Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Do Over by Serena Bell

Toe-curling? Check.
Sheet-twisting? Check.
But is that enough for a second chance?


I’m pretty much as tough as they come. But when a woman comes to me in tears, I’m jelly. Scratch that—when Maddie Adams comes to me in tears, I’m jelly. That’s how we ended up making our incredible son five years ago, and that’s why I practically beg her to move in with me when she’s in a tight spot. Of course, the last time I got the chance to be the hero, I let her down, but I’m not making the same mistake twice. This time, I’m going to be the man she deserves—and then I’m going to lay every ounce of sexy on her until she lets me back into her heart.

Jack Parker is hot, and he knows it. What he’s not is a family man, something this single mom had to learn the hard way. Still, moving into his place until I get back on my feet makes all kinds of sense. He’s an old friend. He’s, ahem, the father of my child. And let’s face it, now that I’ve just been colossally dumped, we’ve got nowhere else to go. The truth is, I never could resist Jack. Living under the same roof puts dirty thoughts in my head. And when my brilliant plan backfires, my whole body is begging for a do-over...

Do Over is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Second Chance Romance
Trigger: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is a dual point of view story where you get to see a friends-to-lovers relationship have a few hiccups but ultimately, thrive.

Jack and Maddie have always had chemistry. But their friendship is what solidified their lives together. When Maddie is needing comfort, she seeks Jack out. In that night, they had the best night of their lives thus far and started on a journey that would lead them in very different directions.

Maddie and Jack’s son is not what they believe is their mistake. Jack knows that he threw away something precious in Maddie, but he can’t seem to figure out how to prove to her that he can be more than what he’s shown her. He also knows that he has to prove to himself that he’s worthy of someone like Maddie and their son. He has been shirking his responsibility – letting his mom and sister take care of his son when it’s “his turn” and he knows that needs to stop.

Maddie is hesitant to have Jack any more involved in her and her son’s life. She wasn’t able to count on him when it mattered and even though he’s letting them stay with him now, she’s not all about the trust yet. While she won’t totally write him off, she knows that there needs to be more than what she’s seen.

Maddie and Jack’s relationship isn’t overly dramatic, they don’t fight a ton and they are good at putting their son first. I think this was a sweet story about finding the balance and love again. That making poor choices earlier in their lives didn’t mean it had to dictate their future together. It’s a sweet story and one that is great from both points of view.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I haven't read many books like this. A guy gets a girl pregnant and doesn't see himself as father material. He's not against her keeping the baby, but he feels like he won't make a good dad. Picturing himself as a young child and listening to his dad scream and curse isn't what he wants to be remembered for. So, he financially helps with the child and with his mom and sister, seeks visitation with the child.

As a woman, I can empathize with Maddie. She's loved Jack for years and when she got pregnant, she just knew that he would step up and be the man she's always seen in him. However, she let her doubts and fears of not being loved enough to question the trust and faith she had in Jack. Jack, reacting to that loss, told her what she expected to hear.

As Maddie has raised their son with little help from Jack, she's come to realize that she can do it all on her own. She doesn't want to, she wants a home and family and more children. What she doesn't expect is to have it with Jack. But life doesn't always go as planned and sometimes fate is a quirky girl who lands you back in the place that will make you ask yourself, "Can I really have a do over?"

This is a sweet and sexy second chance romance. Jack and Maggie have a lifetime of history together and they share a son they both love very much. But it isn’t until Maggie’s life starts to collapse that she and Jack are able to get to know and care for each other as adults.

Jack is a difficult character to like at the start of the story. He is a proud player. He’s a happy bachelor and a lad’s lad. He is a little bit of a Peter Pan character who lets his mum and sister do most of the difficult care for the son he likes to play with. He gets better through the story and he does start to grow up – but there are moments when I just thought he was a complete arse.

Maggie is a nicer character but she’s pretty mild and bland and I feel like I’ve seen her far too many times before in romance writing. She’s a noble, struggling single mum with all sorts of emotional hang-ups.

This is very much a family romance. Jack and Maggie’s son, Gabe, is their focus and he adds all sorts of cute kid moments to the story. The story is fairly predictable. Even the major miscommunications are predictable and I’m pretty sure I’ve read this ending before too.

Ultimately, this is a sweet chic-lit romance. It is formulaic and predictable, but it is also an entertaining beach read.

Do Over is a good second chance romance. It has some great lines from Gabe, the four-year-old son of not-together Jack and Maddie, and some funny bachelor man gaffes as well.

I loved how we get both sides of the story. Particularly as Jack learned about himself, in relation to his son, and his dating life, being conditioned fears due to his father's bad behaviour. It was so lovely to see him experiencing the good side of being a dad, as well as getting the chance with Maddie.

I liked the twists and turns which forced Jack to think about what he wanted, and gave Maddie the courage to fight for her longtime friend to be the man she wanted all along.

Jack and Maddie were friends growing up and when they were 21, had an affair that ended with Maddie falling pregnant. Gabe is now 4 years old and Jack is a weekend dad, but Jack and Maddie are not together. When Maddie needs somewhere to live temporarlily, Jack invites her and Gabe to stay with him.

It was fun watching Jack and Maddie try to keep out of each other's pants. They don't succeed for long and they are dynamite together. I love the change in Jack through the story. He goes from being a dad that isn't very involved in his son's life to living with his son, doing the bedtime routine, and being involved in his everyday life and actually wanting to spend time with Gabe. Female readers, you are going to love Jack hard. I know I did.

This story is dual point of view, so we get to see how their relationship looks from both sides. At times the story takes us back for snippets of Jack and Maddie's past and we learn about what happened that lead them to where they are today and why they are not together.

Do Over is a story about two regular people and that is a huge plus for me – I love that. It makes it easy to relate to the characters and their lives. Do Over is also a second chance story as well as a friends-to-lovers story and all these elements put together make a fun, sex, hot romance but one that also pulled at my heart strings. A solid four star read for me.

USA Today bestselling author and RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee Serena Bell writes richly emotional stories about big-hearted characters with real troubles and the people who are strong and generous enough to love them. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen closely enough, and she adores hiding in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head. When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also her enormous collection of constantly changing and passionately embraced hobbies, ranging from needlepoint to paddleboarding to meditation.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Do Over by Serena Bell to read and review.

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