Book Review-The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

The Ones Who Got Away is the newest and most stunning release that Roni Loren has written, a book of raw emotion, sensuality and a tale about fighting for yourself and for love that is right in front of you!! 

What a story that this turned out to be!! I really had such a wonderful time reading this book. Now there were moments that I felt “slowed” down a bit, and is probably the reason why I took 3 days to read it!! Yeah, I think its mostly due to exhaustion and no energy, not the actual book itself or it might have been a five star read but my attention was just not very focused this week, oh well…It was still EPIC and I grew to fall in love with so many aspects of this darling story. But my favorite thing about the story was our main key players!!

  • Finn Dorsey was the high school quarterback, came from a privileged family, but turned out to work for the FBI. A hero packed with vulnerabilities and struggles of his own.
  • Liv Arias, daughter of a landscaper, had a goth phase in high school and not the most popular, but is talented and smart and a workaholic. She has her own fears of the past that still haunt her.

What a book this turned out to be, and every other reader is right that this book just pulls you in right away. Our emotional love tale begins with our heroine. She has returned to the town where the “event” happened. There is a pretty vital documentary being filmed and she is called in to be interviewed. She has to recall the painful part of her past, a past that still gives her horrible nightmares. We see how the “shooting” at their high school by a fellow student, marked these young people in different ways and we get to see how it effects them differently. Finn and Liv were once together in high school, but their relationship was a secret because of Finn’s parent’s disapproval of their relationship.

But one night, at a school dance, while Finn and Liv were making out in the closet, shooting started to happen and Finn runs back to his date and takes a bullet for her, but Liv was left alone and was left at the mercy of the shooter…alone. This event has haunted both Liv and Finn in different ways. Finn was tormented by the sound of gun shots but wanted to overcome his fear. He eventually was able to work for the FBI and has recently been undercover for two long years. But Finn is till tormented and we see how it effects him.

Those sick assholes stole not just my friends’ lives but the could be’s from us. We never got to find out who we would’ve been otherwise. Before we were aftermath.

This story is where we see Finn and Liv start to reconnect, to realize what they had in High School was very real, and as they start to help each other heal, they also act on their physical attraction for each other. I found the set up very interesting. I liked how in different ways they fight for each other on an emotional level and that is so beautiful to see. Both Finn and Liv left things unsaid in their past and now we see that they start to realize how right they really were for each other, but the shooting changed everything for them. What I truly enjoyed seeing was the strong emotional bond that these two form. Of course, the sexy times were sensual and hot and will get you bothered just a bit. However, what really pulls you into the story and keeps you in tune with this pair will be the emotional intimacy that forms between them.

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

At first, its more of a “fling” type of relationship, but they both realize how much they love each other. However, Finn is about to go on an assignment at the end of the summer and it’s his dream assignment, of making sure those that supplied the weapons in the shooting are brought down. So there is a difficult dilemma that erupts between them. Because Finn will be going undercover soon and it could be a “long” time, even years. Liv has to do some pondering because she will need to make a decision if what they have together is strong enough and worth enough to wait for their “chance” and if they will fight to be together.

 

There were so many feels in this book, that I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry in this one. And this is where you see the true talent that Roni Loren has. Because when an author can evoke such reactions in a story, truly shows her capabilities in penning a beautifully written love story and this tale was one of the most riveting I have read in a long while!!

As a side note, a true plus to the story was the friendship between four women. I LOVE the fun times and how supportive they are of each other. They have all lost people close to them in the shootings, and it has created such a close-knit bond between them. The ways that they individually have struggled but come together during this rough time for all of them is simply fantastic and I can’t wait for Rebecca’s book because we see certain characteristics to her personality and history, that I was like “WHAT??!” I need her book and NOW. I just know there-there is something major that wasn’t revealed and I want to know. So I can’t wait for June to roll around so I can grab this one up!! So stay tuned for what I imagine will be a fantastic addition to a whirlwind of series.

A truly epically emotional story that keeps you tuned in and magically addicted to the very end!! A TRUE GEM!!

Broken glass still made art.
Sometimes the most beautiful kind.

About Roni Loren

Roni wrote her first romance novel at age fifteen when she discovered writing about boys was way easier than actually talking to them. Since then, her flirting skills haven’t improved, but she likes to think her storytelling ability has. She holds a master’s degree in social work and spent years as a mental health counselor, but now she writes full time from her cozy office in Dallas, Texas where she puts her characters on the therapy couch instead. She is a two-time RITA Award winner and a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author.

Book Review-Ravage by Tillie Cole

Ravage is a stimulating story of sacrifice, of losing one self and having to make a difficult choice of family and love against a great evil…

Ravage was another wonderful installment in the Scarred Souls series. I have just been hooked on this series. But I was really excited when I saw that this book was available in the Romance Audible Package and I just jumped at a chance to read this book here. And boy was it good, not as good as the previous books but it had some elements that we didn’t see in the previous two books. The plot of the series as a whole really takes a new turn here that adds thrills and excitement for the reader. d

In Ravage, we have a heart-wrenching tale that will guarantee that it brings out some tough emotion due to this engaging kay players

  • 194 (Valentin), is our sexy hero, taken when he was just a boy along with his younger sister. And he does anything his “mistress” asks of him so he can get their freedom
  • Zoya Kostava, a Russian Mafia Princess, was taken to safety when her family was slaughtered and her two brothers taken captive.

