The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: As a member of Penguin's First To Read Program, I received this galley in exchange for an honest review.
Part 1: From The Book Cover
Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, this bright, funny debut from a fresh voice in fiction offers a delicious take on love, family, and what it means to build a home of one’s own.
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.
Part 2: Recommendation
"It was so blessedly effortless to be with him: he was seven years older, seven years kinder, and it was obvious from the moment I met him ... He would never dream of cheating on me at all ... I was certain that when the sun rose the next day, he'd want to spend it with me ... Just like that sunrise, he'd always be there." For every relationship, there should be a degree of trust and knowing that your partner is someone you can depend on makes for a stable relationship.
From what I gather, Sarina is roughly 31 years old and Eamon is about 29 years old but then the way Sarina acts outside of work, is that of a 25 year old when it comes to drinking and partying and even worse, she acts like an over dramatic 18 year old when it comes to Eamon which I find highly unrealistic because the 30 year old women that I know don't act anywhere near how the author portrayed Sarina. I did admire her sexual self-restrain and fighting her growing attraction to Eamon while she was still in a relationship with Noah and I definitely appreciated the fact that Sarina has shown mostly good work ethic again, except around Eamon.
I also don't like the fact that Sarina is still in a relationship with Noah and yet she snuggles up with Eamon during a wedding weekend and to make matters complicated, Eamon is quickly becoming a friend and is also a client. I feel that Serena should've acted more professional despite her growing attraction towards Eamon because that is what 30-year-old adult, mature women do.
"Kind, loving, loyal Noah, who I've spent the last 4 years building a life with, apparently doesn't mean a thing to me when Eamon Roy tells me he wants me. The realization makes my chest constrict with panic, and it is this more than anything that makes me say no." It was good to see Sarina struggle and eventually decline Eamon's invitation to go back into bed that morning she stayed over to nurse him back to health.
Overall, this is a well-written, sweet fiction that tells every woman struggling with building their own business that persistence and hard work pays off. There's enough drama and character struggle to keep the story moving forward and interesting. But other than that, it's an okay book. I might have been able to enjoy it more if I wasn't so bothered by Sarina's actions around Eamon.
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