Why hasn’t Catherine Bybee written a high octane Hollywood movie script yet? I think this would make a great summer blockbuster. Half Empty started out as a sweet, slow-burn novel and ended with way more action and adventure than I was expecting. The heroine, Trina, was coming back from an open ended Italian vacation after her husband killed himself a year earlier. While meandering home to Texas, Trina hits up a hotel bar in Miami and meets handsome country superstar Wade Thomas. To Wade’s chagrin, Trina doesn’t have any idea who he is.
Trina and Wade’s romantic connection was very sweet but I wish I could understand why Wade was so drawn to Trina. She did nothing to encourage his pursuit and seemed really sad and lost for much of the book. She was even avoiding her girlfriends back home.
Trina’s conflicted feelings and grief over her late husband was very understandable and well explored. Her cast of supportive friends was beautiful and made her seem much more relatable and human. As much as I enjoyed Trina, she really didn’t have much direction in her personal or professional life. That was a main character point which wasn’t truly resolved by the end of the book. I would have liked more concrete answers but maybe we will get them in subsequent books.
Besides the overarching murder mystery plot, there was very little conflict between Wade and Trina. Wade was (unrealistically) all in right from the beginning and Trina didn’t put up much of a fight when it came to her feelings. I think one of the reasons is because Ms. Bybee spent a lot of time developing the supporting cast and a rather complicated cast of characters. I enjoyed learning about all of them but I felt that Wade and Trina were pushed to the side occasionally.
Part rock star romance, part romantic thriller, I really enjoyed this book. There were a few holes that prevented a full four stars but I absolutely enjoyed this book overall. I would recommend it as an easy, fun read with a kick.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**