Evvie Drake Starts Over
In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie" Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets they've kept. They'll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there's always a chance--right up until the last out.

Evvie Drake Starts Over Details

TitleEvvie Drake Starts Over
Author
ReleaseJun 25th, 2019
PublisherBallantine Books
ISBN-139780525619246
Rating
GenreRomance, Fiction, Contemporary, Adult, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

Evvie Drake Starts Over Review

  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars rounded to 4 starsThis was a fun read. Just having read a heavy-duty literary fiction novel, I was ready for something like this. Evvie Drake is a young woman who decides to start her life over. Her best and platonic friend Andy knows Evvie needs the extra money and talks her into renting the apartment attached to the house to his childhood friend Dean. Dean is a former star pitcher with the New York Yankees who has recently lost his career thanks to a case of the “yips.” These are our 3.5 stars rounded to 4 starsThis was a fun read. Just having read a heavy-duty literary fiction novel, I was ready for something like this. Evvie Drake is a young woman who decides to start her life over. Her best and platonic friend Andy knows Evvie needs the extra money and talks her into renting the apartment attached to the house to his childhood friend Dean. Dean is a former star pitcher with the New York Yankees who has recently lost his career thanks to a case of the “yips.” These are our three main characters. This is a book about many things, including honesty with both oneself and others, family relationships, mental health issues, forgiveness, romance, and new beginnings. Most of the characters are very likeable, and it was especially easy to cheer for Evvie. The Maine setting is different, and Ms. Holmes does a good job bringing the setting into the story. There is depth to the tale, but I was hoping for more—this might relate to the fact that I have been reading some meaty novels in recent months. Despite that, I really enjoyed the story, which drew me in right away and held my interest throughout. I recommend Evvie Drake Starts Over to anyone looking for an interesting and fun feel-good read. I look forward to seeing what Ms. Holmes comes up with next.Thanks to Net Galley, Random House Publishing - Ballantine Books, and Linda Holmes for an advanced review copy. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
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  • Laurie Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    This is the perfect summer read - enjoy!
  • Claire Reads Books
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ⭐ I’m a longtime fan of Linda Holmes’s writing and of her work on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, so I went into this book really wanting to love it — and I was relieved to discover that it’s even better than I was hoping it would be. This book is pretty much what I wish every contemporary romance novel was — something with enough fantasy and dizziness to provide a sense of escape, but something that also doesn’t sand down life’s rough surfaces or trim away its ragged edges. This is a 4.5 ⭐️ I’m a longtime fan of Linda Holmes’s writing and of her work on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast, so I went into this book really wanting to love it — and I was relieved to discover that it’s even better than I was hoping it would be. This book is pretty much what I wish every contemporary romance novel was — something with enough fantasy and dizziness to provide a sense of escape, but something that also doesn’t sand down life’s rough surfaces or trim away its ragged edges. This is a smart, grounded, and swoon-worthy read that is equal parts romance and the story two people learning how to change course and reshape the contours of their lives. A perfect cozy weekend read.
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  • Cindy Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsEvvie Drakes Starts Over is a highly entertaining, occasionally heartbreaking, and always engrossing tale that has stayed with me long after I finished it. The book is set in a small town in Maine and tells the story of Evvie Drake and Dean Tenney, two very different individuals who are hurting and need help recovering from their own personal traumas. Evvie’s husband, a prominent doctor in their small town, died the year before on the day Evvie was planning to leave him. Intensely priva 4.5 starsEvvie Drakes Starts Over is a highly entertaining, occasionally heartbreaking, and always engrossing tale that has stayed with me long after I finished it. The book is set in a small town in Maine and tells the story of Evvie Drake and Dean Tenney, two very different individuals who are hurting and need help recovering from their own personal traumas. Evvie’s husband, a prominent doctor in their small town, died the year before on the day Evvie was planning to leave him. Intensely private, Evvie had told no one, not even her father or best friend, that she planned to leave her husband for reasons that slowly unfold as the book progresses. She struggles to move on because she is paralyzed with guilt and shame. Dean Tenney is a famous Yankees baseball player whose ability to pitch has suddenly failed him causing a spectacular career meltdown. Needing to getaway and out of the spotlight, Dean rents the garage apartment attached to Evvie’s house, and the two slowly begin to share their stories with each other.The strength and importance of human connection and relationships is at the core of Evvie Drake Starts Over together with a fun romantic element and the impact of time on friendships. In the vein of A Man Called Ove and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, this book will simultaneously tug at readers’ heartstrings, cause a lot of laughter, and result in cheers with the highly satisfying and realistic ending. I highly recommend Evvie Drake Starts Over and am amazed it is a debut. I look forward to Linda Holmes’ future books and plan to recommend this to everyone I know.
