Sasha (Not a First Wife) Budanov’s Story – A review of “Say It Again” by Catherine Bybee

Interesting note: The protagonist in the last book of the First Wives series isn’t a first wife or even a second one. Even so, Sasha Budanov is unique and more than a little mysterious. Unsure what she’s seeking, she returns to the Richter academy in Germany on a sabbatical. While there, she meets AJ Hoffmann who’s trying to find out who killed his sister, also a Richter alumna. AJ’s digging turns up several Richter grads who died under questionable or suspicious circumstances and Sasha has the skills and resources to dig even deeper and discover who or what is behind it. But their digging puts them both in the crosshairs of a dangerous operative who’s been recruiting Richter graduates for clandestine employment. Sasha is considered the best and brightest from Richter but is she good enough to stay ahead of the mysterious forces and stay alive long enough to uncover their identity?

“Say It Again” is a departure from Bybee’s usual romantic novel of boy meets girl. This is much more a romantic suspense with emphasis on the suspense. Yes, the sparks fly between AJ and Sasha but it’s definitely not the focus of this tale. Sasha is more than a little mysterious but even with what we know about her, we still don’t get much real insight into what makes her tick. Perhaps that was Bybee’s intention. I dunno’ but if so, to what purpose? If there was a sequel planned, maybe. But this story had a definitive ending, so I think not. At any rate I would’ve liked to see more character background and a clearer picture of who Sasha Budanov really is instead of just impressions. As a side note, I loved Claire and look forward to seeing her grow up and have her own book. Four stars.

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