REVIEW: RONI LOREN ✭ THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR

REVIEW: RONI LOREN ✭ THE ONE YOU FIGHT FORThe One You Fight For by Roni Loren
Also by this author: The Ones Who Got Away, The One You Can't Forget
Published by Sourcebook Casablanca on January 1st 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Sourcebook Casablanca
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four-stars

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?

The One You Fight For
by Roni Loren

There have been around 320 mass shootings this year and four of the deadliest in the year 2018 alone in the US. Vicious attacks like the Columbine High School Massacre and the Las Vegas shooting and the most recent  Thousand Oaks shooting are heartbreaking and disturbing and the frequency with which they happen seems to escalate. It’s the same pattern: one or more perpetrators attack an unsuspecting, innocent crowd.
Roni Loren’s series isn’t meant to teach you about numbers and statistics so she carefully left them out of these books. That’s why I thought I’d give you an idea of the tragedies that happen almost every day in the USA. What the author does is bringing a painful subject into the spotlight that we all know needs serious addressing. And with each book you learn a little more.

This time it’s Taryn’s stoy, the smart forensic psychologist who lost her sister in the Long Acre shooting and Shaw Miller, whose brother was one of the perpetrators. Taryn knows early on who Shaw is and she still falls in love with him. Of course, their days are numbered and their relationship has an expiry date because nobody can know.

A victim and the brother of one of the shooters? The world would go nuts if they knew. But Taryn’s most important realization is one probably neither of us considers very often; most of the times the family members of a shooter are victims too. They have to deal with the fallout, the guilt trips and constant questioning why and where their loved ones veered wrong, the relentless pursuit of the press…

“This is just more of their crime, the other insidious way they victimized everyone,” she said, ire in her voice. “Leaving behind a long list of people who are left to question themselves forever about what they could’ve done differently.”

That’s where Shaw is. His little brother’s crime follows him everyday so in order to get a respite he changed his name and avoids eye contact with strangers. But that’s a lonely road so when he meets Taryn he soaks up her affection. I felt for them both, so much, but Taryn had a network of friends she could talk to while Shaw had one friend who knew about him. His own guilt, his loneliness, it was painful and sad.

“Was the person I’ve been spending time with the real you? Or was the Lucas thing an act?”
“It was the person I wish I could be.”

Shaw was a good, gentle young man who didn’t think he deserved good things in his life. He has been told over and over again that his blood is tainted. Taryn helps him see that he, too, is a victim of the Long Acre shooting.

Damn. This woman. How could he ever say no to her?

Taryn on the other hand had to consider her parents and family and how it would hurt them if her relationship to Shaw came to light. I thought both Taryn and Shaw were lovable characters. Taryn is level-headed, straight forward, stubborn and smart but her romantic dreams make her yearn for the love her friends have.

I love the sisterhood of these women who show so much courage when facing their monsters and are such fixtures and pillars in each others’ lives. The support they show when one of their sisters has a problem is inspiring – you can’t have a better friend if you have these women in your life.

The One You Fight For is an emotional rollercoaster like the other books in this series. I love Wes and Bec the most but Taryn and Shaw were fabulous together. There wasn’t drama that was misplaced – it’s the kind of angst you expect with a grave topic like this one. There is one book left in this series. Kincaid is the last of the four who needs a story and I can’t wait to learn more about her!

“I think it’s time we both take back what’s been stolen.”

 

four-stars

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