This was a story that was a bit different than the previous two books, it was darker than the other two. It does deal with some difficult issues that not all readers might be okay with. However, if you enjoy reading dark romances, then this book will definitely work for you. Our hero Valentin, was young when he and his sister were taken prisoner at the orphanage. He vowed to make sure she was safe and do everything he could to free them one day. Valentin has been made to be a killer, a slave to the drugs that his “mistress” makes him take through his collar. He never has a choice but his life will take a unique change in his new mission to kill Zaal, the man who killed his mistress’s love. But his quarry is a woman who means something to Zaal, his beloved sister Zoya. As Valentin works to break Zoya’s defenses and get the truth about her relationship with Zaal, Valentin discovers something new that he has never experience….desire and heartfelt emotion that he has only felt about his sister. Soon Zoya and Valentin will be forced to make some difficult choices but the most challenging will be learning to fully trust in each other and the love that they have together.

There is quite a bit of growth that Valentin goes through here and it gets to the point where he would rather have love than to be a slave for the rest of his life. He hates what he does or what he becomes under the drugs that he is forced to take. And seeing him stand on his own and fight for what he believes is right is really beautiful and heart breaking. The relationship between Valentin and Zoya is not easy in the beginning. I mean, Valentin is being forced by drugs to get information out of Zoya, so it’s not pleasant obviously. But he does change and starts to fight the drugs more.

I’m not only scarred on the outside, Kotyonok; I’m scarred on the inside: my mind, my heart, and my soul…… I am your Tbilisi monster…

I honestly felt that this story was the toughest that I have read so far. Because we see what this couple is really faced with and the odds aren’t in their favor. But we do get some moments with our previous favorite characters such as Luca and Zaal. And this side plot is needed for sure. Luca and Zaal know that danger is coming they just have no clue what form it will take and Zaal has no idea that his beloved sister is still alive or that she is being held prisoner to get to him. And my goodness, once he learns the truth, Zaal really has to face up to certain things on a emotional level.

I knew his life had been as impossible as mine. Knew he wasn’t truly as evil as he seemed. He was just like my Anri and Zaal. Like me. Broken

The development of the plot here was key and Tillie Cole did a fabulous job on taking me on a great adventure of thrills and suspense and danger. I honestly never knew what was going to happen in this book, and these twists really worked me hard. What made this book sound wonderful was the latter part of it. This is where you fall in love with this anti-hero that is Valentin. Seeing what he sacrifices for his Zoya is so heartfelt and real. And seeing him do so much to save his sister, it just about broke my heart. He goes through so much but seeing the way that Zoya cares for him, seeing the ways that she loves him outside the bedroom was priceless. Valentin has never known a kind word or tender touch and Zoya teaches him.

Tillie Cole has done wonders with this series, these books are full of tortured souls and damaged hearts that slowly heal with love and understanding and acceptance. I feel so much emotion when I read her work and this author teaches the reader what unconditional love and forgiveness are all about!! This story will wrap you up and endear you to these beautifully crafted characters in a way that you won’t forget!! UNFORGETTABLE!!

We are different. Me weak and you strong. Me a Georgian and you Russian, but our broken hearts are tired and old. Our spirits are low, though not broken. But our souls, though thoroughly tested and hardened through pain, are resilient. THEY ARE THE SAME.

*Now bring on Valentin’s sister’s book “Riot” I will admit I am kinda nervous about this book because his sister has been forced to be a sex slave but from what I hear the hero is AWESOME!! So I can’t wait for the finale and see Valentin and his sister be reunited and that his sister has never forgotten him.

About Tillie Cole

Amazon & USA Today Best Selling Author, Tillie Cole, is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother -- a farmer's daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.
Being a scary blend of Scottish and English, Tillie embraces both cultures; her English heritage through her love of HP sauce and freshly made Yorkshire Puddings, and her Scottish which is mostly demonstrated by her frighteningly foul-mouthed episodes of pure rage and her much loved dirty jokes.

Having been born and raised as a Teesside Smoggie, Tillie, at age nineteen, moved forty miles north to the 'Toon', Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, where she attended Newcastle University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Religious Studies. She returned two years later to complete a Post-Graduate Certificate in Teaching High School Social Studies. Tillie, regards Newcastle to be a home from home and enjoyed the Newcastle Geordie way of life for seven 'proper mint' and 'lush' years.

One summers day, after finishing reading her thousandth book on her much loved and treasured Kindle, Tillie turned to her husband and declared, "D'you know, I have a great idea for a story. I could write a book." Several months later, after repeating the same tired line at the close of another completed story, she was scolded by her husband to shut up talking about writing a novel and "just bloody do it!" For the first time in eleven years, Tillie actually took his advice (he is still trying to get over the shock) and immediately set off on a crazy journey, delving deep into her fertile imagination.

Tillie, ever since, has written from the heart. She combines her passion for anything camp and glittery with her love of humour and dark brooding men (most often muscled and tattooed – they’re her weakness!). She also has a serious side (believe it or not!) and loves to immerse herself in the complex study of World Religions, History and Cultural Studies and creates fantasy stories that enable her to thread serious issues and topics into her writing -- yep, there's more to this girl than profanity and sparkles!

After six years of teaching high school Social Studies and following her Professional Rugby Player husband around Europe, they have finally given up their nomadic way of life and settled in Calgary, Alberta where Tillie spends most of her days (and many a late night) lost in a writing euphoria or pursuing a dazzling career as a barrel-racing, tasselled-chap wearing, Stetson-sporting cowgirl... Ye-haw!