Blog Tour: The Do-Over: Julie A. Richman

The Do-Over
Julie A. Richman

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Release Date January 26, 2017

From USA TODAY Bestselling Author Julie A. Richman a new, stand alone Second Chance Romance 

~ Sometimes, one degree is all that separates you from the one you were meant to be with ~ 

Wes Bergman was sex on a stick. 

We’d been circling one another our entire lives, mingling at the same clubs... attending the same events…sharing mutual acquaintances…yet we’d never actually met. 

Until…we both boarded a Windjammer Cruise in the Caribbean. And it was like meeting my long, lost best friend for the first time. I hadn’t ever connected with a guy that way before.

But Wes had a girlfriend. So, when the week was over, he walked off the ship, unknowingly taking a piece of my heart with him.

Now, over a decade later, newly divorced, I’m the proverbial fish out of water. Dating has totally changed. Apps. Swipe left. Swipe right. Catfishing. Men my age want two things: twenty-five-year-olds—like my ex’s new child bride of a wife—or just a quick hook-up.

After a string of bad dates, I finally did something I never thought I’d do. I had a hot one-night stand with a really handsome guy I met online who didn’t even know my real name.

Turned out Mr. Fling is a big shot for my company’s newest client. And just my luck, that client’s CEO is none other than...Wes Bergman.

Now I’m separated by one degree again from the man who stole my heart. 

And Mr. Fling could destroy my chance of what I want most – a Do-Over with Wes.

This is a story of soul mates...of two people who traveled similar parallel paths but never met...until their paths finally converged. On one magical night they had an intense connection that held promise...but was never fully realized. They were each other's one that got away.

And years later, their paths cross again with a chance for a do-over. But it seems the universe is out to get these two as each time they seem to get a chance, there seems to be at least one potential barrier. These two who seemed destined to be together, yet the timing or circumstances cause issues. Sometimes by other's interference or just their mere presence. Sometimes it is due to misunderstandings, miscommunication, or fears. 

Tara and Wes met in their twenties, then lived their own lives and reconnected in their late thirties. So their story spans a good chunk of time. Tara is now an independent, hardworking, devoted mom who has never been good with men. She's been divorced, hurt, demeaned, and ignored. And she is not harboring much hope of meeting Mr. Right again despite her attempts at putting herself out there in the world of online dating and social events.

Wes has been through some serious situations that have both destroyed him, but also gave him new purpose. He's charismatic, caring, intense, and thoughtful. He's a good guy, but is so loyal that sometimes he can be manipulated.

I really liked both Tara and Wes. She really needed to gain confidence and to fight for her own needs, and knew she did not want to settle. And Wes could be so sweet and swoony, but he was not perfect. He made mistakes and could have strong reactions. Their flaws and mistakes make them more relatable. The story is believable. It's real life. It's messy, chaotic, and can change quickly. It's the dynamics of friends, family, exes, and the horrors of divorce, dating, and loss. But it gives you hope that there can be good things coming if you just keep believing that it is possible, even if you might have to fight for it. 

This is story of second chances, healing, and true connections. But there is nothing easy about it. It builds slowly and ramps up tension waiting for the inevitable to happen, but the beginning does fully set the stage for the story. It spans a significant amount of time. It takes more than being in each other's presence again for a true do-over. It requires trust, faith, work, and hope that the other has good intentions and can be counted on. These two had quite a journey trying to find out if the person they met years ago was truly their soul mate or just someone whose path they might cross from time to time.

Julie A. Richman has this way of creating characters that feel real... they tug at your heart, but they can also make you laugh or at times frustrate you. This had an interesting smattering of side characters including a few familiar names and faces that made me smile. I liked her vivacious friend, Laynie, and her daughter, Scarlett. His sister, Stacy, was a firecracker. There were some antagonists that made me want to smack them....seriously...like hard. The relationships that developed between the main couple and two of the important side characters were also relevant to the overall love story adding even more depth of feeling. And this book champions a cause that is so important and relevant to so many. And I think it was handled very well.

Overall, this is is a humorous, heartbreaking, heartwarming, romantic, emotional, and believable second-chance love story. I liked the fact that they were more mature characters and had life experience and imperfect pasts. I found myself immersed in their lives and hoping for the best even when things were looking a bit rocky. And it demonstrates that each connection you make in life might have some significance and that you never know how or when it might become clear.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

As usual, Julie has created believable, mature, real characters dealing with the horrors of modern dating, including internet and dating app nightmares, and the difficulty of finding the right match despite time and effort.

