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Half Empty

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New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee continues her sassy series with another of the First Wives finding that love and secrets are a dangerous combination. Trina Petrov’s marriage-by-contract was only meant to be temporary. But when tragedy strikes, Trina is left one of the wealthiest women in the world. To recover from the shock, she takes some time off in It New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee continues her sassy series with another of the First Wives finding that love and secrets are a dangerous combination. Trina Petrov’s marriage-by-contract was only meant to be temporary. But when tragedy strikes, Trina is left one of the wealthiest women in the world. To recover from the shock, she takes some time off in Italy, swearing not to fall for any men while there. But that doesn’t mean she can’t fall for anyone on the trip home…Country-music superstar Wade Thomas is lying low in a hotel bar when he gets the cold shoulder from the woman next to him. He’s used to fans fawning at his boots, and Trina is a refreshing change—so is the fact that she has no idea who he is.As things begin to heat up, Trina discovers that the circumstances of her late husband’s death are not what they seemed. Now she’s in trouble, and Wade isn’t about to let her out of his sight. Getting close to love and danger could get them killed…or it could sweep them both off their feet.


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New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee continues her sassy series with another of the First Wives finding that love and secrets are a dangerous combination. Trina Petrov’s marriage-by-contract was only meant to be temporary. But when tragedy strikes, Trina is left one of the wealthiest women in the world. To recover from the shock, she takes some time off in It New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee continues her sassy series with another of the First Wives finding that love and secrets are a dangerous combination. Trina Petrov’s marriage-by-contract was only meant to be temporary. But when tragedy strikes, Trina is left one of the wealthiest women in the world. To recover from the shock, she takes some time off in Italy, swearing not to fall for any men while there. But that doesn’t mean she can’t fall for anyone on the trip home…Country-music superstar Wade Thomas is lying low in a hotel bar when he gets the cold shoulder from the woman next to him. He’s used to fans fawning at his boots, and Trina is a refreshing change—so is the fact that she has no idea who he is.As things begin to heat up, Trina discovers that the circumstances of her late husband’s death are not what they seemed. Now she’s in trouble, and Wade isn’t about to let her out of his sight. Getting close to love and danger could get them killed…or it could sweep them both off their feet.

30 review for Half Empty

  1. 4 out of 5

    ♥Rachel♥

    3.5 Stars Trina is in Italy mourning the death of her first husband, not because she was romantically involved (there's a backstory), but because she feels a little responsible for his suicide. Enter Wade Thomas, a famous country singer trying to get dinner after closing time but out of luck since the kitchen is closed. Trina doesn’t recognize Wade at all, but she’s loaded up with the last call of food, takes pity on him and shares her food. Wade’s immediately taken with Trina, but she’s not inte 3.5 Stars Trina is in Italy mourning the death of her first husband, not because she was romantically involved (there's a backstory), but because she feels a little responsible for his suicide. Enter Wade Thomas, a famous country singer trying to get dinner after closing time but out of luck since the kitchen is closed. Trina doesn’t recognize Wade at all, but she’s loaded up with the last call of food, takes pity on him and shares her food. Wade’s immediately taken with Trina, but she’s not interested considering her circumstances and isn’t impressed with his fame or fortune. But they end up riding back to the States together and Trina’s resolve starts to crumble in the face of Wade’s charm and sweetness. Trina is smitten despite her friend’s protestations. I loved Wade from the start and even more when an unexpected threat takes them all for a surprise and Wade sticks to Trina to help keep her safe. This is my first Catherine Bybee romance, and at first, I didn’t think it was going to work for me, not because of the main characters, but because of Trina’s friend Avery. She was so irritating and overbearing when it was clear Trina just wanted to be left alone. Avery was supposed to (I think) come off as a concerned friend, but instead she came off as an intrusive, nosy bitch! Thankfully, she backed off at 30% and the story got a lot more interesting. I actually started to like Avery, even felt bad for her which is a good thing because I think one of the upcoming books will be her story/romance. Wade’s mother was another character I didn’t like one bit, and sadly my feelings didn’t change for that cow. Trina was waaayyy too nice to her IMO, but I guess you need to keep the peace when it comes to your man’s mama. When all is said and done, I really quite liked this story. A romance with a bit of danger and suspense thrown in made it an entertaining read! I’ll be on the lookout for more books in the series! A copy was kindly provided by Montlake Romance in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mindy Lou's Book Review

    Trina is torn with guilt over her husbands suicide and struggling with the after affects of inheriting the Petrov fortune. She doesn't understand why her mother-in-law left everything to her in the will and she is beginning to understand the danger it has put her in with her late husbands father. When Trina is heading home from her short sabbatical, she meets famous country singer Wade Thomas. She doesn't think she is ready to move on but Wade is charming enough to wiggle his way into her life. Trina is torn with guilt over her husbands suicide and struggling with the after affects of inheriting the Petrov fortune. She doesn't understand why her mother-in-law left everything to her in the will and she is beginning to understand the danger it has put her in with her late husbands father. When Trina is heading home from her short sabbatical, she meets famous country singer Wade Thomas. She doesn't think she is ready to move on but Wade is charming enough to wiggle his way into her life. Wade is coming off his tour and on his way home when he meets Trina in the hotel bar. He's so used to everyone knowing who he is that it completely throws him off when Trina doesn't recognize him or wants anything to do with him. She's like a breath of fresh air to him and he's intrigued enough to work for her affections. We got to meet Trina Petrov in book one of the First Wives series. She was the reason the First Wives went on a cruise in book 1 to get away from the media storm caused by her husbands suicide and his mother's passing from cancer. This could be read as a standalone but some readers will want to get the beginning of this group of women's story. Wade and Trina were a refreshing couple to read about. With his celebrity status, he doesn't have very many genuine people in his life. Trina has been through so much in such a short span, that not much impresses her. She knows there is more important things in life and that's exactly what Wade needed. One of the reasons I really enjoy this authors books is because her characters are mature. From what I've read so far, the couples aren't petty or try to hurt each other. The conflicts in the story are from an outside source. In this case it was her father-in-law's greed. Their is some minor pettiness from Wade's mom and ex-girlfriend but that wasn't the focus of their relationship and never put a wedge between them. I appreciate that so much as a reader and I'm truly looking forward to the next book in the series.

