The One That Got Away: A Novel

The One That Got Away: A Novel

by Bethany Chase

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Overview

Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, this bright, funny debut from a fresh voice in fiction offers a delicious take on love, family, and what it means to build a home of one’s own.

Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer—and former flame—Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn. Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices—and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life—and in love.

Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.

Praise for The One That Got Away


“A warm, witty, and wise novel, The One That Got Away announces the arrival of a great new voice in fiction.”—Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The One and Only

“Love can be complicated, and in The One That Got Away, Bethany Chase captures every nuanced beat of a conflicted heart. An authentic and warm voice infuses this story of humor, heartbreak, and home. While Sarina finds her way, we as readers might also find a way back to our own unique lives.”—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of And Then I Found You

“This perfectly paced story is full of fresh, engaging characters, but Chase’s greatest accomplishment is Sarina Mahler. Sarina is so human, her inner world such a compelling mix of guarded and open-hearted, confident and faltering, that—through every loss, every funny moment, every blazing triumph—I felt completely with her and grateful to be there.”—Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author of Falling Together

“[A] sparkling debut [that] packs serious emotional punches . . . This utterly enjoyable romance will have readers swooning, sobbing, and eagerly anticipating Chase’s next book.”Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804179423
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 449,196
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.

Read an Excerpt

1

Every woman has one. That name you Google at two o’clock in the morning. That intoxicating connection that somehow never solidified into anything real; that particular memory you still visit every now and then, for that guaranteed hit of pure, sugar-­packed dopamine. It’s that story that starts with “There was this one time” and ends, reluctantly, with “but I guess . . .”

Tonight, I’m going to see Eamon Roy again, for the first time in more than seven years. My one and only one-­night stand; the lone exception in thirteen years of not-­on-­the-­first-­date sex. It’s not that I put a lot of stock in rules when it comes to dating; I just don’t find it appealing to sleep with a guy until I know I like the idea of waking up next to him. I liked waking up next to Eamon. I liked it a lot. And every other guy I’ve been with has felt the same way about me—­including, notably, the man I’m planning to marry. But Eamon was different. Eamon was a first and last in several categories.

“Sarina! Penis straws or penis shot glasses?”

Oh, my good holy lord. They’re back to the party favors again.

My roommate, Danny, perches his pointy elbows on the edge of the restaurant table, swinging one long, loafer-­clad foot expectantly. He’s serving as Best Gay, a Technicolor hybrid of best man/maid of honor/wedding planner/emcee, for his business partner, Jay, and Jay’s fiancé, Dominic, who are getting married this fall up in Palm Springs. Tonight, his self-­appointed mission has been to convince the reluctant couple to throw a raunchy double-­bachelor party here in Austin a few weeks before the wedding.

I glance at Jay for guidance, but all I receive is a bug-­eyed headshake. Clearly Jay wants neither straws nor shot glasses. Too bad for Jay.

“How about penis pops?” I suggest, relishing Jay’s gape of horror.

“Genius!” crows Danny, clapping his hands so loudly that more than a few heads swivel toward us.

“They had them at this bachelorette party I went to a few months ago,” I continue, straining to be heard above the din of the crowd filling the back courtyard of the restaurant. “Cherry-­flavored. Lots of anatomical detail. I’m talking veins and everything.”

Jay grabs one of the leather-­backed drink menus stacked on the table and swats my shoulder with it. “Danny, we are not having penis pops, for the love of god.”

Danny raises a peremptory hand. “Yes we are. You ceded control when you put me in charge of this whole thing.”

“Well, then we have to have it somewhere other than Albion,” says Jay. “I’m not giving our staff a photo op of me with a red candy penis in my mouth.”

“Nope, it’s happening here. Though it’s cute you think they take you seriously as it is.”

Jay, who treasures his status as the enforcer of their managerial duo, starts to protest, but Danny quells him and the conversation moves on to other details of the party. My work here is done—­the back office at the restaurant will be festooned with high-­fructose genitals for weeks.

While they talk, I study the teeming courtyard, savoring the perks of ownership: free drinks and food, a permanent spot on the cushy banquette in the corner, and guaranteed proximity to one of the heat lamps that help take the edge off the cool March night. Austin is in the midst of the South By Southwest music festival, and every place that can scratch out enough floor space for a drum kit and a couple of guitars has morphed overnight into a music venue. We’re packed to the rafters with the young and the painfully hip: it’s a national convention of stovepipe jeans. The person I’m looking for is nowhere in sight, though. And somehow, I don’t think he’s going to be rolling up in stovepipes.

