Who We Used to Be (Kirstin’s Review)

Title: Who We Used to Be: Do-Over Series, Book 1
Author: Dara Nelson
Publisher: Dare Publishing
Release Date: June 15th, 2019
Genre(s): Romance
Page Count: 291
Reviewed by: Kirstin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


Ten years is a long time to live with a broken heart

Ten years ago Zeke Malloy had everything:
A happy childhood, a shot at a state championship wrestling title, a best friend, a boyfriend (albeit a secret one but that was okay because, once they graduated, that would change).
He had love, happiness……a heart.
All of that changed in the blink of an eye.
One moment he was deliriously happy, looking forward to a future with Digger Brandt, building a life, a home, a forever, with him.
And then it was gone, disappearing like the tears that flowed down Zeke’s cheeks as he watched from the back of the church as Digger married Lisa – with his father sitting proudly in the front pew. Those tears were still flowing when he walked out of that church and went directly to the nearest recruiting office. Because he didn’t just lose the love of his life that day, he lost his hopes, his dreams, he lost…..himself.
For the next ten years he was a machine – the best Marine, the best friend, but like a machine, he did it all without a beating heart.
His was dead…..or was it?
Was ten years too long?
Was a broken heart too much?
Zeke didn’t know. Hell, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to know.
From the moment Digger walked up behind him and said Hello in that smooth, sexy voice that used to light him up six ways from Sunday, Zeke was screwed
The only thing he really knew now……..was that he was about to find out.

The blurb totally had me on this one. I love a sweet second chances story and this seemed perfect.

After 10 years, Digger shows up in Zeke’s life, telling him he’s divorced and gay and wanting to get back together. That’s right. 10 years ago he walked away and married a woman. No reasons, no sorry’s. Zeke has to decide if he can forgive and forget and accept that he’s changed or continue living a shell of a life.

My favorite part of this book was the gang from Zeke’s Marine corp that all worked together. They were brothers and bonded and protected each other and it was awesome to read. I liked both Digger and Zeke, but I didn’t get a good feel for what actually happened all those years ago.

A lot of the story was told in flashbacks, but new facts seemed to be conveniently placed throughout the story, yet nothing was tied together. I am not going to give away the spoiler here, but it was a huge oversight in my opinion and should have been fleshed out in this story. The characters from upcoming books had way too big of roles here. I would have preferred more background on this story before we had so much background on their stories.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Who We Used to Be provided by author in exchange of an honest review.


Reading has become such a huge part of my life as an adult. I love the escape, but I also try to take something from each story for myself. I am a lover of words. I love dialogue. I love a slow burn and a happy ever after.

Favorite Authors: Garrett Leigh, Amy Lane, Mary Calmes, Lane Hayes, T.J. Klune, Roan Parrish, N.R. Walker, Cara Dee, Anyta Sunday

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