One small town. Three close friends. True love to last a lifetime. Voted Most Likely to Succeed, Melanie Bartlett ended up anything but. The down-on-her-luck single mom wants a complete do-over—is that too much to ask? With her family long gone from River Bend, strong, independent Mel is as surprised as anyone to end up in the quaint small town she once called home. But with her friends, Jo and Zoe, by her side, and a comfortable room at Miss Gina’s quirky bed-and-breakfast, she just might have turned the corner on a new life. Wyatt Gibson never liked the big city. River Bend suits the ruggedly handsome builder just fine. Wyatt knows he’s home, even if that means being charmed by the appearance of Melanie and her spunky, adorable daughter. Is Wyatt’s calm devotion—even amid a coming storm—enough to convince Mel she may have found a home to call her own, a family that never leaves, and a true love to last a lifetime?
The synopsis of this story does not do it justice; "a coming storm" is the only hint given to the exciting events that take place in this story. I thought I had already figured out the complete story line after reading in a chapter or two and was expecting the typical fairy tale with some good friends supporting her "do over" in her small hometown. I was far from right. I would classify this more as a suspense and mystery read with some romance splashed in the beginning and end. I was enjoying the story up until Nathan came in to town, and then I began to love it. His character created an eerie, suspense as he came into town asking for trouble with the entire town lined up at the bar to sit and listen to his initial confrontation with Mel. He left the town with an open threat that had you wondering when he would come back into play and really there was no calm after his storm. The story continued to build and develop into something I was not expecting, holding me at the edge of my seat and excited to see the direction the author would take things and it was mesmerizing. I am constantly enthralled by Catherine Bybees' work. She always goes above and beyond what I tend to expect from a story and I love how well thought out her characters are from start to finish. She built a solid foundation for the three friends from the prelude to the cherry on top with the acknowledgements as she shared some of her life events that expired the story, which I loved learning the root to her passion while writing this story. She started this series off strong and I don't know how she will outdo this beauty, but I'm excited to find out where the rest of the series takes us. I look forward to what's next as always. I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review. I would rate this five out of five stars. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book.