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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Doing It Over by Catherine Bybee - REVIEW + CONTEST!

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're playing host to a blog tour starring a Contemporary Romance title that just celebrated it's BOOK BIRTHDAY about a week ago.  It's from an author that has an impressive body of works, and though this is the first time I've heard of/read one of her titles, it DEFINITELY won't be the last.  So, if you're ready to add another book to your must read shelf, come with me as we visit a little town with A LOT of heart.  Today's book of choice is...

Doing It Over

Most Likely To series, Book 1
Catherine Bybee
Montlake Romance

About the book...
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?



First off, let's talk about that cover.  Isn't it gorgeous?!  The colors, the image, the feel of it all lead you to believe you're walking into a Contemporary Romance through and through.  The title itself lends credibility to that perceived fact and while you wouldn't be wrong, you also wouldn't be exactly right in your assumptions.

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So, there I was cruising along through my "to read" list, checking off titles agreed to and tour stops signed up for, when I came upon this date on my schedule.  I noted the "review", that it was a digital (*groan*) ARC, and that while I had heard the author's name in passing, this would be my first time actually reading her work.  With the retrieval of a file and the flick of a screen, I was off and reading. We started out all school reunions, promises to be fulfilled, lives taking different forks than expected in the road, and begin the navigate through what the "doing it over" might be referring this case, Melanie's second chance at getting her "first love" right.

Melanie is an awesome character.  Despite the curves that life has thrown her, she's carried on with little to no assistance from those that SHOULD be showering her with care.  The daughter that stole her heart was the end result of a union that just wasn't meant to be (for SO many reasons) but she wouldn't trade her for the it should be.  Melanie's arrival back in her hometown helps to explain why her surviving it all is possible.  Aside from her inner well of strength, she has an AMAZING group of friends that would do anything for her as fast as she would do anything for them.  Jo, the unexpected law officer of the bunch (didn't see that one coming).  Zoe, the bestie skilled with cooking talent that is taking her career far...though her love life is pretty stunted.  Speaking of stunted, that brings us to Luke, a kind soul that never did make it out of their little town nor manage to get a particular cook out of his heart. (*ahem*  The next book perhaps?)  A town fixture and HUGE hearted woman to say the least, we certainly can't forget Miss Gina who definitely brings her own flair to the bunch (can't help loving she shares my name, though I'm not nearly as feisty...and be warned, avoid the red pitcher punch!).  Then there's the town newcomer, Wyatt....*le sigh*.  Let's just say the dude is seriously a catch in more than the looks department.  The moments he shares with Melanie are fully charged but sweet, the connection he has with her daughter Hope are so tender, they leave a bruise.  The potential for romance is there, as for whether or not they pan out, I can't say (that'd be cheating!)....but that part of the story is just the TIP of the iceberg brewing beneath.

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You see, once upon a time a young girl became a woman and traveled back to her hometown in hopes of a new start for her and her daughter....BUT a dark cloud followed their progress and aimed to change their happy ending.  The dark cloud in this case is named Nathan.  OMG.  I seriously was thinking some bad words towards this "man" from the moment he came on the scene.  To think he just shows up after all this time with THAT sorry butt excuse that's OBVIOUSLY so full of something, it's just mind-boggling and offensive to me, let alone our leading lady.  Lucky for her, she has backup a plenty and trust me, they are more than ready to rumble on her behalf, requested or not.  Some punches are thrown, literally and figuratively, and things begin to heat up with veiled threats and promises of worse to come.  Then, the worst DOES happen...and I'm telling you, my heart was in my mouth the entire time.  You can't begin to imagine the twist the story takes after a moment of much deserved passion...and where that road leads is darker than the blackest night.  Good thing she has great friends, a good head on her shoulders, and a heart full of love because she's gonna need all her wits about her to go up against this evil that man has brought upon them.  Enough of the darkness though, allow me to step back into the light...

Hope may seem like a minor character as she is the child of our leading lady but she seriously steals the show several times over.  She's smart, brave, adventurous, and puts her own spin on things that you never imagined, yet make perfect sense.  Her grasp of the things happening around her, including the introduction of Nathan, are spot on.  The honesty she portrays in her description of a father, the reasoning she uses to explain her version of "Snow White", even her understanding of her mother's "seek the knight not the prince" advice, will touch your heart and bring a smile to your face.  Melanie really does have something special there...and I'm so glad she realized it long before the harrowing events transpired.

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In conclusion, it's a Contemporary Romance with a healthy dose of mystery, danger, and possible happy-ever-afters, that will have you turning pages (or swiping your screen) at a rapid pace.  Just remember to slow down and enjoy the journey because once things really start to heat up, there will be no turning back.  Though an ARC version with several needed edits, the author brings her characters to life with identifiable voices that stand on their own.  You feel like one of the "family" once things draw to a close and that's definitely a wonderful way to be.  It was a pleasure spending time in this small town and I can't wait to go back for another visit very soon (seeing as this is the first book in a new series....woo hoo!).  Recommended for adult readers due to character age, situations, and some sexy times...enjoy!


About the author...

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.  



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Special thanks to Crystal (Ms. Bybee's assistant) for the ecopy for review and introducing me to this author's work.  (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via Montlake Romance, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.


Until next time...happy reading!


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Oh I could do with a night or two at Miss Gina’s quirky bed-and-breakfast. Seriously though, this sounds like a great read. I love the sound of Hope who smart, brave etc is just the sort of female character I enjoy.

Batch of Books said...

Yes, that is a beautiful cover! Wow.

I also groan when I have to read a digital ARC. I'm a much happier camper when my books come from trees.

It sounds like a good read, though. Thanks for sharing!

Dena @ Batch of Books

Catherine Bybee said...

I love, love, love your review.
Yeah, it's all praise, but it sounds like you really 'got' the meat of the story I was working toward delivering.
Thank you, and I look forward to you comments on Zoe and Luke (Jan 2017)

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