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Over the summer, I didn’t really know what to do with myself after I finished my 40 before 40 list. Of course, I immediately finished the Harry Potter series, but after that, I had no clue what to read. I put myself on a ton of waiting lists from books from the library. One was the debut novel from Bethany Chase. I didn’t finish a ton of books that I started around that time, so I didn’t have a ton of hope for The One that Got Away. Except I did like the cover.
I was pleasantly surprised and really liked it. When I saw she had a new book out, I put it on hold at the library and waited. For months.
As always, we’re going to start with the blurb because I don’t like trying to summarize plots.
Can you ever really know the person you love?
She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, art curator Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.
Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the heart’s ability to turn unexpected troubles into extraordinary strength.
Why Did I want to read Results May Vary?
As mentioned above, I really liked The One that Got Away. Bethany Chase wrote a contemporary romance with a voice that wasn’t cookie-cutter. It was a great surprise to read that after a handful of really crappy options that I couldn’t bother to finish.
The blurb didn’t draw me in, but I knew I had to give it a try based on my past experience reading her first novel.
Did I like Results May Vary?
A resounding yes. Walking with Caroline on her journey from betrayal to figuring out how to rebuild her life was an incredible journey.
Very early on, Caroline discovers her husband, her high school sweetheart, was unfaithful with a man. Her heartache was palpable and felt real.
But the thing about what-ifs is that you can drive yourself crazy, spinning your thoughts around and around until you’re dizzy; and for all that, you only ever end up in the same place you’re standing. All you can work with is what happened. What might have happened only haunts you.
I don’t know many who could forgive for the things happening in Caroline’s marriage. When the person you trust the most in the world shatters you. Could you pick up and start over? Could you try and repair?
Avoiding the pain by going back to safety was not an option; my shelter had burned to the ground.
I will admit, there was a point when I was very concerned that this book was going to dive into one of my least favorite romantic tropes, but it didn’t. (Thank you Bethany Chase, for not subjecting to me to that. I will give no spoilers, but perhaps will write a post about this in the future. If I do, it is least-favorite trope #2, second only to housewife ennui.)
Additionally, Caroline and I were kindred spirits on some levels.
I know it’s an anomaly to be a creative person who enjoys working with spreadsheets, but the delicious concreteness of a list or a chart just soothes my soul.
Bonus points for:
- Very satisfying ending
- The cover. I thought it was pretty and then at a certain point in the book I realized how symbolic it was. Well done.
Who Else Will Like Results May Vary?
If you don’t mind a little heartbreak, it’s a really great book about self-discovery and romance after betrayal. I assume that some people will classify this as chick lit. I would not consider this a cupcake book as it has some heavier themes.
Would I Pay Full Price for This?
I got this book from the library, but I’m willing to give this my ultimate compliment. Yes, I’d pay for this. With full-priced money and no regrets.
Bethany Chase is going on my list as one to watch and recommend. She’s got a crapton of talent and she’s exceeded my expectations twice. Well done, Ms. Chase.
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