Book Review: The One You Want by Jennifer Ryan

Posted July 7, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 31 Comments

The One You Want
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by Jennifer Ryan
Publication Date July 5, 2022
Published by HarperCollins
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Genres: Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Women
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Reading Challenges: 20 Books of Summer 2022

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

One week, two friends, secrets revealed, and a wedding gone wrong. With the drama of Colleen Hoover, the romantic tension of Lori Foster, and the page-turning power of Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Ryan returns in this deliciously unforgettable novel.

Sometimes weddings bring the worst surprises...Growing up, Rose fled her family home—and a dangerous father—vowing never to return. But Rose is back in Carmel, California, with two goals: to joyfully act as maid of honor for her best-friend-forever Maggie and to reunite and rebuild her relationships with her mother and sister. And she can’t wait to finally meet the groom-to-be.

But when Maggie excitedly introduces her to Marc, Rose is horrified. He’s the man Rose spent one lust-fueled but disastrous night with a year ago. Rose and Maggie have shared every secret…but Rose isn’t sure she can reveal this one. To complicate the situation, Rose makes an instant connection with Gray, Marc’s best man and cousin.

And as the big day approaches, the secret weighs heavy upon Rose. It was a whirlwind courtship, but Maggie seems so sure she’s found the one she wants. Now Rose faces the biggest dilemma of her life: Should she tell Maggie and Gray the truth and risk losing them? What if it’s best to leave things alone? Then again, what if her friend is making the biggest mistake of her life?

The One You Want by Jennifer Ryan is an emotional romance about friends, family, and love.  Family dynamics and tested friendships are themes in this lovely story.  

Rose returns to the home she left years ago, escaping her monster of a father and leaving behind her mother and her younger sister.  Her father is gone now, but memories of her life are still around.  She’s back in town to be the maid of honor at her best friend, Maggie’s wedding.  However, when she meets the groom, Marc, she is horrified as she realizes that she has a past with him, specifically a one-night stand.  She knows she must tell her friend Maggie the truth.  She’s also very attracted to the Best Man, Grey.  

She also has to reconcile her feelings for her family, especially her younger sister, Poppy.  She knew that the only way to survive her father’s abuse was to leave as soon as possible, but she didn’t like that she had to leave Poppy behind to suffer the abuse alone.  

I thought the first part of this book was the best.  I liked the way the author handled the domestic abuse story and Rose’s return to the town and her family.  I liked the way, Rose and her sister Poppy forged a new relationship.  The family drama in this book is well done. 

The romance between Rose and Grey was good, and I liked Grey very much.  But Rose and Grey together were fast and furious, with their feeling growing very fast.   I did not like Maggie’s fiance, Marc.  I know I’m not supposed to like Marc, but I didn’t like the way Rose handled telling Maggie and Grey about her past with Marc.  It was a messy love triangle.  However, it did make for a dramatic confrontation between Rose and Grey near the end.  

Overall, this is an emotional book about past mistakes and growing and changing.  The backstory of domestic abuse by Rose’s father was handled very well, and I liked that the family members were working hard to recover from the trauma.  

I recommend The One You Want to anyone who enjoys romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Jennifer Ryan

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Ryan writes suspenseful contemporary romances about everyday people who do extraordinary things. Her deeply emotional love stories are filled with high stakes and higher drama, family, friendship, and the happily-ever-after we all hope to find.

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home, and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

Book Challenges:

The One You Want by Jennifer Ryan counts toward my 20 books of summer challenge 2022:

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

31 responses to “Book Review: The One You Want by Jennifer Ryan

  1. Great review, Wendy. I just posted my review for this one and we had similar thoughts. I liked the family drama and thought that added a lot to the story. Marc was a creep, the author did a great job with his character. Glad we both enjoyed this one.

  2. Hi Wendy – this cover will fit the upcoming Top 10 Tues theme of books with a summery cover! You wrote a great review and I like how you broke down what you liked and didn’t like to make it easier to decide if the book is for me. Do you write a review every day??? Where DO you find the time?? Happy Reading! 🙂

    • Thank you, Terrie. I tend to write 3 – 4 reviews a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I’m retired, so that’s where I find the time! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Ryan is always good, and you’ve written an excellent review. For which I thank you, because you’ve made it clear that the things I was concerned about in the blurb will in fact be problems for me. (Although I’m relieved that Rose does tell the truth eventually.) As much as I normally enjoy Ryan’s books, I think I’ll pass on this one for now.

  4. That would be tough to leave your younger sister in an abusive situation. I wonder what was going on with the mother. Didn’t she do anything to help? Glad to hear you enjoyed the story despite some issues with the fiancé situation.

  5. Rose sure found herself in a pickle, didn’t she? I mean, how would you tell your friend the truth about her fiance without ruining the friendship?

    • Thank you, Cindy! I’m doing well with the ARC’s I put on 20 books of summer, but I have some of my own books on it, and I’m not doing so well with those.

  6. This sounds like a very complex story, especially where emotions are involved. I adore the cover. I saw two beach weddings when I was vacationing in May, which of course the cover reminds me of. Excellent review, Wendy!

    • This sounds like an emotional read but I’m glad to see that Rose told Maggie and Grey. Wonderful review Wendy. Thanks for sharing about this one.