Thursday, August 2, 2018

Review - Half Empty by Catherine Bybee

Half Empty
by Catherine Bybee
Series: First Wives, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: July 31, 2018

Trina Petrov’s marriage-by-contract was only meant to be temporary. But when tragedy strikes, Trina is left one of the wealthiest women in the world. To recover from the shock, she takes some time off in Italy, swearing not to fall for any men while there. But that doesn’t mean she can’t fall for anyone on the trip home . . .

Country-music superstar Wade Thomas is lying low in a hotel bar when he gets the cold shoulder from the woman next to him. He’s used to fans fawning at his boots, and Trina is a refreshing change—so is the fact that she has no idea who he is.

As things begin to heat up, Trina discovers that the circumstances of her late husband’s death are not what they seemed. Now she’s in trouble, and Wade isn’t about to let her out of his sight. Getting close to love and danger could get them killed . . . or it could sweep them both off their feet.

I absolutely loved the premise of the First Wives club - the set-up was unique, the characters were real, and the book pulled me in from the start and kept me engaged right through to the end.

Trina is still recovering from her husband’s death – even though it was supposed to be just a temporary, marriage of convenience arrangement, she did come to care for Fedor and was shook when he took his own life. With the one-year anniversary of Fedor’s death coming up, Trina is still trying to come to terms with all the changes that his death has brought. I loved her introspection and how thoughtful she was. She knows that she still needs time to make sense of where she is emotionally, but she doesn’t shut herself off to the possibilities…just takes time to make sure she’s ready for the choices she makes.

Even though Wade is famous, he’s still very real and down to earth. He knows and even sometimes plays to his fame, but his actions speak to his desire to be seen for him, and not the fame that his singing has brought. When he meets Trina he can’t believe she doesn’t know who he is – which makes her even more intriguing to him. He can be the fun and flirty cowboy, but those who truly know Wade know that he’s also caring, thoughtful, and loyal to those he cares about.

I loved the backdrop of the suspense to the romance between Wade in Trina. What starts as the beginning of a love story between these two quickly turns into a dangerous adventure. I loved Wade’s unquestioning support and doing whatever he needed to help Trina, but my favorite part was watching Trina’s friends circle the wagons and do whatever was needed to protect and support each other.

This is the second book I’ve read by Catherine Bybee and I am impressed once again by her ability to make her characters step off the page. There’s a realness and emotion that is written into each page and it makes it so easy to get caught up in the story. The quick pacing and plot were perfect for the story that was told and I can’t wait to dive into the next book!

This is one that is a must for anyone’s TBR shelf!

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from the publisher from NetGalley.

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