Doing It Over
(Most Likely To, Book 1)
by Catherine Bybee
Format: eARC NetGalley
Voted Most Likely to Succeed, Melanie Bartlett ended up anything but. The down-on-her-luck single mom wants a complete do-over—is that too much to ask? With her family long gone from River Bend, strong, independent Mel is as surprised as anyone to end up in the quaint small town she once called home. But with her friends, Jo and Zoe, by her side, and a comfortable room at Miss Gina’s quirky bed-and-breakfast, she just might have turned the corner on a new life.Wyatt Gibson never liked the big city. River Bend suits the ruggedly handsome builder just fine. Wyatt knows he’s home, even if that means being charmed by the appearance of Melanie and her spunky, adorable daughter. Is Wyatt’s calm devotion—even amid a coming storm—enough to convince Mel she may have found a home to call her own, a family that never leaves, and a true love to last a lifetime?
‘Doing It Over’ is the first of Catherine’s contemporary romances I have read. I love her historicals, and decided to give this one a try. I am so glad that I did. I love, loved this book, and I can hardly wait for the next in the series.
Have you just wanted ‘a do over?‘ I know that I have a time or two. That is what Melanie is hoping for when she returns home to River Bend, after being gone for ten years. Melanie is a little embarrassed to be returning to River Bend as an unwed mother, no job, and a car that ‘died’ 25 miles before reaching town. She knows that everyone expected more from her, and they all think that she was married to Hope’s father, Nathan. She wouldn’t change being a mother to Hope for anything in the world. It’s her ex, Nathan, the dead beat dad that she could’ve done without. Melanie is stronger than she realizes, and that is something she will come to realize the longer she stays in River Bend around her family and friends.
Melanie and her two best friends, Zoe and Jo were inseparable, and in high school Melanie was considered ‘the most likely to succeed’ , while Zoe was considered the most likely to never leave River Bend, and Jo, the most likely to end up in jail. They all have grown up, and while they have talked over the years, they haven’t seen much of each other.
Wyatt Gibson is not from River Bend, but he has come to considered it his home. He is keeping out of trouble, and building his contracting business. He is confident, sexy, protects those he cares about, and down to earth. He is also just about the only contractor in River Bend, so he stays pretty busy, and has made some good friends along the way. He is not looking for a serious relationship. The truth is he could have his choice of women, he just chooses not to. He steers clear of women in River Bend, because he doesn’t want all of the drama in case something goes wrong (and it usually does). So when he does want female companionship he goes to the next county over. He wants a simple life in River Bend with his family and friends. When he meets Melanie for the first time, he is determined to have her.
I loved that Melanie and Wyatt’s relationship wasn’t a ‘cat & mouse’ game. They were honest about their attraction to each other, and that is refreshing in romance books these days. Mrs Bybee did a wonderful job! I enjoyed the secondary characters, Zoe, Joe, Luke, William ‘Wild Bill’ Gibson (Wyatt’s father), Miss Gina (I wish I had a Miss Gina), and Hope was an absolute delight. I despised, Hope’s father, Nathan. Mrs Bybee knows how to make you dislike the bad guy. Well I am not sure ‘bad’ is a strong enough word. He was a disgusting, pitiful excuse of a father and human being.
I felt a kinship to Melanie, and I believe that is why I liked her so much. Everyone needs friends like the ones Melanie has in River Bend. The characters were believable, the story was fun, and the plot kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. I liked the town, and people so much that I felt like I was right there with them every step of the way. There are a few laugh out loud moments, and a few times I actually cried a bit (yes I did).
I am betting that the next book in The Most Likely To series will be Zoe and Luke’s. I suppose we will have to wait and see. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys romance, likeable characters with depth, an H&H with real chemistry, and a story that isn’t only about the sex (while there is a scene or two), but about family and friends that takes care of each other, and new beginnings. I loved this book!
I received a eARC copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I have received no compensation for this review, besides the free eARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own. You can read my Disclosure Policy here.
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her two teenage sons in Southern California.
Praise for Doing It Over
“The romance between fiercely independent Melanie and charming Wyatt heats up even as outsiders threaten to derail their newfound happiness. This novel will hook readers with its warm, inviting characters and the promise for similar future installments.” –Publishers Weekly
“This brand-new trilogy, Most Likely To, based on yearbook superlatives, kicks off with a novel that will encourage you to root for the incredibly likable Melanie. Her friends are hilarious and readers will swoon over Wyatt, who is charming and strong. Even Melanie’s daughter, Hope, is a hoot! This romance is jam-packed with animated characters, and Bybee displays her creative writing talent wonderfully.” –RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars
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