five-stars

 

 

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy!

Abby (Abigail) Simon is a very human delightful character—she’s spunky and sometimes smart mouthed, kind, thoughtful, a loyal friend, a great cook and the owner of a business she established in the small town of Elk River, Minnesota—a pastry shop called “Dessert First.” She also has a wonderful relationship with her parents—but especially her father.

There is nothing shallow about Abby. She is resilient and strong, but she is still reeling from the devastation of having her groom-to-be (Adam Jackson) show up at her door a couple of hours before the  ceremony and tell her he couldn’t go through with the wedding. A year later he has never told her why, even though he tried to keep in touch with her after that tragic day, phoning her regularly until she took a stand and told him not to call her again. Kudos to her! She decided to move on…but everyone she has dated is a bust because in her heart she still has feelings for him.

Then Max James returns and moves back into his parents’ house next door to her mom and dad. His mother has had a stroke and he has moved home to help them deal with what has happened. Through her teens, Abby had lived with a heart-wrenching crush on this neighbor boy who never even seen her as anything more than the kid from next door. When he left at the age of 18, to go to the University of Texan and study to become an architect, he hadn’t given her a second glance. Now, thirteen years later, he is stunned when he sees her—the scrawny tom-boy that he had known had a crush on him as a teenager, has turned into real beauty—and it is Max’s turn to be smitten. But Abby is guarded—she hasn’t forgotten the mean things he and his friends did to her for laughs a way back then. She’s older and wiser now, and while he is too handsome for his own good, and he still makes her heart do crazy things, she’s not falling at his feet. He sets out to build a relationship with her.

And then just when things look promising, Adam Jackson insists that he has to talk to Abby and tell her why he called off the wedding. He insists that he has regretted his decision, and he wants to have a second chance with her.

I was already smitten by Max, and I wanted her to tell Adam it was too little too late, but Abby still had questions in her heart. And so, she decided to reconsider, and I almost prayed that she would choose Max, but the heart has its own ways.

Connie Stephany has created characters that I could relate too, and the entire book is woven around their everyday lives, and those of the secondary characters are a realistic part of the whole. I love romances that have more depth than “the girl gets the boy, the boy gets the girl” thing from the past and this author has done that in this book.

I bought this book because the title “Second Chances” caught my eye. The theme of a second chance has been running through my mind, and my own work, and I wanted to see what this new author had written. I was not disappointed in the story.

Other reviewers have noted—as do I—that the book could be improved overall with some editing, tightening up in the sentence structure and cutting out unnecessary wording, and at first I had thought to give this book four stars because of that. However when the overall read is satisfying, I think that most readers who have not been involved in the editing process do not even notice these things that pop out at those who do edit…and my heart said 4.5 and I rounded it up to 5 stars because aside from those things that I noticed with a critical eye, I really did enjoy the book.

Congratulations Connie Stephany on a job well done. I am looking forward to your next book!