by Lauren Blakely
Series: 1001 Dark Nights, One Love #1
Published by Evil Eye Concepts on December 6, 2016
Format: ARC, Ebook
Source: The Author
Add to Goodreads
I received an advance copy of this book from The Author.
Let's say there was this guy. And he gave you the most mind-blowing night of sex in your life. And you never saw him again.
Until ten years later.
Now, it turns out he's the ONLY ONE in all of Manhattan whose restaurant is available for my charity's gala.
The trouble is, he doesn't recognize me.
This woman I'm working with is so damn alluring. The first time I set eyes on her, I'm captivated and I can't get her out of my mind. Even if it's risky to tango with someone I'm working with, she's a risk I'm willing to take.
The trouble is, she won't give me the time of day.
But I'm determined to change that.
The Only One by Lauren Blakely is a novella about second chances. It’s about the idea of fate and how some things in life–like love–are just meant to be.
Penelope (aka Penny) runs an animal rescue and has a big fundraiser planned. The restaurant she had booked to cater the event bailed at the last minute, so she’s scrambling to find a replacement. While interviewing potential candidates, she crosses paths again with Gabriel.
Ten years ago, Penny and Gabriel had a hot fling in Europe. They had agreed to meet up at Lincoln Center on a specific date, but when the time came, Gabriel never showed. Devastated and heartbroken, Penny moved on with her life, but she never forgot Gabriel. Likewise, he never forgot her.
Fast forward ten years. Penny has an established business. Gabriel has become a hugely successful chef, which includes a winning season on a culinary reality show. He’s known as the heartthrob chef.
When Penny and Gabriel meet again, there’s some miscommunication that prevents a happy reunion. When the previous misunderstanding from the past is revealed as to why Gabriel didn’t meet Penny at Lincoln Center, again, it’s revealed to be a lack of good communication. In my mind, I thought that a simple Google or Facebook search could have cleared up their snafu quite easily.
Additionally, when Penny and Gabriel become romantically involved again, there are some petty jealousies that happen on both their parts. In one sense, I felt that this was understandable since their reunion and current relationship is so new. But on the other hand, throughout the story the point is driven home about how they’re meant to be together because of fate, so I thought those immature moments seemed out of place for people who believe that they’re soulmates.
Lastly, I thought it was a bit far-fetched that they would have made such a lasting impact during those brief days in Europe together–so great of an impact that they’d still be carrying a torch for each other after ten years. Five years, maybe. But ten was a stretch of the imagination for me.
Despite my criticisms, I still enjoyed the book. It’s a departure from Lauren Blakely’s popular romantic comedies, which continue to be my favorites. But both Penny and Gabriel are fairly likeable characters–when they make a point of being rational and acknowledging their mistakes, in spite of their obviously passionate and emotional relationship.
And that’s what I think I enjoyed the most–that despite the odds and external forces that worked against them in the past, somehow they found their way back to each other eventually. It’s an idealistic point of view that ends this story on a feel-good, optimistic note.
Rating: 3 stars