Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: The Do Over by A. L. Zaun


Life doesn’t look like it’s supposed to for Dani Ruiz, a hopeless romantic. After a painful and sudden break-up with Rick Marin, Dani hides away from reality, retreating to a world of fiction where she prefers book boyfriends over the hassles of a relationship.

Almost two years later, Dani’s friends are tired of watching her in a holding pattern, so they stage an intervention, forcing her back into the real world of dating.

Unexpectedly, Dani meets Liam Lucas, a down-to-earth firefighter. He might be the person to show her she’s still worth something. Dani’s hesitant to trust her heart with another man, but their instant and electric chemistry is something she can’t deny.

As Dani starts to believe that she’s found her real-life book boyfriend, Rick decides that he’ll go to any lengths to get her back. Seeing Rick as a changed man makes Dani question everything. 

Can Dani trust her patched-up heart with Liam? 
Or has Rick transformed into the man she’s always wanted? 

Told from various points of views, The Do Over is a story of second chances and new beginnings.

Leary's review:

What a fantastic book! I was able to connect to each of the characters immediately and felt myself relating to each of them, no matter if I hated what the character was doing during the story I was able to understand their motives and relate to them. The story has some extremely hot, and when I say hot, I mean HOTTTT scenes as well as some heart wrenching scenes. I knew what was coming throughout the story but it didn’t make it hurt any less.

What is unique about this book is that we get three different POVs. We have Dani, a young woman who finds herself drawn to commitment phobia men after her father left her mother when she was a young girl. She is convinced that all of the these men can change and will be her prince. Rick, an arrogant jackass who broke Dani’s heart. Last but not least, Liam Lucas, a hot firefighter who knows exactly what he wants and what he wants is Dani, forever.

We start off with Dani and Rick in an extremely passionate relationship. I could feel the scorching sexual connection that these two share with one another. 

“I knew I’d been kissing a frog for the past year, but I had faith he’d turn into a prince”

After a year of being together and 6 months of living together, Rick has decided that their relationship isn’t working for him.

“After all, you never know when something better might come along”

To say Rick is an arrogant dickhead is the understatement of the year! Dani was extremely heartbroken, I felt the hurt and anger right along with her.

“You’ll look back on this day with regret, I promise you. I was the best thing that ever happened to you”

Two years later, we find Dani has shut herself off from relationships with men and has completely immersed herself in her Kindles (yes...plural, she has multiple!) and prefers her relationships with her book boyfriends. I could totally relate to Dani in this scenario. When your heart and trust have been broken you seek comfort from something steady and stable.

“I felt safer with an imaginary boyfriend than actually opening myself up to a real one”

Dani’s friends, Candace and Macy, are fed up with her love affair with her books and stage a kindlevention at their weekly Saturday brunch. The kindlevention does not go well for Dani and she finds herself agreeing to a girls night out at a night club. Before she can finish her book and get ready for the night out Dani must attend a CPR training class for work. When she gets to the classroom, she convinces herself that she will finish just one more chapter and then she will pay attention. Like we can ever stop at just one more chapter!!

Dani is so captivated by the angst filled story, she barely realizes that the class has begun and the instructor is not an old man but hot young firefighter.

“My peripheral vision was correct; he was tall, lean and yes, muscular, and so not the old dude”

Throughout the training, many looks are shared between the two and when Liam requests for Dani to get some hands on training in front of the class I could feel the extreme attraction between both of them.

“I didn’t know what possessed me. I was drawn to her.”

At the end of the class Dani stays to help clean up the equipment and they share some flirtatious banter but Dani sneaks out before phone numbers are exchanged. Dani thought she would never see Liam again but was excited that she was able to feel an attraction to someone and was finally feeling ready to move on from Rick. Later that night out at the club with Candace and Macy, Dani and Liam run into each other. Liam wasn’t going to let Dani get away this time.

“I meant it when I told you I wasn’t going to let you get away”

Oh boy does Liam have a way with words!! Liam would say the sweetest things to Dani and showed her that he truly cared. After the night at the club, Liam and Dani find themselves in a fast developing relationship and falling hard for each other. Dani felt like she finally found someone that could handle all of her insecurities and little quirks and would love her because of them.

Little did Dani know, Rick was at the club the night that she ran into Liam. Dani’s words came back to haunt him that night, finding himself regretting ever letting her go.

“I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. She was beautiful. There was something different about her though. It was her smile, and I wanted it for me. I had to talk to her. I couldn’t stay away.”

Rick devises a plan to get Dani back and recruits a new found friend, Maddy. I loved the conversations between Maddy and Rick. Maddy is a spit fire girl who tells Rick when he is being an arrogant jackass and won’t take any of his crap!

While finding herself falling for Liam, Dani begins to have coincidental run-ins with Rick but are these run-ins actually a coincidence? Is Rick really becoming the person that Dani always thought he could be? Is her old frog finally turning into her prince?!

Will Dani give Rick a Do Over and leave behind her new man?

Leary's cast for The Do Over:

My Rick

My Dani

My Liam

Jennifer says...

I was very fortunate to beta read this book and fell in love with it from the beginning. The book starts off with Dani and Rick in a romance that is full of passion from the beginning. When Rick decides he doesn’t want a relationship anymore, Dani is devastated and gives up on finding the right man. When fate puts Dani and fire fighter Liam together in a CPR class they have an instant attraction. When Liam fails to make his move they again meet up at another chance meeting. Liam it’s going to let her go twice. Rick on the other hand decides he messed up big with Dani and will do anything to win her back. He recruits the spitfire man eater Maddy to help him. I absolutely loved the chemistry between Rick and Maddy. She doesn’t put up with Rick’s crap and tell him exactly how things need to be if he is going to win Dani back. I sooo loved Dani’s character! She is a fellow bookworm and loves her romance books, especially Professor Emerson! Go team Kindle as she would say! Liam has a heart of gold and treats Dani like the queens she is but will Rick’s plan to win her back get in the way of Liam and Dani’s HEA??? This book has it all, laughter, great chemistry between characters, romance, a wonderful supporting cast of friends, and hello a fire fighter! This is an AMAZING book for A.L Zaun’s first published work! Love it big time! 

Author Links:

Author Bio:

A.L. Zaun graduated from Florida International University with a degree in English Literature a long time ago. A degree she didn’t use at all in her professional endeavors. She loves to read, write and take pictures. She walks around with her camera, and most importantly she has her e-reader available at all times. Healthcare Management by day, Mommy in the evening and most nights, you can find her sitting in front of her laptop with a bottle of Diet Pepsi, bringing the voices in her head to life on the pages of her debut novel, The Do Over.

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