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?
©2016 Catherine Bybee (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.
This is the first book in the 'Most Likely to' series. As with a first series books, you have to establish the cast of characters. You know who the follow-on books will be about, you just don't know the order or plots. The great news about this first one is, you will like the entire cast. Melanie and Wyatt are the stars. Melanie is a single mom with a broken-down car who comes home. She was voted most likely to succeed in high-school, but her life has been anything but. Now she comes home and ... (no spoilers). Bybee did an outstanding job of characterizing her seven-year-old daughter Hope who you will instantly like.
Another great pair will be Zoe and Luke. The drama has already been setup in this novel for a later novel. I can't wait to listen to how she will disentangle that mess, let alone figure out how Jo will get her happily-ever-after and solve her father's murder -- that will be a doozy.
Bybee has a great track record in series having penned the 'Weekly Brides' series which is fabulous and a must listen. This book has suspense and some pretty tough times that you may find hard to get by. This is not a feel-good-all-the-way-though novel -- it has grit. I give it a big thumbs up.
Great story. Action, adventure and romance abound in this beautiful and heartwarming story. After years of being away from home and struggling Melanie decides to return to her small hometown for her high school reunion accompanied by her smart and sassy little girl. This new beginning starts out well but for Melanie but quickly her past begins to catch up with her. Secrets and a man from her path with dark and dangerous intentions show up and things get very scary and interesting. Melanie may have found a man to be there for her and her little girl after being on their own for years but will love overcome or will the people out to destroy them win. I couldn't stop reading and can't wait until the next book in this series. I love small town stories and the characters and community that comes with them and this book went above and beyond my expectations. The narrator did an amazing job with this story and I hope she continues to narrate this series.!
"Excellent romance with a hint of drama"
This book is the first in a series about 3 girls who were best friends as teenagers, but whose lives grew in separate directions after graduation.
Although this book focuses on the first of the trio, about 30% of the book is told from the POVs of the other two girls, in an obvious set up for their two books. I have to admit that I usually loathe this in books and resent the attempt by a writer to “coerce” me into future purchases. However I will, in this case, forgive Catherine Bybee, as her writing is so good I am already looking forward to the next book in the series.
This book is a relatively uncomplicated romance about a girl who left her home town with great ambitions, only to find herself returning for her ten year reunion as an unqualified and unemployed single mum. I have to admit I love that Catherine Bybee can write about a woman whose work in a B&B involves cleaning bathrooms and making beds, and yet never portrays any hint of shame or humiliation attached to this. She writes from a perspective that this is a good, honest form of employment and lets us have an h who is living a life so wonderfully normal. She then meets a normal guy – a contractor – who is also an honest, hardworking guy (nice change from all those billionaires!) who actually does not run a mile at the thought of a serious relationship, or at the realisation that there is a child involved. (One particularly funny conversation centres around the debate as to whether it is officially a “date” if a child is coming along). The portrayal of the 7 year old is lovely – she is adorable, not perfect, is a notable feature of the story and not always conveniently absent to allow the romance to progress. I loved the reality of the situation when the H kisses the h in public for the first time and, naturally, for the rest of the day, the child is heard musing about whether this means her mother has a “boyfriend” and whether or not he will make a good “dad”.
There is drama added in the form of the ex-husband returning and the subsequent problems caused, but this is a very “adult” romance – not in the erotic sense, but in the sense that the couple involved don’t make rash decisions or assumptions, but openly acknowledge their mutual attraction, and work to make their relationship solid.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed this book. It had enough happening to make it interesting, there was never a dull moment, the writing and narration were as good as they can be, and I look forward to the next in the series.
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