Sunday, June 3, 2018

Book Spotlight on The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Readers will find themselves drawn to the unlikely romance of two people struggling to keep moving forward after losing themselves in the past.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren, along with my impressions of this emotionally intense read, then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this second installment in The Ones Who Got Away series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 3 copies of the first book in this series too!

Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter...
The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn’t deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she’s thrown herself into her work. She can’t dwell if she never slows down.
Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca—the attorney who helped his ex ruin him—his simple life gets complicated.
Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca’s secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other
She laughed and kissed him. This morning she'd melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed.
She felt…light.
She'd forgotten what that felt like.


Fifteen minutes. That was how long it took for Marco and Kincaid to abandon Rebecca and Wes in the kitchen under the auspices of Let me show you the view from Marco and Does this building have original details? from Kincaid.
Kincaid had motioned at Rebecca as she slipped out of the kitchen, some invented sign language that probably meant Talk it out with the hot chef but looked more like a drunken game of naughty charades.
Rebecca had promptly flipped her off.
But now here she was. Alone with Wes again.
Wes stood behind the large island, black bandanna keeping his hair back, gray T-shirt putting all that colorful arm ink on display, and forearms flexing as he sliced and diced an onion with practiced precision. If not for the simmering annoyance, it would’ve been a nice show to watch from her spot sitting on a stool on the other side of the counter. But he hadn’t said a word to her since they’d gotten into the condo. Just chop, chop, chop and irritated grunts.
“Do you need any help?” she asked for lack of anything else to say.
“Can you help me murder my brother?”
“I was thinking we could get rid of them both in one go. How far is the drop from the balcony?” Rebecca tapped her chin. “We could make it look like an accident. I know someone who could defend us.”
Wes smirked.
The little break in the wall helped her relax some. “Why’d you give in anyway? I was about to get us out of it. I had a whole argument prepared. There were bullet points. Closing statements. We could’ve saved ourselves this lovely moment.”
He frowned and dumped the onions into one of the prep bowls. “Yeah, but you didn’t see the look on my brother’s face.” He pushed a basket of strawberries and a paring knife toward her. “Can lawyers hull strawberries?”
“Sure.” She took the berries and stole one of his empty prep bowls. “So what kind of look was that?”
The Don’t ruin this for me look. The Remember all the times I’ve helped you out look. That look.”
“That’s a lot for a look to say.”
“Yeah, well, it wasn’t hard to get the point. He’salways working and doesn’t get to go out and meet women. He likes your friend, and she seems to like him for whatever reason”—he shrugged and grabbed a bell pepper from the stack of vegetables—“so I’m hanging out with my ex-wife’s lawyer and taking one for the team.”
She wrinkled her nose.
“What?” he asked.
“Nothing. I’m just having a high school flashback.” Thankfully not the kind she’d had Friday night, but one that was unpleasant enough in its own right.
“How’s that?”
She concentrated on cutting the stem off a strawberry. “I had a friend whose parents would only let her go on group dates. So I always got dragged out with her and had to be the date of her boyfriend’s best friend, who pretty much reminded me every ten minutes that he was there as a favor and was taking one for the team by hanging out with me. It was super awesome for my fifteen-year-old ego.”
“Ouch. What an idiot.”
“Yeah, I should’ve just told her to leave me out of it and sneak out like everyone else.”
“No, I meant him. What a douche.”
“Oh. Yeah. He was.” But even as she said it, she felt a pang of guilt in her gut. Craig hadn’t made it through prom night. So douche or not, she felt guilty talking bad about the dead. “We were just in a doomed-to-fail setup. Popular jock and high-strung goody-goody were not a wise combination. Two different planets and all that. He probably thought I was an insufferable Miss Priss.”
His lip curled. “Were you?”
She lifted her hand and held her index finger and thumb an inch apart. “Maybe a little. I wasn’t…not. When they brought weed to date night, I couldn’t just say no and let them do their thing. I gave everyone a lecture about how long it stays in your system and how having something on your record could ruin your college chances.”
He cringed. “Ahh, you were that girl. We had one of those at my school, too.”
He nodded. “Laney Becker. And she thought I was a douche.”
“Were you?”
He lifted his fingers, repeating her motion back to her but widening the gap further.
“I probably would’ve done better if I’d been friends with someone like her. I could’ve used a girl telling me not to blow off class and get high. Or doing a lot of other things I shouldn’t have been doing back then.” He tossed more chopped veggies into a bowl. “And I’m sorry about the ‘taking one for the team’ comment. I didn’t mean it that way. This is just…a screwed-up situation. I’m willing to call a temporary let’s-forget-we-have-history truce for today.”
“I’m on board with that.”
“Good.” He frowned down at her chopped berries. “Hold up. That’s not how to hull.”
She looked down at the berry in her hand. She’d cut off the top. The stem was gone. She didn’t see any problem. “What’s wrong?”
He set down his knife and stepped around the island. “You’re wasting a big part of the berry that way. Here.” He held out his hand for the paring knife, and she handed it over. He shifted until he was right next to her and held the fruit in front of her. “The woody part is just under the leaves. That’s what you’re after.”
He poked the tip of the knife right beneath the leaves and then made a circle around the stem. He popped out the stem and only a little piece of the berry, leaving much more of the fruit intact.
“See.” He held the strawberry in his palm, the sweet scent of the ripe fruit wafting up to her. “Lots more berry,and you also don’t lose the shape of the fruit that way.”
“Oh.” She tried to focus on what he was showing her and not on the fact that he was so close and she could feel his body heat against her arm. Her hormones apparently had no qualms about this man. They remembered what his lips tasted like and were ready to ignore everything she knew about him. Stupid, misguided hormones.