  3. 3 out of 5

    *Avonna

    Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com HALF EMPTY (First Wives #2) by Catherine Bybee is the latest in her First Wives contemporary romance series with a suspense subplot carried over from the first book. This is Katrina “Trina” Petrov’s story and it can be read as a standalone, but for a full understanding of the relationship between all of the First Wives, you may want to read “Fool Me Once” the first book in this series. Katrina “Trina” Petrov became one of the wealth Check out all of my reviews at: https://www.avonnalovesgenres.com HALF EMPTY (First Wives #2) by Catherine Bybee is the latest in her First Wives contemporary romance series with a suspense subplot carried over from the first book. This is Katrina “Trina” Petrov’s story and it can be read as a standalone, but for a full understanding of the relationship between all of the First Wives, you may want to read “Fool Me Once” the first book in this series. Katrina “Trina” Petrov became one of the wealthiest woman in America when her temporary first husband committed suicide. As the one year anniversary of his death approaches, Trina is vacationing in Venice and does not know what to do with rest of her new life. Called back to Texas by the other First Wives, Trina tries her best to slow her return. Stuck in a hotel due to a storm, she has the last order of food coming out of the kitchen. A charming man two seats down at the bar has missed dinner too and strikes up a conversation with Trina. She is willing to share her food, but has no interest in the man. This is an intriguing and somewhat novel occurrence for Wade Thomas, the famous country music star. Wade Thomas finds Trina to be a novelty. She does not know who he is, she does not need his money and she does not need his connections. What he does want to do for her is to chase away the sadness in her eyes and make her smile. Sure, he wants more, but he surprises himself by wanting to take it slow. When Trina’s best friend, Avery is brutally attacked all of the friends from book one work to take care of the threat against Trina for good. Wade may not understand everything that is happening, but he knows he wants to protect Trina and is willing to help her any way he can. A secret is about to be revealed that brings the enemy into the open and could be the death of Trina and/or her friends. I loved Trina and Wade together. The romance was entertaining and fun with the couple’s dialogue and communications so honest and realistic. Even with the short time frame, the author does a great job of writing in a friendship before the sexual relationship. The sex does not occur until later in the book and fit there perfectly. I was also intrigued throughout the story with the suspense subplot. I am looking forward to finding out who the other First Wives will find their HEA with. I will also be looking forward to the return of the mysterious Sasha.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carvanz

    Trina has just been going through the motions, trying to avoid life as well as her friends. A year after the suicide of her husband, and the circus media that resulted, has seen her sink even further into an emptiness she feels she will never crawl out of. When a late night bar visit brings her shoulder to shoulder with Wade, she wants to let go and believe there is goodness in men, but her past indicates otherwise. In an effort to miss out on the First Wives next get together, she ends up in a Trina has just been going through the motions, trying to avoid life as well as her friends. A year after the suicide of her husband, and the circus media that resulted, has seen her sink even further into an emptiness she feels she will never crawl out of. When a late night bar visit brings her shoulder to shoulder with Wade, she wants to let go and believe there is goodness in men, but her past indicates otherwise. In an effort to miss out on the First Wives next get together, she ends up in a hotel with the handsome singer to wait out a storm. Wade is drawn to Trina from the very first. She is beautiful and a bit quirky but with a sadness that should not have a place in the depth of her eyes. It is to his benefit that she needs rescuing from her friends and he takes full advantage of it. Unfortunately, they both eventually go their own ways but when he takes the chance to invite her to his ranch in Texas, she accepts. This is an action filled, mysterious and suspenseful read with plenty of country romance in the form of darlin’s and little ladies. Even as Wade made me fall in love with his wholesome goodness, I was pulled deeper and deeper into the dark mystery of Trina’s deceased husband and the money that now surrounds her. With a cast of characters to add depth and emotion to the story, I consumed this book as quickly as possible. It was just oh so good! This is relatively low angst in regards to Wade and Trina’s relationship. Most of the drama arose from outside sources and danger. The chemistry between these two was electric from the beginning and yet they didn’t rush it and allowed it to progress naturally. As a result, there was plenty of steam when the time arrived. As a cherry on top of all this deliciousness was a wonderful epilogue that made me giddy with happiness. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Montlake. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Dual POV Safe(view spoiler)[no om drama; ow – H’s ex still has her eye on him but other than refusing to take no for an answer, she doesn’t cause any drama (hide spoiler)] Triggers (view spoiler)[physical abuse of secondary characters (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    4 1/2 "Darlin" Stars! I liked this one a lot! The main characters, the story, the romance, the side characters, all of it. Can't wait for the next one. Happy reading!!

