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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The One That Got Away

ISBN: 9780804179423
Publisher: Random House/ Ballantine
Publication Date: 3/31/2015
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 4 Stars
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.

My Review

A special thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Bethany Chase’s witty and razor-sharp, swoon contemporary debut, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, will keep you laughing and entertained as every grandmother, woman, teen, and girl can recall that one guy who slipped away. . what could have been. A schoolgirl infatuation . . . where is he now, and more importantly, does he remember you? Yum!
Loved the opening:
That name you Google at two o’clock in the morning. That intoxicating connection that somehow never solidified into anything real; that particular memory you still visit every now and then, for that guaranteed hit of pure, sugar-packed dopamine. It’s that story that starts with “There was this one time” and ends, reluctantly, with but I guess . . ”
Eamon Roy. The guy. Sarina’s one night stand, a former fling seven years ago. She has never heard from him since. Not even a drunken late-night booty text. A guy she has never forgotten. Her roommate Danny’s best friend from college.
Sarina, now thirty-one an architect in Austin, TX has a dependable and stable boyfriend of four years, Noah— currently in Buenos Aires, working on a corporate merger. Noah made it so easy to fall in love with him— his southern charm; she could see a future with him, marriage. Noah, of course does not know she and Eamon slept together, once upon a time. OMG, now Eamon, a retired Olympic swimmer is BACK in Austin, asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper.
Sarina: “And God also knows the last thing I need is a time-sucking micro-project for an obsessive perfectionist. Especially one who will probably expect me to work for him as a favor because he deigned to sleep with me back at the dawn of time. No thank you.”
However, she DOES love fixers! We, in the design world can relate to the temptation of the job, more so than the guy. Let the fun begin, OR should we say "a love triangle". Maybe having Eamon back in Austin, will not be so bad? What does she really want? Timing sucks.
Sarina: “I watch till the lights of his car disappear around the corner, then exhale a slow breath. This is not good. This is not good at all. Despite my resolution to put a bullet in my crush, I’ve been using his project as a way to indulge my craving to be near him, and, instead of burning out, it’s just getting stronger. I have to find a way to distance myself. Only problem is, it’s the last thing in the world that I actually want to do.” Tenderness, protectiveness, desire, affection, and an aching longing to be able to act on those feelings. For him to return them.
From Texas, to Virginia, Tennessee, and New Orleans --from memories, to family, from idolizing to the real thing. From romance, sass, passionate kisses, Texas fun, sex, lust, jealousy, guilt, the south, roommates, cocktails, karaoke, hipsters, design, good friends, clients, love, crying, and laughing; a compelling and engaging chick-lit debut!
Fans of (my favs) Emily Giffin, Jennifer Weiner, and Sarah Pekkanen will devour THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY, and Chase’s wit, charming banter, clever storytelling, and realistic portrayal of modern relationships, and cast of likable characters.Second Book: Can’t wait for her upcoming second novel, featuring Sarina’s brother in law, Colin and friend Hilary and more from Sarina and Eamon. (excerpt included). An author to follow.
Personal story
I had to laugh thinking of my very young and innocent crush story. At a mere age of thirteen(looked sixteen), with my parents and little sis in Florida for family summer vacation. In walks, Saul Griffith, Jr. age sixteen, hot, buff, sexy blonde, tan California surfer; on vacation with his grandparents—staying at the same hotel. With innocent talks on the beach (within my parent’s view, of course) and a few stolen kisses. My strict Southern Baptist parents refused to allow me to accompany his family to dinner, upon their invitation. At thirteen, this was the end of the world. I hated my parents--- he was leaving the following morning.
The next morning, the bellman comes to our hotel door, and informs me I have a message waiting at the front desk. I am rushing out the door, hoping he is still here in Florida. Unfortunately, it was a letter from SG telling me they had to leave and he wanted to say good-bye and how much he enjoyed meeting me, etc. —I cried and cried over this stupid letter. Long forgotten, cannot recall exactly what was in the letter; however, remember re-reading this note for years before it was thrown away. Of course, back in the day, we did not have cell phones or emails, but I think he left his address. Of course, now divorced much older and much wiser - this book made me think about this one guy.
Sorry, Bethany, I am a web analyst and pro searching the web; Curious, no luck on Google except for a famous Australian inventor which does not fit the age range (unless it is his son). Oh, well the blonde tanned good-looking surfer, at age sixteen is probably now fat, bald, and a loser. The original image is a much better memory!

Congrats, on a winner! Could easily be a 5-star, but want to save a star for your next one.

Review Links
Love the hair and glasses!
bethany chase

About the Author

After growing up in the foothills of the Northern Virginia Blue Ridge, I headed to Williams College for a degree in English. Only in the spring of my senior year did I begin to consider how exactly I might earn money with a degree in English. And this gave rise to the logical answer: interior design! I've been working in the architecture & design industry for over eight years now, but when I'm not hanging out with mess-makers and paint-slingers, I'm writing. And when I'm not writing, I enjoy photography, karaoke, and complaining about being flat-chested. Website Twitter @MBethanyChase

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