Review: The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: January 2, 2018

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads

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.

Twelve years ago Liv was one of the few to walk away from a horrific school shooting. Outwardly she has moved on but in reality she is still crippled by the events that changed so many lives. Having reluctantly agreed to take part in a documentary, she returns to the town of Long Acre – and comes face to face with Finn, the only one she’s ever loved. Finn turned the high school tragedy into a life spent in pursuit of justice. But he’s just as scarred as Liv, crippled with guilt and desperate for redemption.

“We’re supposed to move on, but not too much. Be happy but not too happy. 
I’m tired, Finn. I’m so sick of it being like this. It’s like it’s all just sitting there, 
waiting to remind me how we can never really escape it. 
How the ones who got away never really get away.”

Both Liv and Finn are more than a little skittish about relationships when they first come together and the time they took to reconnect lent a feel of authenticity that I appreciated. The chemistry from when they were teenagers was still there, burning bright, but they’d both spent years locking down emotions and focusing on careers so there was plenty to work through. I wanted so much for these characters, both individually and together, and both circumstances and past trauma had me unsure if they’d be able to truly find happiness.

Loren did an amazing job of creating characters dealing with long-lasting issues in the aftermath of such a tragedy. From Liv’s PTSD and lack of close personal relationships to Finn’s alienation and overwhelming need for atonement, their struggles felt real and were utterly heartbreaking. They experienced horror that most never would and in each other had someone who could understand and offer meaningful support.

“I know you don’t need a protector. But if you’re with me, you’re getting one. 
I’m never going to be that guy who left you vulnerable again. 
I can’t offer much these days, but I can promise you that. 
I’ve got your back, Livvy. I can keep you safe.”

A real highlight was the strong female friendships Liv had with three of the other survivors. She, along with Rebecca, Taryn and Kincaid, had a real bond and once reconnected became a true support system for one another.


The Ones Who Got Away was one of those stories that totally took me by surprise because it was so much more than I bargained for.  The characters were more well-developed than I anticipated, the plot delved deeper, the emotions were stronger. If you’re looking for a contemporary romance that is filled with healing, meaning and emotion, this is it. 

4.25/5 STARS


19 comments

  1. I just adored Liv and Finn together. :)

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    1. Same here, Jenea! I was totally pulling for them!

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  2. YES! I agree with everything you said. Such a great novel. I loved the sequel too!

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    1. Me too, Sara! I *think* I preferred Liv and Finn's story both both books were so good. I'm hoping there are more to come!

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  3. oh goodness, this looks just so good. Been meaning to read this, but it seems like such a difficult topic as well

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    1. It really was tough subject matter, Lily. And sadly very timely. But the characters and story were so well done.

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  4. Oh wow, I think I'd love this one! I'm glad you thought the author handled their PTSD well.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. The author really must have done her research. It was all handled so well.

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  5. I loved the concept, the romance, and the female friendship. This is a series I will be continuing.

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    1. Same here, Sam! The second book got to me as well and I'm definitely hoping for me.

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  6. "The ones who got away" sounds kind of like a song name actually XD. But this book sounds so good! I'm reading One Small Thing by Erin Watt, and it's similar to this book: two characters with traumatic experiences. Great review!

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    1. Ha. I could seeing it being a song title. :)
      I loved One Small Thing!

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  7. I like that you got so much more than you were expecting from this book. I love it when that happens.

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    1. Me too, Suzanne. It's always great when a book packs a bigger emotional punch than you anticipated.

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  8. I've been somewhat stalking your blog and waiting for this review! Yay, I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I cannot wait to get my hands on this one, and the female relationships being awesome only makes it better. A book exceeding expectations is always a win. <3

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Too funny, Lindsi. Glad the stalking paid off. :)
      In case in wasn't obvious, I totally recommend this one!

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  9. Awe this one sounds so sweet. Glad you enjoyed it. I still need to read this author. :)

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    1. Thanks Aleen! This was my first by Loren but definitely won't be my last.

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