Tuesday 11 August 2015

Reviewed: Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

Second Chance Summer was published by Headline Eternal on July 30, 2015.

Thanks to Katie Bradburn for sending me a copy of this book to review via Bookbridgr.

When I first heard that Jill Shalvis was writing a new series, I was delighted. Mainly because I’d somehow never read one of Jill’s books before and I’d always wanted to, but I’m useless at picking up a series with several books already out. This was my perfect chance to be introduced to an author I’d heard so many great things about. Second Chance Summer blew all my expectations away – it wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary but it was a cosy, feel-good and beautiful to the core novel that I couldn’t get enough of. It was a fun, light-hearted yet sensitive story, gorgeously written and uber addictive. But I have to admit that waiting for a new series was a ridiculous idea because there’s no way at all I can bring myself to patiently wait for the next book, even if it is only a few months away. I needed it the second I finished and I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever been as sad to come to an end of a book as I was with Second Chance Summer. I lost count of the number of times I put this book down towards the last thirty or so pages because I was so close to finishing it and I really, desperately didn’t want to. I was hopelessly hooked on this book – the wonderful setting, the warm and witty set of characters, the uplifting writing – that it was veering towards being obsessive, but seriously, I loved this book so, so much! It just made me feel happy, happy with a crazy big grin on my face. Happy to the extent that I almost completely forgot about anything going on around me because all that mattered was the events in Cedar Ridge.

Second Chance Summer is the story of Lily, back in Cedar Ridge, the place she escaped from ten years ago. It’s not a place she had anticipated returning to and she’s hoping to avoid the people she knows from her past, but deep down she’s not na├»ve enough to believe that’s possible in the town where everybody knows everybody’s business. The setting of the small town of Cedar Ridge was stunning and Jill’s description of the location was breath-taking. I wanted to explore it for myself and meet the characters who charmed me all throughout the book. Lily’s hopes to re-appear in Cedar Ridge without a single eyebrow raised fade quickly when she bumps into the one person she wanted to avoid most, firefighter, search-and-rescue team member and total hottie, Aidan Kincaid. Aidan played his own little part in the reason why Lily took off so quickly from Cedar Ridge a decade ago, though he’s not all that sure why. Lily still swoons at the sight of Aidan (and I couldn’t blame her) but she can’t allow herself to get close to him again. The chemistry between Lily and Aidan was undeniable and I loved the connection between them. The dynamics and the banter between them had me laughing out loud, particularly every time Aidan entered the salon Lily was now working at. Just the mention of a wax or any other salon treatment was enough to terrify Aidan and of course I loved how Lily used that to her advantage. But there was more than just fun and games between the two of them and I really wanted Lily to learn to forgive herself and live life for her, to give herself the chance of happiness with Aidan in Cedar Ridge.

There is one huge reason that I adored this novel and that lays with the Kincaid brothers, Aidan, Gray and Hudson. Actually, they were my favourite part to the novel. Other than being swoonworthy heroes (which they were, of course) they were all so well-crafted and developed with a bond between them which was brilliant to read. I loved the front they all attempt to put up, the macho, manly act so no soppiness, definitely no signs of affection between them in public, definitely no feelings discussed. And yet, that wasn’t them at all. There was so much protectiveness and loyalty between them that even the smallest of issues would send the other running to the rescue, though not before laughing at the predicament they were in, obviously. The dialogue and teasing between them made me smile and laugh so many times but at the same time, I really enjoyed the more serious, sensitive side to their conversations too. Deep down, whether they wanted to show it or not, Aidan, Hudson and Gray all had caring and fiercely devoted personalities and so messing with their mums or love interests was always going to be a big problem.

Second Chance Summer is not a book difficult to predict and not a book with a really hard-hitting story. What it was for me, though, was a beautiful reminder of why I love reading. When I pick up a book that within a few pages, I’m incapable of thinking about anything else or tearing myself away from the gorgeous paperback, I know I’m reading a special story, one full of so much heart and warmth that as soon as I finished, I wanted to read all over again. This book had it all for me and I now know I’m going to have to get copies of Jill’s long list of other novels and tuck into them too. There was a lot of depth in Second Chance Summer and I liked how it wasn’t just a simple romance. We see a touching exploration of grief and how it affects a life. We get some pretty smoking sex scenes. We get a fantastic group of characters, all easy to care for, with a lovely insight into the bond between a family. As well as the romance and friendships, I really enjoyed all the little bits like getting to learn a bit more about the work Aidan does through his rescues and meeting the wacky people he encounters throughout his working day. I also really felt connected to Hudson’s story and I can’t wait to learn more about his character in the next book, My Kind of Wonderful. Second Chance Summer is beautiful, moving and heartening– fun from the very first page and the most perfect of introductions for me to the writing of Jill Shalvis.

Utterly delightful and romantic - one of my new favourite books


  1. Sounds like a great book. I love how you write your reviews with such passion.

    1. Thank you, Amanda! I did fall a little bit in love with this book.

  2. I second That Amanda. This book has just been added to my wish list due to such a great review. X

    1. Thank you, Tanya. And you need to get a copy of this one! x


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