Tuesday, March 12, 2013

No Castle or H50? No Problem. Book Review: Second Chances

There was no Castle last night and the repeat of Hawaii Five-O was one of my least favorite episodes, so I read a book instead.  And it was a very good book that I practically read in one sitting, so I definitely want to share my find with you.

Second Chances by Melanie Jacobson starts out with two businesswomen/roommates who are trying to start a web version of The Bachelor but with a twist---it's a Mormon bachelor and it's to help jump-start the dating scene in Huntington Beach and launch her marketing company.  Louisa, the owner, has the bachelor back out at the last minute (he got a girlfriend) and she's going to lose everything she's worked for (the girl is living on oatmeal packets and ramen as it is!) if she doesn't find someone quick.

Enter her ex-boyfriend Nick, who is an actor.  She broke up with him three years ago because he was sort of shallow and even though she would see flashes of depth in him, he never really let her in.  (She still watches his show re-runs on late night TV, though)  But, in her desperation that all her business plans not be ruined, she calls him and he agrees to be the bachelor for her.  What follows is fun and quirky and made me laugh out loud.

But, there's something unexpected.

There is some real growth in the heroine during this story.  With the set-up, I was expecting the guy to have changed and he would realize why she left and they would have their happily ever after.  But this book isn't cliche like that.  The heroine has some real growth as a person and for me, that sets it apart from the other romances I've been reading lately.  I like it when you can have a fun story with some depth to it because it seems sort of rare these days.

So, if you are looking for a can't-put-down book that has some great bachelor dating situations (read: funny), some romance with realistic characters that feel like your best friends, and a hero to sigh over, then this is the book for you.  And as a bonus, Ms. Jacobson throws in an update on my favorite couple from her book The List.  You may remember I complained a teeny bit in my review (you can read it here) that I didn't feel closure with them.  Well, now I do.  Thank you for that!

Here is the backliner:

 After walking out of a thankless job at a prestigious marketing firm, feisty California entrepreneur Louisa Gibson is going into business for herself. Lou’s pioneering venture, The Mormon Bachelor, is a reality dating web series sure to be fabulous advertising for her new marketing firm. And as a bonus, she can solve a problem close to home: while Huntington Beach is crawling with eligible, sun-bronzed Saints, they’ve forgotten the vital skill of dating. Lou hopes the reality show will finally inspire this group of hangout enthusiasts to pair off. But shortly before filming begins, the unthinkable happens—Trentyn, a.k.a. The Bachelor, gets a girlfriend. And Lou needs a new leading man—fast.

Enter Nick, Lou’s devastatingly handsome ex-boyfriend. He’s the stereotypical actor: shallow, self-serving . . . and perfect for the job. A whirlwind of dating ensues, with Nick at the center of it all. Things are going according to plan—that is, until Lou is forced to step in as a substitute bachelorette, becoming an unwitting cast member on her own show. Despite Nick’s attempts to reestablish their friendship and the growing spark between them, Lou is determined to keep her distance. The show must go on—but what’s a girl to do when the Mr. Wrong of the past just may be the Mr. Right of the future?


Debra Erfert said...

This sounds like a fun read.

Last night I finally remembered to surf the television for Castle--and at the right time I might add--and all I saw was Hawaii Five-O. After a little snarling at the remote, I finally figured out Castle must be taking the night off after being so exhausted saving his daughter last episode and all.

I'll put Melanie's book on my to-read list. (if I ever get to read again...)

Did you see the link I put up on the Authors' Think Tank about Huge Howey's "Wool" and how he made a huge and very unusual book deal with Simon and Schuster? "Wool", an apocalyptic fiction, was indie-published and doing very well, enough to get noticed by a national publisher, but Howey didn't want to sell his rights away. I was fascinated by his story by, where in the end, S & S became "publishing partners." They didn't just acquire the rights and leave Howey with the six-figure advance and royalties. Howey broke through a barrier that may pave the way for the rest of us indie-published, and future indie-published authors.


Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Debra, I did read that article about Wool. It's so interesting to me how the publishing world is changing and how quickly it's changing. I'm looking forward to the future for authors and having so many good choices available to us. :)

emfawcett said...

So excited to read this one! I hopefully will get it today!