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.
Once again, I’m starting this review by telling you guys that I read The Do-Over in a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, my fellow portuguese blogger :D, with whom I read – what?! – around 5 books this month alone (?!) . We’re totally rocking our ARCs! You can find her review for this book here.
Much like Cátia, I’ve become a fan of L.E. Bross writing, because I loved her two previous books, Right Where You Are and Whatever It Takes. The Do-Over, like the other two, is all about second chances, so I was super excited when it became available for request on Netgalley.
I loved that this book once again had alternating POVs, I like my romances from both perspectives! It was a 3rd person narrative, but I can live with that. The writing is funny and easy to follow, and did I mention funny?!
The beginning of the book felt a bit slow, but the pace picked up a bit when the two main characters started interacting more, and for a while it was so much fun to read… Then around 86% of the book I just wanted to throw my phone someplace not nice – I didn’t, because Cátia told me not to, and because I do love my phone to bits.
Now the characters… here is where things got tricky… I usually love all of Bross’ characters, but the female MC of this book, Mel, made it a bit impossible for me to love her, or sometimes even like her. I understood where she was coming from, and her need to be on top of things, organized, put together and so on. What I didn’t get was how someone so fierce in some aspects of her life, let herself be put down the way she had by both her parents and her ex-husband. The more she talked about them, the madder I got.
Eli also had his not-so-great moments, but all and all he was great and he was great to Mel and for Mel, and at least for some time she understood that.
Eli and Mel sure had chemistry together. Their banter and exchanges were loaded and hilarious. Some situations made me laugh out loud. But sometimes I would just slap my forehead and yell “STUPID MEL“…
My favorite character, though, had to be Liesl, Mel’s sister. I loved their relationship, though for the life of me I couldn’t quite understand how they spent so much time apart. I would love to read about Liesl and her husband Dave. It would be so much fun!
There’s a huge conflict near the end of the book, which I thought was kind of silly, and the reactions – or OVERREACTIONS – were a bit too much as well. But I did like how it got solved and I did like the ending.
So, even though it wasn’t my favorite read by L.E. Bross, it was still quite an enjoyable, cute and hot romance.