Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.
Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.
But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .
The One that Got Away by Melissa Pimentel begins with the wedding preparations. Family and friends are on the way to the wedding venue. In this group, there is Ruby and Ethan who used to date a while back. Ruby is the bride’s sister and Ethan is the groom’s best friend. Right from the beginning, it is evident that Ruby is yet to move on although it sounds like Ethan no longer has any feelings for her.
The chapters alternate between now and then. Ruby is the main narrator in ‘now’. Through her POV, we get to see the current events. The stress of planning the wedding and being around her ex. The ‘now’ chapters alternate between Ruby’s and Ethan’s POV and they focus on the couple’s earlier days when they started dating all through to the breakup.
What I liked………..
The setting was great. The characters are Americans but the wedding is being held at a castle in North East England. It sounded like a beautiful town with ancient buildings and a sea front. I also liked the idea of a small town where there was a lot of gossip and few secrets. Everyone knew everyone. The characters in the town were great. They may have been minor characters but I liked them.
The characters in the story were believable and easy to connect with. I liked Ruby and her best friend Jesse who used to discuss everything. I haven’t had a best friend like that in ages so I guess that is why I liked the friendship. I also felt like Ruby’s character was very well developed. She was likeable and easy to relate with although her being so hang-up on her ex was annoying to some point although understandable.
The story is simple and well written. I liked the fact that it wasn’t easy to guess how Ethan felt about Ruby. This made it more interesting to read on to find out how the two end up. I also liked the fact that there so many different themes and not just the romance. The theme of family was predominant in the narrative as we got to know the two main characters and their family complete with the issues that they were facing.
What I didn’t like
This is not my usual genre so I can’t really remember why I decided to read the book. However, that is not what I didn’t like. Throughout the story, there were hints that something happened to cause the breakup between Ruby and Ethan. I couldn’t have guessed what it was. However, finding out the reason just confused me. I can’t share what it was because of spoilers but I just don’t know how anyone could be blamed for something like that. I really didn’t get that bit.
I recommend this book to all fans of this genre. If you are in the mood for a romantic novel, a wedding themed book or just a good, fluffy read then this one is for you. The book is described as a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. However, I can’t tell how the two books compare because I have never read any of the Austen classics.
I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
12 thoughts on “ARC Review: The One that Got Away by Melissa Pimentel”
I love that you reviewed this and call out not having read Persuasion. I often think to myself, “if I read this retelling, and I haven’t read the original, am I slighting myself? The author?” You are braver than I.
I’m sorry this book didn’t quite hit the mark for you, but I agree that it sounds like a good beach read. Still a fair and well written review. Well done!
When I requested the book, I didn’t know that it was a retelling. The blurb just sounded interesting but it didn’t mention that bit. I saw a line concerning Persuasion on the goodreads blurb. However, I have never read a retelling so I guess I never thought much about it or the possible implications of not having read the original.
Thank you and yeah it was a good read despite the issue with the reveal:-)
Ah- a trick retelling! I get frustrated with NetGalley sometimes; I have more than once been tricked by a blurb into thinking I was reading something other than what I really wanted to read. It definitely happens. I hope your next request is much more to your liking!
I love retellings and Persuasion is one of my favourite Austen stories so this is definitely going on my list. From your description it does sound very similar in plot (although obviously a different time period)
Glad to hear that the books sound similar.I am yet to read Persuasion although its one of the classics on my TBR,that and Pride and Prejudice.I hope that you will enjoy this book when you get to read it 🙂
Another Austensque piece! I like how Austensque writers have come up with a whole genre from Jane Austen. I definitely need to read this one!
I think I’m missing out by having not read Austen.Her books must be brilliant to inspire so many retellings.I have to correct that soon.I hope that you will enjoy this book when you get to read it 🙂
Now I wish I’d read this in order to discuss what you didn’t understand!
I love the: What I like, What I didn’t like bit, I think I’m going to do the same! 😀
Thanks Annie. I had to go to goodreads and see if anyone else had the same issue. I only found one reviewer who did lol but glad that I am not the only one.
I don’t get why characters in these types of books HAVE to get back together.
Yeah seems like a popular angle in romance novels.Sometimes I read these kind of books while hoping that things don’t work out between the character.
Lol! Me too. Sometimes there is something better for a woman than a date.