Do Over: A Novel

Do Over: A Novel

by Serena Bell

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Toe-curling? Check. Sheet-twisting? Check. But is that enough for a second chance?

Jack: I’m pretty much as tough as they come. But when a woman comes to me in tears, I’m jelly. Scratch that—when Maddie Adams comes to me in tears, I’m jelly. That’s how we ended up making our incredible son five years ago, and that’s why I practically beg her to move in with me when she’s in a tight spot. Of course, the last time I got the chance to be the hero, I let her down, but I’m not making the same mistake twice. This time, I’m going to be the man she deserves—and then I’m going to lay every ounce of sexy on her until she lets me back into her heart.

Maddie: Jack Parker is hot, and he knows it. What he’s not is a family man, something this single mom had to learn the hard way. Still, moving into his place until I get back on my feet makes all kinds of sense. He’s an old friend. He’s, ahem, the father of my child. And let’s face it, now that I’ve just been colossally dumped, we’ve got nowhere else to go. The truth is, I never could resist Jack. Living under the same roof puts dirty thoughts in my head. And when my brilliant plan backfires, my whole body is begging for a do-over. . . .

Do Over is a standalone novel with no cheating, no cliffhangers, and a satisfying happily ever after. This ebook includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

“Sharp, funny, charming, and impossible to put down! I adored Do Over.”—Jessica Lemmon, author of the Real Love series

“Fans of second-chance romance are going to love this, I’m sure of it. If you’re looking for a fun and grounded read, make sure to pick up Do Over.”All About Romance

“I have read several books by Serena Bell and I am never disappointed. This book was no exception. It’s sweet and sexy and emotional in all the ways that I like. . . . I love reading about a family working their way back to each other.”—Smexy Books

“I loved this story. It kept me engaged from beginning to end and I immediately connected with the characters. This is a second-chance romance, which is one of my favorite tropes. The characters are real, vulnerable, good together, and have amazing sexual chemistry.”—Cocktails and Books

Don’t miss any of Serena Bell’s delightful romances:

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425284285
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/30/2018
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 211,672
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author and RT Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee Serena Bell writes richly emotional stories about big-hearted characters with real troubles and the people who are strong and generous enough to love them. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen closely enough, and she adores hiding in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head. When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also her enormous collection of constantly changing and passionately embraced hobbies, ranging from needlepoint to paddleboarding to meditation.

Read an Excerpt

She stands up, the movement sharp and decisive.

“You can’t go back there.”

This is not a thing I plan to say. It just pops out of my mouth. Because I’m picturing her going back to that condo she shares with Harris. The condo where she found him with his tongue on her best friend’s—

Yeah, not so much.

I can see the moment when she has the same realization.

“I can’t go back there,” she repeats. And her whole upper body kind of collapses. Her face, too. I recognize that look. It’s not unlike the look that Gabe had on his face an hour earlier when he realized that all the women in his life had abandoned him with me.

Don’t cry. Please don’t cry.

“And I definitely can’t stay with Mia.”

The way she’s cataloguing it, where she can’t go, it makes my chest hurt.

“I could—go to San Diego.”

Her mom and dad are in San Diego. They retired there right after Maddie moved into Harris’s place with Gabe. Maddie complains all the time about how far away her parents are and how infrequently Gabe gets to see them. If she went to San Diego with Gabe, it would break my mom’s and my sister’s hearts.

“Stay here,” I burst out.

I’m not thinking. Because if I’d been thinking, I’d know that was the worst idea ever. The kind of idea dreamed up by a still semi-hard dick frustrated in its evening activities, not by an actual brain. And yet, I’m still talking. Or one of my heads is still talking, anyway.

“I have lots of space. Gabe has a room here.”

And we could finish what we just started. We could let it play out, see where it goes. Get it done, get it out of our systems, put it behind us.