After a moment, the small figure-­eight shape of my friend Nicole pinches into view, tacking her way between hipsters, a glass of Chardonnay clutched in each hand like a priceless relic. Nic is my fellow POW, who staggered with me through the five sleepless years of drafting, models, and presentations that was RISD architecture school. She’s also the link that brought me into this circle: when I moved to Austin almost eight years ago she introduced me to Danny, her best friend from high school, and we immediately got on like a house on fire. “Literally, flaming,” Danny likes to say when we explain this to people, with accompanying fluttering movements of his hands.

“I brought you another glass of vino,” she says, plunking down beside me as she hands it over. She takes a lingering sip of her own wine and sighs. “God, that’s good. It was almost worth missing out on alcohol for nine months, just to be able to have it again.”

“Should I remind you of that next time?” I say.

Her free hand drops to her soft little belly, which she still refers to by Danny’s title, the War Zone. “Don’t say ‘next time’ yet! Let me get through a year with the first one before you sign me up for another.”

“How is the little dribbler?” I ask. “Does he like those alphabet blocks I brought him from Argentina?”

“Yes! I meant to tell you. He’s obsessed with them.”

“Oh, good! Noah will be so pleased. You should have seen him in that store, examining all the toys to make sure they were all safe, and handmade . . . no plastic factory-­made crap for Gabe.”

“Aw, you guys are sweet. Though I think Gabe’s taste is hardly as discriminating as Noah’s.”

“No one’s could be. He’s going to be the most high-­maintenance parent on earth.”

The effect on her is like pumping the gas pedal on a Mustang. Nicole has been referring to Noah as my future husband since our third date.

“Whoa!” she yelps, and slaps my knee with her drink-­free hand. “Did he finally get you to talk about timing for getting married?”

“No, you didn’t miss anything. We have to get through this separation before we can think about that for real.” Noah, who’s a partner at an international finance law firm, is two months into a yearlong rotation with the firm’s office in Buenos Aires. He’s working on some huge corporate merger about which my information is strictly need-­to-­know.

“I don’t see why,” she says. “It’s not like it’s a mystery that it’s going to happen. And actually, the masterstroke would be to get the whole shebang planned out while he’s not around to split hairs over color schemes and song lists. Voice of experience here,” she adds, waggling her hand in the air like an overeager student.

“He’s not that bad. The only thing he’s going to care about is the menu.”

She takes a measured sip of Chardonnay. “How many minutes did you say it took him to decide on one acceptable toy for my four-­month-­old son?”

Balls. “You do, as usual, have a point.”

“It’s a gift,” she says, breezily brushing her apricot-­colored curls back over one shoulder. “So have you thought about it at all?”

“Thought about what?”

“Wedding details. Or even a general idea of when you might let the man make an honest woman out of you.”

I wipe the condensation from my glass in one neat stripe after another. “Nope. Seems premature until we’re actually engaged. But when that occurs, I promise you my inner wedding planner will come roaring to life.” I dart another look over her shoulder, hoping she won’t notice.

“I saw that,” she says. I should have known she would bust me; it’s what she does. “What time was he supposed to be here?”

“I have no idea.”

“Well, whether he makes it or not, you look hot. Which is completely by accident.” She takes another deep sip of wine but slides me an elaborately nonchalant high five.

“Absolutely,” I say, slapping her outstretched palm. She knows I painstakingly assembled the perfect sexy-­without-­trying outfit before coming out tonight: my favorite leather cuff bracelet, black Frye boots, a fitted black V-neck T-shirt, and—­with a tiny pinch of guilt—­the jeans Noah swears make my ass look like the answer to world peace.

In fact, she expressly commanded me to wear the jeans. “Noah may have touching rights, but he doesn’t get to be the only guy who notices you have a sweet ass. Let the stupid bastard get a look at what he missed.” It doesn’t matter to her that Eamon’s rejection of me is seven years in the past; Nicole’s Don Corleone loyalty means no slight is ever forgiven.

