The One That Got Away

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Pub Date 02 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 02 Jan 2023

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Description

A gripping and powerful story about first love defying all odds, for fans of One Day and The Paper Palace.

Benjamin's world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that she is his person and he is hers, but the devastating events of one of their last nights at university will take their lives in very different directions.

20 years later, a bombing is reported in the city where Clara and Ben met, and she is pulled back to a place she tries not to remember and the first love she could never forget. Searching for Ben, Clara prays that twenty years of regret is about to end.

But is it too late to put right what went wrong?

This is not a love story, but it is a story of first love, of the mistakes people make, and the lengths they'll go to put things right.

A gripping and powerful story about first love defying all odds, for fans of One Day and The Paper Palace.

Benjamin's world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9781803289960
PRICE £4.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 141 members


Featured Reviews

Thank you netgalley for allowing me to read an arc of this book.
The author called it a mid-life crisis book, and i see what she means but i enjoyed reading this
Some parts of it were a bit dark but the overall experience was nice.

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Benjamin's world is turned upside down the day he meets Clara. Instinctively, he knows that she is his person and he is hers, but the events of one of their last nights at university will take their lives in very different directions.
20 years later, an explosion is reported in the city where Clara and Ben met, and she is pulled back to a place she tries not to remember and the first love she could never forget. Searching for Ben, Clara prays that twenty years of silence is about to end.
But is it too late to put right what went wrong?
Really enjoyable read totally recommend
Thank You NetGalley and Aria & Aries
I just reviewed The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon. #TheOneThatGotAway #NetGalley

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Thank you, Netgalley, and the publisher for the eARC!
This book was about college lovers and their story during and after college. The story jumped back and forth between present day and the past which made the plot choppy at times. There was a twist at the end but then the story ended- it would’ve been nice to read more about the characters during present day and even in the future. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book- it held my interest throughout the entire story.

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A must read book! This is the first book I've read by Charlotte Rixon and I just simply fell in love with the writing style.
The One That Got Away was a fabulous book with incredibly smart and witty writing.
Characterization was excellent.
Brilliant in every way; making me laugh and cry while filling me with nostalgia and longing.

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Aria & Aries,
Thank you for your generosity and gifting a copy of this approved eARC!

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I enjoyed this book immensely, although I believe it is geared more towards Women's Fiction than Romance.

This book deals with heavy topics, so it may be a good idea to research the content before reading.

What happens if it's the right people, but the wrong time? What if one decision can completely change the path of a couple's lives?

These are questions asked in THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY..

Ben and Clara met in college. We see Clara in present time at her journalism job when the soccer stadium in her city is blown up, literally. She remembers her old love, Ben, was a huge soccer fan and she is sure he was there at the time of the explosion. She leaves her husband in the evening to find Ben.

We get flashbacks of her and Ben's time together in college. We also get their time together after something tore them apart. We see they are both absolutely failing without the other.

They are both terribly flawed and tend to stay in their ruts.

This story could be viewed as a midlife crisis, and I suppose it is. However, I think all of us have at one point or another in our lives, wondered "what if" this happened instead of that?

This is not a cheerful second-chance rom-com, but it does give us a look into the lives of two characters who are ordinary. And that's a good thing seeing as how most of us are normal, ordinary, relatable human beings ourselves.

Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for an e-book copy of THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Charlotte Rixon to review.

I rate THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY five out of five stars.

I

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Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing an arc in exchange for an honest review. The One That Got Away is available on February 2, 2023.
* second chance romance
* dual POV
⚠️ check trigger warnings!
The book has a dual POV narration that alters between present day and the past. The two main characters, Clara and Benjamin, meet and fell in love at university. Both characters are flawed in different ways which makes them each feel like they don't fit in their university community. Despite both feeling displaced, the characters came from very different backgrounds which causes issues in their relationship. Clara grew up wealthy and privileged. On the other hand, Benjamin has to work hard to create opportunities for himself-all while he faces pressure from his father to make something of himself.
The main characters were real and complex. However, I still found myself irritated with the characters-mostly during the narrations from university. Clara is deeply insecure and privileged. There were several times I cringed at the pointless arguments she started. Benjamin is painfully shy and lacks self confidence. Both characters struggled with communication which was super frustrating at times. Due to the characters' insecurities, pointless arguments, and miscommunication trope, I found it hard to really really want these characters to end up together.
However, I still really wanted to see what happened to these characters. The beauty of this story was it was hard to put it down! Despite my feelings about the characters' relationship, I needed to know if they would be okay. The writing was very well done which helped build suspense and successfully tie in heavy topics. While this book can feel dark at times, and I wasn't super invested to the characters as a couple, I would still recommend this book. After finishing the book last night, I could not stop talking to my partner about it. This is definitely a book I will think about in the future!

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Written in changing points of view, Clara and Ben’s story told over a 20 year period had me hooked and I finished it within 24hrs. Fans of David Nicholls’ One Day and Sally Rooney’s Normal People will I think enjoy this.

