“Some of the best things in life happen when you don’t plan them.”- Eli, The Do-Over
Title: The Do-Over
Author: L.E. Bross
Publication Date: March 28, 2016
Publisher: Pocket Star
*I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *
Synopsis via Goodreads: L. E. Bross’s contemporary romance debut is a fun and sexy tale of unlikely lovers struggling to leave the past where it belongs—behind them—and embrace a bright future.
Melanie McAllister’s brand new copy of Home Improvement for Dummies doesn’t even begin to cover the DIY advice she really needs: how to put the pieces of her life back together. Her cheating ex-husband’s insider trading scandal destroyed her family’s multi-million dollar company and left Mel with nothing but the run-down oceanfront cottage she inherited from her parents. Biscay Beach, Maine, seems as good a place to start over as any.
Hot-as-hell carpenter Eli Stuart understands new beginnings. Once a rising star in the art world, the former sculptor has been secretly carving out a new existence in the small coastal town ever since the sheen on his old life turned to rust. He’s willing to bet the feisty brunette in need of major home repairs has never lifted a tool heavier than a nail file—until Mel is racing the clock to make her ramshackle home fit for winter and, facing a near-empty bank account, decides she can do it all herself.
So Eli offers Mel a deal: if she helps him with the renovations, he’ll cut the bill in half. Soon Mel and her damned home improvement book are driving Eli mad with an explosive urge to return to his studio and fire up his torch once more. His new work is crude and raw, and before long, he can’t keep his hands off Mel, either. But a muse from his past could ruin it all for the second time—if Eli and Mel can’t let go of who they used to be and trust their hearts with a do-over.
After completely falling in love with Bross’s writing with her New Adult debut, Right Where You Are, I knew that I NEEDED to read more books written by her. The Do-Over was one of my most anticipated releases for this month and this romancing read about second chances and starting over did not disappoint. Let’s get this review started!When her ex-husband is found guilty for insider trading, Melanie McAllister is forced to start over in the small town of Biscay Beach. With nothing more than the clothes on her back, her mother’s old BMW and a run-down beach cottage left to her by her parents, Melanie hopes to somehow she can pull her life together to find a way back to New York, back to her home. But starting over is never that simple and renovating her run-down beach cottage for some quick cash is going to take some hard work. Eli Stuart, local contractor, is the perfect man for the job as he too knows a thing or two about starting over. Willing to help her get back on her feet, Eli agrees to renovate the run-down beach house. But when a fire sparks between the two, Melanie will have to decide what she wants more: her old life in New York, or a new one with Eli.
The Do-Over is Bross’s adult contemporary debut about second chances and starting over. This sweet little debut is filled with romance, new beginnings and a strong sister bond. I have such an infatuation with books set in small towns so one of my favorite things about this book was the setting. I think Biscay Beach was the perfect place for Mel to escape to to start her life over. Unlike the busy streets of New York, Biscay Beach allowed Mel to take a moment to stop and reevaluate her life decisions. She realized that she wasn’t really LIVING, but rather just EXISTING. She was so used to following a plan and when everything shot to hell, so did her perfectly plotted out life. She was not only able to find her true self while in this small town, but she also learned that being spontaneous and living in the moment can be a GOOD THING!
Hands-down my FAVORITE character has to be Liesl, Mel’s sister. She was such a riot and voice of reason throughout this novel. She is also secretly a match-maker 😉 ! Mel and Liesl have such a STRONG sisterly bond, despite the fact that the two have not seen each other in years. I couldn’t get enough of these two and Liesl kept pushing Mel to see that everything she thought was important was really not. She was wasting her life away in the big city when what she really needed to was to surround herself with people who truly cared for her.
The romance is this book was SO GOOD! Slow-burning and sweet, Eli and Mel were a great match. Eli knows what it’s like to start over in a small town after walking away from his future wife and dream career two years ago. He was an artist who welded metals to form breathtaking works of art, but didn’t feel inspired to create such art again until he met Mel. Now, these two did not start off on the right foot and the back and forth banter between them was HILARIOUS. But once they were able to set their issues aside, they realized that they were not so different. Eli showed Mel that sometimes taking chances were needed because they could lead to amazing things and Eli was able to find love again after being so closed off to it for years. I SHIP THEM SO HARD!
There was a bit of a curve ball thrown in towards to end of the book that I was not expected and it pissed me off a little. Things were up in the air, but thankfully things end on a happy note!
My only complaint I have about this book is that it is TOO DAMN SHORT! Seriously, I can’t get enough of Bross’s writing and I simply want MORE.
I HIGHLY recommend checking out this sweet and sexy debut. I also recommend checking out Bross’s other work because they are AWESOME! I eagerly await Bross’s next book and just like her previous works, I am sure I will LOVE them!