When It Falls Apart



COMING JUNE 21, 2022

A bittersweet romance about the power of love in the face of heartbreak and loss.

Brooke Turner has always had a complicated relationship with her father. But when his health takes a turn for the worse, she drops everything to care for him. He’s her dad, after all, and he needs her. What Brooke doesn’t anticipate is the unraveling of her long-term relationship and a cross-country move to San Diego’s Little Italy.

Luca D’Angelo is the oldest of three children and a single father to a young daughter. When his mother rents the top floor of their house to Brooke, he’s angry. Who is this beautiful stranger with no ties to the neighborhood? Can she be trusted in such close proximity to his family?

As Luca learns of Brooke’s difficult journey with her ailing father, his heart softens. And Brooke, who witnesses Luca’s struggle as a single parent, develops feelings for him too. But when it all falls apart, will love heal their wounded hearts?


She shifted in her seat, stared at him. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“I told you, I—”

“And I’m not beautiful. I’m a damn mess.” She pushed in closer, as if Luca couldn’t see her. “look at me. Puffy face. My eyes are so bloodshot if a copy pulled me over, he’d ask me what I’ve been smoking. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in months and look at this.” She lifted her hair to reveal her forehead and pointed at a vein she knew was always there. “This pulsating barometer is a testament to my skyrocketing blood pressure that puts the cherry on top of just how unbeautiful I am right now.”

Out of breath, she sat back, swiveled her head to focus on the home.

She heard Luca take a breath. “Okay then. Fine.”

“Fine? What is fine?” What the hell did that mean? She looked at him now, spoiling for a fight. Something, anything to cut out eh misery that had become the hamster wheel of her life.

“You don’t want me to call you beautiful, I won’t call you beautiful.” He looked as if he were holding back a smile.

“Good.” She focused out the windshield.

“What about—”

“Besides, I’m your tenant,” she cut him off.

“You’re my mother’s tenant.”

“Family home. Family business.”

“I was firmly against renting the apartment. my mother oversees your tenancy.”

“Whatever.” Brooke’s stomach was starting to churn. “You don’t think I’m beautiful, you just feel sorry for me.”

Luca started to laugh.

The hair on Brooke’s neck stood up. “What is so funny?”

“You’re rather obsessed with my opinion of your beauty” Luca sat back now, completely comfortable in the car with one hand resting on the door through the open window.

He was relaxed, confident, and entirely too sexy, and she was pissed that she noticed.

“I like where I live and don’t want to mess that up.”

“Then don’t.”

A brief look his way, then back out the window.

He was staring at her.

“I won’t.”


A few second passed.

“Stop staring at me.”

He shifted but didn’t stop looking at her.

“If you’re as exhausted as your diatribe expressed, I can’t help but wonder just how stunning you’ll look after a few good night’s sleeps a little pampering.”

The Book

When It Falls Apart
The D’Angelo’s, Book One
June 2022, First Edition
eBook & Print


Bybee writes a superb story addressing the hardships adult children face with parents entering the struggles of being unable to care for themselves and mad they can’t; tenderly addresses childhood issues faced when innocent kids have selfish parents; and affectionately entertains with the big fun Italian loving family. Highly recommend.

“Catherine Bybee’s new book is about the relationship between children and parents—good, bad, selfish, concerned and indifferent. It deals with the insecurities and longings of children of divorced parents, especially those who were abandoned by a parent … Uplifting, inspiring, and a very find read because of the warmth of a big Italian family that takes center stage. Most highly recommended.”

“If you’re in the mood for an Italian single dad with a loud, obnoxious, loving, meddling family, you’re in for a treat. When It Falls Apart delivered all the feels.”

“This is a story with lots of family, heart, love and passion and I can’t wait for more of this family.”

“This story felt much rooted in reality and what so many people are going through. Caring for an aging loved one – and having to give up some of your own life along the way. Or sharing children with an ex, and having to standby and watch that person not care for your shared child the way you’d like them to. I deeply appreciated how real these things felt and were handled by the characters. It showed how our family ties – both chosen and blood can really impact our lives and decisions.”

“If life isn’t messy we haven’t lived it. This story shows different aspects of love, how it can flow, how it can stall and how it can dissipate.”

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