Much of the story takes place during their university years in the early 2000s and I couldn’t help but feel reflective and reminiscent about my own time at University, albeit at the opposite end of the country.

Charlotte Rixon has a very gentle touch to her writing and the story just flows off the page. The book does deal with some dark issues, a bombing and sexual assault to name two, as such it might not sit in everyone’s comfort zone. But ultimately this is a tale of love and loss, how do we live our lives when we believe someone is missing from it.

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I received an ARC copy from Netgalley and Aria Aries in exchange for this review. Thank you!

The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon captured me from page one and had me biting my nails until the end! Full of love, heartbreak, courage, and self-discovery, the book had me completely addicted and beyond anxious to find out what happened next. It is told from the perspective of Clara and Benjamin and tells the series of events over a few different timelines. Benjamin and Clara meet by chance while at university and quickly begin a passionate, though tumultuous, relationship. Just before graduation, tragedy strikes, sending Clara and Benjamin careening onto two different paths. Twenty years later they are practically strangers, but another devastating event unexpectedly draws them back together. With their personal flaws and difficult history, they have much to overcome if they wish to regain some sort of relationship.

This novel is not for the faint of heart. It contains some darker content that could be upsetting to some. That being said, I feel the author handled it beautifully. I also felt that the differing timelines were written well and the transfer from one to another was smooth and aided in the suspense. Benjamin was without a doubt my favorite character of the story. His growth and development was remarkable and I was rooting for him constantly. I was a bit less fond of Clara at first. She came across very clingy and selfish. Even years after she and Benjamin were driven apart, she was so focused on herself and her past she neglected those around her. I began to wonder if she was ever going to grow up. But honestly, I can't help but wonder if perhaps her inability to grow and mature was hindered by the fact that she never got the closure she needed and I think she got there in the end. The relatively unhealthy relationship between Clara and Benjamin led them to their present day situations, and I loved the theme that our pasts can greatly influence our present if we let them. While I generally prefer books with a bit of humor along with the romance, I still enjoyed this book. I love books that keep you pondering, even when you've finished reading them, and this one definitely did that for me. I would absolutely recommend it.

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This was more emotional than I expected it to be. I liked reading this though. Clara was not a very likable character in my opinion. The story was relatable and I think it’s important to talk about heavy topics. I thought this was very well written and overall enjoyed this book!

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for this arc!

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Thank you so much to NetGalley and Aria and Aries for an advanced read in exchange for this review.

This book is about the story of Benjamin and Clara. They fell in love at University, were somehow torn apart, and now a big event many years later has Clara looking for Benjamin.

I am surprised by the other reviews of this book. I loved it! It's told in alternating views of Benjamin and Clara over the years of their relationship. It's not perfect. They certainly are flawed in their own ways. The description says that it is not a love story, and I was so surprised by how realistic it felt. They each made their own mistakes together and separately. That's real life. There's no perfect love story in real life, so I appreciated how honest and real this story was. The book starts with a bang (literally) and then Clara is set on finding Benjamin as we learn about how they were each other's first loves.

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I LOVED this book so much! It was witty, romantic, and captivating and it kept me hooked the entire time!

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Overall the book was nice. It is a book to read only in the right mental state. Deals with heavy topics and trigger warnings should be reviewed.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. All opinions expressed are my own

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I really enjoyed this book and don’t understand why there are so many negative reviews, it’s not a light and fluffy read, but real life isn’t like Bridget Jones. My main bugbear is that Newcastle football ground is called St James’ Park (it’s my home town so get it right please!)

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Charlotte Rixon's The One That Got Away is a beautiful narrative between Benjamin and Clara. With every passing page, Charlotte's narrative style grows on you, her well-chosen words driving an intriguing and complex plot. A big win for me is how realistic and flawed both characters are. They come from different sides of their tracks, and each has trauma that they need to reconcile. Having a soft corner for History, I loved the timeline under every chapter, a gentle nudge to the reader to keep track of past and present events. Benjamin is such a lovable yet complex character, for his silence is endearing and deceptive. Clara is a perfectionist, hungry for more from life and can make words painful in a confrontation, indicating that she needs to heal from her past. I appreciate how this book challenges acceptable notions of team initiations and drug and alcohol usage and encourages readers to reflect upon this. The ending was a blanket of hope, and one thing I would have liked it if the final realisation was spread across the book, given that this book is a 20-year timeline between the protagonists. My heart was heavy and yet complete with this read. Five stars all the way, and I recommend this one!

A thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for giving me an ARC. This honest review is left voluntarily.

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I devoured this book! This story follows Clara and Benjamin for over 20 years, and the way the story flits between timelines leaves you hooked and wanting more.

There are a lot of serious topics covered in this book, and it goes to show how every small action has a reaction.

Through all the suspense, twists and turns, you could help but go feel all the emotions the characters were feeling too.

A fantastic read and one that will stick with me long after I’ve finished reading.

