I can’t believe it took me so long to read book #1 The Do Over.
Both The Do Over and It’s Not Over rock my socks. Actually I have developed a huge girl crush on A.L. Zaun who will have you laughing like a hyena with her candidness and sense of humour. She adds just enough of that humour to her books with the right balance of love and angst. Both of these books make for the perfect weekend reads.
Are you Team Rick?
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?
Written from various points of views, The Do Over is a story of second chances and new beginnings.
“If I let go, will you catch me?”
He had wanted her to help him win his ex-girlfriend back. She had wanted to teach him a few lessons on how to treat a woman. Neither one had planned for the unexpected.
I couldn’t stand by and watch. It hit too close to home. I had to run fast and far to get away and forget him. He weaseled his way into my life, making me question rules I lived by and turned my orderly life upside down. I’m falling apart and coming undone. I don’t do that. I’m Madison Stuart. I live life by my rules. I won’t be derailed by a man. I won’t…I can’t.
She’s gone. I’m desperate and going insane. I’ll do whatever it takes to find her. I don’t know when it happened, but I won’t let her go, not like this. What has she done to me? I’m Rick Marin for crying out loud. I don’t chase women, but she’s not just a woman. She’s Maddy–my Maddy–and I need her.
Follow Rick and Madison’s story, The Do Over’s most notorious couple, as they learn that It’s Not Over.
“You’re absolutely right. You have every right to be upset with me. I’m very sorry Alex ambushed you. I’ve mishandled this entire situation.” I came up behind him. “Please, Rick, we can talk about all of this tonight, I promise.” I took off my scarf and laid it around his neck. “Come on, you’re freezing.” I ran my hands up and down his arms, trying to warm him up a bit.
“Madison,” he said in a tone that sent a dagger piercing through my heart as he turned to face me, “I’m not Liam Lucas. I’m not the guy Daniela imagined me to be. I am who I am. I’m an asshole to the highest degree. I’ve manipulated situations and people to get ahead. I bend rules and sometimes break them. You’ve seen me at my best, at my worst, and generally everything in between.” He paused and paced in a circle. “Just when I think I know who you are, just when I think there’s a sliver of humanity inside of you with a couple drops of red blood flowing through your veins, you pull this heartless fucking shit on me.”
His words hit me like a freight train. At the surprising impact, I stumbled back a couple of steps. I tried to steady myself, wanting to ignore his accusations and character assassination, but the red blood, flowing through my veins and pumping through an actual heart, bled.
The Do Over and It’s Not Over
A.L. Zaun is a sneaky one. Here I was thinking I would be reading your typical romance novels. A love triangle, the bad boy and the perfect book boy along with some wishy-washy book girl. Well this wasn’t the case. She hid the real story like a book ninja. That was book one. Book two– I knew Rick and Maddy a bit better but then of course, again with her ninja skills, A.L. Zaun snuck in things. She changed my heart and my feelings for these characters.
The characters: so much more than a pretty face and they really were pretty faces.
Rick—arrogant, selfish, no verbal filter, insensitive, freaking gorgeous as all get out and definitely knows how to use his sexuality. Just thinking about him wants me to castrate him yet ride him till the morning sunrise. Rick is a complicated character because he wasn’t the ass in the sense of he is a terrible person. Rick views everything in his life as a means to prove to himself and the world that he is a good guy. He feels any sense of failure is a reflection of his integrity, his morals and his general nature. He defines himself through his actions.
Dani—caring, generous, book geek, loves with everything she has, almost naïve, beautiful. She is unaware of her charisma and the effect she has on people that cross her path. Ideal is her and she gets a little off balance when ideals shift and she didn’t see it coming or was hoping it would shift another direction.
Liam—unbelievable, perfect, sincere, understanding, patient and incredibly loving. Not to mention so schmexy just thinking his name will melt your panties. Liam knows exactly what he wants. Will go after it but not at the risk of hurting himself or those he loves.
Maddy—hot damn, gorgeous, tenacious, hides under so many layers, has the heart to love unconditionally, will not let herself get trampled on, and so gorgeous and hot she’ll make a straight girl take one for the team. I love Maddy’s character because she is bold, won’t let you see her true emotions, and will call you on your bullshit. She’s a toughy that is somewhat fragile.
The stories: layers upon layers of good stuff. A.L. Zaun writes this story that you think you know what it’s all about but when you get to the end to stop and think about it, you are stunned. She gives you a slap in the face and makes you wake up to see the real deal. Yes this is a sexy love story, yes it is a bit of a triangle (ish) maybe more like a square. It’s not one-dimensional. It’s multi-dimensional where each character influences one another in some capacity even if they never have definitive interactions with each other. Are you still with me?
In other words, the choices each character makes, the things they do, the things they say, each have a bit of a domino effect or butterfly effect on the final outcome.
A.L. Zaun does a great job of keeping the story rolling without any lags, you definitely get a clear picture of her characters and when you get to the end of the book there is lots to talk about, lots to analyze. D4/5
Oh and if you are going to read one, read the other and make it time well spent.
A.L. Zaun graduated from Florida International University with a degree in English Literature when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and cellphones were the size of a brick. Her impressive degree did absolutely nothing for her professional endeavors in health care management but did stir her imagination and opened up the world of books in a new way.
Armed with a large bottle of Diet Pepsi and a multi-pack of Extra Sugar-Free gum, A.L. Zaun spends her evenings bringing to life the characters that dominate her thoughts and interrupt her sleep.