Today we're excited to spotlight The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel, plus an excerpt and giveaway!
Meet Melissa Pimentel!
Meet The One That Got Away!
A smart, funny, and modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a lost love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.
Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.
Ten years later, Ruby’s single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.
But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past...
Excerpt from The One That Got Away:
I hurried down the long, curved, white corridor, flying past Nathan’s and the souvenir stands and the bookshop stacked high with the latest pulpy bestseller. The floors were now scattered with the detritus of the morning commute: splashes of coffee splattered on the polished concrete, along with flimsy paper bags that had held now-eaten croissants and egg sandwiches, an abandoned sports section lying limply on a nearby bench. The rush had ended, and an echoey calm had fallen on the station. I saw my train listed on the board—the 6929 to Millburn—and headed toward the platform. I was early, so I stopped at a bagel cart on the way and ordered a whole-wheat bagel (cream cheese on the side) and a coffee (black).
I was furiously blowing on the scalding coffee when something caught my eye: staring out at me from the magazine rack was none other than my ex-boyfriend, his face smiling smugly out from the cover of TechCrunch magazine. “Can Ethan Bailey Save the World?” the headline asked, as if specifically designed to annoy me. “I’m guessing not,” I muttered as I pulled a copy from the rack and slapped it down on the counter.
“Four dollars,” said the unsmiling man, hand outstretched. I peeled off the bills and shoved the magazine deep into my bag, where I could feel it throbbing, and then headed off to catch my train.
The Morris and Essex line is a miniature socio-economic tour of the Greater New York area. I stared out of the window as we chuntered through Chelsea, speeding past the boutique shops and expensive cocktail bars, out past the High Line and over the Hudson River into New Jersey. Through Hoboken and into a sea of squat industrial parks dotted with billboards advertising strip clubs and loan sharks and autobody shops until the first ad for West Elm appeared and you knew you were out in the suburbs.
I finished off the last bit of bagel and pulled the magazine out of my bag, holding it gingerly between thumb and forefinger as though it might be radioactive. Which it sort of was, at least to me. The coffee I’d gulped down made an unwelcome reappearance in my esophagus. I leaned in and inspected the photograph. He hadn’t changed at all. If anything, he was now better looking. He had the confident sheen of wealth shining out of every pore, and had obviously used some of his apparently now-vast fortune to have his teeth straightened and whitened. His dark hair was slightly shorter, but still curled around his temples, and his eyes were the same greenish-gold I remembered. Yes, it was definitely him: a beacon of success, heralded the world over as the designer of a generation, and presumably described as one of the city’s most eligible bachelors somewhere in the article. At least he was still a bachelor the last time I’d allowed myself to Google him (once every two months, no more) following his split from some leggy fashion editor.
I skimmed the article, which contained the word “genius” so many times I seriously considered sending a thesaurus to the sub-editor, and allowed myself to stare at the accompanying photographs for exactly four minutes. There he was with the late Steve Jobs, arm tossed jovially around his shoulder as they grinned out at the camera in matching turtlenecks. Now he was at the Met gala, aforementioned leggy fashion editor wrapped around him like a baby monkey on a tree branch. And finally, there was a picture of him with his business partner, arms slung around each other’s shoulders and smiling at each other as if they both couldn’t believe their luck.
I couldn’t believe it, either. If you had told me ten years ago that Ethan would end up designing one of the most used and best loved apps of all time, I would have laughed in your face. Actually, first I would have asked what an app was, and then I would have laughed in your face.
I closed the magazine and shoved it back in my bag. You know that feeling when you put coin after coin into a slot machine without winning a single penny, only to walk away and watch the next person who drops a quarter in win the jackpot? That was the feeling that I had been living with for the past seven years, ever since Ethan’s face appeared in Wired in an article entitled “Rising Stars.” I drank half a bottle of vodka with Jess that night, eventually setting fire to the magazine and placing it in a garbage can in what Jess had promised would be a “cleansing ritual,” but which ended up just melting the (plastic) garbage can to the living room carpet and resulted in a serious deduction from our security deposit.
The trees whizzed by as the train sped deeper into New Jersey. I closed my eyes and leaned against the window, head knocking rhythmically against the pane as the train clicked over the tracks. Tomorrow, I would see him again—the first time in nearly ten years. What could I possibly say to him? Would he even talk to me? What if he still had feelings for me? Or, worse, what if he didn’t? I swatted the thought from my mind like an errant fly. The man opposite caught my eye and gave me a friendly smile. He was dressed in a suit, but the edges of his cuffs were frayed and his collar slightly yellowed, and he had the harried look of a man teetering on the brink. I looked back at the whizzing trees, which were thinning slowly and being replaced by identikit clapboard houses and the occasional strip mall. What if I still loved him after all this time? What the hell was I supposed to do then?
The One That Got Away
By: Melissa Pimentel
Release Date: August 22, 2017
One winner will receive a copy of The One That Got Away (US & Canada only).