Title: The One That Got Away
Author: Bethany Chase
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
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.
This is going to be the mother of the spoiler
rantviews reviews, so stop
right here if you don’t want to read spoilers of The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase.
I don’t remember when was the last time I book upset me as much as this one did. Why did it upset me? Let me explain the situation.
Sarina has a boyfriend for 4 years, Noah. He is currently in Buenos Aires for work. He has been there for couple of months and still has some months to finish his assignment. They try to see each other every couple of months and they seem to be happy and in a good place. Suddenly a guy Sarina had a crush on (Eamon) comes back into her life. The story between them was that they went out once years back, had the best sex of Sarina’s life and guy disappeared. The excuse he now gives for his disappearance act is that he was going out with another girl and chose the other girl because she was better suited for his goals at the time.
Now he's back in Sarina’s life telling her Noah is not good for her and -strong willed, smart, mature, 30+ years-old- Sarina starts to see flaws in Noah she hadn’t seen in the four years they have been together; by the way Noah is very serious about her and is talking about marriage. This flirty situation between Sarina and Eamon goes on for months, Eamon telling her he wants her and is waiting for her to leave Noah. They kissed once while this is going on, so there is not only emotional cheating, but physical cheating too.
Then, Sarina’s stepfather dies and she has to travel to her hometown. Eamon is there for her to support her (over the phone). Noah is in Buenos Aires and crazy busy and can’t be there as much for her. In the middle of her pain Sarina realizes she wants to be consoled by Eamon, not by Noah.
Eamon calls her when she's driving cross-country back home after the funeral, they talked and he tells her again he wants her, he has feelings for her and it's time to leave Noah. She had planned to stay in a road hotel and arrived next day, but she can’t wait to be in Eamon’s arms, so she breaks up with Noah over the phone and drives almost all night to come to Eamon’s house. When she arrives at 2 am to his house she realizes he not only has a girl there, but they are also doing the horizontal hula, just hours after he told her all that “stuff” over the phone.
Sarina leaves his house a complete mess and goes home. Days later when she talks again with him she doesn’t tell him she broke up with Noah and also doesn’t tell him she went to his house that night.
Weeks later when they finally talk, she confronts him and tell him what she did and what she saw. His answer is if she was expecting him to be celibate while he was waiting for her? And he GETS UPSET with her for lying to him (Not telling him she broke up with Noah) and asks her for time… He NEEDS TIME TO think and now she's a mess because Eamon is not talking to her because he needs time. At this part I closed the book and walk away from it. I went to bed, but couldn’t sleep because I was so upset. I couldn’t believe a woman could be so stupid… and this is supposed to be a romance.
Next day I thought about DNF-ing it, but I soldiered on and went back to it.
Back to the story… Eamon disappears completely for two weeks. Sarina can't take it anymore and goes to his house to ask for forgiveness… because she lied to him! Are you freaking kidding me!!? She didn’t say anything about breaking up with Noah because when she went to his house to tell him he was bonking another woman!! And now he is the one upset, the one who feels betrayed by her actions? She wasn’t the one doing the dirty with another person! What about something call self-respect woman?
I don’t think it is okay for a guy to tell a girl "I love you, I want to be with you and bla bla" and bonk another girl just hours later while he waits for her to decide to be with him? No, no, no. When you really love someone you don’t want/need to be with anybody else. And the worst part is that she ends up being the bad person in the relationship and she allows it. Really? If you meet a guy like him you need to run for the hills, not ask for his forgiveness. This is not romance, this is emotional abuse.
At the end he said he might have overreacted with his two weeks silent treatment… You think!!?
I liked Sarina on the beginning of the book, I thought she was fun, but soon after her wishy-washy personality overcast her positive aspects. She is supposed to be in her 30s, a professional woman working hard on her career, but most of the time she behave like an immature young girl. Her behavior was more that of a girl in her late teens or very early 20s. I also don’t like cheaters and she was an emotional cheater for most of the book.
Eamon is another that started well, but soon after he has acting obnoxious and presumptuous. One too many times he goes back and forth from prince charming to a douche and his “celibate” argument was the last nail in his coffin for me.
Noah was a bit caricaturish and not very present. One character I liked was Sarina’s roommate Danny. He was honest and refreshing.
The One That Got Away has a good start, sadly that’s all the good it has. The story is predictable and badly executed. The characters are stereotypes and behave complete out of character one too many times. To add to that there is not a palpable connection or chemistry between the characters.
The One That Got Away was my first book by Bethany Chase and most probably it will be my last.
My Verdict: 2 ½ Paws
Other reviews Goodreads