The Do-Overby L.E. Bross
Published by Pocket Star, Simon & Schuster on March 28th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Are you looking for a well written “classic” small town romance? In the mood for classic romance tropes like opposites attract, secrets from the past coming to light, or just plain ‘ole starting over? Well, this story has them all and believe it or not, Ms. Bross made them all work together wonderfully. This story was the perfect short distraction I needed to cleanse my “palate” in between heavier/complicated books.
Melanie McAllister has lost everything: her job, her husband, and just about most all of her money. The only thing she still has is an old, dilapidated cottage her parents left her on the coast of Maine. So she packs her bags and slinks off to Maine to hide.
Her estranged younger sister lives in the town and owns her own cafe so this gives Melanie a chance to get closer to her baby sister. While Melanie is working on getting the cottage fixed up and ready to sell, she works at the cafe to cover for her sister.
Melanie’s master plan is to get her cottage sold so she has money to move back to New York and start a new job. The last thing she wanted or needed was to fall for a guy like Eli, the neighborhood bachelor who she hired to fix up her cottage. Little does she know that Eli has secrets of his own when it comes to New York City.
First thing I adored about this story was the setting. Having lived in Downeast Maine, I can picture exactly where Ms. Bross has set her made up town. I’m thinking it’s basically Bar Harbor. There is a mountain right there and the blueberry fields aren’t that far away. Now I’m missing wild blueberries… ugh.
Second, the story actually worked for me, despite the fact that it was kind of cliched. It was how Ms. Bross worked those cliches together and added authentic chemistry and heat between Eli and Melanie that had me hooked. It really made this a quick, happy read for me.
Lastly, even though this was a quick read, the characters had ample time to explain themselves and gave me a chance to get to know them. It helps that you get two POVs, both Eli and Melanie’s. Dual POV is always a favorite narration of mine because I love getting both sides to the story.
If you’re in need of an early summer vacation to the Maine coast and want to add some hot romance to the mix, this story could do the trick for you. It was a great way for me to visit one of the prettiest places I ever lived. Thanks, Ms. Bross!!