Isn’t It Romantic?

Isn’t It Romantic?A Season for Second Chances by Lia Louis
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on October 19, 2021
Age/Genres: Contemporary, Fiction

A charmingly quirky seaside town offers a recently separated restauranteur a fresh start and possibly a new lease on love in A Season for Second Chances, by the author of The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

Annie Sharpe's spark for life has fizzled out. Her kids are grown up, her restaurant is doing just fine on its own, and her twenty-six-year marriage has come to an unceremonious end. Untethered for the first time in her adult life, she finds a winter guardian position in a historic seaside home and decides to leave her city life behind for a brand-new beginning.

When she arrives in Willow Bay, Annie is enamored by the charming house, the invigorating sea breeze, and the town's rich seasonal traditions. Not to mention, her neighbors receive her with open arms--that is, all except the surly nephew of the homeowner, whose grand plans for the property are at odds with her residency. As Christmas approaches, tensions and tides rise in Willow Bay, and Annie's future seems less and less certain. But with a little can-do spirit and holiday magic, the most difficult time of her life will become...a season for second chances.

Annie had dismissed her husband’s transgressions for too long, and this last one was the one that broke the camel’s back. But after twenty-six years, where would she to go? What was she supposed to do? When Annie found an ad for a caretaker for a seaside home, she seized the opportunity and found a place to start rebuilding her life.

You may have remembered me raving about Bayliss’ last book, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, as it was a favorite of mine last year. A Season for Second Chances was quite different, however, it still filled me with all the warm and fuzzy feels I had hoped for.

I like to believe there are always second chances for us all, and in this book, Annie was seeking several herself. She was very young when she married and became a mother, juggling those responsibilities along with building a successful restaurant. That didn’t leave much time for Annie to focus on herself. This was her second chance to create a life, one where she was the star. It would be filled with what she wanted and what she needed, and she wouldn’t have to compromise for others. Annie would have time to build relationships, have hobbies, and simply enjoy more of what life had to offer.

It was wonderful taking this journey with her, and I found it so easy to cheer her on. It pained me that she believed all the best years were behind her, and therefore, it did my heart good to see her find a place as lovely as Willow Bay to begin again.

This town was so charming, and it was filled with a wonderful group of people. They welcomed Annie with open arms. Well, most of them did, and she quickly found her place there. It delighted me to see Annie embrace Willow Bay and its traditions, which were fantastic. These people celebrated often and grandly, and Annie was fully engaged in each and every one of those fetes.

She also found a great group of women who were an endless source of support. An eclectic group, they formed a book club where they discussed Victorian literature among other things. I think many will enjoy the bookish discussions, but it was those book club shenanigans that had me filled with laughter. These meetings were packed with comedic moments, as well as some important topics, and I was always looking forward to the next gathering.

It’s special to see a character close to my age featured in a story, and also encouraging to see her finding a community, a future, and love. A Season for Second Chances was a beautiful reminder that it’s never too late to change your path, chase your passion, or begin again. This story was beautifully told and touched my heart deeply.

Isn’t It Romantic?The Legacy by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus #5)
Published by Bloom Books on September 21, 2021
Age/Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Four stories. Four couples. Three years of real life after graduation…

A wedding.
A proposal.
An elopement.
And a surprise pregnancy.

Can you guess which couple is which?

Come for the drama, stay for the laughs! Catch up with your favorite Off-Campus characters as they navigate the changes that come with growing up and discover that big decisions can have big consequences…and big rewards.

Where are they now? That’s a question I always ask myself when I reminisce about a favorite series. Because of my need to know what happened next, a book like The Legacy is an absolute treat! Though I think many could enjoy this book without having read the series, I declare it a gift to us Off-Campus fans.

It was so exciting to check in with these couples, see where their careers had taken them, and to also experience some new adventures with them. Though they were out of college, everything I loved about the series was still there. The friendships that dominated the books were there as this group supported each other through some new challenges. I laughed often, but also may have shed a happy tear or two.

Not only did I get to catch up with every couple from the Off-Campus books, but there were appearances from many of the Briar U characters as well. I live for cameos like this! Needless to say, I was giddy with each and every sighting.

Overall, this was such a welcome addition to series for me. I loved being able to see where the Off-Campus boys were now and where they were going. Kennedy gave them some fantastic storylines. With a heaping dose of bromance, romance, and even a creepy doll, she brought me back to a world I loved so much.

*ARCS provided in exchange for honest reviews

Most memorable holiday celebration?
Let us know in the comments!

Posted October 21, 2021 by Sam@wlabb in 4 stars, 4.5 stars, review, sam, sam 4 stars, sam 4.5 stars / 25 Comments

25 responses to “Isn’t It Romantic?

  1. I really need to give Bayliss a try! I especially love when Christmas books include strong community settings. And I am so far behind on Kennedy’s series. Hopefully I’ll catch up at some point.

  2. Rachel @Waves of Fiction

    I really like the sound of A Season for Second Chances! I’ll be looking that one up. I’ve enjoyed several of the Off Campus series too.

  3. I need to make sure that I have A Season for Second Chances on my list! I love that it is a second chance story and the setting sounds perfect. I am so glad that both of these were hits for you! 🙂

  4. I am such a sucker for follow-up books that revisits all the previous characters. It’s like a gift from the author. I went ahead and bought The Legacy but I need to get caught up with the series before diving in. Glad to see I have all kinds of good stuff waiting for me!

    • If you are already a fan of the series, I think you will enjoy it. All the best parts are there PLUS we get to see how far they’ve come since graduation

  5. Jen

    Ohhh I have The Twelve Dates of Christmas on hold at my library via Overdrive and didn’t realize she had another Christmas story too. This one sounds heartwarming and like something I would love too, fabulous review! I’ll have to see if my library gets this one too! *fingers crossed*!

    • This one wasn’t really a Christmas story, though they do celebrate Christmas (among other holidays) in the book. It was heartwarming and uplifting.

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