Cover Image: Evvie Drake Starts Over

Evvie Drake Starts Over

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Member Reviews

A delightful original story by this new author. I appreciate that this novel has romantic elements but I was just as intrigued with the actual plot line as well.
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4-4.25 stars

This was a true contemporary book. The events and plot was so raw and real that I felt like I was watching a movie in my head. I’d have liked to know these people in this small town in Maine. The talk about real mental stressors and how Evvie dealt with was so realistic that I was reminded me of people I know.

There was a time where I thought this book was a 5 star read, but the last third of the book kind of messed that up. Evvie became so whiny about her husband yet remained oblivious to the fact that he was an abusive jackass. It’s okay to hate someone but why are you thinking about all the crappy things he did when you’re in the beginnings of having sex with your new man!? It would have been nice if there would have been sexy times that were just sexy not a reminder of how much of a jerk her dead husband was. We’ve had most of the book to realize he’s a jerk by Evvie’s memories. It works have been nice to focus more on the rest of the plot instead of harping on the dead jerk.
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In a word, this book is charming. The characters, the setting, all are cozy. There's just enough conflict to tug you along without making you feel stressed.
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Heartfelt and lovely book. Seemed written to be more of a crossover than I expected but I enjoyed it nevertheless.
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I adore Evie with all her quirks and attempts at 'normalcy'.
This is a book I may actually read again at some time when I need a reminder that I just need to carry on until things change.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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DNF. I could not get into this one and decided to not continue reading it. Thank you publisher and NetGalley for the early copy!
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Appreciated that it was a story about a more mature couple falling in love who have dealt with real adult life traumas and problems.  However, I couldn't give it more than 3 stars as it crawled to a halt for me.  I lost interest which is never good.  Its a case of its me not you.  Sometimes that's the way it goes..

Thank you to Ballentine books for the ARC to read and review.
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This novel pulled me in right away with it’s opening pages. The story of this recently widowed young woman intrigued me - and the story that followed did not disappoint. The romance was fun to read,, but I also enjoyed that this story went deeper than that and delved into how to handle grief and guilt and life.
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This is a wonderfully written debut novel with well drawn characters that I immediately liked and rooted for. This fun and frothy romance is perfect for a beach read or a weekend at home. It's warm, engaging, funny and sweet!
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What a precious book! I hope it becomes a movie some day. It was just a delightful and real book on falling in love after loss. The emotions weren’t straightforward and decisions weren’t logical but that MAKES SENSE. Great book!
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Evvie Drake Starts Over is a wonderful story of what happens when we allow ourselves to believe in the beauty of second chanves. Evvie Drake's husband has unexpectedly passed away and she finds herself in a new stage of life when a washed up ballplayer starts renting the apartment in the back of her property. Together they explore what it means to trust happiness.
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HJ Recommended Read! ~Harlequin Junkie Blog

In Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes, It's been almost a year since Eveleth "Evvie" Drake's husband died in a car accident, leaving her a widow before her thirtieth birthday. Since then, she's been rattling around in their huge home in Midcoast Maine, making appearances in town only whenever absolutely necessary. Tim's death hit Evvie pretty hard--but not for the reasons everyone thinks. When her best friend Andy suggests she rent the apartment in her big old house to former major league pitcher Dean Tenney, Evvie decides to give it a go. She could use the income...and the company, if she's being honest. But who knew what a life-altering adventure it would become for Evvie.

Dean's successful baseball career came to a screeching halt when he suddenly couldn't pitch anymore. Nothing helped. And he certainly tried everything. He isn't the first athlete to be hit by the "yips". But it put a dent in his confidence, that's for sure. So when Dean's friend Andy suggests getting away from the media and naysayers in NYC by spending time in Calcasset, Maine, how could he refuse? Especially once Dean meets his landlord, Andy's BFF, Evvie. They get along famously and decide right off the bat not to mention their pasts. But as their friendship eventually morphs into something a bit more, Dean knows that for it to work, they'll have to come clean about the issues they're each still sorting out.
Evvie Drake Starts Over was a completely engaging novel that had quick dry-witted humor from two main characters stumbling through life after huge events changed the path they were on.


I had a whole lot of fun getting to know Evvie (name rhymes with Chevy) and Dean--and Andy, Monica, Frank, etc--as they all made some mistakes, learned a few lessons, and finally settled into their new lives. I also loved getting to read a new-to-me author. Linda Holmes told an interesting story here and did a great job capturing the feeling of living on the coast of Maine. 

There were a few twists to Evvie's personal journey that I won't spoil but that got doled out over the course of the story which made the story even more interesting. Let's just say that her marriage sadly wasn't exactly what everyone on the outside thought it was. And it left Evvie in a weird position when her husband passed away suddenly. The feelings she had to work through were all too real and Holmes definitely nailed the way Evvie behaved and reacted because of it. I should mention that she was a people pleaser. Which I know some readers don't like. But it seemed as though it was the natural way Evvie would have evolved after the childhood she had.

Then we had Dean. Overall he was a solid hero who was down on his luck but who knew himself well enough to know he needed a change of scenery. His childhood buddy Andy was Evvie's best friend. Strictly platonic, but they had a super strong friendship. You could kind of see where Dean and Evvie's relationship would probably end up, with them having some kind of romantic entanglement instead of just being tenant-landlord. But it certainly didn't go the way I thought it would. So I have to give Holmes kudos for letting things between Evvie and Dean take whatever time it needed to play out. (Again...trying not to give spoilers!!)