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  • Kristy K
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, I devoured this book. I started during work (don’t judge) and rushed home to finish it in evening. There was something about it that just resonated with me. Evvie’s finally leaving a loveless marriage when the unthinkable happens and her husband dies. Now she has to act like the grieving widow while secretly feeling like a monster and shamed inside. Dean’s career as a pitcher comes to an end when he gets the ‘yips’ and is unable to throw accurately anymore. He moves to small town Maine and Wow, I devoured this book. I started during work (don’t judge) and rushed home to finish it in evening. There was something about it that just resonated with me. Evvie’s finally leaving a loveless marriage when the unthinkable happens and her husband dies. Now she has to act like the grieving widow while secretly feeling like a monster and shamed inside. Dean’s career as a pitcher comes to an end when he gets the ‘yips’ and is unable to throw accurately anymore. He moves to small town Maine and rents a studio from Evvie who he finds through their mutual friend, Andy. Together and separately they navigate coming to terms with the unexpected and starting their lives over. I loved every one of these characters. They were complex and broken and so so real. They dealt with the hand life gave them the same as so many of us would do: bravely one day, in denial the next, taking two steps forward and one step back. It’s a more quiet novel, very character-centric, and that’s what makes it so good. There’s no unnecessary drama to spice it up or action sequence to build suspense. It’s a novel about life, about acceptance and closure, and about the relationships we have with the ones we love. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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  • Patricia Williams
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book and could not stop reading it. I received an ARC of this book from publisher a few months back and then I started seeing in on lots of the "summer readiing Lists" and knew I had to go ahead and read it And I'm glad I did. A very simple and sweet story of Evvie who tries so hard to start over her life and what happens along the way. Love her and the other main characters.
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  • Jenne
    January 1, 1970
    A romance about adults acting like adults! They have actual conversations! They fall in love because they REALLY LIKE EACH OTHER! They make mistakes and then apologize! They have nuanced friendships with people of the opposite sex! They help each other, and sometimes it goes wrong! They have complicated relationships with their careers and parents! There is also kissing!
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  • Janssen
    January 1, 1970
    It's hard to find good chick-lit that's not too racy and not too stupid. This one was just about perfect. And the dialogue was so sharp - I underlined so many funny lines.
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    This is such a lovely story. I’m sad it’s over. I couldn’t get enough of Evvie and Dean. They are two perfectly imperfect people. Women who have been in unhappy marriages will relate to Evvie. She’s the kind of woman you feel you could be friends with. Her romance with Dean felt genuine and real. Both of their insecurities were valid and relatable. I think you’ll want to add this to your TBR for June. I received this ARC from Netgalley.
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  • Melinda
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not ashamed to admit that I actually clapped my hands with glee when I got approved for this one on Netgalley. I have been such a fan of Linda Holmes' work for about 20 years now, since her days of recapping tv shows on the internet and my days of secretly reading said recaps while being paid to do something else. Unfortunately, my devotion to Linda is perhaps matched only by my apathy for baseball. BUT. I loved this book so much, and it wasn't even *in spite of* the baseball. Like, even the I'm not ashamed to admit that I actually clapped my hands with glee when I got approved for this one on Netgalley. I have been such a fan of Linda Holmes' work for about 20 years now, since her days of recapping tv shows on the internet and my days of secretly reading said recaps while being paid to do something else. Unfortunately, my devotion to Linda is perhaps matched only by my apathy for baseball. BUT. I loved this book so much, and it wasn't even *in spite of* the baseball. Like, even the parts involving Baseball Words made me happy. This is a smart lady romance novel, with so many wonderful turns of phrase. I know I'm not supposed to say too much or quote things until the book is actually out, but can I at least tell you about the part where she compares a hair removal routine to building a ship in a bottle? Or the part where she points out why crying in the shower is "the super spy's cry"? This book is so great, people.Fangirl out.
