Title: The One That Gave
Author: TC Blue
Publisher: Torquere Press
Amazon: Buy Link The One That Gave
Genre: contemporary romance
Length: 113100 words/376 pages/novel
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
A guest review by Sirius
Summary: I enjoyed developing romance between Troy and Lex, but I also thought that conflict between them was strange and to some degree went nowhere.
Unofficially questioning someone who might have information associated with a legal case isn’t the best way to meet a potential date. In fact, it’s not the way Troy Bernay ever expected to, but male nurse Lex Harrington is… interesting. Too much so when Lex’s involvement with the aftermath of an accident caused by the son of one of Troy’s clients might create a conflict of interest.
Lex hasn’t had the best of luck with men. In fact, he’s had such bad luck that he’s given up on finding someone to spend more than a week or two with. His work hours are just too ‘inconvenient’ for most guys. That doesn’t stop him from wishing, of course, and Troy Bernay seems just about perfect for a fun, no-drama good time. Except for a pesky police investigation into the most recent multiple vehicle accident, of course, and needing to stay away from lawyers, cops, and the media if he wants to keep his job.
Running into each other unexpectedly at a party has both Troy and Lex wondering whether there’s a way to have their cake and eat it, too, but even in the best case scenario, something’s got to give.
I used to have a weak spot for this series – they feature group of friends (some family related, some not) and each book adds a romantic relationship for the guy who may have been a secondary character in the previous book. The titles of the previous books are “The One That Got Away”, “The One That Was Lost”, “The One That Stayed”, “The One That Broke Free”, and Wave reviewed a couple of these books on the site.
It had been a while since I read these titles and I remember the plot very vaguely, so I can state that IMO this one can easily be read as a stand alone. Some couples from previous books show up, but mostly as cheerleaders for the guys in this book. Usually it annoys me, I usually prefer that the characters either had something to do, or just stayed in their books instead just showing up to sing “oh we are happy, we are so happy” song, but in these series I really enjoy easy camaraderie between the friends and usually end up happy when their friends’ circle grows bigger and bigger. The author just made it work for me in this series and in this book specifically. By the way, the couple for next book is shown in this one as well, or at least I can make a bet that it was shown :).
Now, what did I think about Troy and Lex? I did like them together; I thought their initial fears about getting into relationship and staying in the relationship was well done, and I was also quite amused how the author poked gentle fun at some romantic tropes- gentle, not anything more than that. In other words I thought they were very sweet together and in a good way sweet. Your mileage may differ, and you may of course feel that there was too much sugar, I do not know.
However, having said that, with the progression of the story I found myself getting somewhat irritated. It felt like at least two set ups for the conflict, for the tension between the couple went *Poof* and disappeared into nowhere.
The first one actually resulted in an argument, which was resolved very fast (at least it felt that way) and with a very *very* long conversation about the feelings and such. Do not get me wrong, I really do not share the idea that men do not talk, and that men cannot resolve their differences with the conversation, quite the contrary. It is just this particular conversation felt too long, too much, too soon for the story’s development and just felt off to me.
There was one external event which could have been a huge reason for such tension and it just… was not, which was too bad if you ask me. Thinking about it, I do not even understand how that happened, because all the set up was there and it was just resolved and that was it, without any problems for them (besides an external threat of the sort for Lex). I mean, at least this one did not disappear almost till the end of the story, I am just saying that I did not feel that it impacted their relationship much.
I still liked them together and most likely will buy next book in the series if it comes.