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December 15, 2021

A Season for Second Chances by Jenny Bayliss ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Despite the snowy cover and "season" in the title A Season of Second Chances is not a Christmas story. It does take place during the off-season in a small seaside village in England and there are a few fall and winter holiday celebrations. Even though "second chances" in the title would make you think this is a romance, it is actually more of women's fiction.

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A Season of Second Chances
October 2021; ‎ G.P. Putnam's Sons; 978-0593085417
audio, ebook, print (448 pages); women's fiction

There is as much if not more focus on Annie's starting life over after finally leaving her cheating husband. They are co-owners of a fancy restaurant where she is head chef. So there is the second chance of creating a different career for herself. The restaurant life doesn't allow for much of a social life outside of the restaurant people - so there is the second chance to make new friendships. And of course, there is the second chance that most of us think of - a new romantic relationship.

Many people dream of just walking away and starting completely over and readers get to vicariously do just through Annie. When she finally has enough of her husband's wandering ways, she finds herself a temporary caretaking job at an old house in a small seaside village. The owner is an elderly woman and winters are harsh in the area so her nephew wants her winter somewhere less isolating. He is hoping that it will convince her to move permanently and he can sell the historic home.

The place is idyllic and definitely remote enough for anyone needing space and maybe a hideaway to lick her wounds. Close to the seashore the home also use to have a tea room/coffee shop. Unknown to Annie the place also seems to be the hub of social activity for the year-around-ers.

The residents are wonderful and embrace Annie instantly - providing her with friendship that she realized she was sorely lacking. It is the perfect small-town community that gets together for book club and holiday celebrations.

John, the owner's nephew, is suspicious of Annie's intentions. He seems to be a bit of a scrooge but underneath the gruff (untrusting) exterior he really does have his aunt's best interest at heart. Some of his best childhood memories are staying with her during school breaks, but elder care is expensive and he feels it is his duty to make sure his aunt is well-cared for in her old age. 

The romance never gets too steamy, keeping the story sweet. Annie is a delightful main character and you will want to be part of the community she discovers, too. Overall, this is a great escapism read.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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