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  • Jessica Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    This Book: I am about a woman leaving a terrible marriage who puts up walls to protect herself that end up hurting the people she loves.Me: You are a delightful, cheery ball of fluff and I adore it.Just to be clear, I do not really read happy books. When people ask me for something light and fluffy I respond with \_(ツ)_/. I like dark, serious, complex sh*t. But every now and then I will find a book that I find to be just a sunny, lovely, sweet bite of candy. To other people it may look like a ni This Book: I am about a woman leaving a terrible marriage who puts up walls to protect herself that end up hurting the people she loves.Me: You are a delightful, cheery ball of fluff and I adore it.Just to be clear, I do not really read happy books. When people ask me for something light and fluffy I respond with ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I like dark, serious, complex sh*t. But every now and then I will find a book that I find to be just a sunny, lovely, sweet bite of candy. To other people it may look like a nice but slightly heavy read, but to me it is all sunshine and rainbows because my perspective is oh so slightly skewed.I would put EVVIE DRAKE right next to J. Ryan Stradal (just swap out the midwest for Maine). They both write these surprisingly complex characters that you get to know really deeply. And while there is something just so good and pure about them, they are not actually afraid of darkness and hard times and how people get through them. They are ultimately really uplifting and affirming even though there are a lot of rough steps along the way. Evvie has spent most of her life in a bad marriage. It's taken a toll on her self-esteem and the way she presents herself to the world. When she finally gets the strength to leave, her husband dies suddenly and sends her into a tailspin. Enter Dean, the former professional pitcher who's left in disgrace with a case of "the yips." These two broken people will, of course, learn how to love each other and themselves. That is no surprise, and the book is thrilled to give you a real damn romance. It also lets you spend some real time with these characters, to let them grow, to listen to their banter, to hope and swoon and smile. I really related to Evvie, the way she lost herself, the way she keeps things inside to protect herself and the way she slowly opens up. I loved her wit and the way she cared for the people in her life. It was nice to spend time with her, and it was even nicer to spend time with her and the perfect, hunky Dean. I'm delighted Linda Holmes has written a novel. It's a straight up commercial read, but it's got such heart and wit, I want to read five more.I listened to the audiobook of this and liked it in that format a lot. At first I thought the narrator wasn't my first choice, I wanted someone with a little more bounce in their voice. But she more than made up for it with her truly excellent New England accents, so I wholly endorse her. (FYI the author is listed as a reader, she reads only the dedication and the acknowledgments.)
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  • Nerdette Podcast
    January 1, 1970
    A MiLLION STARS FOR THIS FABULOUS BOOK
  • Louise Miller
    January 1, 1970
    This is the rarest of birds--a love story for adults. Not just a love story between two people, but a story about the love between friends, the love of family, and the love that you find for yourself by going through the hard stuff of living. It is warm and funny and real and smart in all the best ways. Treat yourself to this book--it's a marvelous reminder of some of the best things about being alive. And it takes place in coastal Maine, and has dogs and baseball, so, you know, it's perfect.
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  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars I normally don't read books like this because I am old and cranky but I needed to cleanse my palate. It's like eating a heavy meal. You need a break. I have been reading a lot about abused women and lots of WWII novels that seem to be very popular right now. I needed to remind myself that there are normal people out there. This book was perfect for that. I am refreshed. Evvie has recently lost her husband, her high school sweetheart and the town doctor. She rarely leaves her house exce 3.5 stars I normally don't read books like this because I am old and cranky but I needed to cleanse my palate. It's like eating a heavy meal. You need a break. I have been reading a lot about abused women and lots of WWII novels that seem to be very popular right now. I needed to remind myself that there are normal people out there. This book was perfect for that. I am refreshed. Evvie has recently lost her husband, her high school sweetheart and the town doctor. She rarely leaves her house except for her weekly Saturday morning breakfasts with her friend, Andy. Dean is a former Yankee pitcher who can't throw straight anymore. Andy is both of their friends and suggests Dean escape the relentless publicity by renting an apartment from Evvie in their small town in Maine. The story involves their healing and moving on in new lives. It was fun and easy reading. If that's what you need right now, then this is a great book to do it with.
