REVIEW: The One That Got Away by Kelly Hunter
The comments to this review are turned off because we are hosting a bookclub for this book today. Please lend your voice to our discussion there.
Dear Ms. Hunter:
There was a lot to like about this dark book about lost love, fear of self, and redemption. The premise of the book is that Logan Black and Evie met 10 years ago and shared a torrid week of sex where Logan unleashed all his sexual domination fantasies on Evie who submitted with pleasure to them. Unfortunately one incident led to Evie being hurt (a table broke and she sustained a head wound) and Logan walked away from her. Logan walks away because he fears he is too much his father’s son – an abusive man who killed himself when his wife walked out on them.
Evie is now a structural engineer in partnership with an architect, Max. Max and Evie need $10 million to fund a building project that will put them on the map. Max has a trust fund that he can tap if he is married. Max and Evie agree to marry and he takes her home to meet his mother and older half brother who turns out to be Logan.
Logan and Evie can barely be in the same room together without ripping off each other’s clothes but Logan feels like he is still a bad bet and he worries that his all consuming *want* for Evie will result in him hurting her. And by want, I just don’t mean of the sexual kind. He wants her attention, her non sexual touch, her presence. He wants to own her; but he conversely hates himself for those feelings.
Evie is a very strong character and she tells Logan that she believes in him. But no relationship can resolve without Logan willing to accept his own desire and part of that acceptance will come only if Evie will allow Logan to connect to her in emotional ways which she has shied away from.
What I didn’t like was the idea that dark sexual desires that Logan had were somehow wrong and there was allusion in the story of him dominating her in the bedroom later in the book in a positive way, but there was no actual showing of that scene. I don’t know if it the lines parameters or an authorial decision that held back but it felt unnaturally restrained. This was one story that really needed an open door. It wasn’t that the book wasn’t sexy but I felt we needed to see Logan in control in the bedroom where he was so afraid of losing it.
Later in the story we see his temper and control being tested outside but it wasn’t his temper that led him to leave Evie, but rather his passion in the bedroom. Thus that is where the conflict needed to work itself out. While I thought this was a very good story, I also felt strangely unsatisifed. As if I had been promised something and got something else instead.
I also want to say how badly the cover image fits the story which is dark and edgier and not at all cheery and beachified. B-