Thank you NetGalley and Aria&Aries for the ARC.

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I went into this book with no information and it turned out that, although it is not my usual genre (Women’s fiction), I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Two powerful messages explored through this book were the importance of your first love and that people can enjoy life despite how messy it is, and maybe even because of it. I would have appreciated a little more connection between the timelines (the book straddled the main characters’ lives as teenagers and many years later) but other than that I have no criticisms for this book. I recommend this book to anyone looking for realistic fiction and who loves the idea of examining life through reading. I look forward to reading other books by this author in the future.

Thank you to Aria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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A must read book! This is the first book I've read by Charlotte Rixon and I just simply fell in love with the writing style.
The One That Got Away was a fabulous book with incredibly smart and witty writing.
Characterization was excellent.
Brilliant in every way; making me laugh and cry while filling me with nostalgia and longing.

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Aria & Aries,
Thank you for your generosity and gifting a copy of this approved eARC!

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This book has some major trigger warnings so definitely research before reading! However, this was a great story of lost love. The dual timeline was a bit confusing at times but came together in the end. This is not a light romance, but I would definitely recommend.

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The two main characters Clara and Ben were college lovers until a devastating event just before graduation tears them apart. Twenty years later, another event draws these two dysfunctional characters back together again.

Be aware that some sensitive issues are covered -addiction, a terrorist attack and sexual assault to name just a few.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for the opportunity to read this emotional ARC.

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3.75 ⭐️

This is not your typical second chance romance type of book, it's heavy and full of hard topics (cheating, child sexual assault, abuse/assault, alcoholism, death of a parent, suicide/bombing) So if you're looking for a light second chance romance this is not it. However, I enjoyed the book, it's a duel POV that alternates between the present day and the past. The relationship first starts while they are in college and covers the twenty years that follow. I enjoyed the English slang, and for the most part, enjoyed the story. I think if it wasn't for the need to know what actually happened with the bomb and why Ben & Cara broke up I wouldn't have finished but I just really needed to know.

It's a decent book and I would recommend you at least give it a shot,

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Great book, very enjoyable thorough out. I have to admit, Clara got on my nerves several times in this book, but it was her young jealous herself. It was fitting for her character but didn't stop me feeling like she needed a good shake. I think characters were written brilliantly and very realistic. Highly recommend

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book after reading so many mixed reviews for it. However, I really enjoyed it. I loved the characters, the plot and how engaging I found it.
Charlotte Duckworth is one of my favourite authors so it makes sense that Charlotte Rixon is her pen name for this book.
I’d really recommend this book and would urge you not to be put off by some of the negative ones you read.

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📚 The One That Got Away
✍ Charlotte Rixon
📖 Contemporary Romance
⭐ 4.5/5
Release Date: Feb. 2nd 2023

Thank you to @netgalley and @ariafiction for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Normal People meets Love and Other Words in this fabulous contemporary romance set in England. Told in alternating POVs and timelines between 2000 and 2022, the story of Benjamin and Clara's relationship is raw, passionate and heartbreaking and I can't wait for readers to get their hands on it in early 2023.

Clara and Benjamin come from very different worlds. She, from a posh family in London where she often feels ignored by parents consumed with appearances and him, from a small town in northern England where his mother is battling a terrible illness and his father is struggling to make ends meet. Despite the polarity of their upbringings, they both feel an immeasurable spark immediately after meeting in a bar while at college. For the next two years, they are inseparable- experiencing the highest of highs and lowest of lows together until one tragic night severs their ties.

Twenty years later, they've built separate lives, careers and families but haver never stopped thinking about the one that got away. When one harrowing event leads their paths to cross once again, will they re-unite or will it be too late?

What I liked: The writing in this book was so beautiful. The dual POVs and alternating timelines kept me up all night reading because I needed to know what the other character was experiencing after getting half of the story. I genuinely cared about who Clara and Benjamin became and what happened after their paths diverged. Bookended by tragedy, the way the story builds to both the events of 2002 and 2022 left me emotionally damaged- but in the best way.

What I didn't: For as well as the characters were developed in this book, I wanted closure and the epilogue didn't leave me feeling satiated. But, it felt real and true Clara and Benjamin- flawed people with immense regrets who have taken their time to move past and to the moments that have shaped them as a couple.

Read if you love:
*opposites attract
*lovers to strangers, reconnected
*deeply flawed characters trying to get better

See also: Normal People (very Sally Rooney-esque); Love and Other Words; Truly, Madly, Amy

#netgalley #netgalleyarc #theonethatgotaway #charlotterixon #contemporary romance #romancereads #bookstagram #bookreviews #booktok #bookstagrammer

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Wow! What an amazing book!!
Would love to read more from the author.
Thankyou netgalley for the Arc!

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A beautiful, poignant, heartbreaking love story that leaves you feeling hopeful instead of wondering “what if.” At times this was lovely and at times it was truly difficult to read but it was gut wrenchingly honest.