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  • Leslie Schwartz
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited to read this, since I've been a fan of Linda Holmes's work for years - I love listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour and have been rooting for her to finish and release her book since she announced that she was working on it. This was such a fun read, and I spent a lot of time reading it outdoors in the sunshine (which was a great place to read this book). I loved:-spending time with these characters, and especially loved Evvie's relationship with her best friend, Andy.-the setting I was so excited to read this, since I've been a fan of Linda Holmes's work for years - I love listening to Pop Culture Happy Hour and have been rooting for her to finish and release her book since she announced that she was working on it. This was such a fun read, and I spent a lot of time reading it outdoors in the sunshine (which was a great place to read this book). I loved:-spending time with these characters, and especially loved Evvie's relationship with her best friend, Andy.-the setting in a small town in Maine, and all the anecdotes and gossip that come along with being in a place where everyone knows you and expects you to act in a certain way-the depiction of Evvie's marriage and the slow unraveling of details about itThis was heartwarming and charming, with more complex issues under the surface as well. I had fun spending time with this story.I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • OLT
    January 1, 1970
    As a longtime romance reader, I've read plots very similar to this one before. But the plot is not what makes this special. It's the really good, fresh writing, the well-drawn, realistic, complex characters, the smart dialogue. All that is what makes this a very satisfactory contemporary romance about two 30-something characters with baggage who learn to accept themselves, baggage and all, and love each other, baggage and all.One day Evvie Drake was all set, luggage in car, money in glove compar As a longtime romance reader, I've read plots very similar to this one before. But the plot is not what makes this special. It's the really good, fresh writing, the well-drawn, realistic, complex characters, the smart dialogue. All that is what makes this a very satisfactory contemporary romance about two 30-something characters with baggage who learn to accept themselves, baggage and all, and love each other, baggage and all.One day Evvie Drake was all set, luggage in car, money in glove compartment, to leave her husband Tim, beloved doctor in their small town and seemingly the perfect man, when she learns he has been killed in a car accident. Since that day Evvie is living a reclusive half life and a lie, as a grieving widow. It has been more than a year since his death and the guilt she feels about her lack of grief is almost paralyzing her. "Monster, monster," she calls herself, but she has no one to confide in to help her cope. Even her best friend Andy doesn't know about how very unhappy she was in her marriage or her plans to leave.Dean Tenney was a hotshot professional baseball pitcher. When he mysteriously loses his pitching abilities for no apparent physical reason, the humiliation and abuse from former fans forces him out of New York and to the small town in Maine where his school friend Andy lives. Andy suggests he rent the small apartment attached to Andy's best friend Evvie's house...and the story is off and running.But it doesn't necessarily run exactly true to formula for romance novels. There's no insta-love, insta-healing, insta-HEA here. Yes, it is a romance and, yes, you will be happy enough with the ending, but it's the road to the ending that really makes this book stand out. It's not just a romance. It's a story about friendships, about families, about grief, about abuse, about coming to terms with issues in your life, about making a life for yourself that may or may not be the one you had originally envisioned.And all this is written with humor and warmth, with lovely, witty reflections and insights into what it means to be human, with very intelligent and snappy dialogue.I really appreciated all the characters here, from troubled Evvie to her BF divorced father Andy to Andy's little girls to Evvie's father to Dean to Dean's parents to Andy's girlfriend. They are all so real and three-dimensional and all the relationships are very well developed.Author Holmes, as I understand it, spent a few years completing this debut novel. She is a busy woman, with her NPR podcast, Pop Culture Happy Hour, so that's probably the reason. However, I do hope there will be more Holmes novels on the horizon for readers like me to enjoy.
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  • Corinne Keener
    January 1, 1970
    Can you believe that after, I don't know, 45 years I finally won a GoodReads Giveaway? And it was for the first novel by Linda Holmes from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour? I'm still thrilled about it.I read Evvie Drake Starts Over on vacation and I'm not going to say that is the only situation in which one should read and enjoy Evvie Drake Starts Over, but I am going to say it deserved the real estate it took up in my luggage.Evvie Drake is a thirty-ish something living in coastal Maine and about t Can you believe that after, I don't know, 45 years I finally won a GoodReads Giveaway? And it was for the first novel by Linda Holmes from NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour? I'm still thrilled about it.I read Evvie Drake Starts Over on vacation and I'm not going to say that is the only situation in which one should read and enjoy Evvie Drake Starts Over, but I am going to say it deserved the real estate it took up in my luggage.Evvie Drake is a thirty-ish something living in coastal Maine and about to leave her high school sweetheart doctor husband when he unexpectedly dies in a car accident. Everyone believes that she’s trapped in a cycle of grief, because that’s to be expected, and she doesn’t stop them from thinking this. In an effort to help her pay the bills on the big old Victorian home she’s left with, her very good friend Andy suggests that she rent out an apartment to his very good friend, Dean Tenney. Dean is a professional baseball pitcher, recently forced to retire after the yips destroy his career and looking to lay low for a little while.The rest of the novel could be mistakenly described as predictable. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Evvie and Dean have a sweet and flirtatious friendship that becomes something more. But Holmes is doing way more here - not that I’d expect anything less. There’s nothing wrong with a straight-up romance, but Holmes has written a romance and a story about many different kinds of grief so thoughtfully. She treads wonderfully comfortable rom-com standards, but doesn’t overlook how complicated people are.Evvie and Andy are the best representation of friends in a romance ever. Probably. It’s a friendship between a man and a woman that doesn’t get ruined by someone catching feelings. It’s an honest representation of what it means when you and your BFF find yourself in different places in life and how you can navigate learning new lives together. It's hard. It's its own kind of grief. I cried!This is also the first book I’ve read that accurately captures emotional abuse in a domestic relationship in a way that’s normal. It doesn't resort to more drastic types of abuse to prove that emotional abuse is destructive to your life. Evvie’s relationship with her late husband was familiar to me. I love that her feelings weren’t trivialized and that she wasn’t treated as just a sensitive woman. There are so many people out there dealing with similar situations and I was really blown away to see it treated so complexly. Finally a book that gets that a new dude to love does not fix your baggage, nor does it treat baggage as a flaw.And to top it off, some of the dialogue was laugh out loud funny. Really, truly, the whole package.
