Primary Genre(s): Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Published: 4 May 2021 by Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine (US)
Page count: 320
My Format: eBook via NetGalley
Do I Recommend: Yes
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy The Bookshop of Second Chances
My rating: ★★★★☆
Thea’s having a bad month. Not only has she been made redundant, she’s also discovered her husband of nearly twenty years is sleeping with one of her friends. And he’s not sorry – he’s leaving.
Bewildered and lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But, when she learns the great-uncle she barely knew has died and left her his huge collection of second-hand books and a house in the Scottish Lowlands, she seems to have been offered a second chance.
Running away to a little town where no one knows her seems like exactly what Thea needs. But when she meets the aristocratic Maltravers brothers – grumpy bookshop owner Edward and his estranged brother Charles, Lord Hollinshaw – her new life quickly becomes just as complicated as the life she was running from.
This is a sweet, grown-up romance novel… and it takes place in a bookshop!! Here are my pros and cons for The Bookshop of Second Chances:
- It takes place in Scotland. I don’t know why, but I just love books that take place in Scotland!
- A lot of the story takes place in a bookstore! Again… LOVE IT!
- I love that this is a grown-up romance. This story is about two mature adults finding love when love no longer feels like an option for them. I enjoy books about second chances and this is nice feel-good fiction.
- I liked Thea a lot. She was fractured but still strong. I appreciate female characters who know they have value and worth, despite setbacks.
- Some of the secondary characters were quite fun!
- You’ve likely read this plot before. That doesn’t mean it is bad, but the “husband cheats, marriage disintegrates, woman unexpectedly (but with perfect timing) inherits property from remote family member, woman moves to small town, woman meets quirky locals, woman falls in love with unlovable man, they live happily ever after” trope has been done before.
- The romance felt just a tad awkward to me at times. I felt like there was more fighting than wooing and I would have liked to see a little more foundational development to their relationship.
- I felt like the “grump” factor of the bookshop owner was way over the top and unrealistic. The reason for his irritability was defined, but even so, I think he was overwritten. Plus, some of his actions in his past were just uncalled for and I hated that he a negative backstory.
This book is quite formulaic and you’ve probably read some version of this story before. There is nothing new here to be honest. But what is here is heartfelt and hopeful… and probably very relatable to a lot of readers! It is nice to read a story that reminds us that perhaps the detours we find ourselves on in life are really taking us exactly where we were supposed to be all along. And being reminded of that, even if you have heard or read it before, isn’t a bad thing.
Although I had some cons for this story, I still enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone who loves grown-up love stories, particularly ones that feature bookstores!
Thank you NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for providing an eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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