A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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Second Time Around by Melody Carlson: Book Review

  *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

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?

Melody Carlson
 is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and her novel All Summer Long has been made into a Hallmark movie. Her novel The Happy Camper is set to premiere on film in 2023. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at www.melodycarlson.com.

As a teenager, Melody Carlson was one of my very first introductions to Christian fiction with her Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Throughout the years, I have continued to appreciate her stories. When I see her name on the cover, I know that I am in for an enjoyable read. Second Time Around was no exception. 

As well as Melody captured the lives and struggles of teenagers back in those early books of hers I have read, she does just as wonderfully capturing all stages of life. This particular story follows Mallory- an empty nester who has inherited her grandmother's souvenir shop and takes a chance on a fresh start. While I am sure this book would very much appeal to those who are in a similar stage in life, I can say that being nowhere close to being an empty nester myself, there is something in this story that can appeal to all ages as well. I think sometimes we all feel like we could use a second chance--- be it in our job or areas of our personal life. 

I found this story had a bit of a slower pace, and while I don't always prefer that, it seemed to work well for this story. It took a little bit longer for me to get into this story compared to some of her others, but by the end, I found myself enjoying these characters very much. If you love stories with second chances, home renovations, and small-town charm, this is certainly one to check out. 


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