Series: The Ones that Got Away

Sunday Spotlight: The One You Can’t Forget by Roni Loren

Posted June 24, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I was really interested in the premise of this series when Roni Loren first announced it and I couldn’t wait to read the first book once it came out. I enjoyed that book so much that The One You Can’t Forget went straight to the top of my wishlist so I’m super thrilled to be featuring this book today. It’s just as great as the first book and I hope today’s excerpt entices you to read it.

Check it out.

Sunday Spotlight: The One You Can’t Forget by Roni LorenThe One You Can't Forget (The Ones Who Got Away, #2) by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones that Got Away #2
Also in this series: The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away, #1)
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 416
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Most days Rebecca Lindt feels like an imposter...The world admires her as a survivor. But that impression would crumble if people knew her secret. She didn't deserve to be the one who got away. But nothing can change the past, so she's thrown herself into her work. She can't dwell if she never slows down.

Wes Garrett is trying to get back on his feet after losing his dream restaurant, his money, and half his damn mind in a vicious divorce. But when he intervenes in a mugging and saves Rebecca―the attorney who helped his ex ruin him―his simple life gets complicated.

Their attraction is inconvenient and neither wants more than a fling. But when Rebecca's secret is put at risk, both discover they could lose everything, including what they never realized they needed: each other

She laughed and kissed him. This morning she'd melted down. But somehow this man had her laughing and turned on only a few hours later. Everything inside her felt buoyed.

She felt...light.

She'd forgotten what that felt like.

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Wes Garrett peeked through the crack in the door to the apartment inside, eyeing the small group of women laughing and drinking champagne. One was wearing a party hat with a big light-up dick on it. He shut the door and leaned against the wall in the hallway. “I can’t believe I’m considering this.”

Suzie grinned wickedly at him, her lip ring glinting in the hallway light. “Don’t be such a prude, Garrett. What happened to that wild, try-anything-once guy I used to know?”

His jaw clenched. “Are you really asking me that?”

She waved a dismissive hand. “You know that’s not what I mean. I don’t want post-apocalyptic you. That sucked.”

“Ya think?”

She rolled her eyes. “I’m talking about the you before everything went to shit. You’ve swung too far in the other direction.” She shrugged. “Walking the straight and narrow doesn’t mean not having any fun or, you know, a sense of humor.”


“This is a good gig.” She pinned him with her gaze. “Three hundred bucks for two hours of your time. All you’re going to be doing is teaching drunk chicks how to cook simple things. You teach cooking every day. This is no different.”

He gave her a droll look. “I teach cooking to teenagers. I get to wear my chef’s whites. I don’t have to cook naked.”
“Ugh. You’re not going to be naked. That would be a major kitchen hazard. Just…shirtless. And hey, with all your tattoos, you have some added coverage.”

Christ. This was what his life had come to? From four-star restaurants to this? He’d thought teaching at an after-school program was a giant tumble down the staircase from his chef dreams, but this was a new level. The basement. At least with the kids, he could convince himself he was training future chefs. Here he would be the special of the day. “I don’t know.”

She reached out and grabbed his hands, her face earnest beneath the fringe of bright-pink hair. “Come on, Wes. My other guy called in. Shirtless Chefs is just getting off the ground. If I have chefs no-showing for parties, I’m going to catch hell in the online reviews, and the business will tank before I really get rolling. You’ve got the skills. You’ve got the blond bad-boy thing going, which is going to rock their socks off. And once upon a time, you could charm the ladies, so I know you’re capable. Plus, you said you needed the extra money. This is easy cash. Win-win.”

Wes grimaced. He hated needing the money. Hated that he was anywhere near that place he’d been so long ago, where he’d had to scrape together every damn dime. He’d thought he was far past that, and then boom, life had exploded. But need wasn’t even the right word. He had enough to live on right now with his teaching gig. He knew how to stretch his dollars. What he wanted the money for was a stupid idea. Something he shouldn’t be messing with. His family would kick his ass if they even knew he was thinking about it.

Still, he couldn’t help closing his eyes and picturing the beat-up school bus his friend Devin had shown him last week. The old bus had looked like it’d been rolled off the side of a rocky cliff and set on fire, but Wes had been able to see the bones beneath, the potential to be converted into a food truck. He’d gotten that itch he’d tried to ignore since he’d lost everything. The what-ifs.

He’d found himself inquiring about a loan at the bank. He’d known the answer before asking, but he’d asked anyway. And he’d put out feelers with his friends, telling them to give him a call if they had any extra catering or temporary cooking gigs.

Of course, Suzie had been the one to call, and she hadn’t told him exactly how her new private chef business worked or the name she’d chosen for it until he’d arrived. She was smart enough to know he would’ve run in the other direction.