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  • Nancyreads
    January 1, 1970
    Enjoyable, engaging read with characters to root for.
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    Just exactly everything I wanted it to be.
  • Richard Dominguez
    January 1, 1970
    A great story about 2nd chances, "Evvie Drake Starts Over" is a fun and heart felt read. The dialogue makes for easy reading at a steady pace. I enjoyed reading about Evvie's journey as she stumbles through her life (maybe because I felt a simpatico with her).The subtlety I really appreciated from this story is "choice not made". I think we go through life crediting the decisions we make for where we are, but the choices not made have in some essence helped to make (us) and get us to where we ar A great story about 2nd chances, "Evvie Drake Starts Over" is a fun and heart felt read. The dialogue makes for easy reading at a steady pace. I enjoyed reading about Evvie's journey as she stumbles through her life (maybe because I felt a simpatico with her).The subtlety I really appreciated from this story is "choice not made". I think we go through life crediting the decisions we make for where we are, but the choices not made have in some essence helped to make (us) and get us to where we are as well. Hence the choices we don't make can change the course of things in our lives and thought Evvie's story was a wonderful example of it.While I can't say the ending took me by surprise the course it took to get there was not what I expected and thus an enjoyable surprise.All in all a good read and an easy recommendation for anyone looking for a fun heartwarming "pick me up".Thanks to Mr Holmes and Goodreads for hosting the contest that won me a copy
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  • Jessica Jeffers
    January 1, 1970
    I love Linda Holmes so much that a friend once asked me if that was my pen name and this book is adorable.
  • Kirsten
    January 1, 1970
    I love Linda Holmes, and a large part of me was worried that my love of her commentary and critique could impact how I read her fiction. But lemme tell you, I loved this book all on its own. I may not have picked it up otherwise if not for Holmes' name on the cover (sports-adjacent/related romances are not my preferred genre, despite the fact that I've read three of them in the last six months and they've all been fantastic), but anyway now I apparently have feelings about baseball throwing ("pi I love Linda Holmes, and a large part of me was worried that my love of her commentary and critique could impact how I read her fiction. But lemme tell you, I loved this book all on its own. I may not have picked it up otherwise if not for Holmes' name on the cover (sports-adjacent/related romances are not my preferred genre, despite the fact that I've read three of them in the last six months and they've all been fantastic), but anyway now I apparently have feelings about baseball throwing ("pitching", or so I gather it's called).I can gush a lot about this book. How I texted screenshots with my other ARC-readers (fellow PCHH listeners), how I loved Evvie's relationship with her father, how I adored the ending and the book's pacing, how I felt the relationships grow and change over the seasons.This book is a delightful weekend read, light but not fluffy, soft but not too gentle. It will appeal to readers who have never explored the romance genre as well as romance aficionados. Readers (like me) who pick it up because of Holmes' pop culture writing will find the same insight, warmth, and cleverness that we love about her work.Anyway, I now need this book in hardback. It's one of those.
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  • Kady
    January 1, 1970
    I just loved this. Warm, sexy, funny, sad. All the good stuff. I was so looking forward to Linda Holmes’ first book and it was everything I wanted it to be.Update: I listened to the audiobook. Still A+.