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My first by this author and finished it over two nights. I have not read a book like this in a while,

Of the two central characters, I warmed to Benjamin. The story has a few triggers which some may be uncomfortable with. The story moves back and forth which at first was a little tricky but I soon came to grips with it.

I enjoyed the storyline and I liked how the ending panned out.

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I received an ARC through NetGalley of this book and I really loved it. I’m not sure I’ve read a book like this before, where it’s both a romance and a tragedy that ends with hope but not a truly happy ending. It felt more real than most books I’ve read and I really enjoyed the style and time jumping. I really don’t have anything negative to say about it, I kept wanting more and had a hard time putting it down. I wish I could see in the future of these characters to see what would come next.

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I enjoyed this book very much. Second chance romances are always one of my favorites. I liked the dual POV’s, the suspense of wondering if the 2 main characters would end up together, and the writing. This was the first time I’ve read a book by this author. I found it to be entertaining although there are some heavy topics in the book. This didn’t feel like a romcom to me, it was more women’s fiction. I definitely recommend this to other readers.

Thank you for the ARC!

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Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy for an honest review.

This wasa a cute book, a story about how the life happens and you even didn't notice.
For me, it was like realize that I have to act if I want something because there will be a day and I would look back and I can regret what I did or let happen.

The characters that the author describe can be your friend, a family member or even yourself. You can identify with her or with him.

Sometimes I felt that I was going too fast because of how things went by, but maybe the writer wanted us to feel how quickly time passes.

I recommend this book, you can read it in a day.

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The one that got away by Charlotte Rixon. Thank you Netgalley and Head of Zeus for allowing me to prerelease read this book. What a rollercoster story with so many emotional trigger life changing episodes: anxiety from nearly loosing a sibling/ being forgotten by parents so absorbed by the sick child. Love at first sight. Fate meeting. Self doubt in relationships. Peir pressure to fit in. Lack of communication leading to misunderstandings. Obsessions. Class. Drinking culture and what it can lead to. What love is. What love is not. Abuse. The law. Family in all its forms.
A simple life with people I love. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. Isn't that we all ever want?
A good recommended read, be prepared to be frustrated with the skipping back and forth and being annoyed with the characters, it all will be worth it in the end👍

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I received an ARC from Negalley in exchange for my honest review.

I rate this book a 3.5 out of 5. Don't get me wrong I overall enjoyed the book but I felt it had to many jumps around time from past and present moments. Also the changing of 1st person to 3rd person made for some confusing moments for me. It started off very slow rolling but it picks up and the story comes together nicely. I just had higher expectations for it because the synopsis seemed like an amazing story. I would recommend this to anyone that feels they're first love got away.

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This book goes through many cycles of the strength and weakness of Clara and Benjamin. Yes, their young love was passionate and ferocious but it was also their first true love of which many, myself included, feel the same type of way. Once they left university and were befell by tragedy, what was hard is how each retreated into themselves. Clara was constantly affiliated with the word shy which was a departure from her younger self. Benjamin felt he never amounted to anything where his sons character was attributable to him raising Aiden. It was only at the end where they both realized they needed to live again. As stated, the world is yours for the taking.

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Boy meets girl, they fall in love.. the end?

Not in this book. This is a dual POV story, which is something I have always been fond of, and Rixon made both characters feel extremely raw and gripping.

The book follows 2 main characters, Benjamin and Clara. Personally, I was not a fan of Clara’s character, she felt possessive and somewhat irritating, yet there were aspects of her story that made me want to like her. Benjamin on the other hand is a seemingly simple character, until you delve into his story and see there is much more to him than what’s in the surface.

Whilst this is a boy meets girl book, it’s far more than that, covering some really heavy topics albeit in a way that’s easy to swallow as a reader. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I certainly want to read some of charlottes other suspense books now, I may be hooked.

*Thanks to Aria & Aries / Net Galley for this ARC*

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This book is a little gem! Such a great story and i devoured this is no time. Highly recommend. Run out and read this book.

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Poignant and real, this is a story you’ll carry with you for long after you finish!
The One That Got Away will resonate with anyone who remembers the rush of first love and the heartbreak that follows. I couldn’t put it down. Packed full of depth, character and realism.

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Loved this book from the very first chapter. The way it goes back and forth, explaining the story made this book hard to put down.

I loved Clara straight away, .her personality jumps from the page and you want to help her, guide her and most importantly, be her friend. And Benjamin, you want to hug him and help him to be himself. His troubled mind, her bubbly persona make them the perfect couple and for them to struggle to find their way together, makes the book even more enjoyable in a strange way

The major twist to the story, the thing that breaks them but ultimately makes them, was brilliantly written. I really liked this book right til the very last word

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I loved The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon. Clara just jumped off the page with her grace and vibrance and Benjamin seemed like a teddy bear of a guy who needed someone to bring him out of his shell. Clara did that and they planned a future together after university but circumstances didn't allow that to happen. Twenty years later, after a bombing, Clara sees him on TV and goes looking for him, changing both of their lives.

