Second Chance Summer–Jill Shalvis

30 July 2015

Release Date: 30th July 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
My Rating:
Fans of Jill Mansell, Debbie Macomber, Nora Roberts and Marie Force will fall head over heels for the new Cedar Ridge series from New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis, featuring her trademark gift for humour, warmth and romance.

What do you do when you run into the man who broke your heart? Lily's been back in Cedar Ridge for less than ten minutes when she bumps into Aidan, the former love of her life. So much for sneaking back into town unnoticed. And thanks to frizzy hair and armfuls of junk food, she's turning his head for all the wrong reasons.

No one knows why Lily is home after ten years, and she's determined to stay no longer than the summer. But Cedar Ridge and Aidan have other ideas.

As they set about persuading Lily to give them a second chance, she finds herself falling under the spell of the Colorado mountains ... and the one man she could never forget.

Want more warm, funny romance? Visit spellbinding Lucky Harbor or experience some Animal Magnetism in Sunshine, Idaho in Jill's other unforgettable series
The entire reason I keep going back to Jill Shalvis books is because Kaja keeps saying such good things about her and boy am I glad I listen! I requested a copy of Second Chance Summer from Headline Eternal and was thrilled to have a copy arrive in the post. It was a lovely surprise parcel after I got back from shopping on Saturday. I had fully intended to wait to read but that idea was swiftly thrown out the window Saturday night. This is a copy I received free and in no way influences my opinions, I am just a sucker for romance.

I spent an enjoyable Saturday night and Sunday morning devouring this book, I couldn’t read the words fast enough I just needed more of the story and wonderful romance. This is a perfect summer romance read, if you’re on the look out for one. Shalvis is one of those romance authors that has her art form down to a tee and Second Chance Summer is a perfect example of this. If you’re too daunted to dive into her Lucky Harbour series (understandable, there are twelve novels as well as a bunch of novellas) then her new Cedar Ridge book series is a perfect introductory series to you, and you’re lucky because it is just being released so you can get in there at the beginning.

Shalvis is the queen of small-town romance, seriously, I need her to be crowned for it because she writes perfect romances set in small towns which I then instantly want to move to. I cannot wait for more of her Cedar Ridge series to be released because I am fully hooked and can’t wait to experience more of the Kincaid family drama. Shalvis has me fully wrapped up in these characters and she skilled in introducing the characters you know will play significant roles in future novels. I want to know what’s going on with Hudson, one of the Kincaid brothers, and whether or not he is successful in tracking down his twin. I want to know what is happening with Kenna, the only female Kincaid sibling, and why on earth she has become such a recluse. I know I will slowly discover more as the series continues, but enough about future books, let me move on to my review for the opening novel to this fantastic new series.

Lily, our main character, has just returned to her hometown after things went south for her in her last job. She returned to the place where her life took a wrong turn and she had to runaway to try and move past her grief. She also happened to leave behind  guy who she may or may not have loved and she is most certainly not looking forward to bumping into him again. The object of both her lust and the man she is hoping to avoid is Aidan Kincaid. He spent his youth being a bit wild and crazy with his siblings and has grown into a man who spends his days saving people, be it as a fireman or as a member of the Search and Rescue team so he is shocked to have Lily stumble back into his life so suddenly after she ran ten years ago. He is angry and intrigued and cannot resist wanting to save her, although the only thing it appears she needs rescuing from is herself. Lily is carrying a lot of guilt with her, even after ten years, and she appears to be the only person holding herself back from being happy.

I don’t want to reveal too much about the story itself, because that will spoil the fun, but I will say this, Lily is headstrong and independent and Aidan may have a thing for rescuing folk and sorting out their problems, but Lily is no damsel. She just needs someone to talk to and help guide her into sorting things out herself, she needs someone to lean on, not someone to rescue her and Shalvis writes that perfectly. Romance is no more about a damsel in need of saving by a handsome fellow with rock-hard abs. It is now far more about an opinionated woman trying to work her way through life and having a romantic interest thrown in to complicate matters. And the alpha male stereotype? Yeah, that still exists, but now the alpha males have feelings they need to address, they may not be the most eloquent but they utterly charming in their adorable emotionally stunted ways. Aidan knows how he feels, he took a bit of time getting to that point, but he knows how he feels and what he wants, he also knows he needs to take things slow because Lily is like a deer ready to bolt at any sudden movements.

I loved the romance in this book, the chemistry between Lily and Aidan was obvious from the start. Shalvis prevents her romances from feel awkward armed with the power to write humour well. You have first meetings including enough junk food to feed a small army, a dress covered in Cheetos stains, a knocked over postcard display in an attempted stealth retreat and threats of bodily harm in a car. Then there mothers who reveal their wicked side, siblings who don’t know when to butt out, but that’s probably more because they care so damn much, and best friends who both is a help and a hindrance. And all this happens in a town so small that everyone is up in each other’s business so knows what’s happening before Lily and Aidan do.

So, to summarise this review, Second Chance Summer is an hilarious read which features alpha males having a facial, mothers attempting to get back on the dating scene whilst also scarring her sons, a woman whose grief is overwhelming and needs to be faced head on in her hometown and a man who has spend his entire adult life saving people and needs to face the fact that the women in his life do no need saving, they just need him there to support them occasionally when they take a fall… a fall which is occasionally cause by a rabbit spider… or just a plain old rabbit, but that doesn’t sound so terrifying. This his a wonderful read filled with highs and lows and some steamy romance which is always enjoyable. Our introduction to Cedar Ridge is perfect and cannot wait to return in My Kind of Wonderful, now if only that book could be released sooner!

Are you a fan of smalltown romances, if so recommend some to me below, you can never have too much romance in your life. Have you read any of Shalvis’s novels before, which are your favourites because I am obviously seriously behind in reading her books.
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