don’t forget to enter The Rafflecopter giveaway to be in with a chance of winning 1 of 10 copies of The One Who Got Away, ends 16/4.
A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.