You idiot! my brain is shouting back at me. If you want to get laid, there are twenty women I can think off the top of my head, no strings attached, no complications (and that’s not counting the ones you would have met tonight if you’d gone to the game with Henry and Clark). This one? She’s off limits. She’s always been off limits.
Maddie’s shaking her head. “That’s a really bad idea.”


Have I mentioned I’m contrary? If someone fights with me, I tend to dig in. It’s one of the things that used to send my dad into a rage. Two seconds ago, I was pretty sure it was a really bad idea, too, but now that Maddie’s arguing with me—

“It would be confusing for Gabe. Having his parents together.”

“Not more confusing than you moving out of Harris’s condo. It would be the least disruptive thing for him. If you’re going to pull him out of Harris’s place, that’s going to mess with his head, but at least this is familiar.”

I am officially a dick, because I am using emotional manipulation and the happiness of our child to convince a woman to stay under my roof so that I can have another shot at getting her into bed. But I don’t feel that guilty. Maybe because I think what I said is actually true. Gabe is going to be super-confused no matter what. He likes Harris (the only example of really bad taste I’ve seen from him—must be Maddie’s genes). So maybe hanging out here for a little bit would make a good consolation prize.

Maddie is looking confused now. I can see her working through the details in her head. So I give her a little help.
“Commute stays the same.” The pharmacy where she works is in Seattle, so actually halfway between Harris’s condo and my house. “It’ll give you time to find a place that’s the right size and not too expensive, which will save us both money.” I figure if I display some obvious self-interest, that will deflect her away from my real self-interest.

“Plus, built-in child care.”

She eyes me suspiciously. Maybe she’s more aware than I think of my less-than-superior track record at watching Gabe on my own.

“What? I’d be here anyway. And my mom and my sister are super close. You know they’d be psyched to help.”

“But Gabe’s preschool is near Harris’s place—”

“So he’ll switch. You can pull him out, and either send him near me or wait till you figure out where you’re going to live and then enroll him.”

She bites her lip, thinking about it. “I think I have to pull him anyway. It doesn’t make sense for me to live in Mukilteo if Harris and I aren’t together.”

The thing is, I have now actually convinced myself it’s a great idea. For one thing, where the hell else is she going to go? She doesn’t have other friends she’s as close to as Mia, and even if she did, they probably wouldn’t have the space to take in both her and Gabe. But apart from that, this is actually a good solution for the two of them, for all the reasons I gave her. And I can put up with the disruption, especially if there are a few benefits thrown in—

Her eyes narrow. It’s possible she saw my glance slide over her body when I was thinking about benefits. If I did not mention this earlier, being pregnant and nursing Gabe made Maddie’s body sexier. Rounder, more generous, softer—

Eyes up, Jack.

Mine meet hers, unfortunately. Caught.

“That—what just happened—” She waves a hand to indicate the couch. “That can’t happen again.”

I thoroughly disagree with her, but I’m not going to argue. I nod, earnestly. “Okay. That can be a ground rule.” We can revisit the ground rules as necessary, later.

She is still eyeing me suspiciously.

“You’re the one who jumped me,” I point out.

She looks sheepish, and relaxes a little.

“I’ll go make up the guest bed.”


She’s going to say no. She’s going to say what a bad idea it is—for her, for me, for Gabe, for all of us.

Her eyes are soft, still red from crying earlier, and very green in the lamplight.

“Thank you.”

