Review: Second Time's the Charm by Stephanie Rose


Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

Stephanie Rose is back with a second chance romance set in a small town and with the single parent trope thrown in as the perfect cherry on top. Second Time's the Charm is a standalone and features high school sweethearts who go their separate ways post-graduation and see each other again at their high school reunion two decades later. Emily Patterson and Jesse Evans had been together all their four years in high school, so when he decided to unceremoniously end things soon after they graduated, she was devastated. Seeing Emily again after all this time was the opportunity that Jesse had been hoping for--to offer an explanation and express his remorse. Maybe they could be friends, and that should be more than enough because just like twenty years ago, he doesn't believe he can offer her more, not when he's become his niece, Maddie's, guardian. But it turns out that Emily is Maddie's soccer coach and Jesse finds himself being around his former girlfriend and spending time with her more and more. They were each other's first love; could this second time around be the charm and end with them having a forever kind of true love?

Second chance, small town, AND single parent tropes?! Umm, yes, please! This book was like the romance catnip trifecta for me, and Stephanie Rose just happens to be an author whose work has always seemed to click with me. While I may not be a fan of the whole let-me-make-this-decision-for-you-because-it's-what's-best-for-you reason for ending a relationship, I get that it's an effective plot device in terms of pushing the story forward. I liked Emily from the get-go. She could have held back and made Jesse grovel, but she was a woman who was more or less secure in who she was and what she needed and wanted. With Jesse, I decided to hold off on judging him until I got to "know" him better, and I'm glad I did. He was a guy with a good heart and put those who loved most first. This was a fairly lighthearted read with a hint of angst. No unnecessary drama, just a well-written romance about first loves, second chances, and forever family and friendships. Second Time's the Charm gets 4.5 stars, and I highly recommend checking out the bonus epilogue.

Release Date: 10 May 2024

Date Read: 03 May 2024

Learn more about Stephanie Rose.

Pre-order Second Time's the Charm on Amazon.

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