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Been There Done That
by Hope Ellis
Series: The Leffersbee Series
Category: Contemporary Romance
Tags: Second Chance, Billionaire
Nick and Zora Forever! I absolutely loved this book by Hope Ellis and wonder where she’s been hiding all my life? The Lefferbees series is already a favorite of mine and I only hope Ellis is writing the next one as I need it stat!
There is so much to love about this book….where to start?
If this is Hope Ellis’ first novel then I am SO, SO very impressed with this woman because she can write. This did not read like someone’s first foray into putting pen to paper. The writing flowed beautifully taking you along with what could have been a simple story, but instead you really sink into it and let it unfold.
Not only do you fall under the spell of a beautiful love connection between two people who had once lost that connection, but Ellis also gave them some really great concerns to work through.
This was a second chance love story between Nick and Zora who had grown up together and had planned to marry at age 18. But one night, Nick up and left, only leaving a note, until he returned 12 years later. Is it enough that someone had good intentions behind their actions even if those actions hurt or were meant for good? I think that’s a really good question that Zora has to struggle through.
“…after twelve years of empty, aching absence, of wondering and worrying, of resignation and sadness…he was here.”
OMG the first time Zora and Nick saw each other after 12 years was down right hilarious. Of course you’d want to be looking your best when you run into the love of your life who broke your heart but, oh poor Zora. I was laughing so hard at their awkward reunion.
How do you even start to reconnect after 12 years? Ellis doesn’t hold back in showing just how awkward this reunion can be. That scene at the diner, priceless:
“So, Nick said, gaze on his menu, “how have you been?” “God,” I laughed. “This is really awful. It’s like the world’s worst date. Only in reverse. Here, let me raise the stakes, let’s see how much more uncomfortable I can make this. How many sexual partners have you had?”
I really loved Zora. She was so real and smart and self-assured and just plain awesome. I could relate to her so maybe that’s why I liked her so much. She’s come to realize that her life has been about doing for others even at the expense of her own needs and wants. How do you come to grips with that? How do you just switch gears, move forward and be true to yourself? I loved how she struggled with these issues.
Nick was equally lovable. He came back a billionaire and is quite the genius but Ellis also shows that he’s human. He’s ultimately thrived despite what he had to endure in his childhood but he’s not unscathed. Even though he’s Mr. Got It All Going On, I loved how he really had no clue how to go about reuniting with Zora and I loved his honesty about that to her.
If you’ve followed my reviews, you know that I am a huge fan of books that make me fall for not only the main characters but the secondary characters as well. They aren’t just side dressing to the main story but they are genuine, authentic people that really ADD to the story and who capture my attention even with limited appearances.
This book was FILLED with characters that I adore and want more of in this series.
Let’s start with one of the best: Jackson James. Oh Jackson. I wasn’t sure what to make of you when we first met in Penny Reid’s Winston brothers series but I LOVED getting to know you in this story. Jackson was not only a best friend to Zora but also her pretend boyfriend. He was “pretend” because they really didn’t have a relationship beyond friend (even though he was open to it) but pretended to so they could keep their respective families off their backs.
Jackson it turns out is kind of a goof ball who has no problems making the rounds with the ladies.
“I’m always upfront with the ladies. Although, I prefer it from the back…”
He had me laughing throughout this book but he had some really great heart to heart moments with Zora that showed that there is a lot more depth to this man than he may let on. Give me more of Jackson Ms. Reid and Ms. Ellis!
Leigh was also the best of friends to Zora in her no nonsense, tell it like it is approach. There is so much more to this girl you can tell and I can’t wait for her story. I loved her reference to the millionaire boyfriend romance trope. She totally nailed it and it’s just another example of the gems Ellis provides throughout the book.
I even got attached to Eddie, Nick’s friend, who we only see a bit but you can tell he’s a man with great insight and is the best friend to Nick.
The family members were a hoot too. Mrs. Leffersbee was awesome as was Nick’s Aunt Nan. Those ladies have got it going on and aren’t afraid to dish out some great advice when needed. There’s definitely stories with Zora’s siblings as well so bring on Walter and Tavia’s stories. Such great characters all around in this book that were given space to showcase who there are and pull us in without just being window dressing.
Been There Done That was such a good second chance romance. It had a wonderful story, fantastic writing, lovable characters and left you wanting more to this series. I highly recommend reading this gem by Hope Ellis.
*Thank you to Smartypants Romance and Hope Ellis for this advanced reader copy. All comments and opinions are my own.
Do you have a favorite second chance romance book? Share in the comments below.
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