Staying For Good by Catherine Bybee REVIEW

Zoe Brown may have been voted Most Likely to Never Leave River Bend, but the paper-thin walls and suffocating air of her family’s double-wide trailer 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—turning her back on the shame of her black-sheep siblings and imprisoned dad. 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. While Luke was a refuge for Zoe in the past, he knows they inhabit totally different worlds now. Anchored by his parents and his job as a mechanic in his father’s shop, Luke never felt the urge to leave River Bend—until Zoe’s return. But when the two rekindle their old flame, Zoe is forced 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 for good.


I’m ready for the next book in the series! I loved this book. Catherine is an author that when she has a new release, her book bumps others down and become first priority on my to read list. Staying for Good was the perfect pace, the perfect depth, and had the perfect balance. It held a few steamy scenes, some mystery and intrigue, some suspense and drama, then a whole lot of love. The reason her books stand out is because the love in the book isn’t just the lust captured between two love birds. It’s deeper than most books and that is what draws the reader in and makes them feel like they are a part of the story. Staying for Good captures the love between friends and family, who sometimes are your friends, and even the love and support of your community. I felt the warmth of the characters hearts as the story progressed and that makes a great read. There was a point in the book that Luke states, “I learned that every time you pushed to another level, it proved you had to leave this town to get there. And as much as I missed you, I was proud that you were doing it.” To capture how intertwined I was with these characters already during the first half of the book, I had to look away for a minute because my eyes had started watering because I could sense that pride. I love that this book doesn't tease you and go the stereotypical route. I usually can figure out a book within the first chapter or two and this one was not what I expected. It wasn't a constant tug-a-war between if she was going to stay or go. This story was about a strong, independent woman who overcame her obstacles and showcased her growth through the rain in life. I could convey many more compliments, but I’d want to go into detail about the twists, so I will just highly recommend that you read this book for yourself then let me know what you think.The only thing I would mention is the alternating perspectives. I read the eBook version that was provided to me by the author before release, so that I could provide an honest review during the release tour. That being said, I’m not sure if the final edition might have addressed it, but the alternating third person confused me a few times. I’d have to reread a paragraph on more than one occasion to make sure I understood who was speaking; it seemed to slow down my reading a little. During the first 80% of the book it was just alternating between one or two characters, but then all of a sudden mid chapter it began letting a supporting character with a smaller part take over the perspective. It did add depth to those characters with that different view of things which contributed to the story greatly, I just wished the switches were more clearly identified or separated. I’ve never read a book that didn’t just have two alternating perspectives, but had several interchanging.