Monday 28 March 2016

Review - The Do-Over by L.E. Bross

Title: The Do-Over
Author: L.E. Bross
Release Date: March 28, 2016

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.

Melanie McAllister's return to Biscay Beach after years away isn't exactly triumphant. She's lost her company, her job, her husband, basically…everything, including her faith in humanity. Her return to the relaxed little seaside town isn't meant to be long term. She just needs to sell the ocean front cottage she inherited from her parents, and then she'll return to New York to re-build her shattered life.

Eli Stuart has just started patching together the pieces of his own fractured life when Mel comes blowing into it. He’s bearing the scars of his own failed relationship, and he’s not even remotely interested in anything romantic. He’s definitely not interested in some career-driven, money hungry, uptight city girl who has a way of getting under his skin no matter how much he tries to push her away. To say that the two did not experience love at first sight is putting it lightly. However, when Eli agrees to help Mel fix up the neglected beach house, he gets an inside look at the Mel nobody else gets to see. Even Mel herself isn’t familiar with this laid back, fun-loving version of herself. The two pull each other out of their shells, bring each other back to life, and it is...satisfying. Sweet. Sizzling. Lovely.

Eli was a nice surprise—I mean, I knew I'd love him. But while I expected the tall, sexy artist to be good with his hands, I wasn't really expecting his deliciously dirty mouth. He's hot, you guys. And also nice. Nice and dirty. You feel me? He’s also funny, and sensitive and determined. He's basically the dream and made up nearly 75% of my enjoyment of this book. 

Mel took a little longer for me to warm to, but as she warmed to Eli, and Biscay Beach, she became more...real. Relatable. I loved watching her warm to the world around her, and accept the changes that Eli helped her make in her life. She did so much healing, and growing, and in the end, I loved her too.

Together, they were…the best. Flirty and sexy and fun. It was so touching to watch how they healed each other. I felt like the conflict was a little predictable and a little too “neat”, but it certainly didn’t detract from how much I loved Eli and Mel together, and it really did give Eli time to shine. 

I flew through this light, easy read, loving the time I got to spend with Eli and Mel. Perfect for the beach or a rainy reading day, this is a sweet, heartwarming story that left me happy and satisfied. 
~ Review by Shelly

L. E. Bross is living her own happily-ever-after in Maine with her husband, two boys, and a houseful of four-legged fur babies. You can find her at and on Twitter @Lee_Bross.  

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