Review–The One You Want (Original Heartbreakers #0.5) by Gena Showalter

The One You Want (The Original Heartbreakers #0.5)
by Gena Showalter
Summary: New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers—about sexy bad boys each meeting their match—with a special prequel novella!
In small-town Oklahoma, reputation is everything, and Kenna Starr will do anything to overcome hers. The supposed bad girl is determined to walk the straight and narrow, a seemingly impossible task when Tall, Dark and Sexy shows up…
Rich and powerful, Dane Michaelson is every woman's dream. When he returns to Strawberry Valley after a sixteen-year absence, he is unprepared for the redheaded girl he's never been able to forget. She's all woman now—and he's never wanted anyone more. But to have her, he'll have to break through her defenses… and surrender his own.

Source: I preordered this while it was free for Kindle

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I hate to say this because I LOVE Gena Showalter so much, but The One You Want was absolutely terrible. I don’t even know what happened. I love Gena Showater’s paranormal series Lords of the Underworld and I love her very different YA series The White Rabbit Chronicles. I had every expectation that I would enjoy The One You Want because I also love contemporary romance and was in the mood for one.

The One You Want was a jumbled, unrealistic slammed together mess. I expected a bit of a fast paced, slightly over the top romance considering this was a novella, but this one was just terrible. Kenna’s personality, history, and motivations make no sense to me. Dane Michaelson immediately fell for Kenna, which was nice, but I never really connected with him either. They had issues being together because of reputation, family drama, and the fact that Kenna has a kid and Dane isn’t known for settling down.

I think that if the author would have simplified their major issues and cut back on them, the romance could have blossomed better, but she threw in all sorts of craziness. They knew each other as kids, their parents had an affair. Kenna was assaulted or something similar and got pregnant years ago, ruining her reputation in the town. Her mom seemed to be put together, but Kenna wasn’t able to take any money from her father or his estate so she was poorer. That’s a heavy load of issues and conflict that I would have liked to have seen be better explored, and that’s not even all of it.

I think the author was trying to create a situation where she had prior history with Dane and have it make sense that she wasn’t also rich, but I think she just wrote herself into a weird corner and over explained everything. The couple, once finally getting together had a bunch of other issues like the fact that he was a man whore and the fact that he wasn’t close with her kid and it was just one thing after the other and then all I love you, let’s get married.

Basically, The One You Want was terrible. I am shocked that it came from an author I love. I will not continue her contemporary series. I would only recommend the novella to people who enjoy indie contemporary romance that is often less polished and over the top. For anyone who is a Showalter fan, I can’t imagine not feeling disappointed by this novella.


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