Review: The Ones Who Got Away

Title: The Ones Who Got Away
Author: Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Available: Now

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…

Source: ARC from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley

This has got to be one of the more unusual premises for a second chance romance that I’ve encountered – survivors of a school shooting. There are other, more usual tropes thrown in, like rich popular boy secretly dating the poor but quirky rebellious girl, pulled apart by parental expectations. Yet the thing that really drove Liv and Finn apart was the tragedy, guilt and their struggles to deal with the aftermath.

I enjoyed it. For once there’s a solid reason for why these two separated and also a good reason for them meeting up again. They have become very different people in the meantime, but at the same time, their shared history meant that they could understand each other and bring out good parts that might have become forgotten in the meantime.

I liked them both, although they definitely have their flaws. Liv is an expert at running away and distracting herself, sometimes in rather unhealthy ways. But I liked her, she knows how to see the good in people without glossing over the less lovely bits. I liked Finn too, even if his career choices were somewhat skewed and inherently selfish. Still, he’s a good guy underneath the issues and he and Liv were very good for each other.

However, the plot. It starts very well, ends okay, but drags a bit in the middle. While I appreciated the fact that the time frame extends over more than just one emotional reunion weekend, once the action left Long Acre it sort of lost its way. The story mostly coasts along for a bit, waiting for the big emotional upheaval that always comes at the end of a romance, when really, the drama felt a bit forced because a lot of the difficult choices and decisions had already been made. Mostly I felt frustrated by Finn’s inability to see a larger picture or look beyond himself.

Overall, though, I enjoyed this. It possibly didn’t quite live up my expectations of the great idea it started with, but it was still a good second chance read and set things up brilliantly for the rest of the series to follow. I will definitely be looking out for more.

The Ones Who Got Away is Out Now.
Visit Roni Loren for more details.


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