The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase (2015)
Sarina is an architect in a long-term relationship with Noah. She's sure a proposal is coming soon, but first the two have to get through Noah's year-long work assignment in Argentina. Right in the middle of that, Sarina's one-night-stand from eight years ago, Eamon, comes back to town. He hires Sarina to remodel his house, but could there be something more between them?
I enjoyed the writing in this novel; it's easy to read and approachable. It felt like having a conversation with a friend. However, I didn't care for most of the characters. Eamon is presented as too good to be true, and the way Sarina justifies certain things when it comes to him didn't sit well with me. Also, the way Eamon demanded that Sarina break up with Noah was off-putting. I felt bad for Noah at times; he was so in love with Sarina and would do anything for her, but at the same time, there were issues in their relationship that couldn't be overlooked. I was often exasperated with the characters and how they were acting, but then it hit me how realistic it was - so many of us play petty games in relationships, we refuse to talk about our feelings or be honest with someone because we think we know how they will react. We just don't communicate, and that's exactly what these characters were doing, although it went on way too long. As much as I disliked Eamon and Sarina sometimes, it was Sarina's stepfather John that made it worth it for me. He was such a sweetheart of a guy; you could feel how much he loved Sarina and was proud of her. I loved how close they were, even though Sarina's mother had passed away years before. 3 stars
Results May Vary by Bethany Chase (2016)
When Caroline finds out that her husband (and high school sweetheart) Adam has been having an affair with a man, her world is turned upside down.
Finding out your spouse has cheated on you is devastating, and Caroline feels even more betrayed to find out Adam has been sleeping with a man. Has he been lying to her their whole marriage? Can she forgive him and move on? Results May Vary touches on many deep subjects, but it never felt too heavy. Caroline was a very relatable character. She is devastated and ready to leave Adam, but on more than one occasion, she thinks perhaps she is being rash. She and Adam have shared so much of their lives, and does she really want to re-enter the dating world? Thankfully, she was surrounded by family and friends who helped her. I loved her sister, Ruby - although she could seem a bit flighty, she also knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to work hard to get it. I wanted more of Adam in the story; maybe a chapter or two from his POV could have helped me understand him and his motivations better. As the book went on, and the secrets kept adding up, I liked him less and less. He seemed like too much of a smooth talker.
Overall, I enjoyed this book, its meditations on marriage and how well anyone can really know their spouse, and the straightforward writing style. 4 stars