  6. 3 out of 5

    Peggy Jaeger

    In Book2 of the First Wives Series, HALF-EMPTY, Catherine Bybee gives us Katrina “Trina” Petrov’s story. Her marriage of convenience ended when her billionaire husband Fedor committed suicide. For the past year she’s been traveling and trying to come to terms with the way her life has turned out. Stuck in a hotel due to a storm,she fights jetlag by having a late dinner in the empty hotel bar. Well, almost empty. A charming, handsome and persistent man strikes up a conversation with Trina. She ha In Book2 of the First Wives Series, HALF-EMPTY, Catherine Bybee gives us Katrina “Trina” Petrov’s story. Her marriage of convenience ended when her billionaire husband Fedor committed suicide. For the past year she’s been traveling and trying to come to terms with the way her life has turned out. Stuck in a hotel due to a storm,she fights jetlag by having a late dinner in the empty hotel bar. Well, almost empty. A charming, handsome and persistent man strikes up a conversation with Trina. She has no idea who he is and for him, that’s a plus. Wade Thomas, good ole’ boy and famous country singer needs some down time and wants to be as anonymous as he can. The fact that the beautiful and reluctant woman sharing her food with him doesn’t know who he is, is just another plus. After hitchhiking a ride on his plane home, Trina and Avery, another member of the FWC, start to go thru the house Trina has been avoiding for the past year to clean it out. When they discover innumerable expensive items, Trina entrusts Avery with getting quotes on them all with the thought to donate any money she receives to Suicide prevention. But when Avery is brutally attacked while on a mission to unload the items, things take a very decided turn for the worst in Trina’s world. With Wade by her side, though, she’s able to navigate through the undeniable fact that someone wants her dead. And that someone is Fedor’s father, Ruslan. He’ll stop at nothing to get his son’s wife-in-name-only out of the picture so he can gain control of the oil empire she was left. The cast and crew from the First Wives Series, book 1 FOOL ME ONCE are all on board in this story, helping Trina through the nightmare that has become her life. This book had me hooked from the get-go, just like all Bybee’s stories do. Fast paced and rich with emotion and intrigue, you can’t help but fall in love with the characters and their goals. Now, I’ll say this truthfully and suffer the wrath of romance readers everywhere. I don’t usually read books with cowboys at the hero. But Wade Thomas is more than just a laconic good ol’boy. Despite his uber-fame he’s a good, decent man, loves his mama, and is a gentleman to his core. And I’ll admit this too: I fell in love with him just like Trina does. Another fab book from a fab author. 5 well deserved stars from me. Thanks to Netgalley and Montlake for giving me a preview Arc for an honest opinion of the work.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    WOW... In book #2 of the First Wives series we are reintroduced to Trina Petrov and we meet the charming and sexy country music superstar Wade Thomas. Right from the start at their first meeting you can feel the sizzle between them… And things just get better from there. As I start to read this story I can’t believe how engaging Catherine Bybee draws her readers in right from the start. You can’t wait to keep turning the page to see what is going to happen to the heroine next. It’s jammed packed WOW... In book #2 of the First Wives series we are reintroduced to Trina Petrov and we meet the charming and sexy country music superstar Wade Thomas. Right from the start at their first meeting you can feel the sizzle between them… And things just get better from there. As I start to read this story I can’t believe how engaging Catherine Bybee draws her readers in right from the start. You can’t wait to keep turning the page to see what is going to happen to the heroine next. It’s jammed packed with romance, sexy and handsome alpha makes and kick ass heroines who kick butt and take names. They are such strong vibrant beautiful women who are starting the next chapter in their lives after they have full filled their contracted marriages. And Trina has had to overcome so much to start over that you are rooting for her to find her happiness. I can’t wait for our next First Wives book. I just can’t get enough of this wonderful series. Bravo Catherine, Bravo, for giving your readers such great books to read.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Heather

    This is the second book in the First Wives series. While technically it can be read on it's own, I will be reading the first book in the series to see what I missed and simply because this story was that good! Catherine Bybee has a talent for creating characters and story lines that immediately pull the reader in and have you truly hoping they can get their HEA. Fans of Bybee's earlier series, the Weekday Brides, will recognize plot elements but with all new characters and situations. These are This is the second book in the First Wives series. While technically it can be read on it's own, I will be reading the first book in the series to see what I missed and simply because this story was that good! Catherine Bybee has a talent for creating characters and story lines that immediately pull the reader in and have you truly hoping they can get their HEA. Fans of Bybee's earlier series, the Weekday Brides, will recognize plot elements but with all new characters and situations. These are the wives of the arranged marriages that didn't initially result in a love match as the Weekday Brides did. After reading what these "First Wives" are going through in their search for love, I can't wait to see what Bybee has in store for the remaining women, especially Avery.

