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Say It Again

First Wives, Book 5
Narrated by: Emma Wilder
Series: First Wives, Book 5
Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
Categories: Romance, Suspense
4.5 out of 5 stars (419 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the final First Wives novel by New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee, falling in love could become the most dangerous dare of one woman’s life.

Protector-for-hire Sasha Budanov is accustomed to life as a loner. Always on the move, she’s now reached a crossroad. Looking for answers about her shadowy youth, she’s returned to the strict boarding school in Germany where she was raised. It’s also where she was trained in the stealthy, militarized art of survival. But behind its gleaming gates, Richter is a fortress of secrets, including those buried in Sasha’s mysterious past. To uncover them, she’s clinging to her first rule of defense: stay guarded.

If anyone can challenge Sasha’s rules, it’s devilishly sexy stranger AJ Hofmann. He wants answers, too. And he needs Sasha’s help. The recent deaths of several of Richter’s former students - including AJ’s own sister - have aroused his suspicions. He’s arousing something more in Sasha. Never one to surrender to her emotions, she senses something tempting in AJ. She trusts him. He’s fearless. And he kisses like a demon. Sasha’s found her match.

But treading Richter’s dark halls - and following their hearts - has its risks. As the decades-old secrets of the past are mined, Sasha and AJ are falling deeper in love…and into danger.

©2019 Catherine Bybee (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Bybee’s heart-stopping fifth First Wives novel (after Faking Forever) is a twisty romantic thriller…Steamy, fast-paced, and consistently surprising, with a large cast of feisty supporting characters, this suspenseful roller-coaster ride will keep both series fans and new readers on the edge of their seats.” --Publishers Weekly

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Tanisha
  • CT, United States
  • 09-30-19

Sasha Budanov is The Closer

Sasha Budanov was a badass woman in the best sense of the word. She evolved from a mysterious woman in the first book to a genuine member of the family and team at the end of this book. Her evolution was done at the right pace that the reader was right there along with her. Sasha is the person you always want to have at your back, whether you know she’s there or not. Sasha’s technically not a first wife but she’s as much a member of this chosen family as any of them.

I love when a woman is Bourne and Sasha is Jennifer Garner’s Alias and Matt Damon’s Bourne rolled into one character. I just love this character.

Bringing AJ into her world just made it a perfect revelation that the loner she thought she was, was a carefully crafted mask to protect her heart from the love she never received as a kid. He wasn’t the person you’d imagine for Sasha, yet he seemed to be just the right amount of nice guy with a touch of bad boy, adrenaline junkie perfection Sasha needed.

The story itself was very Jason Bourne with Sasha at the center of it all. The interplay between her and the team, "Are you a dad yet" was funny and like all good ribbing you get from your siblings. The added character which mirrored Sasha’s own upbringing yet meeting Sasha, AJ and the team changed the direction her life could’ve ended up going in a good way. Sasha being a “big-sister” of sorts lent heart to her and the story.

I can't believe that I avoided this series because I didn't want to read another romance novel, but this series is very different with strong-willed woman at the forefront and the alpha men who love them without controlling them. It’s still romances but with contemporary realism that keeps you interested. I listened to this book on Audible and the narrator, Emma Wilder, did a wonderful job especially with Sasha's accent and the male voices. I'm glad the publisher keeps the same voice throughout a series for Catherine Bybee.

I’m looking forward to Catherine Byee’s next series and I hope her trend of storytelling that has less focus on marriage and babies being the end all and be all of life continues.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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SOOOOOO GOOD!!!

This is truly one of THE BEST SERIES I've read!! They have love but the stories are amazing! Full of depth and excitement, action and the best character profiles!!! I hope this isn't the last, Ms Bybee. And the audio versions.... holy moly.... THE BEST! The performances of each one of these books are spot on and such a joy to listen to! Please keep 'em coming!!!!!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Trish R.
  • JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States
  • 09-29-19

Another great story from Catherine Bybee..



A little disappointed in this book. I expected Sasha to be a little tougher than she was. She didn’t show any “muscle” until the end of the book. BUT it was still a wonderful story. I’ve like Sasha since the beginning, so I was only an eensy-weensy bit disappointed. This is the 25th book of Ms. Bybee’s that I’ve listened to, so I’ll continue to read/listen to her. I’m looking forward to whatever she writes next.

I liked AJ and it was nice to see all the wives and their husbands and kids.

I liked that there was a murder mystery in this book instead of just a romance. 300+ pages of just romance, angst and misunderstandings is too much of all that. But that’s just my opinion.

There was one sex scene, which was nice that sex didn’t dominate the entire story. And the F-bomb was used 9 times.

As to the narration: Emma Wilder did a fantastic job on this book. The voices and emotions were spot-on and she’s quickly becoming one of my favorite female narrators. Love, love, love a female reader who can do a man’s voice and not just women. Nothing worse that a man who sounds like a woman in a book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book. Excellent ending to a fantastic series

Great book. Excellent ending to a fantastic series. A new hit for the author. The series worth 10 stars.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Buy this book!

Loved it! I loved this entire series. This was a great story and great narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another winner!

I’ve been waiting for Sasha’s story and this did not disappoint. What a great look into this complex woman’s background, fully flushing out her character and humanizing her. The narrator did a great job too, adding to the story.
This is not a stand alone novel. Without reading the previous books in the series the reader wouldn’t understand the pain, isolation and abuse that Sasha has endured and overcome
In this book she works WITH the team instead of alone to find the killer of 3 innocent alumni of her boarding school. One of them is the sister of the sexy AJ. He too is a loner. Together can they find the killer and love at the same time?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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As always a great addition to the series !

Catherine has a way with words . Great intrigue fabulous friendships and love abound. Sasha raised in a boarding school thinking she was an orphan ended up being orphaned after her father tried to have her murdered has trust issues go figure.Aj is trying to find out why his sister was murdered set his sights on Sasha to try to get answers. together with the help of Friends/new family they figure out the mystery behind the boarding school for Sasha was raise.

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Great Series

This series had love and humor and plus a little steam! it wasnt predictable like a lot of the books I've been reading. I dont usually do reviews but this series deserves the 5 stars I'm giving it. I hope she writes more to go with it!

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Love It!

Please keep these going! I love this series and will listen to it again and again!

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  • Tracy T
  • Jacksonville, FL USA
  • 10-14-19

Hmmmmmmm.

I have waited for Sasha's book for quite some time. Even though I did like this book I think I was expecting more. So I was a little disappointed. I was also disappointed in AJ's character. He was kind of...... nothing. I would have expected Sasha to find a strong man but AJ was the absolute opposite and that made him seem like a wimp to me.

Otherwise it was a good book. I liked the boarding school in Germany and the back story and history.

As for the narration it was good. I liked it. I think Emma Wilder did a good job.

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  • C M Silver
  • 11-19-19

Dull dull thrice dull

Persisted to 4hrs 32 mins after nothing much has happened then gave up. Sacha is "anorexic", but has the energy for the story line of being a super mover in the spy world, and an athlete? Characterization reminds me of Helga from Allo Allo without the sex appeal. No alpha role, no love action, no point. It's been a surprize as book 2 and book 4 of this series are excellent.