Thank you to the author, Aria & Aries, and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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This was so much darker than I expected it to be, even knowing from the description that it involved some heavy stuff. But it also dragged me into their world in a way that was unexpectedly thorough, and definitely made it different than just a love story.

When Benjamin and Clara first meet, they both feel it. They are meant for each other, meant to be together - even if the start of their relationship is awkward, even if they fight and behave irrationally and lose themselves in each other.

But fate has different plans for them, and after a traumatic and life-altering incident at the end of their time at university, the two are torn apart.

Two decades later, Clara is at work when she hears of a bombing at a football game in the town where they fell in love. Dropping everything, Clara gets on a train and lets the magnet draw her back in.

Alternating between Clara’s journey to return to Benjamin, and the history of how they came to be, this story is about love - but not in any of the ways you may think.

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"a simple life with people i love" that's what Benjamin wants. It feels as if that is what he has with his first love Clara. Meeting whilst at university. The roller-coaster of heightened first love. Underlying current of family situations. Then it all changes.
Neither of them can forget about the other and keep checking on them via social media twenty years later. Can they reconnect? Should they try to reconnect?

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The story of Clara and Benjamin is romantics, tragic, and beautiful. You can’t help but feel the emotions of the characters so deeply and growing up in young love. Life threw battles they had to overcome to get to a steady place. I do think there should be a TW for sexual assault at the beginning of the book for future readers

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Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley. I was expecting a fairly light-hearted romance going into this book, yet it dealt with a number of complicated themes. The character portrayal and development was excellent, with three dimensional, flawed, while I wasn't sure about the characters as students, I became increasingly invested in them and was engaged in their story. Although elements of the ending I found implausible, I felt Rixon wrote well and sensitively about complex issues.

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I feel quite protective of this book with some of the reviews I've read. Does it cover some dark, triggering topics, yes. But the underlying story is that of love and soulmates. It wasn't as light as I thought it would be, but it was a really pleasant surprise for me to have some real depth to the characters lives beyond falling in love, having an argument and sleeping together. It's beautifully written, emotional and has some shocking twists and turns. A wonderful book, which I feel is being negatively interpreted just because of the Netgalley category it's been put in.

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Romantic love, I’ve found, takes different shapes, and presents itself in unique ways over the course of your lifetime. For some your first love is forever and those people know no one else. For others first love is fleeting, for some haunting, and for most unforgettable regardless.

Two years together, twenty years apart, but Benjamin is still Clara’s first thought when she hears about the suicide bombing at his favorite football stadium. Leaving behind her husband and job Clara races to the city under attack in hopes to find news that Benjamin wasn’t hurt in the bombing. The story is about their love, past and what remains in the future. Lots of trigger warnings in this one- suicide bombing, rape, death, child abuse, cancer.

Their connection from so long ago, so strong that Clara can’t help but to constantly wonder (and social media stalk) what Benjamin is up to even though she’s married to another man. Their brief sporadic emails always returned by the other speak that the feelings are still there on both sides.

What happens next? There’s a lot more to it than I initially expected while reading. This book isn’t a light and fluffy women’s rom-com or fiction, there’s some weight to it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aria for the opportunity to read early. There will definitely be buzz around this one when it’s released in 2023!

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Don't judge a book by its cover-- or title!
This novel is being done a great disservice by its soft, generic romance cover and title, as it's setting up false expectations. 'Charlotte Rixon' is not a debut author taking a stab at her first novel, as I'd first thought, but rather she's the creation of Charlotte Duckworth, a bestselling author with several books under her belt, albeit in another genre. In other words, the woman knows how to write.
This is not a sweet, lighthearted book about star-crossed lovers, with frivolous characters. Instead, these characters are grounded in reality, flawed and frustratingly 'real'. Clara isn't the 'cool girl' who can just brush off Benjamin's drunken boys' nights and obsession with football. She's needy and petty and, while not exactly admirable, relatable nonetheless. Benjamin isn't willing to just lay down and kowtow to Clara, but neither is he willing (or able) to see where he has ownership in their issues. If you're looking for simple, jovial escapism, this book may disappoint you, as it's far more literary than the advertising is making it seem. But taken for what it is-- a well-crafted character study-- it's beautiful and worthy of praise.

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The One That Got Away utterly blew me away. It was the kind of book that makes me want to stand on a rooftop and shout how amazing it is to the whole world! I laughed a lot- I cried a lot. It was emotional and intense, it moved me. It was as close to perfection as you can get and a story I will never ever forget.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Benjamin and Clara start dating in university and fall in love. They are made for each other. Until one night and one horrible mistake ruins everything. 20 years later a bombing in their university town will send Clara back to a town she hasn’t been to in 20 years to look for the man she once loved.
This book was not quite what I thought it was going to be but it was better. Clara is a flawed character and she is allowed to be flawed and work through her flaws, as is Benjamin. It’s not often authors let their characters be less then perfect. Dealing with a lot of hard truths and a lot of complicated issues that are handled as such. The characters and situations in this book sit in a grey area, there are no easy black and white parts. I enjoyed this book a lot. I like books that don’t have simple problems and solutions.
Thank you to Net Gallery and Charlotte Rixon for providing me a copy of this book for review.

