Discovering New Authors – Catherine Bybee – Not Quite Dating

Like many writers, I’ve always been an avid reader. I’m a bit of a book hoarder actually. I buy lots of books, in all formats, and they have a tendency to  pile up. My sister has always benefited from this as I usually pass along my favorites to her when I finish. A few years ago she noticed that most of them were hardcovers as I often buy books the instant they are released or the moment I discover them, if they are new to me. She commented that hardcovers were so expensive, and that I should buy fewer books and visit our local library more. I may have promised her that I’d look into that.

Somehow I still managed to spend money at the library. The first time I visited my local library happened to be on the one day of the year they were also selling books. Some of the bargains were too good to pass up. My sister gave up after I told her that. 🙂

One of the things I love about reading ebooks is that the books no longer pile up, and you can’t beat the instant gratification you get buying an ebook with one click. If anything, I’m buying more books than ever, but now probably 90-95% of what I’m buying are ebook versions.

I’ve discovered new authors via Twitter, Kindleboards, the top 100 lists, and blogs. I think blogs may be my favorite way, especially when it’s a blog post like this one,  where author Colleen Hoover gushes about a new author she’s discovered, Katja Millay and her book Sea of Tranquility.

I bought Sea of Tranquility after reading that blog post. Colleen’s excitement was contagious and I recognized that feeling. You don’t get it often, but when you do, you want to tell everyone about the book you just read and how they should go read it too. Colleen was right, Sea of Tranquility was amazing, the writing was wonderful and I read the story in one sitting.

Which brings me to an author I’ve recently discovered, Catherine Bybee. I honestly don’t remember how I first heard of her runaway bestseller, Wife by Wednesday. The cover for that book was just gorgeous and caught my eye. When I looked further, the story line sounded great, but the sample sold me.


After reading Wife by Wednesday, I signed up for Catherine’s email list and her books became auto-buys for me. Meaning as soon as her next book was available, I’d buy it immediately. Wife by Wednesday was followed by Married by Monday and just recently, she released a new romance series, with Not Quite Dating as the first book.


What I really like about all of these books is that they are pure, classic romances. The people in them are very likable and easy to relate to, the kinds of people that you want to root for. With Married by Monday and Wife by Wednesday, there’s more of a sense of urgency about the relationship, for various reasons they need to get married quickly and then get to know each other. Which makes for a really fun and fast-paced story.

With Not Quite Dating, the relationship moves more slowly and it’s more realistic in that sense, but it’s still just as fast-paced as you can’t wait for these two to get together. The story gets off to great start with Jack, our hero, at a diner with his three bachelor friends after a night of partying. Jack’s ex-girlfriend is an admitted gold-digger who doesn’t want to take no for an answer and Jack is completely turned off. He wonders if he can ever meet someone who could love him for who he is….and not just see dollar signs. Because Jack is rich….really rich. His family owns over 200 luxury hotels.

Enter Jessie, the cute waitress in the diner who is serving them. Jack flirts with her and sees how sweet she is to an elderly customer. Maybe this is the kind of person he should be dating? He lets his friends buy his breakfast, trying to hide who he is. But when he asks, Jessie turns him down flat. She is a single mother, barely making ends meet, and can’t afford to date someone who isn’t rich or stable. She needs someone dependable, with a good job.  So, they agree to be friends, and Jack even offers to help her find a rich boyfriend.

So, that’s the premise, and it’s a fun one and made for a really enjoyable story, set during the holiday season. It’s a great, romantic read, and the kind of story I could easily see being made into a Lifetime or Hallmark Channel movie. I’ve been watching a few of those lately as we are now officially into the holiday season. I even got my tree up yesterday, thanks to my friend Steve, who helps me pick one out every year. He thought I was getting it much too early, but it is after Thanksgiving. Because it fell so early this year, we get an extra week before Christmas and I am looking forward to enjoying every minute of it. My house smells amazing from this tree, and I’ll be fixing it up later today while my turkey bakes. I went away for Thanksgiving this year, which was wonderful but meant no leftovers. I like leftovers. On the way home I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a small turkey for half the normal price and will now have leftovers to last the week!

But now I need some more good books to curl up with. Who have you discovered recently that you love?



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2 thoughts on “Discovering New Authors – Catherine Bybee – Not Quite Dating

  1. Oprah, of course, has picked many similarly sophisticated books — even Jonathan Franzen would have to agree with that, now that two of his novels were chosen!–but what makes this one particularly contemporary is, ironically, that it has a historical basis. This is the mood of the day: it’s why Loving Frank (a novel loosely based on Frank Lloyd Wright and one of his lovers), The Women (ditto, but more lovers), The Paris Wife (Hemingway and one wife) and many many others have succeeded so well of late. We don’t want just a good yarn anymore, it seems, we want a story that can teach us something, preferably about somebody we have heard of (I knew vaguely of the Grimke sisters before I cracked this book) who also happens to be somebody who can teach us something.

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