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August 24, 2022

The Second First Chance by Mona Shroff ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

The Second First Chance
is a big, wonderful, messy love story about family, heartbreak, strength, and courage. It shows us that sometimes what we want is what we least expect and that everything we need is often right in front of us.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel The Second First Chance by Mona Shroff
August 2022; HQN; 978-1335453464
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); women's fiction

This beautifully written novel by a new to me author is a fascinating look at a romance that started when the couple were children and were best friends to a life where they basically ignored each other but were thrown together because their family is friends with each other.  Finally at 30, they begin to notice each other again and a rocky and often contentious relationship begins to become a possible romance.

Riya Desai and Dhillon Vora grew up together.  Their families shared a duplex and they became best friends as children.  They played together and shared their secrets with each other.  When an electrical fire started in their homes, Riya's beloved brother and Dhillon's father died in the fire.  It changed their lives completely and their friendship drifted apart.  They saw each other occasionally because their parents were friends but they basically had no relationship beyond the fact that they knew each other's profession - Dhillion became a veterinarian and Riya became an EMT.  At least she WAS an EMT.  When she brings a stray dog into his office, she slips up and he finds out that she has been trained to fight fires and has a probationary job at a local fire department.  He is extremely upset that she is putting herself in harm's way when they both lost family members in a fire.  He felt that he had picked a profession where he could help other people but she had picked a dangerous profession that could put her life at risk.  She became angry that he didn't understand that being a fireman was her way of helping other people.  As they began to spend more time together, they gradually learned to respect each other again but is their past enough to help them fall in love with the people that they've become as adults?  Will they have a second chance at love?

Another intriguing side story is the way Riya is treated at the male-dominated fire station.  The men feel that she will be less effective because she's a female.  Most of them constantly remind her that she didn't have what it took to be successful in this male-dominated field.  Because she had to prove her worth and had a great big chip on her shoulder, she took chances to prove herself that the chief felt indicated she wasn't a team player.   She finally realizes that she won't reach her potential until she learns to work effectively with the rest of the department and become a team player.

This is a novel about grief and healing,  siblings, family love, and romance.  I enjoyed the way that both characters grew as they accepted their shared past and their current lives.  I also enjoyed learning more about another culture and their celebrations and lives.  After reading about the ups and downs of this couple over the years, I was thrilled when they got their happily ever after ending.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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