The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon
Print Length: 336 pages
Expected Publication: 2 Feb 2023
By: Aria & Aries
Goodreads | Amazon
About The Book:
Two years together. Twenty years apart. One day to change their story. 2000. Benjamin’s world is turned upside down the night he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that they are meant for each other, but a devastating mistake on their last night at university will take their lives in very different directions. 20 years later, Clara has a high-profile job and a handsome husband. But despite the trappings of success, she isn't happy, and she knows that a piece of her heart still belongs to Benjamin, the boy she fell in love with years earlier. The boy whose life she fears she ruined. When a bombing is reported in the city where they first met, Clara is pulled back to a place she tries not to remember and the first love she could never forget. Searching for Benjamin, Clara is forced to confront the events that tore them apart. But is it too late to put right what went wrong?
I am really surprised that this book doesn't have a higher rating, I absolutely loved it. It was quite different than your usual romance novels and it is a unique take on the second chance romance trope. Benjamin and Clara meet in 2000 and dated for a couple of years. It was an intense relationship. Twenty years later there is a bomb at the stadium where Benjamin has season tickets. Clara sets off to find him in the melee.
There is a lot of heavy subject matter in this book...spousal abuse, sexual assault, addiction and cancer to name but a few. The author handles these situations in a realistic and sensitive manner and I appreciated that. The book is very character driven and they are well rounded and fully flesh out, flaws and all. I really enjoyed the two timelines as we get to see how this couple meets and how their relationship changes over time, it was also great to have the story from both points of view. The chapters are short and I liked that because as soon as I came to a new one I kept repeating oh just one more. Imagine my surprise to find that the author is none other than Charlotte Duckworth, I have loved her books for years. This one is captivating, emotive and I highly recommend it and the author's other works. All. The. Stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the Advance Readers Copy.