  9. 3 out of 5

    E-Reader Addict

    I’ve been a fan of Catherine Bybee and her Not Quite series for years. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a certain kind of book, and I used to know if I was looking for something sweet, fun, and uncomplicated, Ms. Bybee could be counted on to deliver just that. But this new First Wives series is not any of those things. It’s a little edgier, with women who are a bit cynical about the institution of marriage. In book one, Fool Me Once, we are introduced to the women of the First Wives Club - Lori, I’ve been a fan of Catherine Bybee and her Not Quite series for years. Sometimes you’re in the mood for a certain kind of book, and I used to know if I was looking for something sweet, fun, and uncomplicated, Ms. Bybee could be counted on to deliver just that. But this new First Wives series is not any of those things. It’s a little edgier, with women who are a bit cynical about the institution of marriage. In book one, Fool Me Once, we are introduced to the women of the First Wives Club - Lori, Trina, Avery and Shannon. Lori is a lawyer who helped the three other women broker marriages of convenience (the “husbands” were in need of a “wife”, in exchange for millions of dollars at the end of the “marriage” - which was usually contracted to last less than two years). I suppose you probably could read these books as standalones, but the first book (which was mainly about Lori) introduced everyone, the reason why they were all coming together at this particular time to form the club, and set up book two, Half Empty. The next book, Catching Shadows, is set up in book two. I love a good series that continues a story but focuses on different people, so I’m all excited about this series! At least, I am now that I’ve gotten used to the idea that Ms. Bybee is writing romantic suspense. Anyway, Half Empty is about Trina, who was widowed one year ago when her husband shot himself in the head. She and her husband, Fedor, were good friends, so she’s mourning the loss of a friend, not that of a lover. Instead of hanging around for her friends to descend on her for the anniversary of her husband’s death, she takes a trip and spends several weeks in Venice. When she’s reluctantly on the way home, she meets handsome, charming Wade Thomas in a Miami hotel bar, and doesn’t realize he is a famous country music star. Wade is instantly smitten with Trina, and finds her disinterest in him charming. As they spend a couple days together making their way back home to Texas, Wade knows he wants this woman in his life. Trina is a bit harder to convince. For starters, the past year she’s had a couple bad experiences dipping her toes back into the dating scene. But then there’s also the situation with her former father-in-law, who’s basically a bad dude and is after the fortune she inherited when his son (and the mother of his son) passed away. As it becomes apparent that Fedor’s father is willing to take extreme measures to get his hands on the inheritance, everyone close to Trina is in danger. Where I felt the first book in the series was a little light on the romance, Half Empty does a much better job of developing Trina and Wade’s relationship. They start off taking things slow, but launch into hot and heavy once feelings are declared and intentions are stated. I liked Trina, but REALLY liked Wade. He was the perfect blend of cocky, confident, and charming, but also knew his place. When Trina’s life (and everyone close to her) is endangered, Wade wants to keep her safe. But there’s none of this macho “nobody is going to protect my woman other than me” nonsense. He’s all about letting the hired security guys take care of business. “Forensics didn’t find any prints in the office.” Wade felt a little lost. “Okay?” “As in any. Not one. Not Avery’s, not Trina’s, not Fedor’s...not the maid. None!” “Oh, hell,” Jeb said. “Exactly,” Rick said to Jeb. “I sing songs for a living, mind catching me up here?” Because it seemed the three of them were talking in a different language. I loved that even though Trina felt guilty for getting Wade involved in such a dangerous situation, there was none of this “I’m breaking up with you for your own good” malarky. Wade worked hard to show Trina how much he cared for her, and she let him. They didn’t hide their feelings or hold back their thoughts. These were adults, who actually acted like adults. And it was SO refreshing! As far as the suspense plot goes, it’s not exactly suspenseful - we all know who the bad guy is, and what his end goal is. It’s just a matter of watching everything play out. It never had me on the edge of my seat. But it still kept me entertained and engaged. Ms. Bybee is a skilled author - her writing is excellent, her dialogue fantastic, and the characters extremely likeable, so even if there are some aspects of the book that aren’t as strong, I still enjoy her books. Half Empty didn’t disappoint, and I’m looking forward to Avery’s story in Catching Shadows. Hopefully there will be a book for Shannon, too! * thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pennie Morgan

    Oh my, the feels in this one! Trina and Wade are perfect for each other. Trina is part of the first wives club and married her first husband who supposedly committed suicide before their impending divorce and then his mother passed and she left her estate to her. This left her richer than imaginable. Flying home Europe and sitting in a hotel bar at midnight a stranger strikes up a conversation about how much food she has ordered when he cannot get any because the kitchen has closed. Perfect meet Oh my, the feels in this one! Trina and Wade are perfect for each other. Trina is part of the first wives club and married her first husband who supposedly committed suicide before their impending divorce and then his mother passed and she left her estate to her. This left her richer than imaginable. Flying home Europe and sitting in a hotel bar at midnight a stranger strikes up a conversation about how much food she has ordered when he cannot get any because the kitchen has closed. Perfect meet cute! Especially when Trina does not recognize the man who is a famous country musician who just finished a tour. Wade Thomas who? The chemistry is tingly and the heat generated between them even when just sharing a meal is astounding. A private jet the next day takes them to the Bahamas instead of back to Texas and that is where Trina's friends find her and fun begins. What starts out platonic and friendship seems meant to be. Can it withstand all the danger that seems to be circling Trina? Oh, this was so good! I highly recommend this and make sure you have time to read when you start it because you will not wants to put it down (I didn't). This could be read as a standalone (if you really wanted to). **Received this ARC for review from the publisher via NetGalley**

  11. 4 out of 5

    MsChris1161

    HALF EMPTY is a fantastic story that is cleverly written by Catherine Bybee to make you laugh, cry, shake your head in anger and outrage, bite your lip in suspense, and sigh... no make that blush, at the hotness of the romantic scenes. This second novel in Bybee's First Wives series has it all and kept me glued to Trina Petrov's story. In Fool Me Once, the first novel in the First Wives series, Trina's contracted husband commits suicide which starts a chain of events that send her world into a t HALF EMPTY is a fantastic story that is cleverly written by Catherine Bybee to make you laugh, cry, shake your head in anger and outrage, bite your lip in suspense, and sigh... no make that blush, at the hotness of the romantic scenes. This second novel in Bybee's First Wives series has it all and kept me glued to Trina Petrov's story. In Fool Me Once, the first novel in the First Wives series, Trina's contracted husband commits suicide which starts a chain of events that send her world into a tailspin. She escapes for a little "me time" in Italy seeking a little emotional healing before she has to make major decisions about the path she'll take next. On her trip home she unexpectedly meets Wade Thomas, a famous country singer, in a Florida hotel bar. The thing is, she has no idea who he is and that captures Wade's attention like nothing else could. Wade is looking for a little escape of his own after a long and exhausting concert tour. Wade and Trina hit it off and despite the many differences, they find common ground and soon find neither of them wants to be parted from the other. Trina's friends are concerned, Wade's people are suspicious, and Trina's late husband's father continues to cause trouble. Trouble that adds the dangerous edge to the story that Bybee writes so well. Half Empty is a perfect blend of romance and danger. And humor, lots of wit and humor. This is a must-read even if you haven't read the first book. But you will want to read the first one too!! 4.5 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    See the full review at HarlequinJunkie.com A country music hottie and a wealthy young widow set the pages on fire in Half Empty, the second installment in Catherine Bybee’s First Wives series. Fantastic bantering, passionate romance, and an intriguing thread of danger led the way to a swoon-worthy happy ending you won’t want to miss. I could not be more in love with Half Empty or with our main characters Trina and Wade. They were an absolute riot. What an entertaining, sensual couple they turned o See the full review at HarlequinJunkie.com A country music hottie and a wealthy young widow set the pages on fire in Half Empty, the second installment in Catherine Bybee’s First Wives series. Fantastic bantering, passionate romance, and an intriguing thread of danger led the way to a swoon-worthy happy ending you won’t want to miss. I could not be more in love with Half Empty or with our main characters Trina and Wade. They were an absolute riot. What an entertaining, sensual couple they turned out to be. And I loved that they were so genuine with each other, which was something they couldn’t be with many other people given Wade’s fame and Trina’s notoriety since her husband’s death the year before. Read More

  13. 5 out of 5

    Despina

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for a honest review. 3 1/2 stars Half Empty was interesting story, it had many of the elements I like in a story, a strong female lead, a man that appreciates her but there was all these little things that I found irritating and took away from the story for me. It felt like there was too much going on distracting me from the actual relationship between Trina and Wade. I think that this was well written, I just don't feel like it my kind of story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Trish R.