Customer Reviews

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Do Over 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like that it was not the typical story. It's a different take on a good romance.
D-does-reviews More than 1 year ago
A zany and enjoyable coming of age story/second chance romance between two people with a lot of emotional baggage who are forced to grow up for the good of their young son. Sometimes in life we all need a do over, and Jack and Maddie are bound and determined to get it right this time around.
JulieD2 More than 1 year ago
Jack is a bit at a loss at being a full time dad when Maddie moved in with him with his son, but she really needed his help and it was about time he came up to the mark anyway. I loved this story. It has a lot of POV dialogue which is quite amusing which also makes the character Jack my favourite, it was great to see how his mind ticked. It's a good second chance romance, there's a little past history but too much. Very sweet, very hot when it needs to be. A great romance!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Good storyline with good character development. Would like to read other of her books with some of the secondary characters in this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blah blah blah!!’nn
Lit_Litehosue More than 1 year ago
Do Over is a second chance romance if you couldn't figure that out by the title, but if you like happy endings and cute kids thrown in for a family feel then you need to check this one out. Jack and Maddie are meant to be together, but of course they will have some bumps in the path before they find their HEA.
DaneWeimMama More than 1 year ago
Do Over is an entertaining read!! I fell for Jack & Maddie from pretty much page one. The author creates interesting & real characters. And the sexy time is smoking hot. I loved the love story & their little boy was adorable & made the HEA even more special. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
voraciousreaderKB More than 1 year ago
Mesmerizing!!! This is the first book I have read by Serena Bell and after reading it, I plan on reading more of her books. The description sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a try and I am glad I did because I loved this story. It kept me engaged from beginning to end and I immediately connected with the characters. This is a second chance romance, which is one of my favorite troupes. The characters are real, vulnerable, good together and have amazing sexual chemistry. Jack and Maddy have known each other their entire lives. As children, they are best friends but as they become teenagers, they go in different directions. Jack is a bad boy, getting into trouble and womanizing and Maddy is a good girl, always studying and doing what is right. When they are in their early twenties, they have a one night stand, which leads to an unplanned pregnancy causing Jack and Maddy to be linked together forever. Jack has little to do with their son Gabe until he is four years old. That is where the story begins and it periodically goes back in time to give the reader Jack and Maddy's background story. Sometimes, I don’t like the back and forth of going from the past to present, but Serena Bell does a good job. I really enjoyed watching these two characters develop over time, especially Jack; he has a lot of growing up do to. Jack is a good guy who doesn’t think he is good enough. He is stuck in a never ending string of one night stands, because he doesn’t want to be tied down. Jack is a lovable guy. He is a typical guy who only thinks about sports, women, beer and hanging with the guys. Maddy is the responsible one. I devoured every word of this mesmerizing, emotional story. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this book vIa Cocktails and Books and Netgalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
Do Over by Serena Bell is a sexy second chance romance for two friends who give into their sexual attraction for a brief affair - that has long term consequences. Jack Parker and Maddie Adams were best friends as kids but drifted apart as young teens for a variety of reasons. Through high school, they were both aware of each other, but ran in different circles. One night at a party and a few drinks led to a brief fling, though Jack was up front that he didn't want a relationship. And when Maddie finds out she's pregnant and brings the news to Jack, he's clear that his feelings haven't changed, though he's willing to take responsibility . Four years later, Maddie and Jack have taken well to co-parenting their son Gabe. Jack gets him every second weekend and with the help of his mom and sister has been a good father if somewhat uninvolved, acting more like an 'uncle' than a Dad. That all changes when Maddie's current relationship dissolves when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her with her best friend (double ouch!) and she needs a place to live on short notice. Jack offers to let her and Gabe stay with him while she searches for a place to live. In doing so, the two of them have a chance to reconnect as friends, and then as lovers. But is it enough to make them consider a future together as a real family? I'm a big fan of Serena Bell's books, such that I'm likely to pick up her stories even without reading the blurb. As a result, I didn't actually know what the story