She’s also the only friend who ever knew how much I’d liked him, and understood how crushed I was when I heard he was seeing somebody, a couple months after we slept together. My sense of connection to him had just been so immediate and effortless that I couldn’t comprehend his not feeling the same way. Even though it became unmistakably obvious—­once I had run out of the excuses you make for guys when you’re in your early twenties—­that he didn’t. The sting was so sharp that even after I finally shook it off, I still maintained a perfect record of avoiding him every time he came back to Austin to visit Danny and his other friends. Even after I was in my own relationship, in love and deeply happy. It just seemed easier that way.

Until this time, when I suddenly decided that enough was enough—­I was thirty-­one years old, our fling was ancient history, and instead of forgoing a Friday night at Albion during SXSW because Eamon was in town, I was just going to fucking grow a pair.

A male voice bellows out Danny’s name from across the courtyard. We all turn to look for the source, then Danny shouts a delighted “Ame!” and launches himself off the banquette. And there he is in the doorway to the courtyard, looking past Danny, finding my eyes and smiling right at me.

Reading Group Guide

The Place We Call Home

Bethany Chase

I just wanted to write a love story.

As an incurable romantic, I’ve always had a soft spot for those stories that are as warm and gooey as the center of a molten chocolate cake. My lifelong favorite, over even Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, is the story of Anne of Green Gables’ Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe. So that’s what was foremost in my mind when I started working on The One That Got Away. But what I soon began to realize, as the book developed, is that it’s equally a story about home.

Home is one of those simple ideas that gets more complicated the harder you think about it. On one hand, it’s such a universal concept that, in its broadest terms, it ought to mean the same thing to everyone—­a place of shelter, safety, belonging. Just the phrase “keep the home fires burning” conjures a place we can return to after wandering, where someone we love will be waiting . . . a place that will always be there. But, unthinkable as it is to ourselves as children, what happens to all of us is that our definition of home changes over time. And sometimes it changes more than once. The thing is, though, that each of our homes, and the people who share them with us, shape us in ways it takes years to fully understand.

Most of us begin with the same kind of home: Where we come from. Where we grew up. Our oldest, most fundamental place; the place we really began. It may not have been happy, but it’s still our origin, and for better or worse, we can’t forget it, or carve away the imprint it left upon us.

For me, this home was the ten acres in the Blue Ridge foothills where my parents built their dream house. Before then, we had been living among clinking sailboat masts and dapper white-­clad midshipmen in Annapolis, Maryland, and my six-­year-­old self utterly failed to see what had so enchanted my mom and dad with this steep and unruly hillside in the boondocks. By the time construction was completed, though, I was as bewitched as they were. And partly because the house had been designed according to my parents’ specifications, I was always aware of the way my physical environment reflected who our family was. One big bathroom for the three of us to share, but separate his-­and-­hers art studios for them. The spacious open-­plan living/dining room, because my parents disliked the tradition of separate “formal” rooms that sat mostly unused. The immense windows along the western façade, so we were seldom out of sight of the rippling blue silhouette of the mountain range that formed our horizon, thirty miles away.

My mother took her last breath in that house. Her blinds were often open as she lay in her bed; I can only hope the beauty of the mountains eased her pain. She had bright eyes and a joyful smile, and the kind of laugh that could make friends from all the way across a room. Her warmth drew people to her like a hearth fire in January. Since I was only thirteen when she died, we were robbed of the time for me to grow to appreciate her, not just as my mom, but as the vivid, kind, charming woman I now know she was. But in the time we did have, her love taught me to value myself, and to treasure beauty, and those two things have been at the core of every good decision I’ve ever made.

My second home, I wasn’t looking for. While I was studying in England during my junior year of college, everything my father had been struggling with at home collapsed. When my winter break came, I had no home to go to. My mother’s older sister, without question or hesitation, said, “You come here.” And her house has been my go-­home-­to place ever since. Because of the woman whose house it is, that place represents as big a part of me as where I came from. My aunt opened both home and heart to me, and her dead sister’s girl became her third daughter. With remarkable patience and more than a little tough love, she knocked a navel-­gazer, overly prone to whining and stewing, into a decisive and determined adult. I owe more than I can ever convey to my exposure to her challenging, sparky intelligence.

If you’re lucky, your own go-­home-­to place, the place you head for holidays and family weekends or just to take a break from being an adult for a couple of days, is still the same as where you come from. But for many people it’s not. Parents move, divorce, die, betray. Your go-­home-­to place may not even be where your parents or siblings are, but it’s a place that brings you comfort when you arrive there. It’s the place where you know all the stories and inside jokes that get retold, and where somebody will have your favorite meal waiting for you when you arrive.

