Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Review Tour & Giveaway: The One by Audrey J. Cole

The One
Audrey J. Cole

Publisher: Rainier Publishing
Publication Date: June 26, 2023
Hardcover page count: 298 pages



To save their marriage, Sloane must forgive her husband’s affair. Instead, she tries a more tempting option—settling the score. But will it prove to be a deadly mistake?

ER doctor Sloane Marks is shattered when she learns her husband Ethan slept with his partner at Seattle Homicide. She considers leaving him and joining The One, having gone to college with the popular dating app’s billionaire founder, Brody Carr. But at forty-two, Sloane feels she has no choice but to forgive Ethan if she wants a chance at creating the family she never had.

Months later, Sloane bumps into Brody, who’s recently returned to Seattle. In due time, Ethan worries she’s cheating. His suspicions are confirmed when he learns the rich app founder took Sloane on a freediving excursion in the San Juan Islands. When Brody’s famous wife dies in an accident, Ethan becomes the lead investigator in her death—which he suspects wasn’t an accident at all.

Caught between a distrusting husband and a powerful billionaire who protects his secrets at all costs, Sloane is in a fight for her life. And the only way out is to take matters into her own hands.



Sloane sinks beneath the surface with her hand in Brody’s, enjoying the warmth and strength of his grip as they glide through the cold water. She kicks harder this time to reach the bottom before she feels the burning urge to breathe. She takes in the colorful sea floor as they glide slowly over purple urchins and yellow sea sponges. Ignoring the increasing ache in her lungs, she points to an orange starfish. 

There is something magical about being down here, so far removed from all her worries. It’s like they’re in another world, one with just the two of them. She feels something pull her backward and turns to Brody, who is focused on a jellyfish moving above them. 

Sloane spins to see what is tugging at her and finds a large piece of bull kelp wrapped around her leg. She flips over to reach for the kelp, but instead manages to wrap it another time around her ankle. She swims for the surface, but the kelp immediately drags her down. Air escapes her mouth as she tries to call out for Brody. 

She whips around, the bubbles from her mouth clouding her vision as she frantically claws at the kelp around her leg. She feels herself sink to the uneven sea floor. She flails her arms above her head in a futile attempt to ascend while the kelp keeps her tied to the bottom. Brody swims past her in a dark blur of movement as more air leaves her mouth.

5 stars!

An affair to remember! 

The One is the new domestic thriller from the talented pen of author Audrey J. Cole, and it was so riveting I was compelled to read it in one mesmerizing session. I flew through this story, and with its vivid visuals and stunning twists and turns, I can easily see this as the basis of a terrific film. 

I was so torn at first over how I felt about the main characters: Sloane, the wronged wife, and Ethan, the husband who strayed. I wanted to love her and despise him, but they both had good points and good intentions and bad choices and worse behaviors. I liked him much more than I felt I should, and she started to feel a little less perfect and more human. The breakdown in their relationship and communication was fundamental to what was happening in their marriage and their later games playing, which led to much of the trouble. The introduction of Brody into the mix really kicked the stakes up to a higher level. Sloane and Ethan are driven, goal-oriented people working in careers hit hard by understaffing, an overwhelming workload, and burnout. Both are good people who make poor choices.

While the suspense begins early, wondering where the marriage is going to go and how Brody will figure into it, the plot takes big turns, and the tension escalates quickly. I couldn’t put this book down; I had to find out what would happen next! I was not disappointed and didn’t even try to guess the eventual outcome; I just held on for the ride. The tense plot is enhanced by its Seattle-area setting and the unusual hobby of freediving. I’d never heard of this competitive sport, and it was a fascinating angle in the story.

With its flawed and very human characters and suspenseful plot, rife with twists and turns, I recommend THE ONE to readers who enjoy domestic thrillers, especially those set in the Pacific Northwest or involving water sports.


Audrey J. Cole is a USA TODAY bestselling thriller author. She resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children. Before writing full time, she worked as a neonatal intensive care nurse for eleven years.

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Audrey J. Cole will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC, to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good read.

Marcy Meyer said...

This sounds like a good thriller. Thanks for sharing.

Sherry said...

This sounds like an interesting book.