Review: The One You Fight For by Roni Loren

The One You Fight For 
Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #3
Publication date: January 1, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca and Edelweiss
How hard would you fight for the one you love?
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?
When the world and everyone you know defines you by one catastrophic tragedy...
How do you find your happy ending?


As a survivor of a mass school shooting 14 years ago, Dr. Taryn Landry has made it her life’s work to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. A forensic psychologist, Taryn’s sister was among the victims, and now Taryn has developed a program to identify kids at risk and hopefully intervene before the unthinkable happens. Unfortunately, her work has consumed her life, leaving no time for relationships.

Shaw Miller has lived a half-life. As the older brother of one of the Long Acre shooters, Shaw lost everything in the aftermath. His dream of the Olympics, his relationships, and any semblance of a normal life. Hounded by the press and branded a danger, just like his brother, Shaw retreated into obscurity and lived on the fringes with no real attachments. He considers the loneliness his penance for the guilt he harbors over his brother’s actions.

When Taryn and Shaw meet the attraction is fast and furious. When Shaw realizes who Taryn is and the connection between them, he does his best to pull away, unwilling to inflict any more damage. When the truth comes out, Taryn is shocked and betrayed – but can she see past the acts of Shaw’s brother to the man she’s come to care for?

While it took me a little time to connect with Taryn (the woman was truly single-minded when it came to her work), my heart softened for Shaw immediately. This was a man who had suffered for the actions of his brother and carried staggering guilt for what he perceived to be his own failings and responsibility. Taryn’s life was insular and her devotion to her work, while admirable, also left her just as alone. In addition, her still-grieving parents placed enormous pressure on her and I found myself chafing at their weighty expectations on her behalf.

I loved the relationship between Shaw and Taryn and the much-needed healing they provided to each other. Taryn’s honesty and willingness to face things head-on and say what needed to be said was so refreshing. There were no games, no dodging the truth, and that went a long way in helping them both get to the heart of what was truly important.

The strong female friendships continued to flourish in this one and I loved to see the support that Liv, Rebecca and Kincaid showed Taryn. These women were truly present for one another and showcasing that connection and support in one of Loren’s strong suits.

Loren’s deft handling of a sensitive (and sadly timely) subject continues to impress. Whether you inhaled the previous two books as I did, or if you’re new to the series, I recommend this one to readers who enjoy their romance with a dose of reality and heartfelt emotion.

4/5 STARS

Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. This does not my opinion of the book or the content of this review. I received no compensation and my review is voluntary.

20 comments

  1. Fabulous recap of the book and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I'm glad to see that people are enjoying this book as much as I did. I thought Loren did a great job of writing Taryn and Shaw's love story and man was it hard to get through at times but I'm so glad that I read it. Great review, Tanya!

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Rowena! I am *so* glad I discovered Loren last year because I have enjoyed this series so much. Have you read anything else by her (beyond this series)? Now I can’t wait for Kincaid’s story!

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  2. I think that I read your former review Tanya indeed catching my eyes with these tales of survivors. Definitely keeping them in sight!

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    1. This is definitely a series where I got more than I bargained for. There’s so much more depth than “just” a romance.

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  3. I agree with your assessment of Taryn. It took a while to understand her and I think I started to like her better as she opened up to Shaw. Shaw's story just broke my heart. His brother commits a crime, but he loses everything. It just doesn't seem fair, but you hear about that sort of thing all the time.

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    1. Same here, Sam. Once Taryn let down her guard a bit and started opening up to Shaw, I was able to feel for her better. Shaw totally broke my heart. He carried so much unnecessary guilt.

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  4. This sounds like a pretty powerful read. I think Shaw would be one of those characters who just tugged at my heartstrings too. I also like that there's a focus on friendships. That always make for good reads for me. Excellent review!

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    1. I've really enjoyed the whole series, Suzanne. Loren was a new discovery last year and she has truly impressed me. She handles an emotional topic so well. And the strong friendships between these women, who are so supportive of one another, is another strong point.

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  5. This is new to me but it sounds really good! I love that there are no stupid games in the relationship. I hate it when book relationships are overly dramatic and angsty. I'm glad you loved this!

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    1. Exactly! I was just telling someone else, I so dislike drama for the sake of drama. This is one of those instances where it makes sense based on the circumstances and is handled so well.

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  6. I've seen this series praised everywhere and I want to read it but I'm not sure I'm ready for something this emotionally heavy.

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    1. Loren handles the more emotional aspects so well. Nothing is sensationalized and there are no gory/superfluous details. She does a fantastic job in showing how a terrible act shaped the lives of these characters.

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  7. I like this Taryn so passionate about her work LOL I love how down to earth an emotional this book sounds! :)

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    1. I love when a story is based in realism and if there is drama it is expected and makes sense. Not just drama for drama's sake.

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  8. It's funny because I feel like I would connect with Taryn first. I love female characters who close themselves off and drown themselves in work, maybe I relate too much. Hana.

    Great review Tanya!

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    1. Hmmm, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, Amber. LOL

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  9. As you know, my heart went out to Shaw immediately as well, it was so very unfair for him to be tortured and punished for his brother's actions. I also liked that Taryn didn't play games. Yes, Taryn's family put an unfair burden on her, and she took it, partly I think because she felt guilty. Glad that it all worked in the end. Fab review, Tanya!

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    1. Oh my goodness, Shaw just broke my heart! He carried so much (unnecessary) guilt and was so convinced he didn't deserve more than the half-life he was living. I wanted to hug him. :)

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  10. This sounds like a great book! I like how you described Taryn as someone who doesn't play games and says what needs to be said. This is something I can really appreciate in a romance novel.

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    1. Same here, Eline. I get so tired of the games some characters play. They say one thing but mean another. Ugh. Taryn was definitely refreshing in that way.

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