Every Christmas Eve, Edward Cullen sits in a bar and regrets the decision he made ten years earlier that tore Bella from him. But when a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger gives him a second chance to right that wrong, it’s not quite what he expected.
Word Count: 55,191
How many of us would have liked a ‘do over’ at one time or another? I know that I sure as hell have. I stumbled onto this gem over the holidays & quite honestly I was hooked based on the summary alone. In reading the summary, the first thing that popped into my head was my all time favorite Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life…’nuff said.
We first find Edward alone in a bar having a drink, mulling over “the biggest mistake of his life” & he has odd l’il run in with Tanya (pfft, of course It had to be Tanya). I’m not gonna lie, that worried me at first, but fear not, she’s one of the good guys. Edward has the chance to see Bella again after ten years & he totally wusses out. Luckily for Edward his random act for kindness & a run in with an angel gives him his “do over”.
Our boy definitely tries & he is learning, but he’s not quite getting it. I think one of Edward’s true turning points was in chapter 11 when Masen says this to Edward: “He said, ‘Tell your daddy he has to listen carefully, but not just with his ears…he has to listen with his heart.’”. I could just picture the light going on in Edward’s heard as he had his little epiphany. Edward has another truly defining moment, but I’m going to let you read that for yourselves.
Tkegl did such an amazing job with this story…the balance, the flow, the plotline as well has her spin on our favorite characters made this a pure joy to read. So go on give yourself a gift, read it and if you’ve already read it, give yourself a “Do Over”!
You know how you read a story that just grabs hold of you and won’t let go, long after you’re finished reading it? Do Over by TKegl is one of those stories for me. It’s the perfect combination of romance and drama. The right amount of UST and RST (would that be called a lemon? lol). The perfect use of kids in fic. An imperfect Edward. A likable Bella. And a Tanya that I don’t hate. How is this even possible? TKegl is a genius, that’s all.
Edward is a successful journalist, thinking back to the “one that got away.” Bella is now a Best-Selling author, but about ten years ago, she was almost his fiancee. He couldn’t commit, and so their lives took them down different paths.
It had been ten long years since he made the biggest mistake of his life. He’d had the ring in his pocket, but at the last minute opted to give Bella the silver bracelet he’d purchased as a backup Christmas gift instead. She’d smiled and thanked him, of course, but it was just a few days later that they had The Talk.
The “Do We Have a Future?” Talk.
The “Are We Moving Forward?” Talk.
The “Will You Commit to Me or Leave Me Behind When You Take That Internship in New York?” Talk.
He’d let her go. He said he wasn’t ready and Bella’s eyes had filled with tears. He’d left her behind, moved to New York, and tried not to look back.
But on Christmas Eve, looking back was all he could do. The “what-ifs” just about drove him crazy, and instead of missing her less with each passing year, he found he actually missed her more. He’d picked up the phone a hundred times to call her, but shame and guilt kept him from dialing her number. Plus, there was the fact that nothing had really changed. He was still in New York, pursuing a career in television journalism. She was still in grad school in Seattle, and from what little he’d heard from mutual friends, she’d moved on.
He’s on a way to a party celebrating her accomplishments when he decides not to go, opting instead to drink away his woes in a small bar. There, he runs into Tanya, who agrees to go with him to the party. He sees Bella there, looking beautiful and happy, and he runs away, realizing that he’s missed his chance with her. He winds up at the same bar again, and meets Michael.
“What would you change, Edward?” Michael asked, Edward squirmed slightly under his scrutiny. “If you could fix one mistake in your past, what would it be?”
Edward considered the question for a moment. He didn’t know why he felt compelled to answer such a personal question posed by a stranger. Perhaps it was the alcohol…or the emotional turmoil of the evening. Maybe he was just feeling sorry for himself. Whatever the reason, he found himself saying just one word.
Michael smiled and patted Edward on the shoulder. “I need to go,” he said abruptly, getting off his barstool. “Thanks again for your help tonight, Edward.” He reached into his pocket and placed a shiny metal ball on the bar in front of him. It took a moment for Edward to recognize it as a jingle bell. With a wary eye on Michael, he picked it up, the bell tinkling slightly.
“If you ever need me, just give that a jingle,” he said seriously. “It only works three times, so make sure it’s really important, okay?”
Edward was confused, and wondered if he was drunker than he thought…or if Michael was some kind of lunatic. “What are you talking about?”
A huge grin split Michael’s face. “I’m talking about second chances, Edward. An opportunity to set things right.”
The next morning, he wakes up, in a strange home with Bella as his wife and a couple of kids. Things aren’t as perfect as he’d hoped. Their marriage is troubled. He has financial problems. He doesn’t know how to be a father. And that’s one thing that I love so much about Do Over. It’s so real. It takes time for a marriage to fall apart, and time to put it back together. Edward doesn’t flash a swoonworthy smirk at Bella that makes her fall to her knees. He has to work to get her to trust him again. He learns. He grows. He loves them.
And through it all, you know that there’s going to be a moment that he wakes up and is back in his reality. When it happens, it’s gutwrenching. But Edward is even more determined to build a life with Bella after having tasted it. I love the way that TKegl wove all of the details into the story. You believe it.
This story is a quick read, with an amazing plot, good dialogue, and characters that you want to root for. It’s one of my favorites, and I think you’ll love it, too.
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