    WOW! I loved this book. Trina was so sweet and unassuming, even though she was worth $350 million smack-a-roos. And Wade was great in his tremendous fame and being so down to earth. AND I loved Sasha. She was an invisibly terrific fighter and guardian. This was a wonderful romance that didn’t depend on the romance to make it a good read. The mystery and suspense made the story (a lot of romance writers could take a lesson or two from Ms. Bybee, or Sandra Owens.) This story was all about Ruslan, T WOW! I loved this book. Trina was so sweet and unassuming, even though she was worth $350 million smack-a-roos. And Wade was great in his tremendous fame and being so down to earth. AND I loved Sasha. She was an invisibly terrific fighter and guardian. This was a wonderful romance that didn’t depend on the romance to make it a good read. The mystery and suspense made the story (a lot of romance writers could take a lesson or two from Ms. Bybee, or Sandra Owens.) This story was all about Ruslan, Trina’s father-in-law, trying to get to anyone and everyone Trina loved to get some papers Trina didn’t even know about and Ruslan was hoping to hold them hostage until Trina turned over the papers. Needless to say, it didn’t quite turn out the way that murderer had hoped for. It was a great read. There was explicit sex and the F-bomb was used 7 times. AS to the narration: Emma Wilder did a fantastic job on all the voices and any emotions called for.

  15. 3 out of 5

    Kara Hildebrand (Two Book Pushers)

    Half Empty is the second book in the First Wives series by the fabulous Catherine Bybee. I loved the first book and I was a little afraid this one wasn't going to be as good and I'm so glad I was wrong. I already loved Trina and knew she needed to find a good solid man to win her heart. Wade turned out to be that man plus more. Trina doesn’t need or want a man, but the night she meets Wade, there's just something about him. She stops his advances but he's so intrigued by her that he's not going Half Empty is the second book in the First Wives series by the fabulous Catherine Bybee. I loved the first book and I was a little afraid this one wasn't going to be as good and I'm so glad I was wrong. I already loved Trina and knew she needed to find a good solid man to win her heart. Wade turned out to be that man plus more. Trina doesn’t need or want a man, but the night she meets Wade, there's just something about him. She stops his advances but he's so intrigued by her that he's not going to just walk away. Especially since she has no idea who he is. A rich, famous, country singer. She doesn't want anything from him and that's very refreshing. They quickly become friends who want more. But what happens when danger starts to chase them and their budding romance? Will Wade run for the hills or be the arms for Trina to run into? Can Trina and the girls trust Wade? I loved this story! Trina is so much stronger than she thinks she is. She's bent but not broken. Wade is sexy as sin! He's funny and handsome and is a really good man. Avery cracked me up! And of course Lori, Reed and Shannon were also great! I love this group of men and women and I can't wait for more. "I have never worked this hard for a first date in my whole life." "You're pretty demanding." "Oh darlin', I'm one hundred percent demanding. Which is probably why I'm still single. I'm also determined to get that half empty look out of your eyes and replace it with sparkling lights." "Are you always this charming?" "No. I saved it for you." "That's a line." "Guilty. But this time I mean it." "The desire to even think about another woman hasn't entered my head since we met." "It hasn't been that long." "Doesn't matter. I know what I want. "That's sweet." "I'm serious." "What are you thinking about?" "About the butterflies kicking around inside of me every time I see you." "Your eyes are burning a hole in my ass, little lady." "Get used to it."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Jaeger

    In Book2 of the First Wives Series, HALF-EMPTY, Catherine Bybee gives us Katrina “Trina” Petrov’s story. Her marriage of convenience ended when her billionaire husband Fedor committed suicide. For the past year she’s been traveling and trying to come to terms with the way her life has turned out. Stuck in a hotel due to a storm,she fights jetlag by having a late dinner in the empty hotel bar. Well, almost empty. A charming, handsome and persistent man strikes up a conversation with Trina. She ha In Book2 of the First Wives Series, HALF-EMPTY, Catherine Bybee gives us Katrina “Trina” Petrov’s story. Her marriage of convenience ended when her billionaire husband Fedor committed suicide. For the past year she’s been traveling and trying to come to terms with the way her life has turned out. Stuck in a hotel due to a storm,she fights jetlag by having a late dinner in the empty hotel bar. Well, almost empty. A charming, handsome and persistent man strikes up a conversation with Trina. She has no idea who he is and for him, that’s a plus. Wade Thomas, good ole’ boy and famous country singer needs some down time and wants to be as anonymous as he can. The fact that the beautiful and reluctant woman sharing her food with him doesn’t know who he is, is just another plus. After hitchhiking a ride on his plane home, Trina and Avery, another member of the FWC, start to go thru the house Trina has been avoiding for the past year to clean it out. When they discover innumerable expensive items, Trina entrusts Avery with getting quotes on them all with the thought to donate any money she receives to Suicide prevention. But when Avery is brutally attacked while on a mission to unload the items, things take a very decided turn for the worst in Trina’s world. With Wade by her side, though, she’s able to navigate through the undeniable fact that someone wants her dead. And that someone is Fedor’s father, Ruslan. He’ll stop at nothing to get his son’s wife-in-name-only out of the picture so he can gain control of the oil empire she was left. The cast and crew from the First Wives Series, book 1 FOOL ME ONCE are all on board in this story, helping Trina through the nightmare that has become her life. This book had me hooked from the get-go, just like all Bybee’s stories do. Fast paced and rich with emotion and intrigue, you can’t help but fall in love with the characters and their goals. Now, I’ll say this truthfully and suffer the wrath of romance readers everywhere. I don’t usually read books with cowboys at the hero. But Wade Thomas is more than just a laconic good ol’boy. Despite his uber-fame he’s a good, decent man, loves his mama, and is a gentleman to his core. And I’ll admit this too: I fell in love with him just like Trina does. Another fab book from a fab author. 5 well deserved stars from me. Thanks to Netgalley and Montlake for giving me a preview Arc for an honest opinion of the work.

