Second Time Around – Erin Kaye

Jennifer may be 44 years old, but she looks and feels a lot younger- especially when she discovers the adage is true: You’re only as old as the man you feel! Smalltown Ballyfergus is scandalised- Ben is 28 years old AND he’s her son Matt’s new boss. Singleminded Ben won’t take no for an answer, he’s got it bad, but his Dad’s not about to let his hopes for grandkids pass, especially when there’s the Crawford business empire to hand down.

Unfortunately Jennifer’s own daughter is equally disapproving; Lucy is miserable on her university course and has developed a gambling problem. But finally Lucy has a boyfriend, Oren, who has shown her the joys of being a born again Christian of the Young Earth Creationist persuasion. How can her mother disgrace her so, just when she’s found her path?

Kooks for your Kindle?– Luckily Jennifer had a best friend Donna who was supportive of her new relationship, because most of her family were extremely disapproving- her controlling ex-husband David and his wife, Jennifer’s former friend Maggie, were more concerned about appearances. Matt took it surprisingly well, especially considering he had to work for Ben and was only a few years younger, but he had a sweetly tolerant disposition. The most memorable character had to be Oren, charismatic, manipulative and evangelical. His hold over Lucy caused a rift between her and her mother that looked to become beyond repair. Ben made a strong leading man, mature for his age, but haunted by an older brother whose shoes he’s reluctant to fill.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– I enjoyed Jennifer’s strength and independence, as well as the way she spoke her mind to Oren, if it had been otherwise, those parts would have been too hard to accept! Her treatment by outsiders as Ben’s girlfriend was heartbreaking, but real, as were her reservations about their future.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The small town itself wasn’t as scandalised as I had expected, only really the families concerned. The author aims at the warm Irish humour market, which fits the bill, but there were a lot of negative characters to overcome, attempting to thwart the happy ending. Jennifer works in interior design, whereas Lucy and Ben are unknowingly trying to swap places, Lucy hates being in education and would prefer the real world, and Ben is the opposite.

Evaluation of your eBook?– Second Time Around has such an effective ‘bad guy’ that you’ll keep turning pages just to make sure his gets his comeuppance, especially as the world seems to turn against Jennifer. The romance is sweet, while the practicalities of it are realistically dealt with. Oddly, this is the second book I’ve read this week in which someone’s struggling with an addiction to online bingo, which is a bit spooky, but interesting to see how differently they’re handled. It’s a satisfying tale of finding love at any age, and how families come in all shapes and sizes these days.

Frothy Ranking: 3.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: On Amazon for £3.99, although recently it was only £1.99, click the price for the latest.

US: Amazon for $6.64.

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