After being utterly charmed and 100% swept away with Evvie Drake Starts Over, I can't wait to see what Linda Holmes does next. Her keen eye for detail as well as her convincing storytelling ability will undoubtedly give us another entertaining story to devour.
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I had a couple of people tell me they liked this book and they were right-it's a great book! I loved the writing and the characters. The dialogue is so smart. I am a sucker for a story about an introspective protagonist and Evvie did not disappoint. Would absolutely recommend this quick, beautiful story!
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A realistic romance about the courage it takes to rebuild a life. Does not shy away from the realities of learning to love someone and taking them as they are. It also involves kissing.
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Evvie Drake is stuck. It's been a year since her husband Tim died in a car accident, and she can't seem to do anything. She gets out at least once a week to see her best friend Andy and does just enough work to pay the bills, but she needs a change. That change comes in the form of Dean Tenney, a former major-league baseball player in search of his own fresh start after coming down with a case of the yips. Dean and Andy are old friends, so when Dean comes to town to lay low, Andy suggests he rent the apartment at the back of Evvie's house. Dean and Evvie become fast friends, and they make a deal not to talk about her husband or his baseball career - a deal that's quickly broken. Secrets are revealed, and they soon develop a connection deeper than friendship. Could this be the future they've each been looking for or will the past continue to stand in their way?

Evvie Drake Starts Over pulled me in from the start. On the night of her husband's death, Evvie is actually preparing to leave him. I feel like this offered a different perspective on grief. How is Evvie supposed to grieve when Tim wasn't the perfect husband everyone thought he was? While Holmes focuses on the issues over the romance, there are still plenty of moments throughout the book where I found myself smiling and laughing out loud. Evvie and Dean are definitely #relationshipgoals. If you are a fan of audiobooks, be sure to check this one out. Julia Whelan is a great narrator as always!
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Loved it. Really cute story. I read this one in about a day. Evvie was a great character! I would definitelybread nore books by this author
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I absolutely ADORED this book! Who hasn't wanted to start their life over at some point, hoping for things to be different or better? Evvie's husband was killed in a car accident and she has been unable to move on. But what we come to find out is that Evvie had planned on leaving her husband Tim on the same night that he was killed because he was not a nice person and treated her horribly. Her best friend suggests that a good friend of his--an ex baseball player--move into the apartment she has for rent. From there, Evvie learns how good--and bad--life can be. She also learns that we shouldn't feel guilty for deciding to want better for ourselves, no matter how things turn out
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I let my children stay up way too late because I couldn’t force myself to put this book down long enough to brush their teeth and force them into pajamas. I read the whole thing in less than 24 hours and I regret nothing (okay, I regretted the crabby children the next day). Evvie Drake has just lost her husband (he dies in the first chapter) and Dean Tenney is a World Series winning pitcher for the Yankees who suddenly can’t pitch anymore and he has no idea why. When he escapes the endless news about his fall from grace in New York, he ends up renting the apartment in Evvie’s too-big-for-her house and the two strike up friendship, based on the agreement that he won’t ask about her late husband and she won’t ask him about baseball. You can imagine how long THOSE rules last. As far as swearing and sex, this one is about on par with Sophie Kinsella’s books.
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My thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Books for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.  

I wanted to like this book more than I did.  It had an excellent premise.  Woman was about to leave her mentally, emotionally and starting to get physically abusive husband, who is the beloved hometown doctor, when he does the unexpectedly helpful thing of getting into a car accident and dying.  She didn't love him, was afraid of him and played the part of the grieving widow, when she just felt guilt about not feeling sad at all.  She couldn't move on and she didn't even tell her best friend about it for two years.  Until he figured it out and their relationship crumbled.  

Having been through a divorce and seeing others I know and love going through them, if the marriage and the spouse is that bad, having them die on you before you actually tell the world and them that you are leaving them, would be an almost welcomed tragedy, in comparison to the tragedy and drawn out horribleness that is divorce.  Not saying it's better for death to happen, just that at the time it would seem better for the one left behind at the time.  

So the fact that Evvie wasn't at least somewhat appreciative of what the Universe had done for her was unbelievable to me.  She had a multitude of other issues that prevented her from seeing the silver lining and being honest with her BFF I guess, ten years in a mentally and emotionally degrading marriage can do that to one I suppose, but I just wanted to SHAKE her and tell her to get over herself and to move on with her life.  Even dead her husband was still controlling her and it was not fun to read.

The relationship she developed with the H didn't feel real and she wasn't a "fixer", she was dam pushy and nosy and I honestly don't see how the H came to like her at all.  

The only saving grace for this book was the discussion of getting therapy for mental health issues in such a positive light.  Evvie does eventually come to realize that she needs therapy and she goes and she does get slowly better, which I felt was realistic.  She's not perfect by the end of the book, but she is slowly healing and able to deal with life in a healthier way than she was at the beginning of the book.  It felt real.

I'm sad I didn't enjoy this more.  2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 for the positive representation of therapy for mental health issues.  It's a start in breaking the stigma of mental health illnesses.  We need to be willing to talk about it openly and not look down on those who have the issues and need the help.
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