  17. 5 out of 5

    B.

    This continues Bybee’s series about women who contracted temporary marriages with super-rich men knowing that they would divorce within a short period of time. It sounds rather cold, but not really because the women get to be heroines of their own romances so you know they can’t be all that bad. I don’t buy that there could be a private business devoted solely to help people make such marriage arrangements, but just go with it. The heroine of this book, Trina, is still recovering from the trauma This continues Bybee’s series about women who contracted temporary marriages with super-rich men knowing that they would divorce within a short period of time. It sounds rather cold, but not really because the women get to be heroines of their own romances so you know they can’t be all that bad. I don’t buy that there could be a private business devoted solely to help people make such marriage arrangements, but just go with it. The heroine of this book, Trina, is still recovering from the trauma of having her husband commit suicide and then to have her mother-in-law die soon afterward and mysteriously leave her oil company fortune to Trina. So now she’s a widow with billions. She’s also beautiful and has some very good friends who are also in the First Wives Club and will travel across the country and out of it if they hear of one of the others having a problem. So, yeah. I didn’t feel so sorry for Trina and her billions. She meets country music star Wade who is amazed that some woman he meets in a bar has never heard of him. Seriously, that is what first attracts him to her besides that she is, you know, supposedly gorgeous. He’s super famous and attracts paparazzi wherever he goes. So he likes meeting a woman who isn’t after him for his fame and money because she’s richer than he is. So he totally falls for her lickety split. She she for him. At this point enters a mystery of someone who seems to be after Trina and her husband’s stuff. Fortunately, she has these good friends, one of whom, her lawyer is seeing a guy who runs a security firm (and were the H/h from the first book in the series). When someone seems to be out to kill you, it helps to have a guy who can call in bodyguards and all sorts of technology. And then there is the mysterious Sasha who is also out to protect Trina. Unfortunately, the mysterious opponent is ruthlessly evil and doesn’t mind going after anyone who gets between him and his desire to kill Trina. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book that I received from Netgalley; however, the opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation for my review. If you can keep your disbelief suspended, this was a fun romance with a sprinkling of suspense thrown in.

  18. 4 out of 5

    TJ

    Catherine Bybee’s writing is always a joy to read. It flows smoothly and has a down-to-earth, family feel that draws the reader into her stories immediately and allows them to truly feel a part of the people she so eloquently writes about. This book is no exception. I had trouble figuring out what exactly the story was trying to be, however. Is it a romance? A suspense? Or women’s fiction? There is a bit of all three but none are well enough defined to stand out and actually carry the story. I ab Catherine Bybee’s writing is always a joy to read. It flows smoothly and has a down-to-earth, family feel that draws the reader into her stories immediately and allows them to truly feel a part of the people she so eloquently writes about. This book is no exception. I had trouble figuring out what exactly the story was trying to be, however. Is it a romance? A suspense? Or women’s fiction? There is a bit of all three but none are well enough defined to stand out and actually carry the story. I absolutely loved the set-up with Trina and Wade, the way they meet and get to know each other. But, just as the relationship begins, first the women’s fiction, then the suspense plot-line takes over and completely forgets the budding romance development. Because all three are being juggled throughout, none actually go deep enough to really catch the reader’s heart. In each area there are unanswered questions and threads never fully developed. Still, as a continuation in the series (I wouldn’t suggest reading this one as a stand-alone), it allows us to enjoy the characters we are coming to love and follow Trina as she finds her well-deserved happiness.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Erin Lewis

    5.0 Star Review Half Empty (First Wives #2) by Catherine Bybee There is something about Catherine Bybee’s style of writing that resonates with me. She weaves a story that has me invested from the very start. Katrina “Trina” Petrov intrigued me when she appeared in Fool Me Once and I was excited to find out that this was her story. Throw in hot and swoon worthy Country-music superstar Wade Thomas and you know your in for a treat. Escaping to Italy to come to terms with the sudden death due to suici 5.0 Star Review Half Empty (First Wives #2) by Catherine Bybee There is something about Catherine Bybee’s style of writing that resonates with me. She weaves a story that has me invested from the very start. Katrina “Trina” Petrov intrigued me when she appeared in Fool Me Once and I was excited to find out that this was her story. Throw in hot and swoon worthy Country-music superstar Wade Thomas and you know your in for a treat. Escaping to Italy to come to terms with the sudden death due to suicide,of her husband Fedor, Trina finds herself struggling to comes to terms with how her life has turned out. From the first moment they bump into each other the sparks fly and the air around them sizzles. Ms.Bybee creates characters that are strong, yet vulnerable and you know that there will be plenty of romance and some rather steamy scenes. When Trina and her fellow “First Wives” Club member Avery catch a lift home with Wade, the sparks continue. Helping Trina to clear out her husband things, Avery is attacked and it seems there is more to Trina’s husbands death than first thought and now her life is in danger. Wade is determined to protect Trina no matter the cost. Will he be successful? Or will Fedor’s father finally succeed in getting rid of Trina once and for all? One click now and find out. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book which was provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Vikki Vaught