was about when I started reading it. But once again she has impressed me with her ability to take an interesting premise and deliver a solid, emotional and steamy romance. Jack and Maddie have a complicated history, and unlike most unexpected pregnancy stories, the fact that Maddie is going to have a baby is not what brings them together. It's five years after the fact, when they've gotten into their routine of being the best separated parents they can be for their son that things take a new turn. Their friendship from childhood is always in the back of their minds but until they are living together they don't delve into why it ended. Jack's father was abusive to him as a child, and the dissolving of his parent's relationship shaped his teenage years and his attitude towards relationships. Maddie is able to coax out of him the truth - that his worries about becoming like his father have kept him from considering a long term relationship. Even the birth of his child has left him a bit wary of taking on the full-time commitment of fatherhood without another relative to come to his aide. Once that shell cracks open, Jack and Maddie are able to move their relationship forward as Jack becomes a full time father figure. There are several steamy scenes between the couple as they rekindle their relationship (though this time, birth control is higher on the priority list). Still Maddie is wary about letting Jack know how much she really cares for him. They both have to admit to some painful truths before they get to their happy ending but it's definitely worth it in the end for them, and their son. There is a sweet epilogue too. I highly recommend this entertaining and unique second chance romance!
PennieM More than 1 year ago
Maddie and Jack have known each other since they were kids and when a hook up results in a surprise pregnancy Jack doesn't step up but has remained in the picture and done his part, so to speak, as a dad for Gabe. He and Maddie have remained friends and when she has nowhere to turn when her live-in boyfriend cheats on her, he gives her and Gabe a place to stay until she can find another place. This brings out all the feelings and they find their ways back to a deeper friendship and more. Soon they are closer and Jack is a more hands on dad and he and Maddie are finding their way again. This was such a beautifully written story of redemption and forgiveness and learning to trust. **Received this ARC to review from the publisher via NetGalley**
Jolie More than 1 year ago
Do Over is an ok romance. Heavy on the sex and light on the romance, this would be the perfect beach book. I could not connect to the main characters. I also felt that they lacked a connection too. This is a 20 and over book due to explicit sex, language, and some very mild violence. Would I recommend this book? I am on the fence about that. So let’s say maybe and leave it at that. **I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
Laura_F More than 1 year ago
My two favorites, second chance and friends to lovers, all rolled into one awesome story. Jack and Maddie were childhood best friends but a kiss ruined everything. When they reconnected after high school, a fling created the child that they share. Five years later and Maddie has nowhere to go so Jack offers her a place to stay. Jack has been adamant that he's not a family man but the chemistry these two have is stronger than anything else. Jack has all of the swoon factor. Even though he and Maddie have been through so much, they are stronger than most. I loved how the challenges that both of them face, both navigating living in the same space and Jack figuring out parenting, were shown and the honesty about sometimes needing to walk away from your child when they are more frustrating than you can handle. This is my first book by this author but I absolutely loved the writing style. This second chance story about two people trying to co-parent and be friends is so different from anything else I've ever read. I will definitely be adding the Returning Home series to my TBR!! *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
3.75 stars--sweet and emotional 3.75 stars---DO OVER by Serena Bell is an adult contemporary, erotic, romance stand alone story line focusing on construction worker Jack Parker, and pharmacy employee Maddie Adams. Told from dual first person perspectives (Maddie and Jack) using present day and memories from the past DO OVER is a second chance romance that follows the rekindling relationship between our leading couple following the break-up of Maddie’s most recent relationship. Five years earlier a pregnant Maddie walked out of Jack’s life but in the ensuing time the couple have remained friends for the sake of their son Gabe. Having caught her boyfriend Harris in bed with her best friend Mia, Maddie runs to the only person with whom she can depend, the father of her son, and the man who originally broke her heart Jack Parker. What ensues is the rebuilding romance between Jack and Maddie when Maddie and Gabe must take up temporary residence with Jack, and the potential fall out as their time together comes to a close when Maddie finds another place to live. Jack Parker is a man used to his freedom: drinks with the boys; weekends at the games, and a ‘friends with benefits’ sexual partner who has no expectations except the here and now, but saying that Jack’s attitude at times is disconcerting especially his inner turmoil as it pertains to being a father, his son’s behaviour, and the curtailing of his freedom to come and go. It is the inner turmoil and thoughts where the reader is up close and personal with a man who is ambivalent about fatherhood and the future but thoughts many parents have as they struggle with the bigger picture. The relationship between Jack and Maddie is one of mutual attraction but issues of trust made for some heartbreaking decisions that pulled Maddie out of Jack’s life. With Maddie in close proximity, their time together begins to rebuild the bond between Jack and the woman with whom he will fall in love. