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Sometimes dreams come true. Other times, the best outcome begins with an epic fail.
Career-driven McKenna Keaton has devoted her life to attaining the senior partnership at her law firm. So asking a man on a date should be nothing. But the past four days have been the worst of her life and have called everything she thought she knew about herself into question. Besides, she can’t remember her last real date—one that didn’t involve using a blind date as an opportunity to get a stranger’s perspective on effective cross-examination techniques. (It’s like sharing fondue with a jury!)
But a real date? And with shy, nerdy Henry Blumenthal—McKenna’s high school rival for valedictorian who once took three hours to beat her at chess? Scratch that. He’s Hank Blume now, the famed documentarian, Durham’s darling son, who has attained all his dreams and more. He also happens to look like he stepped out of an Eddie Bauer catalog.
Whereas McKenna is a disgraced workaholic from New York on unpaid leave, accused of a white-collar crime she would nevercommit, succumbing to panic attacks, watching her dreams unravel. At age thirty-eight—and destined by the family curse to die before she turns forty, it appears—it’s absolutely the wrong time to have a major crush on a man. Especially one who treasures his memories of McKenna as the girl Most Likely to Succeed.
I’m a day late and a dollar short, as my dad used to say, but alas…better late than never. Today’s review is for The Do-Over by Bethany Turner, published by Thomas Nelson Books.
I have so much love for this book, I don’t even know where to start. So I guess I’ll just throw it out as the thoughts come to mind. But before I begin, let me first state that I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. So please note the following review reflects my honest opinion of this book and was in no way affected by the advance read I was offered by the publisher.
Now, with that covered, let’s go…
First, I loved that this is a Romance with the protagonist being an unmarried woman by choice at almost forty years old. This isn’t a woman who’s unfortunate in appearance and has been pining away for “Mr. Right” while suffering through a list of bad dates. This is a woman who has been career-driven with no “need” for a man to define her existence. When she’s reunited with an old high school friend and sparks fly, they catch her completely off guard and she has to decide whether she wants to redefine her goals in life. Does she want a signifiant other? Does she want to get married? And, if she gets married, does that mean she must have children? I won’t tell you if all or any of these questions are answered, but they’re natural questions every woman should be asking before jumping into marriage anyway.
Another thing I loved about this book is that it was a romance novel with absolutely no sex. Now, don’t get me wrong…I love a good romance novel with an amped-up love scene that catches my breath. And there’s nothing wrong with romance novels that give the reader an almost voyeuristic glimpse into the bedroom. Those books are perfectly okay, but that’s not what this one is and I love that about this one. I love that I can offer it to my mother-in-law or my teen son’s girlfriend without worry about whether my husband’s mom is shocked at my reading material, or my son’s girlfriend’s jaw would drop open and I’d embarrass her. This is a truly wholesome book about two people who find a connection, fall in love, and the trials and misunderstandings that potentially block their path to Happily Ever After.
I loved the family dynamics in this book. As the fourth of five children, I loved that the main character was roughly the same age gap as I am with my next older sibling, and I felt like the “differences” in the relationships between siblings because of that age gap were well-written. There’s something about that age gap between older and younger siblings that forever keeps the younger siblings just a smidge “out of the circle” of the ones who grew up together while not feeling excluded. I guess it’s just having different relationships with each sibling.
And finally, I loved the cover. How beautiful is that green cover and tiny white flowers with the couple, arm in arm, looking out over a New York skyline? I’ve been known to purchase books based entirely on the cover and, while that was not the case this time, it could’ve been. I would absolutely purchase this book based entirely on the cover and without reading the synopsis.
All-in-all, I really enjoyed this book and would give it a strong 4.5 stars. An absolutely stellar job by the author, and I can’t wait to read more!