Review of ‘The do-over’ by Georgia Beers,
Audiobook narrated by Lori Prince
Bella Hunt is a successful therapist who, as a teenager, struggled to deal with her sexuality and was bullied by her classmates. Fifteen years later Easton Evans, one of her high school bullies, ends up in her conflict resolution class. Soon Bella discovers that grown-up Easton is friendlier and kinder than her teenage self but still very beautiful. As their mutual attraction develops, their shared past is eventually going to catch up with them…
This is a second-chance romance by Ms. Beers in which she draws on her own high school experience, showing how difficult a time that could be but also how people can change in adulthood. The story is mainly set in the present but it introduces a few flashbacks of some high-school moments that marked Bella’s life. Past and present are woven seamlessly and the flashbacks make the reader understand the present better.
It’s no news that Ms. Beers is an accomplished writer but, still, it really amazed me how well she built the chemistry between the main characters. The dialogues are perfect, their body language is depicted perfectly and the sexual tension is exquisite. This is undoubtedly Georgia Beers at her best. However, it’s disappointing that both sex scenes felt a bit rushed and didn’t reflect the intimacy that the author created so well.
The secondary characters are also very well-rounded. Shondra, Easton’s best friend, plays a great role in showcasing Easton’s goodness, compared to her past self. If there are any doubts about her transformation, motherhood completely redeems her. Emma, Easton’s daughter, is another convincing character though it’s a pity there wasn’t so much interaction with Bella.
Heather and Amy, Bella’s best friends, act like a sounding board and show how far she has overcome her own demons. Her two dogs are lovable fur characters. Somehow the author managed to balance the apparent fierceness of a pitbull with the gentleness of their temperaments. Also, kudos to Ms. Beers to portray their distinct personalities so well.
I’ve read this book when it was released and now I’ve listened to the audiobook version narrated by Lori Prince. Even though Ms. Prince narrates a lot of lesfic, this was the first time I’ve listened to her performance and I was really impressed. Although this book deals with some difficult issues such as bullying and sexual identity, the main love story in the present is very playful and Ms. Prince got the tone perfectly. Her strategic pauses in the narration, the inflections of her voice, the cheerfulness of some dialogues and the melancholy of others are virtually perfect. Her voices of all the characters are distinctive according to age, gender, and personality. I’ve particularly loved Bella’s husky tone and Easton’s bright voice.
I had an issue with the written version (Bella’s delay in revealing her identity), but in the audiobook version, I didn’t feel it was so relevant. Maybe it was because Bella’s heartfelt confession and the subsequent dialogue with Easton was so well performed by Ms. Prince that it made me understand the characters and the situation better. By all means, the audiobook overall result brought the story to life and made it much more enjoyable. Unfortunately, this audiobook is not available in either Audible Escape or Scribd but you are guaranteed almost 9 hours of lesbian romance entertainment. An absolute joy to listen.
Overall, an excellent lesbian second-chances romance audiobook with amazing chemistry. 5 stars.