Of course, like most of you, I also have my own home now. Mine is a sunny little aerie in Brooklyn, and I share it with my husband, whose dimples are the only thing that can coax me out of bed in the morning, and our cat, who travels from sunbeam to sunbeam as each day glides by. I made it partly with pieces of my other homes: artwork my mother painted, books my aunt has given me, furniture my grandmother bought in the fifties, which is beautifully scuffed with age and with my family’s use. But also, my home is made with pieces of who I am now. Artwork I drew, books my friends have written. Because I lost my mother’s gardens, I cram my windowsills with flowers, and because my husband loves to cook, I grow herbs to use in our meals. This is the place where I welcome friends and family, both my own and my husband’s. And every single inch of it is made of something I love.

Throughout The One That Got Away, Sarina is on a journey to find her home. The home she comes from is too laden with painful memories to be a welcoming place any longer, so she’s left Virginia behind and made a life for herself in Austin. She’s spent much of her adult life trying to find the right go-­home-­to place, where she truly belongs, and to build her own home at the same time. When the story opens, she believes Noah is the answer to both of those. Except, as Eamon points out, she’s never taken any steps to make her home with Noah a reality; she only thinks it’s her future because it looks like it should be. So what she has to find the courage to do, in spite of the risks, is to open herself up to the person she’s come to realize is the one who really belongs in that future, and in that home.

This is why the home you build yourself, in many ways, is the most rewarding one of all. You can fill it, and populate it, with whatever and whoever you wish. It can be whatever you want it to be, whether it’s the place you share with your partner, or your partner plus the colorful chaos of children (or the furry and malodorous chaos of pets), or just the solitary peace of your sofa, a good book and a big glass of wine. This home is the one you fill with your own family, whoever you choose them to be—­but the peace is in the choosing.

1. The One That Got Away starts with this arresting line: “Every woman has one. That name you Google at two o’clock in the morning.” How does that opening set the tone for the novel?

2. In what ways does the author contrast Eamon and Noah? Do their personalities bring out different sides of Sarina? What makes Eamon the right choice for her?

3. In reference to Noah, Sarina thinks, He made it so easy for me to fall in love with him. What do you think her statement suggests about the kind of guy Noah is? What does it suggest about the way she sees him?

4. As Sarina contemplates her future with Noah, the topic of children frequently comes up. How did you react to the scene in chapter 9 when Noah’s parents are questioning Sarina about how she will adjust her career to accommodate children?

5. Sarina and Noah come from very different upbringings, which have ultimately had an impact on their priorities and sensibilities. Do you think it’s possible for two people from such diverse backgrounds to really be compatible?

6. How do Eamon’s swimming career and car accident affect who he is as a person? Can you see the way in which these two defining parts of his life affect his decision making?

7. Why do you think Sarina is so drawn to Eamon? Is it because she never got a real chance with him when they were younger? Do you think Sarina would still end up with Eamon if Noah had always been in Austin?

8. John and Sarina have a special relationship, and yet she always found it difficult to go visit him. How do you think she handles the guilt she feels for not visiting? Is it possible to channel regret like that in a healthy way?

9. Grief and coping play important roles in Sarina’s story—from her mother’s early death to John’s passing later in life. How do those experiences, for better or worse, shape her character?

10. When the story takes place, Sarina’s mother has been gone for ten years, so hers is not a recent loss. What are some ways you see that her mother’s absence impacts Sarina, both prior to the story and in terms of her actions throughout it?

11. How does Sarina grow throughout the novel? Are there any scenes in particular that really stand out as turning points for her? Why?

12. Is there a greater significance behind Sarina’s entrepreneurial spirit? How does her desire to build a strong business relate to, and affect, the choices she makes in her personal life?

13. One of the main themes in this novel is the strong role that timing can play in relationships. In what ways does the author use the concept of time to illustrate how we make decisions?

14. Of all the themes touched upon in the novel—­love, second chances and starting fresh, grief and coping, stability and comfort versus taking risks, creating a sense of home—­which do you connect to the most? Is there a scene that makes a strong impression on you? Why?

