Thursday, July 11, 2019

3.5 stars-- The One You Fight For (The Ones Who Got Away #3) by Roni Loren

I love me some Roni Loren. She writes the best romances and always has something a bit unique to either the story or series which makes it fun.
The Gist: Taryn's friends have decided she needs some stress relief and have signed her up for an extreme gym course with a sexy instructor. Extreme gym?! *eye twitch* He's a hottie, though. So, okay. Problem, though? They're both connected to a decades old school shooting. One a victim of a shooter, one the brother of the killer. So, yes, things get complicated.

I really liked both Taryn and Shaw. They're good people who are trying their hardest to survive what life has thrown at them. Taryn is dedicated and focused on her research into school shootings. Sometimes a little too much. Shaw's a kind heart that's been sorely battered by association. He's just trying to keep his head down and get through the days unnoticed.

The romance was a hard one. Holy cow. Talk about some obstacles thrown in your path. Her sister was killed. His brother was responsible. I loved these two together, though. That they gave each other a safe place apart from what happened those years ago. They had great chemistry. Teasing and playful but then sweet and tender. Here was some laugh out loud moments. And things got steamy now and again, too.
“You must tell me everything,” Kincaid demanded gleefully. “Right now. Tell me what happened with the American Gladiator. Please say it was sordid.”

Taryn lifted a brow. “So sordid. You told me to think outside the box, and I just went for it. I saw Lucas from across the room, and we couldn’t resist each other. I told him I had one night to give and that we shouldn’t exchange real names. There was kissing in the dark and body shots on the bar and then hot, sweaty sex against a wall in the alley.”

Kincaid gasped. “Really?”

“Oh my God. No!” Taryn laughed. “Do you know how dirty alleys are? And have you met me?”
I did feel a few times that the book forgot it was a romance and edged closer to women's fiction with a social justice warrior-ish bent. I get the topic at hand. I get the importance of it to the storyline, obviously. But there were a few times it just felt a bit too much for too long and made the book drag. I was getting a bit bored there in the middle which is not something I'd ever expect to say with a Loren book. Things did get back on track and once they did it was a lot of fun.

Overall, The One You Fight For was an interesting romance with characters that needed to forgive themselves, have a little fun and realize they truly deserved to be happy, too. It was a touching romance for sure.

Taryn Landry was there that awful night fourteen years ago when Long Acre changed from the name of a town to the title of a national tragedy. Everyone knows she lost her younger sister. No one knows it was her fault. Since then, psychology professor Taryn has dedicated her life's work to preventing something like that from ever happening again. Falling in love was never part of the plan...

Shaw Miller has spent more than a decade dealing with the fallout of his brother's horrific actions. After losing everything―his chance at Olympic gold, his family, almost his sanity―he's changed his name, his look, and he's finally starting a new life. As long as he keeps a low profile and his identity secret, everything will be okay, right?

Amazon | Goodreads | Loren on HCBS
*covers link to Amazon

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