Author: Laurel Ulen Curtis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Natalie Dalton is a beautiful, witty, charismatic twenty-seven year old with an ugly past and one weakness-the people she loves. She’s been waiting for a way out of the dark cloud that’s suffocating her for a year when the perfect opportunity comes.
She finds herself settling in a small town based on a feeling of rightness, and as she learns about the people around her they start to fill the holes she didn’t know there were in her heart.
Tucker Cody is a quick-witted, playful, and hard-loving twenty-nine year old, but for the past 5 years he’s set that all aside and focused on work as a way to escape. Abandoned by his whole family in one way or another, he’s kept people at a distance ever since. Until one girl.
Will they find a way to heal each other and move on from their pasts? Or will their pasts find a way to hold onto them?
Laurel Ulen Curtis’ The One Place is her debut novel and deals with the difficult subject matter of abusive. The overall theme of the book is present throughout, but not as heavily as it was in the beginning. I don’t want to put off readers because it’s a good book, but I do want to warn anyone before reading the rest of the review in case you are sensitive.
Natalie Dalton is a suffocating relationship and she questions if she has the ability to leave. When the opportunity arrives to leave her life behind, she jumps at the chance and with the little money she saved up, she makes her way away from New York City to Tennessee. There she’s able to reinvent herself and meets a good looking stranger, Tucker Cody. Suddenly she finds herself attracted to him and begins to rebuild her life. For Tucker, Natalie is the sunshine his life has been missing. He lost his parents in a questionable accident and hasn’t heard from his sister in years. Both Natalie and Tucker have secrets that threaten their happiness. Will they be able to trust each other and heal or will the secrets break them apart?
First of all, let me take a moment to gush over Tucker! He’s sexy, witty, and not to mention the man the town calls on for help. He’s clearly smitten with Natalie from the start, but Natalie is oblivious. It’s easy to criticize her and say, “how can you not know?” but to be fair Natalie was in an abusive relationship for over a year. Andrew pretty much messed with her head and getting into a new relationship wasn’t at the top of her list. She was concerned with keeping her head low and not bringing unwanted attention to herself. After all, she walked away from her life and went undercover to protect her life. That being said, Natalie does come off a bit naive and at no point does she question who helped set her apartment. For a woman on the run, I expected her to be more aware of her surroundings and not be so trusting.
The writing is engaging and The One Place is a fast paced read. It’s told from Natalie’s perspective and therefore we’re limited in terms of what other characters are thinking. It makes sense that it would be in Natalie’s point-of-view because it is Natalie’s story. We have some great secondary characters. Your heart breaks for Ruth and the fact that she’s basically living the nightmare Natalie did to some extent. This is where I wish Natalie had opened up a little more to Ruth about her past experience. We don’t get that, but then again a lot of abuse victims keep quiet for fear of being judged or because they are ashamed. I really liked the fact that Natalie did have a good support system especially after Ruth finds out about her past.
I debated with the rating heavily and in the end decided on a three based on the fact I couldn’t suspend disbelief regarding Natalie faking her own death and getting a job. I mean unless her family doesn’t file a certificate of death, I think using a dead person’s social security number would raise questions. Yes, it’s a work of fiction, but I couldn’t stop thinking that maybe that’s how Andrew would find her.
Overall, The One Place is an enjoyable read. You’ll want to read the second book in the series, The One Girl immediately because we’re left with a cliffhanger and you’ll want to know what happens next. Trust me, you’ll love The One Girl.