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Family and friends...love and romance. I liked this book. It is a cannot put down story that is fiction...reads like nonfiction. The characters come alive on the pages...the one thing that was distracting...the years...the different times...I prefer linear timelines...and maybe going back to one time...but this book has so many different years that it was difficult to keep up. That being said, I really liked this book. This is a unique story in that everything that should happen does not happen...there are sad instances along with the happy ones. This book was sent to me by Netgalley for review. Thanks to the publisher for the electronic copy. I look forward to more books by this author. There are some frightening acts in this book.

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This wasn't the light hearted read that I had anticipated. But I struggled to put it down none the less.
Ben and Clara have an unsettled relationship from the get go and very early on Clara seems clingy and disapproves of Ben wanting part of his life to be separate from her.
An incident changes the path in which they were both heading and I feel that this should have been the jolt that they needed to get their lives on track but this doesn't happen.
They dip in and out of each others life's via email and reunite in person later on unfortunately because of a bomb explosion.
The ending leaves the reader wanting to know if they do rekindle their relationship but unfortunately is not given.

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A good plot, and I personally love the going forth between past and present. It's an underrated writing tool I think. An enjoyable read and good characters who feel realistic and true to life.

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4.5 stars

The One That Got Away was just great! I love the present and past timelines and the anticipation of what happened to pull apart the main characters while trying to reunite them in present time.

There were many times I wanted shake Benjamin & Clara, but then I had to remember they were college age and young. And we all do and say, silly things when we’re younger. It overall I loved reading about their story and the many tragedies that made them into the adults they were.

Overall I really liked this book. I’m always a sucker for relationships that don’t initially work out and have a second go of it.

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I really don't know what to truly say about this novel. This review will be a little light because, you'll want to go into it with little to no information. I went into this book thinking it was going to be this one thing, and it turned out to be the complete opposite.
When it comes to the plot there is almost nothing I can say about it. I hope everyone will do the same to keep things from getting spoiled. The story is an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. But really, give this book a chance. I thought it was excellent.

ARC kindly provided by Aria & Aries via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Loved this book so much. Thrillers tend to be my usual read, so this was a departure from my usual genre, but so worth it! I fell completely in love with Benjamin and Clara and was absolutely desperate for them to get back together by the end of the story. The book is so evocative and beautifully written. Poignant and moving, I defy anyone who has experienced the heartbreak of first love not to cry when they read it. Definite 5 star read.

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Clara and Benjamin meet while both are at university. Their backgrounds are completely different, but they fall in love. One night, Clara makes a decision that will have lasting repercussions and follow both of them for years. Twenty years later, there’s a bombing, bringing Clara to look for Benjamin, worried that he was affected. Can they forgive or has too much time passed?

I loved this story. It kept me guessing, which I always love. Watching the relationship between Clara and Benjamin unfold and deepen, reminded me of being young and in love and how ridiculous we really can be! Watching both of them weather the consequences of that fateful night, over the years, was sad. One decision can change everything. Definitely recommend!

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An interesting read about first love.
This book addresses many hard topics so isn't the light and fluffy romance you might expect.
An engaging read with a multilayered plot.
4 stars.

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'The One That Got Away' is a beautifully crafted love story which I devoured in just a couple of sittings. Rixon has created two complex and luminous protagonists in Clara and Benjamin who totally captured my heart, not because they are perfect, attractive or romanticised but because they are raw, real and flawed. The author skilfully shows how two young people, although deeply in love, can flounder in a relationship through lack of self esteem, fear, or bad communication. This book tears the readers heart apart, then gently patches it back together. With some unexpected twists and turns, I absolutely loved this book.

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Initially I thought this was going to be a bit of a light hearted, predictable romance and it was far from that. It was well thought out and delivered and a thought provoking and enjoyable read. At one point in the novel I really wanted to plead with the author not to make my worst fears come true for one of the more likeable characters. One of the things I enjoyed about this was the fact there were twists and turns that weren’t overplayed for dramatic effect but kept you guessing. One of my big bug-bearers, however, is when there are these huge hints that something has happened but you’re not going to be given the details until later. It’s like having a conversation with a friend who assumes you know everything about their life before you met them and you feel awkward to ask. I hate it when novels say things like “and of course, nothing was ever the same since that great big thing happened and changed everything”, and then blithely skip on. I’m sure there is a better way! So the drip feeding of information kind of bugged me. I also found the two lead characters not exactly likeable and couldn’t quite understand their all consuming, time eclipsing love, however, who does understand other people’s romantic affairs? And the author sort of touched on this at a writers group which made me think this was conscious. The only other thing was the strange inclusion of Newcastle City which had me perplexed for a short time, but I’m assuming it was to avoid confusion with any elements being factual.
These are only minor things in an otherwise captivating and original story.

