Book Review #229: Staying For Good

Author: Catherine Bybee

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction, Drama, Contemporary Romance

Language: English 

Series, if any: A Most Likely To Novel, Book 2

Publisher: Montlake Romance 

Date of publication: 24 January 2017

No. Of pages: 339


Zoe Brown may have been voted Most Likely to Never Leave River Bend, but the paper-thin walls and suffocating air of her dysfunctional family were not what she wanted for her life. Other than BFFs Melanie and Jo, the only thing that kept Zoe sane during high school was her boyfriend, Luke. She didn’t just leave, she escaped. Now a celebrity chef in Dallas, she can afford all the things she never could have growing up. But when she returns to rustic, ruggedly beautiful River Bend, Zoe has to face all that she abandoned—including Luke.

Luke was a refuge for Zoe in the past, but he was always anchored by his parents and his job as a mechanic in his father’s shop – until the day Zoe returned.

They finally get a second chance to make it work this time. Zoe has to make the hardest decision of her life: remain in River Bend and confront her past before it destroys her, or say good-bye to everyone she’s ever loved…again, this time for good.


I accidentally stumbled upon Catherin Bybee’s work while going through kindle offers on Amazon, and I have been a fan since then. Her writing is pristine and packs a lasting punch. The plotlines are always elaborate and gives plenty of room for all the characters, primary and secondary, to grow and mature. While the book is primarily a romance, the ample amount of drama owing to an abusive and dysfunctional family keeps it interesting. At the same time the cliff-hanger ending leaves room for the next book without giving it a sense of incompletion. The characters are vulnerable and humane and way too lovable to criticise. 

My opinion: A well-balanced book thatbis good enough to be a standalone and yet expected to have a series. 
My rating: 4 out of 5


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