Book Review: The One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban

Title: The One That Got AwayThe One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeline Urban 
Author: Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: February 2009 by Dreamspinner Press

When David Carmichael suffers a migraine and then a broken shoulder, Trace Jackson, his best friend, simply moves in to take care of him. Their easy camaraderie continues with no problems until David discovers an undercurrent of heat and tension flowing between them. Despite knowing his best friend is straight, David is slowly falling in love. What he doesn't know is that Trace is struggling with a similar discovery. Trace has never desired another man before. He's a ladies' man with quite the reputation, considered a top prize around town. But his close, treasured friendship with David makes the emotion and arousal growing between them irresistible. Soothing David's doubts, Trace makes it clear that he wants to know if they can make it work. Because Trace is sure he wouldn't love another man -- that's not the issue. He just loves David.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: LOVE IT!

The Set Up: David suffers a migraine and broken shoulder so his best friend, Trace, moves in to help him. Now their easy friendship gains an undercurrent of sexual tension and emotional intensity. David doesn’t want to fall in love with straight Trace; Trace is reexamining his feelings for David and both worry they each may become the one that got away.

Why I Read this Book: I’ve been a little pissy lately at all the May-December MM romances I’ve read. This was on a Goodreads list where both leads were the same age and maturity so wanted to try it.

What I Liked: Oh wow, this is a stellar romance. David and Trace are both awesome characters who approach their change of relationship with maturity and emotional honesty. They straight up ask each other when something is troubling the other and they don’t expect mind reading. David and Trace start the novel caring about each other and it was an intense emotional and sexual journey as they become lovers. The friends to lovers trope is one of my favorite in MM romance and David and Trace became one of my couples of this trope.

I have to also mention the intense and emotionally meaningful sensuality of the men’s relationship. Too often in MM romance, the sex is biological erotica (which isn’t a terrible thing!) but this novel uses a sensuality that is rare in MM books I’ve read. For instance, eating together is a sensual interlude that includes elements of sexuality without the physicality. Everything from cuddling, to the cotton sheets, to watching movies has a sensual abandon that I adored. This sensual atmosphere made the actual sex between David and Trace incendiary.

What I Also Liked: For nearly all the book David and Trace are together. They start to build a life together before even realizing it. In my opinion this perfectly captures a couple’s honeymoon phase where they’re the only two people in the world. I loved being able to spy on this intense relationship and the fact that the men spend nearly all the book together just made me fall in love with them even more.

What I Didn’t Like: Let me first admit to being the person who notices in movies and television when a cup is moved between scenes or an actor’s hair is brushed differently between takes. So it bugged me that in chapter four David is lamenting his forty-fifth birthday and then suddenly for the rest of the novel he’s forty-two. Um, yeah, I should be an editor.

IMO: This is a near perfect MM romance and like a good piece of cake, a good book should leave you wanting more which is exactly how I felt at novel’s end.

J9’s Rating:

4 1/2 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. 4 1/2 frogs?? BOUGHT!! That's all I needed to know. I can't wait to read it. Great review. I love a friends to lovers trope too!! smiles...

  2. When I saw the rating and that Madeleine Urban co-wrote I knew I'd have to add it to my TBR.

  3. I'm a rereader & already reread it & it still holds up. Soooo good! LMK what you both think!

    1. I read this last nighty...your review was dead on...I LOVED it!! It builds so slowly, but that is so sexy between the two of them. I loved how much they both respected their friendship. It was a gorgeous book! Thanks for the rec! smiles...

    2. So glad you enjoyed it too. And Trace's cat...LOL!

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