Date: January 24th 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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.
Catherine Bybee with Staying for Good, continues the story of three friends. In this #2 in the series the focus is on Zoe Brown, once voted by her school mates as the one most likely to never leave River Bend. Well.... Zoe proved them wrong, she certainly left this little place in Oregon and went out into the big world and became a successful chef. Is she likely to ever return to River Bend and stay for good?
Well her best friend Mel is about to have a big event take place in her life that Zoe will want to be there for. Also Luke Miller, the guy she let go when she left River Bend still loves Zoe and if she won't come to him then he just may be prepared to come to her.
I thoroughly enjoyed the continuing story of these women, meeting up again with Mel, Zoe and Jo the local sheriff. So why did Zoe leave River Bend? Well it turns out she had an abusive father - Ziggy now in jail, a horrible excuse of a human. He made their life a misery when they were all growing up and Zoe also has a lingering worry that if she and Luke become close will it work out?
There is challenge, the facing of old and new wounds, a sense of danger lurks, but through it all love and deep friendship and towns folk who work together. Some hot romance and humor all mixed in together. There is an exploration of an abusive parenthood and husband so if this is a difficult subject for you it may be you'll either want to miss out on it, or embrace and rejoice in it.
It is well paced, plenty of action and I just love the place and the characters.
I most certainly will look forward to Jo's story, looking forward to finding out about a sense of someone watching - and who will be the man of her dreams. I have one hope but we shall see.