Wes is a good man. Plain and simple. His attempts to connect with Tara’s daughter even as he and Tara are facing their own challenges only highlighted what a great man he truly was. From the very first introduction to him, I was rooting for him and Tara to figure things out. When challenges cropped up, including the times (yes, multiple) they were living nearly parallel lives, I couldn’t help but wish their paths would take that slight jog in order to meet up once again.

If I have one complaint about this story, it was that I wish there wasn’t as much time between their meetups. Not so much in a fictional time sense, but I grew tired of reading about Tara’s failed dating attempts, and her encounters with Matthew left me particularly disgusted with the dating scene. I wanted Tara and Wes to find each other again, so each man that wasn’t him just irked me and didn’t sit quite right. While I would say this book had a slower start due to the dating woes, once things picked up and fell into place, I was hooked on these two.

In the background of this story is a weight to the issue of supporting breast cancer survivors, families, and each life touched by this illness. Both the handling of characters with the disease and the connection the characters found through the support of these women was one factor that I particularly loved about this story. From Wes’s products to the fundraiser Tara helped him put on, there is a focus on lifting women up and helping them through adversity that resonated. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
His hand slowly stroking up and down the outside of my thigh is what roused me from my dream state. It was so soft and tender that I was getting more and more turned on with every movement. With my eyes still closed, I enjoyed the sensation. It wasn’t until his lips started brushing my shoulder, that I was unable to stifle a moan, revealing that I was awake.
“Good morning,” his whisper was hoarse.
“Mmm, good morning.” I stretched my body against his and turned my head to see his face hovering over mine, before our lips met.
“Sleep good?”
“Surprisingly, I did. I was so exhausted. Sorry for passing out on you last night,” I apologized.
“I think we both passed out the moment our heads hit the pillows.” Wes’ hand had migrated from my thigh to my stomach, where he softly drew circles with his fingertips.
Rolling over to face him, I pushed my hair out of the way, silently praying my humidity enhanced curls didn’t make me look like a deranged housewife, scaring the erection right out of the man. Slinging a leg over his thigh, I instantly got my answer. The crazy morning coif was not a cock killer. Thank God!
“You’re a morning person, I see.” Hiding my smile was not a possibility.
“Yeah, I am,” Wes laughed, moving closer to me, his eyes filled with the unmistakable desire to become lovers, something I’d dreamed about on the deck of a windjammer long ago.
“You can wake me up like this anytime.” I needed to let him know it was okay. He’d said he’d take it as slow as I wanted it and what I wanted right now was a slow rhythm of him plowing into me. Hard.
“Are you hard to wake up?” He was pressed up against me.
“I think you’ll figure out the secrets to rousing me.”
“You’ve already figured out the secrets to arousing me.” His voice still had that sexy edge of morning roughness to it, making me want to skip all foreplay and have him inside me.
“I’ll bet you have a few more secrets I can discover,” I said against his lips, as I shifted the leg I had slung over him, pressing my heat and wetness against his already throbbing cock.
Wes groaned and I could feel his smile against my lips. “You know you’re going to make it impossible to make slow, sweet love to you.”
“Good, because I don’t want it slow and sweet.”
Wes flipped me onto my back, “I can easily accommodate your wishes. Are you on anything or do I need to…”
“We’re good,” I assured him.
“Yes, we are.” He kissed my neck, then swiftly pulled my tank top over my head tossing it to the floor. “We’re going to be really good together. Of that, I have no doubt.”
And I knew he was right. Being with this man had been so perfect from the night we met. We meshed with ease and the result was pure joy.
The warmth in his eyes and smile made my breath catch, and in that moment, I was flooded with overwhelming emotion at how much I wanted him. How much I’d always wanted him. It was more than lust, beyond the heat of the moment. Wes Bergman was the man I had always wanted, from the night we met. That was clear to me now.
“I vote we skip the foreplay.” I wriggled out of my underwear.
“You’re on.” His smile told me he was taking on the challenge.
“You’re in,” I gasped, my breath catching in my throat, surprised at the swiftness with which he filled my request.
Julie A. Richman

USA Today Bestselling author Julie A. Richman is a native New Yorker living deep in the heart of Texas. A creative writing major in college, reading and writing fiction has always been a passion. Julie began her corporate career in publishing in NYC and writing played a major role throughout her career as she created and wrote marketing, advertising, direct mail and fundraising materials for Fortune 500 corporations, advertising agencies and non-profit organizations. She is an award winning nature photographer plagued with insatiable wanderlust. Julie and her husband have one son and a white German Shepherd named Juneau.


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