A Difficult Love Story Handled With Grace: The One You Fight For by Roni Loren

THE ONE YOU FIGHT FOR

by Roni Loren
Series: The Ones Who Got Away #3
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 1st 2019
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

After loving the first two books in The Ones Who Got Away series, I was so excited to get to The One You Fight For, even more so, after seeing the gorgeous couple on the cover. This series tackles the aftermath of a school shooting, so it's not always easy to read given how prevalent gun violence is in the US, but the romances bring a lightness to the story and the characters are so empowering. It's certainly a series I see myself re-reading over and over again just because of how it makes me feel.

The One You Fight For was an even more difficult read and I won't lie and say that I wasn't nervous going into the story. You see, the love interest here is the shooter's brother. It's definitely a difficult choice that Roni Loren made, but she handled it with so much care and thoughtfulness. After the horrifying shooting in which Taryn lost her sister, Nia, she has dedicated much of her career as a psychology professor into researching how to prevent incidences such as the Long Acre Shooting. She hasn't had much time to for love, especially with also trying to ensure that she is safe so that she doesn't send her mother into panic mode. When she meets Shaw Miller at a karaoke bar, she is drawn to him in an unexpected way and though they part ways that night, the universe has other plans for them. The only issue is that Taryn and Shaw have no idea about each others' roles in the Long Acre shooting. Roni Loren did such a beautiful job with both Taryn and Shaw's characters. Both were broken and were battling with a ton of guilt, and damn if that did not make my heart hurt. I was proud of both of them, but especially Taryn who was such a wonderful, strong and intelligent woman. She was admirable in every way and I wanted so much for her to find the happiness she deserved.

Shaw's character just about destroyed me. He was hell-bent on punishing himself for the callous acts of his brother and it was difficult at times to stomach his self-hatred. I realize that in situations like this which are too much of a reality these days, our hearts and thoughts immediately go to the victims and their families, and for me personally, I never think about the devastating impacts that such actions may have on the shooters' families. This book forced me to think about that through Shaw's character. It was just sad to see how Shaw had isolated himself from most of the world because of the pressure of the media for something that he had nothing to do with. As you can imagine, the romance between Taryn and Shaw was anything but easy. I appreciated how honest Shaw was upon finding out who Taryn was, and I appreciated how Taryn was willing to forgive him after she allowed herself to simmer. Even after that, things were never easy for these two because of outside forces, but they remained openly communicative with each other while allowing their relationship to grow. Their relationship was one based on honesty, love, and forgiveness. I also have to briefly give a shout-out to Taryn's friends, but especially to Kincaid, who brought much-needed laughs to this book - I sincerely hope we are getting her book next.

The One You Fight For was an emotional and sensual romance that really spoke to me on many levels. It's a book that will stay with me for a long time and I can't recommend it enough.

What are some romance books that handled difficult topics well?
Let me know in the comments below!

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