Book Recommendation – Second Time Around by Melody Carlson

Book Description:

Who doesn’t love a second chance?

When empty nester Mallory Farrell inherits her grandmother’s run-down tourist shop in Seaport, Oregon, it seems the only sensible thing to do is to sell it. But when her former secret crush, Grayson Matthews, wants to buy the property in order to complete his plans to redevelop the funky town’s business district into a soulless, cookie-cutter outdoor mall, Mallory digs in her heels and decides to renovate the property herself.

With a lot of hard work and a little bit of help, Mallory makes incredible progress turning the store into an eclectic home décor shop called Romancing the Home–all while trying to ignore the depressing and decrepit apartment she’s living in on the second floor. When the shop catches the eye of a popular renovation TV show producer, Mallory is thrilled–until it becomes clear that her apartment is to be part of the segment as well.

She’s tempted to abandon her dreams and the town under a cloud of shame. But perhaps there’s more to Grayson than meets the eye. Can he swallow his pride, change his plans, and help Mallory romance her own home–and possibly her life?

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Second Time Around by Melody Carlson. Mallory is a divorced interior designer with grown children. Her youngest daughter has recently married, and Mallory inherits her Grandma Bess’ tourist shop and the rundown upstairs apartment in Seaport on the Oregon Coast. Mallory is an empty nester, and she travels to Seaport to claim her inheritance and work out what she wants to do next in her life.

Seaport is like a character in the story. When Mallory was younger, she spent her summers with Grandma Bess. Grayson was the cute teenage lifeguard at the Seaport pool. He’s now a widower with grown children who owns a construction firm in Seaport. Grayson is interested in buying Grandma Bess’ shop, in a prime location on Main Street, and rejuvenating the town.

The romance thread in the story is low key, and the main focus is on Mallory’s journey as she navigates her inheritance situation. Grayson and Mallory are both independent people who don’t need to be in a relationship to enjoy their lives. They have raised their families and are looking toward the next stage in life.

I appreciated seeing a side character redeemed, and Mallory extending grace to that person. I recommend Second Time Around to contemporary fiction readers who like small town Christian fiction novels with mature characters and a second chances romance thread in the story.

Many thanks to Revell and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy.

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