Customer Reviews

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The One That Got Away: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
MMFinck More than 1 year ago
5 STARS - RACED THRU IT - Chase may be a new voice on the scene, but she will most assuredly be a long-running one. The Austin/SXSW setting was perfect. Sarina, Eamon, and Noah were utterly human. Flawed and magnetic. I felt everything Sarina felt. The dilemma of being a talented, ambitious woman with a career she is killing herself to build, butting up against convention and her own desire for children and a husband hit me very close to home - which is a good thing. Chase wrote this woman so expertly that I felt that I was her. I too loved Noah. I too relaxed into myself with Eamon. The narrative line of Sarina's mother and stepfather John drew on another emotional level that was equally compelling. The love scenes too were crazy-hot. Perfectly drawn. I couldn't be more thrilled that Sarina and others will be living on in her next novel. I will be recommending this book to anyone within hearing distance for a year to come. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the story and all of the characters. It was very well written and I cannot wait for her next novel.
TheBibliophilicBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Sarina Mahler is an architect in Austin, Texas with a wonderful best friend, Danny, and a considerate, but temporarily long-distance boyfriend, Noah. She gets a contract with a dream client, one who allows her to stretch her creative wings, but it also happens to be Eamon Roy – Olympic swimmer and a former one-night stand who never left Sarina’s thoughts. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is the story of what happens when Sarina is confronted with the need to determine what she truly wants for herself. I loved the characters, the relationships, the humor, and the happily ever after in THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. I did get angry at times with Sarina, because I felt like she just wanted to stick her head in the sand and not deal with her feelings. I know it can be easier to bury your problems and your feelings, but they always come back if you don’t deal with them. I loved the true chemistry between Sarina and Eamon, it was more authentic than anything between her and Noah. I was definitely riding an emotional rollercoaster while reading THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY. I hope you give it a try!
bibliophile15 More than 1 year ago
This book paints a realistic portrait of a flawed woman trying to successfully negotiate family ties, grief, a new business, a long-distance relationship, and a new love interest. There are times where Serena's humor and wit shine through the pages. Her job as an interior designer is fascinating, but her internal debate and repeated denial of her true feelings can be very frustrating. Overall, a good book but not a good escape from reality nor a great love story.
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase is her debut novel. This is a contemporary woman’s fiction and a sweet romance. The One That Got Away belongs to Sarina, our heroine, who is the heart and soul of this story. Sarina is a successful architect that is rising to the top. She has everything going for her; great friends, a serious boyfriend, and a fabulous career. Then one night at a party with her friends, her one night stand from 7 years before, joins them. Eamon is a famous swimmer, and he returns home to Austin and decides to stay, asking Sarina to renovate a house he is buying. Sarina has never forgotten Eamon, and the fact that he left without a word in the middle of the night, made for an uncomfortable face to face meeting. But unable to resist an architect’s dream to build a house carte blanch, Sarina accepts Eamon’s offer. With her boyfriend, Noah on assignment in Argentina for a few months, Sarina is determined to work with Eamon and not fall into any possible relationship. We know what happens to best laid plans. Eamon knows he is falling for Sarina, as they work together, but he also respects that she is off limits because of Noah. What sets this apart from other romances is the different parts of Sarina’s life that we get to spend time with. It was fun to see Sarina at work, seeing the descriptions of her layouts, her presentations, and the competition she faces. A very nice touch, which made this story more enjoyable. We also got to see her relationship with Noah, and his family, and what their expectations were for her, which surprised her, would begin to change things totally. Sarina having lost her mother a few years before, still kept a close relationship to her stepfather, which was heartwarming. Her friendship with Danny, her gay roommate, was fun. Sarina’s slow to built relationship with Eamon was the crux of the story, and we found ourselves rooting for them. With all that surrounded them in this story, as well as their past, it was a slow, but nicely done process. Through it all, we didn’t know if Sarina and Eamon would be able to get together. I thought Bethany Chase created a very nice story, with a wonderful down to earth heroine, and some great secondary characters. The One Who Got Away was very well written and a fun, emotional, sweet story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this! I was so sad to say let Eamon go!
megankylene More than 1 year ago