  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Linda Holmes knocks it out of the part with her debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over. The pacing is perfect for summer. We tend to have a little more time to lounge. If you have a couple of hours on a beach, by the pool, or just on your couch, you will be driven by such a delicious narrative that you won’t want to stop untilyou know for sure that Evvie is going to be okay. The characters are strong, especially Evvie. I rooted for her and was completely smitten with the friends and family that Holmes c Linda Holmes knocks it out of the part with her debut, Evvie Drake Starts Over. The pacing is perfect for summer. We tend to have a little more time to lounge. If you have a couple of hours on a beach, by the pool, or just on your couch, you will be driven by such a delicious narrative that you won’t want to stop untilyou know for sure that Evvie is going to be okay. The characters are strong, especially Evvie. I rooted for her and was completely smitten with the friends and family that Holmes creates for her. I enjoyed the pop culture references and the humor — my goodness, this book is funny at times, but also so touching, too. It’s just a perfect, fizzy summer read that will be enjoyed by readers for seasons to come.
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  • Genevieve Trono
    January 1, 1970
    Evvie Drake Starts Over is an endearing story of a woman who is trying to get her life "back on track" after the loss of her husband. It was a feel-good story that was also able to cover some important topics like loss, relationships, mental health, and new beginnings.I enjoyed that this was a romance book that was actually relatable and the main characters had regular issues they had to acknowledge and address. I appreciated that the issues were not only highlighted but dealt with and this made Evvie Drake Starts Over is an endearing story of a woman who is trying to get her life "back on track" after the loss of her husband. It was a feel-good story that was also able to cover some important topics like loss, relationships, mental health, and new beginnings.I enjoyed that this was a romance book that was actually relatable and the main characters had regular issues they had to acknowledge and address. I appreciated that the issues were not only highlighted but dealt with and this made this book so much stronger. This also added some much-needed depth while also having plenty of light-hearted moments. I look forward to reading more by Linda Holmes in the future! Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Caitlin
    January 1, 1970
    I received an arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.There's a lot to love with this book from Linda Holmes. I was excited to check this out because of her work with NPR, and her frequent musings about the romance genre and Hallmark movies in particular. She delivers! This is sweet, sad, and a little steamy - you'll want to check this one out as soon as it's been released.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Seriously delightful.
  • Jessie Bond
    January 1, 1970
    I have 100,000 emotions and I can’t share any of them until June. Terrible secret-keepers like me should not be granted access to ARCs. This book is a cup of herbal tea at just the right temperature on freezing cold day, an unexpected but not unwelcome hug, a glass of inexpensive but really good red wine, a bittersweet phone call from your best friend. It warmed my heart and broke it and fixed it again fifty times over and I can’t wait to shove into the hands of everyone I know in five months.
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  • NancyJ
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh, bright novel about starting over when life doesn't work out the way you expected. The friendships and relationships felt real to me, and I was totally invested in the characters. I really cared about what happened to them. The dialogue was natural and funny. The book made me smile, laugh, worry, and even blush a few times. I liked the author's voice on the page, and I wonder what she's like in real life. She also does radio and podcasts, so it could be fun to che I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh, bright novel about starting over when life doesn't work out the way you expected. The friendships and relationships felt real to me, and I was totally invested in the characters. I really cared about what happened to them. The dialogue was natural and funny. The book made me smile, laugh, worry, and even blush a few times. I liked the author's voice on the page, and I wonder what she's like in real life. She also does radio and podcasts, so it could be fun to check that out. I won this book in a goodreads giveaway, and I'm glad I read it right away, before I knew it would be shelved as a romance. I often say I can't read romance novels any more, but Linda Holmes proved me wrong. I hate insta-love and unrealistic romance tropes, so I really enjoyed the slow build in this story. This isn't one of those I-need-a-man-to-fix-my-life sort of stories. Love doesn't fix everything,even when it's totally delicious. This is a fairly realistic romance, assuming you believe that it IS possible to find really good, nice men, who are also hot. The friendship between Evvie and her friend Andy was really special too. It's a great summer read, especially with some baseball, and a Maine setting. The book and the audio won't be released until June 25, but I saw that Julia Whelan is narrating the audio book, so you can't go wrong there. I'm still smiling from my book high.
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  • Maris
    January 1, 1970
    Leave it to Linda to write an incredibly charming and romantic novel that has the snappy pop culture dialogue of a Tarantino film.
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