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✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: Catherine Bybee’s Be Your Everything, book 2 of The D’Angelos ✍🏻

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

Tropes: Vegas wedding; brother’s best friend; little sister; forbidden relationship; heroine seeking more than familial expectations; love from afar

“‘Regrets are made in the things in life you don’t do, not in the things you do. Everything leads you to who you are meant to be. Doing nothing is not a life lived.’”

Catherine Bybee is a new author to me. I was intrigued by her blurb for Be Your Everything. What’s not to love about a “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” situation, which boils over into everyday life, the antics of two Italian Catholic families, and a forbidden relationship? This story is fraught with tension from the beginning to the end, and Bybee creates two characters in Chloe and Dante, who ingratiate themselves into your feelings. You cannot help but love their story even when you want to scream at them for their choices. It takes a clever author to create those feelings in her reader.

Let me start by saying that I’m not a huge fan of the brother’s best friend/little sister trope. Inevitably, authors draw the protective older brother(s) as the villain of the story, and they create complications where, I think, they are warranted. Bybee has done this with Be Your Everything. To be fair, we are talking about an Italian family without a father, so it’s believable that Chloe’s older brothers, Luca and Gio, could struggle with her attraction and eventual coupleship with Dante. I get it; I just don’t care for it. Bybee handles it well, crafting a backstory for Dante that explains why Gio, his best friend, would be reticent to approve of his relationship with Chloe. But here’s my issue with this trope: It’s not Gio’s decision, and he shouldn’t have a say in it. Again, I understand the fun of this trope, the tension that squeezes through a story, but I’m not sure Bybee has done anything different with it in her newest book. 

That being said, Chloe and Dante’s journeys are compelling. Chloe is looking to forge her own path, seeking independence from the family. Dante is ready to make changes in his life to be closer in proximity to Chloe and his family. They both worry about regretting their decisions, but Bybee’s romance suggests that the only regret is never making a choice. 

Bybee treats her readers with a burgeoning love affair that blooms in Bali. When Chloe and Dante finally accept their feelings for each other and stop fighting them, Bybee builds hope in her readers that they will find their happy ending. Some miscommunications seek to upend this, but Chloe and Dante eventually trust the other to do what they say they will do. 

There are additional points of view in Be Your Everything beyond Chloe and Dante, namely Chloe’s brother, Gio. I see this as Bybee’s launching pad for Gio…and possibly Salena’s story. Given the easy read and emotional connection to Bybee’s recent story, I will be downloading and reading the next of this series of standalones. If you love loving Italian families with a ton of character, you should read this one.

In love and romance,

Professor A

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