Published: June 7, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Personal Copy
You might enjoy this book if you like: Love triangles, love stories full of angst, "first love" stories
In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.
On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.
Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.
That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.
Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?
Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.
I went into this book really hating love triangles and I came out of it..still hating love triangles. In my experience, love triangles are either horribly contrived or just rip your heart out. In this case, it was the latter.
The premise of this book is simple, and not at all a surprise if you read the summary. Emma marries Jesse, she believes that Jesse dies, in time she falls in love with Sam, Jesse returns and Emma has to make a choice. There is no twist in there, it is only the question of what Emma's choice will be. Frankly, I appreciated that. I can see an author trying to tinker with the triangle-trope a bit too much and end up ruining the whole thing and the simplicity that Reid chooses really pays off here.
So, this is the "good" reason why I hate romance novels....if they are well-done, I get far too invested in it all and nearly have a nervous breakdown before the book is over. In this case, I had a clear favorite between Sam and Jesse--I adored one of them with "book boyfriend" affection and the other just really rubbed me the wrong way. The agony of not knowing whether I would love the end of the book or if I should just stop reading...and I'm pretty sure that was the effect Reid was going for.
I did find Reid voice to be a bit more sterile than I was used to, so it took a while to warm up to her prose. Once I did, however, the lack of verbal frills amped up the emotion in the book. Reid doesn't hide behind flowery prose, but rather exposes Emma's emotions for everyone to see.
There were a few minor quibbles I had with this book. Jesse's survival story didn't seem entirely believable (or unique) to me and I wish that Reid had taken another route with it. It also irked me that Emma was supposedly lactose intolerant, but still waxing poetic about butter. I know, I know...utter nitpicking....but what can I say? I'm a nitpicker (and, really, these details didn't bug me THAT much...)
This book was definitely worth the angst I experienced reading it. If you are looking for a beautifully emotional story about the true meanings (yes, plural) of love, it would be hard to do better than One True Loves.
I was not solicited for this review and I received no compensation for this post.
Two days after I purchased this book, I received a second copy in a subscription box--which means it is GIVEAWAY TIME! This is open to readers in the US and is open until midnight (Pacific time) on November 14.