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. We are introduced to Jack’s friends Henry and Clark; Jack’s sister Sienna, and his ‘benefits’ partner Lani; as well as Maddie and Jack’s son Gabe. DO OVER is a second chance story line; a rekindling romance between two people whose lives were pulled apart by betrayal and mistrust but brought back together by an innocent child hoping for a happily ever after. The premise is sweet and emotional; the romance is passionate and heartbreaking as past betrayal and issues of trust are kept at the forefront; the characters are coloful and dynamic.
Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
I love a good second chance romance and Do Over has all the elements - the not so likable playboy who does redeem himself (finally), the woman who loves him but doesn't trust him, the child they share, and the circumstances to put them together. In spite of that, the result was rather mediocre. Maybe it was the constant denial of compatibility from both characters, the conversations between Jack and his buddies, the lack of real communication, the determination that they were just hooking up, or a combination of all those things, I never felt a romantic connection between Jack and Maddie. Sharing a child without any commitment certainly shows that there is lust between the couple, and maybe even friendship, but it felt more like they were playing house than building anything together. On the whole, the story is well-written, but there's really nothing to set it apart from any other second chance romance, making it a little too predictable. On a positive note, there were a few chuckle worthy moments and young Gabe was absolutely adorable, which did somewhat redeem the book for me.
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
I love second chance romances with a happy ending, and Do Over by Serena Bell fits the bill quite nicely. The two main characters, single mom Maddie Adams and contractor Jack Parker, complete each other in every way, yet they don't even know it. They were best friends during their childhood and their relationship slowly became more as they got older. A night of desire brought Gabe into their lives five years ago, however Jack's response to the news as well as his past prevented them from finding their forever at that time. Now that Maddie needs a place to live temporarily, and since their son Gabe already has a bedroom and is quite comfortable at Jack's house, the only solution is for Maddie and Gabe to move in. Their feelings from the past are rekindled as they fall in love once again. Overall, I liked this book. Ms. Bell pours amazing passion into her writing and as a result, her characters are compelling and full of intensity. This is a well-conceived story that I would have loved, if only there was a little less sex. Although I have to mention that Ms. Bell pens some of the hottest sex scenes I have ever read. Furthermore, Gabe added a lot of cuteness and genuineness to the story. If you are in the mood for a second chance romance with a ton of heat, pick up a copy of Do Over. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jack and Maddie are an amazing individuals that start off as friends, become lovers and parents and finally end up together as a loving couple. "Do Over" is a must read that has people believing that if you want something bad enough, you can have it. This is a must read and one that will have you turning the pages with a smile on your face and a feeling of anticipation in your stomach.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG I'm in love with Jack - the best second chance romance yet this year - a must read.
KindleKat64 More than 1 year ago
I love second chance romances. I love watching people who made a mistake the first time around rectify that and strive for one result only, happily ever after. And they don’t quit until they get there this time. At it’s core, this is a simple love story about two people Jack and Maddie, who screwed up the first time around and decide to give each other and love another shot. They both have issues to deal with but they never really stopped loving each other and they do have something special in common (or should I say someone special), and he is just a cutie-pie. This is my first Serena Bell book and I will definitely read more from her. I love that she used dual POV because I think it’s important to hear from both sides about how they feel and what they are thinking. It helps me get even more emotionally invested in what is happening to both of them because I understand them better. Sweet!!
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