    Catherine Bybee is fast becoming one of my auto-buy authors. This is book two in the Cabot series. When I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, to read and review, I immediately accepted. My opinions are my own and not influenced by anyone. As with all of Ms. Bybee’s novels, Half Empty captured my attention from the first page and kept until the last. The pacing is fast, the characters are entertaining and well-written, and the plot is fantastic. Trina’s character shows a vul Catherine Bybee is fast becoming one of my auto-buy authors. This is book two in the Cabot series. When I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, to read and review, I immediately accepted. My opinions are my own and not influenced by anyone. As with all of Ms. Bybee’s novels, Half Empty captured my attention from the first page and kept until the last. The pacing is fast, the characters are entertaining and well-written, and the plot is fantastic. Trina’s character shows a vulnerability that I found very appealing. The manner in which she conceived her son was not the best and didn’t put her in a favorable light, but Ms. Bybee redeems her character in a big way. I loved how she turned her from a bit of an immature flighty young woman to one who accepts her responsibilities and is a great mother. Wade’s character is so responsible and determined to fulfill his father’s vision to the point it almost costs him the woman he loves. I’m so relieved he realized what is truly important before it was too late. The romance between Trina and Wade is strong. The sexual tension between the pair is excellent. I truly wanted them to find their happy ending. They are perfect for each other. I enjoyed seeing some of the characters from the earlier book in this series. It’s always fun to reconnect. The Cabot family is intriguing and flawed. I truly like them a great deal. If you enjoy a romance with strong family ties, engaging characters, and an intriguing plot, then you will love Half Empty as much as I did. I highly recommend this talented author. While this book is part of a series, it is a stand-alone novel. Happy reading!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ruthie Taylor

    ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~ This is the second book in the series, and you really do need to have read the first book to understand all the dynamics at play. This is a book full of drama and complex twists and turns, as well as a lovely romance - all in all a very good addition to the series. I am reviewing with the assumption that you have read the first book. After the women supported Trina, she insists on travelling alone - and we catch up with ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~ This is the second book in the series, and you really do need to have read the first book to understand all the dynamics at play. This is a book full of drama and complex twists and turns, as well as a lovely romance - all in all a very good addition to the series. I am reviewing with the assumption that you have read the first book. After the women supported Trina, she insists on travelling alone - and we catch up with her in Venice, Italy. As she flies home, hoping to avoid meeting up with the FWC ladies, she goes via Miami - where she meets Wade. And that scene where they meet is just perfect - the timing, the humour and the ignorance of his identity. It sets up a friendship which is a lovely feature of the relationship between these two. The drama comes from Trina's dead husband's Russian father - and it is complicated, but reads well - and as the gang rally round, and Wade also stays to support her, she starts to think that maybe it is time to live again. The honest communication between her and Wade is really engaging, and works really well at cementing their relationship even in these difficult conditions. Whilst this may concentrate on their relationship, it is a bigger story, and Avery in particular suffers from the Russian connection. I am hoping that she will get her HEA soon, but there weren't as many hints as I wanted! Great read - just make sure you read them in order.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Momma

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’ve loved Catherine Bybee’s work from the very first book I read of hers (many many books ago)! Not only does she have a way with words, she builds characters that you fall in love with. They are real people, with strengths and weaknesses, people you want to be friends with. I love that while each book focuses on a character /couple, we always get small glimpses and updates into the lives of the rest of the cast! No one’s story is ever truly over when we get tiny updates later on 😍 Half Empty is I’ve loved Catherine Bybee’s work from the very first book I read of hers (many many books ago)! Not only does she have a way with words, she builds characters that you fall in love with. They are real people, with strengths and weaknesses, people you want to be friends with. I love that while each book focuses on a character /couple, we always get small glimpses and updates into the lives of the rest of the cast! No one’s story is ever truly over when we get tiny updates later on 😍 Half Empty is book #2 in the First Wives series. We get more of Trina’s story after her Alliance matched husband committed suicide. Mystery and intrigue wrap us up as we learn more and more background in her deceased husband’s background. In the meantime, Trina finally gets her chance at a real love. Enter Wade Thomas - country rockstar! The man is beyond smooth but being from Texas, he has those wonderful southern manners. Everyone loves a cowboy, right? The chemistry between these two is sizzling despite all the chaos surrounding them! I’ve read this book a few more times than I’m currently willing to ad,it. Lol. But each time it gets better and better! I’m personally dying to learn more about Sasha and I hope that Catherine will do a book on her one day! **This book can be read as a stand-alone. I personally enjoy the overlap that you see and having some background from reading the previous book and series. ** I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review. This in no way affects my thoughts or opinions.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Beth

