Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Review: Half Empty by Catherine Bybee

Publication Date: July 31st 2018 by Montlake Romance
Pages: 348
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble 

About the book:
Trina Petrov’s marriage-by-contract was only meant to be temporary. But when tragedy strikes, Trina is left one of the wealthiest women in the world. To recover from the shock, she takes some time off in Italy, swearing not to fall for any men while there. But that doesn’t mean she can’t fall for anyone on the trip home

Country-music superstar Wade Thomas is lying low in a hotel bar when he gets the cold shoulder from the woman next to him. He’s used to fans fawning at his boots, and Trina is a refreshing change—so is the fact that she has no idea who he is.

As things begin to heat up, Trina discovers that the circumstances of her late husband’s death are not what they seemed. Now she’s in trouble, and Wade isn’t about to let her out of his sight. Getting close to love and danger could get them killed…or it could sweep them both off their feet.

My Thoughts:
Trina is in Italy mourning the death of her first husband, not because she was romantically involved (there's a back story), but because she feels a little responsible for his suicide.  Enter Wade Thomas, a famous country singer trying to get dinner after closing time but out of luck since the kitchen is closed.  Trina doesn’t recognize Wade at all, but she’s loaded up with the last call of food, takes pity on him and shares her food.  Wade’s immediately taken with Trina, but she’s not interested considering her circumstances and isn’t impressed with his fame or fortune.  But they end up riding back to the States together and Trina’s resolve starts to crumble in the face of Wade’s charm and sweetness.  Trina is smitten despite her friend’s protestations.  I loved Wade from the start and even more when an unexpected threat takes them all for a surprise and Wade sticks to Trina to help keep her safe.

This is my first Catherine Bybee romance, and at first, I didn’t think it was going to work for me, not because of the main characters, but because of Trina’s friend Avery.  She was so irritating and overbearing when it was clear Trina just wanted to be left alone.  Avery was supposed to (I think) come off as a concerned friend, but instead she came off as an intrusive, nosy bitch!    Thankfully, she backed off at 30% and the story got a lot more interesting.  

I actually started to like Avery, even felt bad for her which is a good thing because I think one of the upcoming books will be her story/romance.  Wade’s mother was another character I didn’t like one bit, and sadly my feelings didn’t change for that cow.  Trina was waaayyy too nice to her IMO, but I guess you need to keep the peace when it comes to your man’s mama.

When all is said and done, I really quite liked this story.  A romance with a bit of danger and suspense thrown in made it an entertaining read!  I’ll be on the lookout for more books in the series!

3.5 Suns


  1. I want to know why they married and why she feels responsible now...I am all for the backstory

  2. Hmm...I wouldn't mind having Trina's problem. ;D

  3. This is my 18th book by Bybee, and her books always seem to work for me. I don't read a ton of romances with suspense elements, but I always like the way Bybee works them into the story. I knew Trina from a prior series, and was so happy for her to get some closure on that situation, as well as get an HEA with such an awesome hero (I LOVED Wade!).

    1. I really want to pick another Bybee story soon. I came in late to the series, so I didn't know Trina before but that didn't stop me from liking her. Glad to hear you're a solid fan because that gives me more confidence to pick up another story. :)

  4. I've never read anything by this author, but I have seen her books around. However, I don't think this one would work for me. Avery sounds awful, and I would share your frustrations. I'm a very character-driven reader, and 30% is a lot... especially when you strongly dislike one of the characters.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

  5. Glad this was a fun read, and Avery sounds like she gets better as she goes! :)