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Book Review: The One For You by Roni Loren

From the publisher:

Kincaid Breslin wasn't supposed to survive that fateful night at Long Acre when so many died, including her boyfriend—but survive she did. She doesn't know why she got that chance, but now she takes life by the horns and doesn't let anybody stand in her way

Ashton Isaacs was her best friend when disaster struck all those years ago, but he chose to run as far away as he could. Now fate has brought him back to town, and Ash doesn't know how to cope with his feelings for Kincaid and his grief over their lost friendship. For Ash has been carrying secrets, and he knows that once Kincaid learns the truth, he'll lose any chance he might have had with the only woman he's ever loved.

Disclaimer: I was provided an advance reader copy by the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review and opinions.

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The One For You is the fourth and last installment in the series The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren. Although all the books are standalone, they're best enjoyed in order. Let me start by saying that I have read all the books in the series and all are engrossing reads. That might not sound sexy enough for a romance novel, but when you read as much as I do, the storytelling needs to be superb for me not to lose interest. There are only so many sex scenes without substance you can read before you lose interest and start to wonder if some people out there are really writing porn. Which, hey, no judgment, but don't call it a romance!

Kincaid and Ash's story was both heartwarming and heartbreaking, a delicate balance to achieve and that can backfire spectacularly if the author doesn't know what they're doing. Not to worry, though...we're in Ms. Loren's very talented hands.

Their past history and Kincaid's obliviousness about Ash's feelings was a torture of the best kind. Watching them find their way to each other was a dream come true. This book is close to my heart because I love a bookish, well-read hero! Ash has moved up to my top ten book boyfriends. Who am I kidding, he sky-rocketed to the number one spot!

Leaving our beloved friend cheerleader's story to the end was the perfect wrapup for this series. I am not going to lie, after reading all four books, I have to say this is my favorite. And that was a hard decision because picking a favorite book out of a favorite series is like picking your favorite student: you know you have one, but should you really own up to it? This book has everything: A compelling story, riveting storytelling, steam enough to make you turn on your fan in the middle of winter, and a perfect wrapup to what I consider one of my favorite romance series of all time. I cannot recommend this series enough. I think everyone can enjoy and learn something about humans' resiliency from these books.

If you would've told me two years ago that a romance series featuring the survivors of a school shooting would become one of those life-changing books, I would've probably told you where to go in at least two different languages. It is a credit to Ms. Loren's massive talent, how she was able to create a book micro-universe in which PTSD sufferers find community, love, and support. The portrayal of this disorder is heartbreakingly accurate in these four books. I wish people battling this incredibly difficult illness in real life would find all these wonderful things. Thank you, Ms. Loren, for creating positive portrayals of people dealing with this disease. So often we see negative portrayals in books, TV-series and movies and that creates significant damage and misunderstandings, sometimes, even fear. Representation is important and breaking the stigma around mental illness is even more important.

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