Doing It Over (A Most Likely To Novel Book 1) by Catherine Bybee
3 out of 5 Stars
*I was provided an Uncorrected Proof of Doing It Over by the author in exchange for an honest review. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*
Returning to her hometown of River Bend for her ten-year high school reunion, Melanie Bartlett would like a do-over. Nothing has gone according to plan in the last ten years, and the only thing she wouldn’t change is having her seven-year-old daughter Hope. Mel was voted Most Likely to Succeed, and compared to her two best friends, she ended up with the least amount of success. Meeting Wyatt Gibson just might turn things around for Mel and Hope.
Wyatt always knew he wanted to live in a small town, and River Bend suits him just fine. After living there for several years, he’s yet to finish his house and really make it a home. When he meets Melanie and her daughter Hope, he’s instantly charmed and drawn to them. But life isn’t easy for the single mom, and Wyatt will need to stick by her through some rough patches if they want to get their happily ever after.
Doing It Over is a contemporary romance set in a small town and introducing three best friends. The first book in the series, this is a standalone novel although it introduces characters for the next novel and provides a good deal of backstory for them. The romance between Wyatt and Melanie is sweet, but the author does a good job of incorporating more into the plot than just the romance. Melanie’s past rears its ugly head and needs to be dealt with before the couple can move on to bigger and better things.
I enjoyed that Wyatt wasn’t some insensitive playboy. He was a man who knew what he wanted out of life even if he didn’t realize that would include loving a single mom and her seven-year-old daughter. Melanie had plenty of lessons to learn throughout the story, including that the same friends she’d been hiding things from could be counted on to stand by her side when the going got rough.
A few drawbacks kept this book from being a standout. While Hope was an adorable and sweet kid, I didn’t find her personality truly realistic. She acted much younger than her age for the majority of the story, and then it was specifically stated that her personality might change after one of the major events. There was a definite shift in her maturity after that point, but I didn’t find that believable.
I appreciated that there was more to the story than romance, however the suspense aspect was also a little implausible. I frequently found myself wondering why no one was considering the glaring connections, especially considering there was an FBI agent involved. The incorporation of other characters’ points of view didn’t add anything beyond introductions to their story lines, and the story would have felt more cohesive if these scenes were left out and the reader learned about these issues from the main characters’ points of view.
I was provided with an Uncorrected Proof of this book, so as expected there were quite a few errors. I tried not to factor those into my rating, however it is worth noting as I have no way of knowing if all of the issues will be fixed prior to publication.
Overall it was an entertaining story that was decently written but could have been a little better.