With a storyline that’s especially relevant now comes this emotionally intense tale about the defining moments in a person’s life.  Balancing the past with making a satisfying future readers will find themselves fully immersed in this story where many of the words and deeds were like a punch to the gut.  By the turn of the final page readers will be left exhausted, put through the emotional wringer, but uplifted by the sense of love and acceptance the book’s conclusion inspires.

Rebecca Lindt was the good girl in high school, successful and liked by all. Behind that facade though was a lonely girl longing to be someone else.  With her mother’s abandonment, and her father’s exacting nature, she struggled to do what was expected of her and beat herself up when she couldn’t measure up. A single decision and act of rebellion though caused her her biggest moment of regret, haunting her to this day and leaving her the survivor of a school shooting.  Years after the event Rebecca’s still struggling with the memories of that day, remembering her part in what happened, and living a regimented life in an attempt to make amends.  It’s another single moment that irrevocably changes everything for her when an armed mugger has a stranger rushing to her rescue and setting her on a path of self-discovery.  It’s a journey that’s a bit rocky at times, a bit romantic too, but definitely full of heart-wrenching emotions.  When readers first meet Rebecca she’s wound tightly, walking the straight and narrow path, trying to live up to her father’s expectations.  The fairytale that she once saw for her life was snuffed out, not only by the school shooter but by her parent’s failed marriage and all the other dissolving marriages she sees everyday as a lawyer.  She’s grown far too accustomed to loss, is tired of putting herself through the pain, which has led to her closing off her heart.  With her sexy savior, Wes, all the emotions she’s kept locked away come rushing to the forefront.  He makes her question everything, fuels her passion, and has her opening her heart to possibilities she buried long ago.  At the start theirs is a fun and flirty romance of friends that quickly becomes more. As the temperature heats up in their interactions so to does their emotional connectivity as she makes greater strides in opening up.  Though Rebecca’s a strong-willed heroine on her own it’s Wes who pushes her to really start living and it’s their formidable support of each other that leads to such a richly rewarding conclusion.

Wes Garrett was once an up and coming chef on the cover of magazines and destined for the top until a brutal divorce left him with nothing.  In a single moment he lost his restaurant, his credibility, his self-esteem, and he further humiliated himself by becoming an alcoholic.  Years later he’s still trying to recover from all that he lost and longing to find something that fulfills him. When rushing to a woman’s rescue one dark night he has no idea that she’s the one who ruined him, but by the time he finds out he no longer cares in a romance that catches him by surprise.  He and Rebecca start out as unlikely friends but quickly grow closer as they push each other out of the complacency that they’ve fallen into.  She might want them to remain just friends with benefits but it’s clear he wants more and it’s his romantic words and deeds throughout their time together that pulled at my heartstrings.  Wes is one sexy beast, rough around the edges and with a checkered past, but he has a heart of gold that endeared him to me.  His self-esteem is at a low point when readers see him but by supporting Rebecca, and by her support of him, he finds the happiness that’s been alluding him since he lost his restaurant.  The happiness their coupling fueled showed in his confidence in speaking out about his feelings for Rebecca and led to a heartfelt speech that was truly romantic and exactly what you want a book boyfriend to say.  On a whole, he’s the highlight of this story for me and his perfect imperfections have me dreaming of him still.

This is a powerful story that focuses on the power of a single moment.  How that moment defines us and affects us drives the characters in this book and easily pulled me into the narrative.  The romance between Rebecca and Wes was well done with fun and flirty interludes balanced with more emotionally intense and scorching encounters.  They were a formidable pair despite all their differences and it’s those differences that made them complete.  The support they gave to each other helped them work past their pain to find a satisfying and cheer-worthy HEA.  Surrounding this appealing main couple was a cast of compelling secondary characters, some we’ve seen before and some that are new.  Rebecca’s girlfriends were on the scene for supportive girl talk and to remind readers of the painful past that binds them.  To make this an even more emotional read is the introduction of an abused teen spiraling out of control who Rebecca and Wes are determined to help.  Steven’s story made my heart ache as the emotional and physical abuse he endured was vividly depicted.  While his story gave Rebecca a chance to redeem herself in her own mind, and showed Wes where his path was meant to go, it was a bit distracting as the book headed towards its conclusion.  The message conveyed is ultimately a powerful one but its inclusion took a soap opera-ish turn towards the end.  On a whole though this was another well-written romance from Ms. Loren with its timely subject matter and heartfelt romance.  I’m now left with a smile on my face, courtesy of a sweet and sexy epilogue, and waiting for the next installment in this satisfying series.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

No comments:

Post a Comment