Bella Hunt has created a terrific life. She has good friends, a successful career helping others, and a home with two dogs she loves more than anything. Life has turned out very well for her. But when Bella comes face to face with the bane of her high school existence, it throws her life into an emotional tailspin.
Easton Evans never had to worry about much growing up. As a cheerleader dating the star football player, life seemed to be laid out pretty well for her. All grown up, Easton seems to have it all, except someone to love and share her life with. When her company decides to send the entire management staff to conflict resolution training, Easton is reluctant. That is, until she sees her beautiful instructor.
Bella never thought she’d see Easton Evans ever again. Yet, here she was in Bella’s class in all her pretty, blonde glory. Easton doesn’t even remember Bella at all, and what makes it worse is that Easton is so much softer and kinder than Bella remembered. Not to mention she is still very attractive. As the two women spend more time together, the sparks between them fly off the charts. Soon, though, the truth of their shared history must be known, and the fallout might be more than either imagined.
Will Bella and Easton be able to put the past in the past? Or is there too much hurt between them to resolve this conflict of the heart?
Anna: Beers makes both women likeable and relatable by making them two sides of the same coin. In high school, Bella was the outcast; Easton was the popular cheerleader. However, both women harbored the same secret struggle with their sexuality. No matter what their reputation was among the halls of a small town high school, they knew revealing a secret like that would leave them open to ridicule and torment.
We pick up with the two women years later and miles away from their past. Bella has gained perspective on her time in high school to find her calling in life. She has become a successful social worker and a woman who knows who she is on every level. Easton also gained perspective to have the courage to embrace her true self and be happy. It’s that fortitude that gives her the courage to walk up to Bella and ask for exactly what she wants.
Tara: I totally agree with Anna. I’d also add that they’re both just so damn likeable. It’s no wonder that Bella can’t keep Easton at arm’s length, because they have a magnetic, friendly energy that just works with chemistry that’s off the charts from the beginning, even as Bella struggles with memories of Easton from high school. I was captivated by their individual character arcs and thrilled by their happy ending.
The Writing Style
Anna: Beers makes a lot of intelligent decisions with this story. One of the major decisions that stands out to me is how she chose to portray the past between Bella and Easton. She sprinkles in scenes of Bella and Easton in high school and juxtaposes them against the interactions between Bella and Easton of present day. By giving us these moments, Beers shows us two people from different sides, dealing with the same struggles, can find love together years after the hurt has subsided.
Tara: Again, I want to “yes, AND” what Anna has to say. I love how the flashbacks directly inform what’s happening in the present between Bella and Easton. It fuels the tension between them, especially when their past comes screaming into the present.
Tara: Lori Prince has done it again. I’m so glad she’s narrating all of Georgia Beers’s books lately because they’re such a perfect match. I feel like I keep saying this, but Prince has been levelling up her craft and it shows, especially in the emotional parts, making her one of my favourite narrators going.
Anna: I really loved Bella’s dogs, Lucy and Ethel, as well as Easton’s daughter, Emma. Their appearances really bring out this unguarded happiness in both women, and we see just how compassionate these women are and how much love is in their hearts.
Tara: This whole story works for me. The characters are wonderful (including Bella and Easton’s friends and family), the romance is beautiful, the dogs are adorable, and it has an amazing first kiss.
Anna: Not very often do I wish for an epilogue in a story, but I really wish there was one here. Beers does such a good job of having Bella and Easton thinking about a possible future together, and it would’ve been nice to see a little of it pan out.
Tara: This is the one spot where I disagree with Anna, because the ending was PERFECT, in my opinion. Instead, can we talk about how the horrible high school bully’s name was Tara? 😠😂
Anna: There are so many good things I could say about this story, but then I would start giving away spoilers. Beers’ intelligent decisions with this topic, combined with her beautiful writing, makes this story refreshing. You’ll feel empathy for Bella and Easton of the past, encouragement for Bella and Easton of the present, and maybe come to a better understanding of yourself.
Tara: Go get this book, and if you like audiobooks, definitely get it in that format. It’s a beautiful story, masterfully told, showcasing how Georgia Beers is at the top of her game. Definitely one that shouldn’t be missed!
Excerpt from The Do-Over by Georgia Beers
“You made it,” Easton said unnecessarily, as Bella took a seat next to her. The love seat made them sit closer together than Bella would have normally, and Easton’s scent tickled her nostrils, a subtle perfume of gentle sweetness with just a hint of spice to it.
“I did.” Bella tried to settle into the cushions but was unable to fully relax. Something about being this close to Easton tensed her up like a cat on alert.
“Do you come here often?” Both of them seemed to hear the question at the same time, and Easton’s cheeks were suddenly a pretty shade of pink. “I didn’t mean…” She stuttered a bit and Bella couldn’t help but smile. “it’s just that your office is really close.” Easton closed her eyes. “God.” She blushed more deeply.
Bella touched her knee, still smiling. She couldn’t help it. Easton in the throes of embarrassment was kind of cute. “Don’t worry. It’s been ages since anybody asked me that, so I’ll take it, even if it was just an innocent question. I should come here often, but I don’t. I forget how close I am.”
“Well that’s a shame. The coffee is excellent.”
They each sipped their coffee, eyes gazing over the rims of their mugs at each other, and Bella had a sudden, inexplicable feeling of contentment, like she was right where she was supposed to be.
Weird. So very, very weird.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635553932
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
- Narrator: Lori Prince
- Georgia Beers Online
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