The One That Got Away

A Novel

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Pub Date 15 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 29 Aug 2023


"A stunning love story that had my heart racing from the first chapter and tears streaming down my face by the end. An instant favorite." ––Carley Fortune, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Meet Me at the Lake

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?

Across the miles and spanning decades, Charlotte Rixon's The One That Got Away is a sweeping, poignant story about growing up, growing apart, the people who first steal our hearts, and the surprising, winding roads that love can take us on, for readers of Jill Santopolo, Rosie Walsh, and Colleen Hoover.

"A stunning love story that had my heart racing from the first chapter and tears streaming down my face by the end. An instant favorite." ––Carley Fortune, #1 New York Times bestselling author of ...

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ISBN 9781250285669
PRICE $28.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 348 members

Featured Reviews

I enjoyed this book a lot! I loved the writing and it kept me reading. I fell in love with the characters and wanted to know why they broke up. I kept rooting for them throughout the book. I normally don't read romances, but this one kept me reading. Thank you for creating such a well-written, character-driven book.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book- thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press for the opportunity to review. Clara & Benjamin meet in those early days of University, both shy ,both uncertain and trying to figure out who they are and who they are meant to become. They struggle with their different backgrounds and interests and as they prepare to graduate a life changing evening sends them in different directions...

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This author has written a cannot put down novel. Clara and Benjamin love each other. Friends and family cannot understand. Are they destined to be together? What happens in this romantic mystery? A tragedy…meeting again…a son…a husband…these characters come alive on the pages of this book. This author is talented and gifted at weaving a story where the present meets the past. What happened then? What will happen next? A husband waiting…a career…a family…friends…how did they lose each other. So many questions to answer…also who bombed the stadium? This book was sent to me electronically by Netgalley for review. Thanks also to the publisher and the author. I cannot wait to read more books by this author.

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Do you ever go into a book and not know what to expect? That was the case for me and "The One That Got Away." I thought that this would be a typical love story - boy meets girl and they fall in and out of love over the years. Boy, was I wrong. This was a deep, touching story of Clara and Benjamin and their love that persisted over the course of 20 years. It's told in alternating perspectives of both Clara and Benjamin. While this was definitely not the traditional love story, it was a great story of love and loss. I would definitely recommend this book!

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5 Stars all the way for this book by Rixon. I absolutely loved the story, the characters and setting. It made me feel like I was living along with them on their journey from when they meet in college and all throughout their lives! The writing is excellent and fast paced but detailed. We get a great sense of who these people are inside and what they portray to the world.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. I am letting everyone know to add this to their TBR pile.

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So excited to read more from Charlotte Rixon!!!
The One That Got Away will captivate you from the start!!!
It's a huge page turner with so much depth in the plot that it makes you feel like you just need to keep reading to know what happens. The development of the characters could have been a bit better as I found myself a bit annoyed with them at times but other than those moments it was a great read.

- Dual POVs and timelines. This book kept me surprisingly on edge the whole time. & I think overall I really enjoyed this book!!! **Please read trigger warnings on topics talked about in this book**

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When I requested this book I thought it was going to be one of those second chance romances that I really love reading. But this is definitely packed with so much more then a second chance at love. The One That Goat Away was quite deep at times, there are dark secrets in this story that lead up to the event we all read about in the very first chapter. There is a lot of depth to this book, but I’d you push through these hard to read chapters it is so worth it. I found myself reading faster and faster as the story went on.

Overall I liked this book, I think it’s a great first novel for this author and I look forward to future books.

***Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC copy in return for an honest review***

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I received this book complimentary from NetGalley but all opinions are my own.

This was very sweet ultimately! The characters were interesting. The story was unique and well written. I really enjoyed this one. This is the debut book for this author and it’s a great debut.

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We never forget the one who got away. Maybe it is was your first love. Or maybe it was something brief but lasting. Maybe you were both just too young. All stories about the one who got away are full of a vast range of emotions. This story is chockfull of emotions.

Clara and Benjamin meet by chance at a club when they are first year uni students. They quickly fall for one another and develop a strong attachment. There relationship is full of mistrust, secrets, and occasional fights. But regardless they still deeply love and care for one another. Clara has both their futures planned out. But their relationship ends on an unfortunate note. Clara never really moves on from the one that got away. Although, she is now married and trying to be happy. Flash forward to 20 years later where there is a bomb at a local stadium in Benjamin’s hometown. Clara immediately leaves and heads to his hometown to make sure he is safe. Will there be a chance for second love for them?

What I enjoyed:
- Dual POVs and timelines. We get both Clara’s POV and Benjamin’s point of view. We also flip from their past to present day.
- I had a hard time liking Clara. But I still couldn’t put the story down. I needed to piece together what happened and what was happening. I was compelled to keep reading. Although she was flawed in many ways, it did made her feel more real.
- This was well paced and kept me surprisingly on edge the whole time.
- The ending was really satisfying in my opinion. I like where it went and the development of everyone involved.

This was a heart aching read. But it felt truly real and honest about young love. Those feelings of being young and hoping that person is the one were relatable. I thought it was a well written and truthful look at the one that got away theme. I look forward to future reads by this author! 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

There is a lot of dark themes in this one. So please be warned that it involves: child sexual abuse, sexual assault, alcoholism, bombing, suicide, IVF, abuse, cancer, death of a parent, and child abandonment.

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A heart-warming yet emotional story about two people who were meant to be together, but with a devastating mistake their paths diverted. Clara and Benjamin met and fell in love, but then were separated. Life takes them on different paths but they never do forget one another. When a bombing happens in the city where they first met, Clara is forced to confront the events that tore apart.

This was a really good book that will make you laugh and it will make you cry!

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The One That Got Away by Charlotte Rixon was a truly captivating read from start to finish. I found myself completely engrossed in the story of two young lovers, Clara and Benjamin, and their struggles to make sense of their feelings for each other in the face of personal tragedies. I felt I could relate to the characters, both as college students and now later in life.
I especially appreciated the way the story ended as it closed the proverbial loops of Clara and Benjamin's falling out and also Benjamin's son's role in the present-day timeline. The language used was distinctly British and though it was a little rough in places, it flowed together nicely. All in all, it was an engaging and powerful story that I couldn’t put down.

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