Release Date: February 14th, 2022
It’s 7 a.m. on a Monday morning and Abby Reynolds isn’t where she wants to be. She wants to be in her beautiful loft apartment in Manhattan, drinking a coffee with her fiancé.
Instead, she’s heading back to the childhood home in rural Ireland she swore she’d never return to, with some big old secrets. Namely that she’s suddenly found herself unemployed, homeless, and absolutely 100% single.
She’s feeling all out of luck. Until the first person she meets after she touches down is an absurdly hot guy called Luke, who offers her a lift home. Gazing deep into his sparkling emerald-green eyes, Abby knows instantly that he’s exactly what she needs to take her mind off everything. The perfect rebound.
It’s a flawless plan. Until the next day, when Abby realizes who he actually is. Not just a stranger. He is, in fact, Luke Bailey, aka the boy next door. Luke Bailey who—so help her God—she’s pretty sure she once shared baths with, back when they were kids. Not that she can allow herself to imagine him in a bath now, not without blushing from head to foot.
And judging by the smirk on his face, the same Luke Bailey who’s known exactly who she was the whole time… And who, like everyone in the village, still thinks she’s a high-flying New Yorker… who’s getting married next year.
Abby is certain getting under Luke will help her get over her ex. But the truth is stopping her. Can she admit to everyone back home that she’s single and has lost everything? Because, if she wants the boy next door, she may just have to…
I think I’m in the headspace to enjoy light and fun romances that border on women’s fiction, because this is the second one I’ve read and I have loved. It helps that it’s set against the backdrop of a small town in Ireland and is filled with family drama, small town shenanigans and a very hot man who makes our heroine fumble quite a bit. For my first book by Catherine Walsh, The Rebound was a quick read and I found myself reading faster to see how it comes to a head!
After the company she works for files for bankruptcy and her fiancé dumps her, Abby Reynolds leaves her life in New York behind to go home to Ireland where she hasn’t been for years. She’s homeless, jobless and a little worn out, so being home with her sister and brother-in-law seem like a good idea at the time. However, when she gets there, her only mode of transport doesn’t seem to exist and her saviour happens to be a handsome stranger named Luke and Abby knows it’s not the best idea, but she can’t help herself. They flirt on their ride up to her hometown and part ways after lots of longing looks. Only for her to discover that he’s the very same boy she ran around with, shared baths with and spent a huge chunk of her childhood with. Except now he’s older and sexier and he’s making her feel things. But Abby’s just recovering from all the bad things in her life, and despite how tempting Luke is, she knows it’s not a good idea.
What I loved about The Rebound was Abby’s relationship with her sister, Louise. We get so much insight into their complicated relationship, but also we get a front row seat to them fixing their issues and moving forward together. I also absolutely loved Tomasz and how well the two of them fit. Being totally different people, you can see why the sisters don’t necessarily always get along, but that’s what I loved about it, I enjoyed the banter and effort both of them put little by little to mend the bridges they’ve burned. It’s these kinds of relationships that I think we need more of in romances!
Of course, Abby and Luke are chaos. They want each other, but everyone still believes she’s engaged and Luke feels like Abby’s leading him on. And then there’s Beth, who has a harmless crush on Luke (like almost every woman who crosses paths with him) and Abby feels like she’d be betraying her new friend by taking what she wants. But Abby and Luke’s relationship is fun to watch. Frustrating too. There’s so much longing and pining, there’s all this tension between them, but there’s also lots of playfulness. Luke is all brooding and grumpy, while Abby is just trying to keep her head above water.
It’s a slow burn romance and while the door is not wide open, it’s ajar and there’s enough to let your imagination do the rest. But I do wish we got more of their relationship. I would have liked to spend more time with Abby and Luke, navigating their initial lack of communication and then all the heated looks. And I am definitely intrigued by the supporting characters, because I definitely want more of that and all of them!
Thanks to Catherine Walsh, Bookouture and NetGalley for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.