    **I voluntarily read an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review** If you haven’t read any of Catherine Bybee’s books you are missing out! She has once again shown us that she can write a story that weaves romance, suspense, and action all together! Catherine has a way of drawing you into the story and making it hard to put the book down once you’ve started reading! The second book in the The First Wives series focuses on Trina Petrov and her story while also weaving in character **I voluntarily read an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review** If you haven’t read any of Catherine Bybee’s books you are missing out! She has once again shown us that she can write a story that weaves romance, suspense, and action all together! Catherine has a way of drawing you into the story and making it hard to put the book down once you’ve started reading! The second book in the The First Wives series focuses on Trina Petrov and her story while also weaving in characters we've seen before in some of Catherine's previous books. Trina, a former flight attendant and now a very wealthy woman thanks to her marriage, is struggling to come to terms with her husband's death. The anniversary of it is approaching and she is desperate to find an excuse not to return home from a solo trip to Italy. Enter Wade Thomas, a popular country singer who is craving a little down time after his latest tour. A chance encounter in a bar with a woman who doesn’t recognize him and bonding over some much needed food is just the beginning of their adventures. As details from her husband’s death come to light, Trina finds herself and those she cares about in harm’s way. A demon from her past has reared its ugly head and now the people around her are in danger. Will it be too much for Wade to handle or is there a love song worth writing about in his future?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    Half Empty by Catherine Bybee is the second book in The First Wives Club. I did not read the prior book, but I am now looking forward to reading it!! The book is a romance but there is a serious twist with killers looking to kill Trina Petrov. Trina’s husband died unexpectedly and she is left with loads of money, guilt and questions. While she is on her way home (which she is trying to avoid doing), she meets an man who is interesting, not that she is really interested at all. She allowed him to Half Empty by Catherine Bybee is the second book in The First Wives Club. I did not read the prior book, but I am now looking forward to reading it!! The book is a romance but there is a serious twist with killers looking to kill Trina Petrov. Trina’s husband died unexpectedly and she is left with loads of money, guilt and questions. While she is on her way home (which she is trying to avoid doing), she meets an man who is interesting, not that she is really interested at all. She allowed him to help her avoid home for another day or so. Wade Thomas is a superstar, a singer who sells out concerts and is known worldwide, except by Trina. He is looking for time being a real person and not a famous person. Things become interesting when the reader finds out more about Trina and how she fits into the First Wives Club. The plot thickens when she goes to meet Wade for a big party for a weekend, but her friend that stayed in her house is badly hurt. Then the story picks up speed as the facts come out leading everyone to knowing what they needed to do. I liked that neither Trina nor Wade knew how rich the other was. I liked how Trina was not put out as much as most people would be by Wade’s mother. I liked how the facts were parceled leaving you wanting more information. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book. Half Empty by Catherine Bybee was a good read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    This was actually my first book by Catherine Bybee. She's been on my radar for a long time, but I'd just never gotten around to reading her. I can honestly say that she's got me hooked. I was not expecting the suspense and trauma that was in this story, but she kept me turning the pages. The marriage by contract concept of the story was also surprising to me. I found the relationship between Trina and Wade to be very heartwarming. I loved that she didn't know who he was when they met. I also love This was actually my first book by Catherine Bybee. She's been on my radar for a long time, but I'd just never gotten around to reading her. I can honestly say that she's got me hooked. I was not expecting the suspense and trauma that was in this story, but she kept me turning the pages. The marriage by contract concept of the story was also surprising to me. I found the relationship between Trina and Wade to be very heartwarming. I loved that she didn't know who he was when they met. I also loved how he was determined to stick by her when the violence started and it became apparent that she was the target. He was totally out of his league (there were lots of big bodyguards involved and lots of guns), but he wanted to do his part to protect her. It took their relationship a while to really heat up, but the results were sweet and sexy. I will definitely go back and read the first book in the series and look for the rest of the books as they come out! I received a copy of this via Netgalley.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Debra Oliva

    Another engaging installment in the First Wives series! The widowed Trina Petrov has sought refuge in Venice for the first year anniversary of her husband’s death and meets country music superstar Wade Thomas in a bar in Miami while returning to Texas. Sparks fly but, much to his surprise, she doesn’t recognize him and when he introduces himself, she has no idea who he is. Catherine Bybee knows how to write! I read the story in one sitting. The members of the First Wives club are strong, stubbor Another engaging installment in the First Wives series! The widowed Trina Petrov has sought refuge in Venice for the first year anniversary of her husband’s death and meets country music superstar Wade Thomas in a bar in Miami while returning to Texas. Sparks fly but, much to his surprise, she doesn’t recognize him and when he introduces himself, she has no idea who he is. Catherine Bybee knows how to write! I read the story in one sitting. The members of the First Wives club are strong, stubborn women who fight back against anyone who intends to endanger any one of them. I am looking forward to the next book in the series! Thanks to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the opportunity to read the ARC!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This was just okay to me. I had a really hard time connecting with the characters, which made the book tough to get through. Definitely read the first one before you read this one. I had not read the first book in the series, and was pretty confused as to what exactly was going on, especially with the First Wives Club. I loved the Weekday Brides series, and you do get to see some of those people again in this series, which was fun to see. I think anyone who loved the first book in the series wil This was just okay to me. I had a really hard time connecting with the characters, which made the book tough to get through. Definitely read the first one before you read this one. I had not read the first book in the series, and was pretty confused as to what exactly was going on, especially with the First Wives Club. I loved the Weekday Brides series, and you do get to see some of those people again in this series, which was fun to see. I think anyone who loved the first book in the series will love this book as well. * ARC provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 3 out of 5

    Callie Sutcliffe

    One thing I like about most in Catherine Bybee’s books is her love for suspense and drama to keep the story more than just a sappy love story. Half Empty is the second installment of her spin-off series from the Weekday Brides novels. The First Wives series are much like the ones from her original series where the leading couple are almost forced by circumstances mixed with attraction making their affair intoxicating and messy. Almost always a little over the top but still entertaining, Half Emp One thing I like about most in Catherine Bybee’s books is her love for suspense and drama to keep the story more than just a sappy love story. Half Empty is the second installment of her spin-off series from the Weekday Brides novels. The First Wives series are much like the ones from her original series where the leading couple are almost forced by circumstances mixed with attraction making their affair intoxicating and messy. Almost always a little over the top but still entertaining, Half Empty falls right in line with the others. The story begins a bit slow but starts to pick up steam about a third of the way through. There are many sweet scenes between the leading characters, Trina and Wade. I definitely recommend reading the first novel, Fool Me Once in order to fully understand the second. I would even encourage readers to read through the Weekday Brides first as there are references about many of the characters that make the story flow better if you know them already. One other thing I really enjoy is how much world-building Catherine Bybee does with her books. The characters are mentioned at times in other novels like there is a mention Fairfield Charters in this novel, a company readers grow to love in her “Not Quite” series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lora Logan

    Fun, sexy and suspenseful This was a great, suspenseful romance with a musician country star hero... what could be better. I greatly enjoy all of Catherine's books, she is an amazing author with inventive and interesting storylines you have to love.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daisy

    I have voluntarily read and reviewed a copy of this title given to me via NetGalley. Half Empty is the second book in the First Wives series. I loved this title it was highly enjoyable and I can’t wait to see what’s next from this author.

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