But now he was here and she needed his help. And dammit, he wanted the money. He tilted his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. “What am I teaching them to make?”

When she didn’t answer immediately, he lifted his head, finding her biting her lip.

“Suze,” he said, warning in his voice.

She held up her palms. “Don’t hate me, okay? There’s a bruschetta recipe and a bourbon nut brittle that you’re going to love. But some of the other stuff is…themed.”

His shoulders sagged in acceptance. “I’m making dick-shaped things, aren’t I?”

“Um…” Her nose wrinkled. “There may be recipes for Big, Meaty Balls and Eat My Taco Dip.”

“I fucking hate you.”

She grinned and stepped up to pat him on the cheek. “You’re the best, Garrett. If I didn’t want to put lipstick on the merchandise, I’d kiss you.”

“You say the sweetest things, Suze. I just feel showered by your sweetness and affection.”

“Right?” She pinched his hip. “Now go in there, be nice, and look pretty.”

He gave her a look. “You treat all your employees like cattle?”

She stuck out her tongue. “Only my friends who won’t sue me.”

He let out a tired breath. “I won’t sue you, but if you tell anyone about this…”

“I won’t.”

“I could lose my job.” Not to mention whatever shreds of dignity he had left.

She mimed sealing her lips and tossing the key. “Your secret’s safe. I swear.”

“Fine. I’ll go in.”

She did a little celebratory clap, but then her smile sagged a bit. “And you sure you’re cool with alcohol being at the party? I mean, I know I’m pushing you to do this, but for real, if that part’s a problem—”

“I told you it’s not an issue,” he said, cutting her off, anger trying to surface. “Tonight, that’s the least of my worries.”

She pressed her lips together and nodded. “Okay. Good.”

He ran a hand through his hair, resigned. “Let’s get this over with.”

“Right.” She swept an arm out toward the door. “Godspeed, my friend.”

With one last steeling breath, he stepped past her and pushed open the door. All eyes turned his way, and the blond woman with the penis hat grinned widely and clapped her hands together. “Ooh, y’all got me a stripper?”

Wes almost reversed his steps right there. Three. Two. One. Right back out the door. But he gritted his teeth and kept moving forward.

The Ones That Got Away

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Gleam giveaway widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: June 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Roni Loren


Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

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Review: The Ones that Got Away by Roni Loren

Posted January 3, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: The Ones that Got Away by Roni LorenReviewer: Rowena
The Ones Who Got Away (The Ones Who Got Away, #1) by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones that Got Away #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 2nd 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

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...

I’ve been pretty anxious to read this book ever since I read the blurb. What an interesting concept for a series and I’m totally glad to report that Roni Loren did a fantastic job setting this series up. This was my first book read by Loren and it won’t be my last.

Liv Arias and Finn Dorsey are two students that survived a school shooting and they’re back in the town to take part in a charity documentary that will benefit the families of the victims. It’s not going to be an easy thing to be back at the scene of the crime but for charity, they’ll go back. For any of the survivors, it would be hard to go back to the scene of the crime but for both Liv and Finn, their memories seriously broke my heart.

They were high school sweethearts. They were in love but Liv’s father was Finn’s father’s gardener and because of that, they kept their love a secret. Finn broke Liv’s heart when he asked Rebecca Lindt to prom because he wasn’t strong enough to love Liv out in the open and then he stomped on her heart in the janitor’s closet at prom when the shooting started and he left her in the closet to go and save Bec, leading the shooters right to Liv.

Talk about some angsty romance drama, right? Holy cow, the more I read into this story, the more my heart hurt for Liv but then there was Finn. Finn carries a lot of guilt over everything and seeing Liv again is stirring up the guilt all over again but the connection they had in high school is still alive and beating between them now so how do they move on from the memories? Where do they go from here?

I really enjoyed the romance between Finn and Liv. I thought they handled their coming together again really well. There was so much between them and seeing them struggle to find common ground after all of these years was heartbreaking but boy was I rooting them on. I don’t know that I would have been as forgiving as Liv was but who knows, when you love someone the way that Liv loved Finn, maybe I would.

Another thing that I really enjoyed was that Roni Loren didn’t shy away from making Finn own up to what he did back in high school. I’m glad that he really struggled with his actions back then and how that shaped him into the man that he was now. I liked that Loren made him work for his happy ending. I liked that Liv had to forgive him and they had to work through their past to get to their future.

There’s a lot to enjoy in this book and even more to look forward to. It was so nice to meet some of the other survivors and I liked Liv’s friends. I’m looking forward to more Kincaid, Rebecca and Taryn in future books. I will definitely be back for more so yes, I recommend this book to anyone in the mood for an emotional read about two survivors who find their way back to each other.

Grade: 4 out of 5


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