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"The one that got away" was not quite what I expected, which is not at all a bad thing. There were a lot of serious and tough topics in the story that I enjoyed reading about, although I first thought this would be a lighter novel. The way in which the author dealt with taboo subjects was really nice and thoughtful. Although I thought the end was a bit rushed. There could have been at least three more chapters, wrapping things up.

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Thank you so much Aria & Aries and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of The One That Got Away.

This isn't the type of book I normally gravitate towards, but I wanted to shake up my routine a little bit. So I was delighted to get stuck into this book. Much like the title suggests it's about a couple who didn't end up together and realising that their life would have been so much better if they had stuck it out.

We follow them through college in this dual timeline which also sees them 20 years on in their very different but similarly unhappy lives.

I really enjoyed the book and it was beautifully written. But I do wish it came with some trigger warnings personally.

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The story jumped back and forth between present day and the past which confused me at times, then there was a twist at the end but then the story ended, I would have liked to read more about the characters during present day and even in the future as it left me in limbo. Loved the story though, enjoyable, totally recommend

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“[Y]ou can survive anything life throws at you if you have a passion to pull you through.”

Twenty years apart: an act of “mindless violence” separated them and then another one will potentially bring them back together. In The One that Got Away by Charlotte Rixon, the inescapable bond of your first true love and how that can tie you together for life – especially when you thought you would be together forever until one unfortunate night occurs – is detailed and examined by the instincts to act.

Benjamin and Clara are two very different people, but they fall for each other hard at university. When an unthinkable event happens that separates them, their lives lead different paths for 20 years . . . while they each still think of each other and what could have been. But when an explosion happens at the stadium, without thinking Clara immediately gets on a train to find Benjamin to make sure he is alright – and to see if this is the future she was meant to have.

This is a story about true love and second chances told from two different narrators who have seemingly moved on with their lives, while missing the past.

From what I read in the description for this novel – this was not what I was expecting. There were a lot of heavy topics and I think some trigger warnings should have been given or for the book not to sound fully like a romance lovey-type novel. This was more women’s fiction and I think some false expectations could be perceived for readers in the future.

The characters are flawed filled with a lot of vulnerabilities. It was emotional and raw and while maybe not what I thought I was getting into, I did enjoy this book. Love is a really broad subject to be taken different ways and mean different things to different people. While I found some of the miscommunications frustrating, I still understood why Rixon chose to write this how she did.

My biggest critic is that I wish there was an epilogue, or one additional chapter to flush out the ending a little more. The reader is hit with a lot at the end – and then we are left to fully imagine the outcome (even though we are led to a somewhat conclusion).

I rate this 3.7 stars (rounded up here) and read it pretty fast, notwithstanding my critiques. I think if you have ever been in a relationship where you loved the person, or ended in a strange fashion, the book – at least on the “one that got away” part – will be relatable.

Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC; all opinions are my own!

“The ones you can go years without speaking to, and then when you do, it’s like no time has passed. . . . these are the people who truly shape our lives. Who leave their marks on our soul.”

“A simple life with people I love. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.” – Benjamin.

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It really reminds me a bit on „One Day“, although it‘s probably a misleading opinion.
An entertaining story, well written. We see two time zones - when both C & B met in college and then, 20y later.
Overall it‘s done well. A solid book in my view. 3.5, rounded up to 4

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this copy!

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Highly recommend this one! This was my first book to read by this author but definitely won't be my last. The characters will stay with you long after you finish the book and you will find yourself wishing the story would never end.

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I'm not sure the description will sell this story the way it should. This is not a story about first love, or enduring love, or not going back to the place where one met their first love. This story deals with mistakes, bad communication, addiction and what it does to relationships, dashed dreams, hope, abuse, familial love, doing the right thing, etc.. I kept pulling this one up on the app on my phone, even though we're traveling and I'm quite exhausted, until I was done. I loved it.
I'm in my 40s and in the middle of a very big change in my life and my family's life. Perhaps this novel is for people who are at a point in life when they're reviewing their choices and making new ones.

I received a free ARC from Netgalley. With thanks to the author, Charlotte Rixon, the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this novel.

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Harking back to her first love, from two decades previous, Clara is seeking something but it is not clear what that is. Rushing to find a man she has not seen for 20 years when she hears of an explosion at a stadium she believes he would be in attendance at.
There are lots of questions raised about the stability of both characters adult relationships, about what it was that went so wrong and split them apart at the end of Uni.
The book covers a number of very triggering issues but does so sensitively and discreetly, blending them well into the story line and characters back stories, enabling the author to tackle issues that might otherwise be too "in your face".

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This book was the perfect mix of interesting, nostalgic, and romantic. The modern-day plot line kept the book moving forward while the 2000 plot line helped you understand the characters better. The incident that broke the couple up in 2002 was signalled enough that you knew what had happened before you got to that point in the book but that didn't take away from the reading experience as it didn't need to be a bombshell moment.