The moment Jack Parker opens his door and sees the mother of his child in tears, he can't help but pull her into his arms and offer to fix the problem... no matter how much it costs him. They have history, once childhood best friends, then smitten teens who shared a night of passion, to now adults who share a child. They've never been in a relationship, been a domesticated couple, or been in love with one another, but it still kills him to see her hurting, so he offers her a place to say until the dusts of her recently imploded relationship settles. He knows he is doing the right thing for his child, but little does he know this new living arrangement may just be the best thing to happen to him too! Maddie Adams has just discovered the man she thought was about to propose to her, in their kitchen up to no good with her best friend, and she is crushed, so she heads to the one place where she knows she will be accepted with open arms... the home of her child's father. They may have never been involved with one another, but they have always been there for one another, and right now she just needs someone to tell her everything is going to be alright... and she is hoping Jack can be that person. When he learns that she is about to be homeless he offers his home up to her, with no strings attached... but there is a little part of her that wishes there could be strings... a whole mess of them! Do Over is a touching second chance romance story that is sure to leave your toes permanently curled, and your heart happy! As soon as I read the synopsis for this one I knew I had to request it, I am a sucker for a swoony reunion romance and I have to say this one was everything I anticipated it to be and SO much more. Jack and Maddie were quite the pair, their situation was a little unorthodox, but little by little they seem to get things righted and onto a path that neither ever saw happening for them, and boy was it fun to watch it all unfold. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, it got my emotions swirling, made me smile and swoon, and left my heart jumping for joy... and it doesn't get much better than that in my book! Highly recommend you meet these two their charming little reunion is sure to leave your heart happy!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Loved this one! Great storyline and a very well written book. Maddie and Jack are amazing characters and I loved their relationship right from the beginning. Their romance is a nice slow build and I couldn't help but cheer for them. Five years ago Maddie and Jack had an incredible time together. Nine months later they are facing raising a son and remaining friends. Jack's not a family man. Or at least he wasn't. Now things seem to be changing. Especially when Maddie and their son Gabe move in with him after Maddie finds herself homeless thanks to her cheating boyfriend. I highly recommend this one to everyone!
tsmb02 More than 1 year ago
This was a sweet, sexy second chance story. Jack Parker is a sexy guy who doesn't do relationships which Maddie Adams learned the hard way. Five years ago Maddie showed up at Jack's door in tears and that night quickly resulted into their 4 year old son, Gabe. All Maddie ever wanted was to be part of a family with Jack but he is too selfish to every be a husband and father. Fast forward five years....Maddie is in a serious relationship and life is looking good until she walks in on her live in boyfriend with another female! Maddie finds herself heading to Jack's house, where Gabe currently is. After hearing Maddie's story, Jack offers to have Maddie and Gabe stay at his house until Maddie can get back on her feet. Reluctantly, Maddie agrees, plus there will be no sex! As Jack and Maddie spend more time together and Jack truly is being a dad, he realizes that maybe being a family isn't so bad. When emotions between Jack and Maddie start turning deeper, Jack realizes what he really wants now in his life.....his family. I really enjoyed this story. It was a fun, sexy second chance story that had a wonderful happy ending.
TerryL56 More than 1 year ago
Jack & Maddie have been on and off friends since they were little. They shared a kiss when they were young teenagers and never talked again until their early twenties ... well, they did more than talk because the result was Gabe. Jack never wanted to be a husband never mind a father, so Maddie accepted that she would be a single parent. But when Gabe is 4, Maddie catches her live-in boyfriend cheating on her ... with her best friend. She has nowhere to run, but to Jack, so Maddie & Gabe move in with him until she can find a new apartment. The longer they stay, the more Jack wants to have them both in his life, but Maddie can't get her heart broken by Jack ... again. This is a sweet funny second chance romance. Even though Jack is a player and he broke Maddie's heart, you can't help but like him. He knows his limitations and clearly states them. He doesn't even realize himself that Maddie has been the one for him all along. Maddie is just a brave sole and takes on life as best she can ... even if that means a life without Jack. I really liked the fact that Jack was just an ordinary guy, with an ordinary job ... that both Maddie and Jack were ordinary people. I received an ARC copy courtesy of Random House-Loveswept through NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.