From USA TODAY bestselling author Tara Randel
She’s the love of his life… but is he still hers?
FBI agent Derrick Matthews has finally found his childhood sweetheart and the love of his life—but she isn’t exactly happy about it! Years ago, Hannah Rawlings disappeared overnight when her family went on the run, and she blames Derrick. She tells him she’s moved on and he should, too, but Derrick fears Hannah’s still in danger. He vows to protect her—even if that means betraying her trust…again.
Meet Me at the Altar series
The Lawman’s Secret Vow
His Honor, Her Family
Trusting Her Heart
Always the One
From Harlequin Heartwarming: Wholesome stories of love, compassion and belonging.
About the Author
Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. Family values, a hint of mystery, and, of course, love, are her favorite themes because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com or like her Facebook page, Tara Randel Books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.5 stars “Sometimes we get a raw deal. It’s how we handle the tough circumstances that makes all the difference.” I have so enjoyed the Meet Me at the Altar series by Tara Randel, and I’ve been eagerly looking forward to Derrick’s story. Always the One did not disappoint! The second chance at first love trope has grown on me over the last couple of years because of the intense emotions that unfinished business and lingering love add to the story. Derrick and Hannah’s first kiss after all these years have passed reminded me exactly why I now love this trope! The familiarity of past kisses combined with the newness of maturity and 15 years of separate years experiences made a swoony kiss even swoonier – and all kinds of layered. (It was a great kiss haha!) And oh how I loved Derrick’s interactions with the kids in Hannah’s class – especially with Tommy. As a former elementary school teacher myself, I appreciated these scenes and could relate to Hannah’s job quite well. Bottom Line: Randel’s smooth and engaging writing style, combined with layered characters & a dose of suspense make Always The One my favorite installment of this series! Derrick and Hannah are easy to love – and so are Hannah’s mom and Hannah’s student Tommy. This second chance romance is not without its obstacles – namely Hannah’s longheld anger for the inadvertent part Derrick played in her life being turned upside down 15 years ago … and her current fiancé. All of this makes for a highly entertaining, charming, and sweet read you’ll enjoy from start to finish! (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
What happens when you can't forget your first love? Seventeen years later FBI agent Derrick Matthews still can't move on in his love life without thinking about his high school sweetheart, Hannah Rawlings. They had made such grand plans together but something happened and Derrick has only an inkling of what it may have been. Hannah and her family have to disappear one night and enter the witness protection program and she isn't able to let Derrick know. But in a way, she blames Derrick for her family's current problems. Derrick is shocked that her and her family is gone without a trace, that I do believe without the closure he needed with Hannah he is unable to move on. Not only that but this has also affected his and his father's relationship. Now years later, Derrick is just about to move on when a mysterious package arrives at his office that leads him straight to Hannah. Just who sent the package and who is Hannah so afraid of are major questions that beg to be answered in this sweet second chance love story with a bit of suspense. Also will Hannah ever see her dreams come true and what is Derrick going to do when he finds out Hannah is engaged to another man? Both of these characters went through a lot of drama in their lives and it was no fault of their own. I enjoyed this story and watching Derrick pursue Hannah after all this time, to love her and want the best for her even if it meant it might not be him. That was a great sign of true love. I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
A sweet romance full of mystery, memories and love everlasting! ALWAYS THE ONE is book four in Tara Randel’s Meet Me at the Altar series and brings us the story of FBI agent Derrick Matthews and the one that got away. The story line caught my attention quickly and I enjoyed watching them reconnect. Derrick is easy to like and sympathize with as he reminisces about his first and only love. When he receives something in the mail that makes him think of her and wonder if it could be a clue of where she is, he is quick to set out on a journey to try to find her one last time. Hannah is not so easy to like. She’s very cold and judgemental when he finally finds her because she blames him and his interference for the fact that her family had to run all those years ago. I had a hard time forgiving her for her attitude and how she strung him along, but eventually she mellowed out. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet reunion story with a hint of danger and intrigue thrown in.
Always the One by Tara Randel is a heartwarming story of second chances and new beginnings. The series features the Matthews family, four brothers all involved in some type of law enforcement or investigation, as well as their mother. Randel has done a great job at loosely connecting the stories in this series, while allowing each to stand alone. I’ve loved getting to know the family and seeing them progress with each story. Always the One is Derrick and Hannah’s story, a perfect blend of appealing characters, romance, and light suspense. A gemstone gives Derrick all the motivation he needs to seek Hannah, now living in Nevada and teaching school after 17 years of silence – and recently engaged to an art gallery owner named Jonathan. The chemistry between Derrick and Hannah feels real and I enjoyed their relational journey as past misunderstandings are gradually revealed. I didn’t dislike Jonathan, but it was obvious he wasn’t a good fit for Hannah, in spite of the love for art that they shared. Jonathan needs to connect with someone who means more to him than the gallery. Derrick is an appealing hero with a strong desire to protect Hannah. The story’s WITSEC theme (Witness Protection Program) was moving and shed light on what its participants deal with in exchange for protection from those who would do them harm – the suddenness of the break from all they’ve known, the inability to form real friendships, always having to look over one’s shoulder. It was touching to see two secondary characters also find happiness in their own marital relationships – Hannah’s mom and Derrick’s mother. Questions about the man Derrick’s mom wanted to marry have worked their way through the series and it was great to see them marry in a church – a place for renewal to her way of thinking. Another of my favorite themes was how Derrick interacted and connected with children in Hannah’s class, especially Tommy. “Sometimes we get a raw deal. It’s how we handle the tough circumstances that makes all the difference.” Difficulties of life are something that we can all relate to, and those words of Derrick beautifully express the essence of this story. I enjoyed Always the One very much and look forward to many more stories from the pen of Tara Randel. Recommended. I received a copy of this book through Prism Book Tours. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
I can’t remember ever reading a story that involved someone in the witness protection program, and I’m kind of surprised by that—considering how much I read! It’s an interesting aspect and one I learned from. Starting a story from a male perspective gains points from me. I enjoy looking at things from that perspective and getting inside a guy’s head. The characters are nicely developed and not always predictable. (yay!) I connected with Derrick and loved his patience most of all. Anna (Hannah) surprised me and I wasn’t as patient with her as Derrick was. I sympathized with her and Derrick both, though, and longed for them to reach their happy ever afters. Jonathan, on the other hand… This is a wholesome romance with relatable characters that deal with love lost, love found, and finding a sense of belonging. I received a complimentary copy of this book through Prism Book Tours..