It's hard to give an in depth review of the book without spoiling the twists and turns so I'll just say, give it a read, it's good.

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Thank you NetGalley and Aria & Aries for approving me to read and review THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Charlotte Rixon.

I truly enjoyed this book, although I believe “Romance “is not an accurate genre.

This book addresses some intense and difficult topics, so it may be a good idea to explore the content before beginning reading. I was faced with the unexpected many times in this story, which is good, but I wish I had been prepared in advance for some of the topics.

The book follows the timeline of Ben and Clara- their time in college, the one night that changed their lives for the next twenty years, and how first love is poignant and never really releases them. Both Clara and Ben’s lives are incomplete without one another. Clara’s impromptu decision to go to the site of a bombing where she thinks Ben may have been again causes a major shift in both their lives.

These characters are so relatable. There is no fanfare with them - what you see in them is what you truly get as the storyline builds, in its ebb and flow manner.
I am very much looking forward to reading more of this author’s work in the near future.

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing this copy of The One that Got Away in exchange for an honest review.

Clara and Benjamin come from very different worlds, yet find themselves enmeshed in a tragic love story spanning 20+ years.

There are many heavy topics and triggers throughout the course of the book that are meant to serve as a strengthener to their love but also a major conflict to their relationship.

Ultimately this is a very solid story about the lasting bonds of true love in spite of everything meant to destroy it.


4.25 stars.

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A beautiful, gut-wrenching portrayal of lost opportunities, second chances and how our own experiences, traumas, challenges shape the decisions we make. A novel for the vast majority of us who will find themselves at least once reaching cross roads in our lives. This wasn't a traditional rom com, It had much more depth and rawness, but I adored it. Huge congrats!

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I received this ebook via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review and I would start by thanking everyone involved in allowing me early access.

This was so good I don’t even know where to start! It’s romance but somethings are somehow far from my comfort zone reading wise, but it was such a good reading experience.

For starters, I would like to thank the publisher for the kind e-mail. When we are accepted for a NetGalley book, we received an e-mail saying the book is available on the platform and, in this case, this e-mail said which are the trigger warnings for this book. I found this information fundamental and it improved my reading experience. I tend to prefer cute stories without major TWs, but I can also appreciate a heavier narrative if I’m aware of where I’m getting myself into. This e-mail allowed me to pick up this book at a time when I was mentally available for this narrative and for this I want to give major applause to the publisher. The cover is the cutest thing and maybe, without this e-mail, I would not be in the right mindset to fully appreciate this narrative.

TW: mental health issues, particularly self harm, sexual trauma, suicide bombing.

“The one that got away” as the title indicates, tells us the story of a girl and a boy who were in love but drifted apart. Benjamin was, for Clara, the one that got away.

We get a dual point of view, which I’m a major fan, and a multiple timeline. Both these aspects work wonders and are extremely well made, keeping the reader interesting until the end. The chapters are short, which also adds to this interest as readers, as we are frequently changing and getting to know the characters.

The story is extremely slow paced as far as romance is concern, which is something I don’t tend to appreciate but I really did appreciate here. I can’t exactly pin point what worked wonders for me, but something did. We get to know the characters individually and see how they change due to the relationship. The story is much more character driven rather than action driven and it made perfect sense. There’s a lot of character development and I was living for it! They only get together closer to the end but by then we are so connected with each one of the MCs individually that we can’t put the book down. Maybe this is the magic of the book, we see them as individual people rather than part of a couple and we root for the happiness of both of them, either with each other or with other people.

The last pages, my god! The developments were unexpected, which I also appreciate. I don’t really like predictable endings. I was so invested in this story, I was literally reading and brushing my teeth to go to work. I totally recommend this book, it’s so good I feel I don’t have enough words to express how it caught me from the start till the end, how invested I was with these characters!

This review will also be available on my Goodreads profile and, later on, on y instagram account - @cat.literary.world

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I loved this book, I often think that writing in two different timelines in the same book must be difficult but this book does it fantastically well, it is so well written and I didn't want to stop reading because I wanted to know what happened! A book I will definitely be recommending, it is brilliant.

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What a compelling book!

I loved the dual timeline and also the dual narrative. It really played into those misunderstandings and miscommunications of first love. The needy feelings and anxious worry of wondering if the other person feels the same way. Embarrassingly hard relate to that!

A rich, dark exploration into first and enduring love and the consequences of the choices we make.
A cracking page turner too!

Thank you to NetGalley, Aria and to Charlotte Rixon for the opportunity to read this advanced copy.

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Clara and Benjamin come from very different worlds,yet find themselves enmeshed in a tragic love story. We follow them through college in this dual timeline which also sees them 20 years on in their very different but similarly unhappy lives. Thought-provoking and with heavy topics weaved throughout, I found this an intense but enjoyable read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for providing an arc. The One That Got Away is available on February 2, 2023.

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This book was everything I wanted it to be. It had me turned pages without even realizing. It was so good!

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