Say It Again (First Wives) – ARC review

44011896._SY475_Say It Again
by Catherine Bybee
Release Date:  September 24, 2019
Publisher:  Montlake Romance
Book #5 in the First Wives series
Number of Pages:  343
Kindle Edition
Source:  Net Galley ARC
Contemporary Romance M/F
Rating:  NC-17
Read 9/13/19 to 9/15/19


Protector-for-hire Sasha Budanov is accustomed to life as a loner. Always on the move, she’s now reached a crossroad. Looking for answers about her shadowy youth, she’s returned to the strict boarding school in Germany where she was raised. It’s also where she was trained in the stealthy, militarized art of survival. But behind its gleaming gates, Richter is a fortress of secrets, including those buried in Sasha’s mysterious past. To uncover them, she’s clinging to her first rule of defense: stay guarded.

If anyone can challenge Sasha’s rules, it’s devilishly sexy stranger AJ Hofmann. He wants answers, too. And he needs Sasha’s help. The recent deaths of several of Richter’s former students—including AJ’s own sister—have aroused his suspicions. He’s arousing something more in Sasha. Never one to surrender to her emotions, she senses something tempting in AJ. She trusts him. He’s fearless. And he kisses like a demon. Sasha’s found her match.

But treading Richter’s dark halls—and following their hearts—has its risks. As the decades-old secrets of the past are mined, Sasha and AJ are falling deeper in love…and into danger.

I wasn’t sure if the author was going to give Sasha her own story, and I’m glad she did.  I still find Sasha somewhat intriguing and mysterious, but I understand her so much better now.

AJ is the perfect mate for Sasha.  He’s strong and compassionate while somewhat clueless.  Yet he understands when to push her and when to back off.  Then there’s Claire, a teenager who reminds Sasha a lot of herself at that age.  Who would have realized there was a mama bear inside of Sasha? She’s not quite sure what to do with the emotions these two people bring into her life.  And she’s surprised to realize she doesn’t hate the feelings she’s having.

Throw in a lot of Reed and Neil and their team, some babies, and the women Sasha has so far been able to avoid on any deep level, and Sasha is very far out of her element.  But it’s a lot of fun for the reader…and she’s still got her butt kicking instincts, which is good because she’s going to need them.

The mystery, so to speak, of this story is a bit of a long and winding road.  It’s not that anything shocked me, but there were some curves I didn’t necessary expect. That really kept me engaged with the book. The best part, by far, was the growth Sasha has throughout the story.  The connections she’s made throughout the years have strengthened and she’s learned she doesn’t always have to be a lone wolf.

Since this story pretty much wraps up this series, I’m hoping there will be another spin off series with Claire and some of the younger guys on Reed’s security team.  It could happen! After all, this series was a spin off of the Weekday Brides series.

3.5 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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