Create Your Own HEA – Review of “Not Quite Forever” by Catherine Bybee

Every time I read another Catherine Bybee novel it gets moved to the head of my Favorite Reads List and “Not Quite Forever” is now occupying that coveted spot. I love protagonist Dakota Laurens, romance novelist extraordinaire. She’s full of life, down to earth and the filter on her mouth is mostly non-functioning, or at least that appears to be the case. Despite her success in the romance writer’s arena, Dakota has never been in love nor even dated one man long enough to fall in love. They’re either intimidated by her success and earning power or they’re hoping to ingratiate themselves sufficiently that they can get their hands on some of her hard earned money. Who said gold diggers could only be of the feminine variety?

Dakota has no time for or interest in any one man. At least that’s what she’s been telling herself right up until she meets Dr. Walter Eddy III. Truthfully, he notices her first but that ‘click’ is there for both of them, regardless of who saw whom first. The doc loves his work, especially the never boring ER that’s his chosen field and the international doctor’s group that responds to disasters all over the globe. Some might say he’s an adrenaline junkie but…..

Regardless of their individual hangups they each took notice of the other and right away the situation got hot and heavy. Before long they were enveloped in a cloud of mutual lust and affection, right up until Doc Eddy started pulling back and then Dakota reacted. At first she was mystified. Then anger set in. At him. Then at herself. And about the time she got a good head of steamy mad at the doc, she realized she had a much bigger problem staring her in the face. When Walt Eddy finally came to his senses, he knew he’d screwed up and would have one helluva time ever convincing Dakota that he was worth her consideration. Is he worth it? If so, what must he do to win back her love and respect?

This fourth book in the Not Quite Series is a delicious read. I fell in love with the main characters. Dakota and Dr. Eddy are now like dear friends who’ve moved away and I’m already missing them like crazy. The storyline is delightfully original, chock full of well crafted dialogue. Added to that, Dakota’s occasionally unconventional behavior is both entertaining and refreshing. Bybee’s writing is marked in its’ clarity and well-turned phrasing. Her bio elicits no raised eyebrows from this reader because the claims of her accomplishments all ring true. I admire her writing in both style and substance and I am a nitpicky reader who is not easily impressed. But Bybee lives up to the hype in her jacket blurbs. What a treasure she is and “Not Quite Forever” is a credit to her creative skills. Five stars.

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