Sarina is an up and coming architect in artsy Austin. On the cusp of success career-wise, she feels content with her job and her relationship with her boyfriend Noah, who is thousand of miles away for work. None of the projects she has done could have prepared her for her next job involving “the One.” Sarina’s “one that got away” is Eamon Roy. After a one night stand and one hell of a connection, Eamon disappears, leaving Sarina heartbroken and feeling silly for envisioning him anything more than a one time thing. Now he’s back in town and he wants her to remodel and design his new house — a job that will take well over a year. She doesn’t plan on his presence awakening her heart. What I really liked about this book is its premise. The idea that you get a second chance with that “one” from your past. An opportunity for a do over. That small minuscule possibility that this person may feel something for you. Sarina’s emotions were all over the place and rightfully so. Eamon’s arrival shook up her whole world, leading her to ask herself some pretty important questions: Do I like him? Does he like me? Why did he leave? What should I do? But I love Noah…Noah…Noah. What do I want? While there is romance in this book, it’s more of a journey of self-discovery for Sarina. Not only is she faced with making big relationship choices, she must has to decide what she wants out of life, what is important to her. I had a hard time being fully connected to Sarina and Eamon as a couple. The author presents Eamon as a swoon worthy, funny, sweet, and kind guy. He and Sarina have the same sense of humor and are like-minded. They are perfect for each other in a lot of ways, but I feel like I needed more time with them to see their connection instead of connecting the dots for myself. Also, towards the end of the book, there was a lot of contrived back and forth between Eamon and Sarina. Some of Eamon’s behavior towards the end was very contrary to his supposed feelings for her, especially considering what he had asked of her. I’m all for characters making mistakes, but what his actions seemed out of character. I would recommend this book to someone looking for a sweet second-chance romance and thread of self-discovery. I definitely look forward to reading about Eamon’s brother, Colin, and Hillary in the next book! * I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 3 stars
MamaHendo More than 1 year ago
Serina Mahlor is a 31 year old up and coming architect living with her best friend, Danny, in Austin, Texas. Her comfortable four year relationship with her boyfriend, Noah is being challenged now the two are separated by thousands of miles while he begins work in Argentina for almost a year. A big commission job lands in Serina's lap when Eamon Roy, the famous Olympic swimmer who also happens to be Danny's friend, hires her to completely redesign his new home now that he has decided to retire back to the Austin area. Only problem is 8 years ago Serina fell head over heels for Eamon before he left her scratching her head when he disappeared after a week of romantic emails and the best night of her life. Being forced to spend so much time with Eamon, Serina eventually lets her guard down and the two fall into a caring and chemistry riddled friendship. When Noah begins to show his true intentions towards Serina, she is forced to ask herself what it is she wants out of life and ultimately who she wants to spend hers with. "The One That Got Away" is not just a love story but really one of self-discovery. I loved getting to learn the details that go into Serina's job and following her through different stages of multiple projects. At the back, Bethany Chase includes a brief preview of a spin-off book that I hope is still in the works. If you are headed away for spring break or need a happy distraction from the day to day this is the perfect book to pick up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a story that will have you routing for Sarina. She has all the emotions and vulnerabilities that make her relatable. I can highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was knee deep in a book rut...you know the kind, where the last 3-4 books you've read have been mediocre and you make yourself finish them. Then along comes this little surprise and I thought "Finally"! I loved it, the characters were real and so were their situations. If you are looking for something to grab you and keep you then this is your book, enjoy!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fell in love with the characters and the story line. I couldn't put it down and I look forward to the next book by this talented author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a great book, just an ok read. I was very disappointed. I had high expectations based on all the great reviews. It was not really about "first loves" which was a bigger disappointment. Oh well....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book very much. I am looking forward to her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a great beach-read without being too cheesy. Balanced and entertaining without draining me as I read before bed every night.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much I had to stay up until 1am reading it because my heart was pounding so fast having to know what was going to happen next! I felt like I was really there in the story, feeling everything. Brilliant writing, perfect plot and characters, and a perfect read!! Can't wait for the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome easy read
HTum131 More than 1 year ago
Awesome read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I chose this book to run away from my life. My dad is in the hospital and I needed an escape. And let me tell you, Bethany delivered! Every woman had that first love. The one that got away and we always think about if we made the right choice. I'm so lucky to have found this book. Eamon is that one that you need in your life! I stayed up night after night hoping Eamon was the one. I pressed on every night with one eye open because I was tired to get to the end. This book is so well written you turn page after page anxiously to see where Sarina will end up at. Who's she going to choose? You'll pick this book up and love every minute. There is no lull. Get it, read it, you won't be disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book! On the surface, it is the story of a love triangle, but at its soul is a woman growing with her career, shadowed by grief, and searching for what will make her happiest, whether it is by herself or with the one that got away...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!  
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This was an ok romance.  A very quick read.  I received the ebook from FirsttoRead for a fair and honest opinion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3