Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: The Second Chance Cafe by Alison Kent

Growing up, Kaylie Flynn was shuffled from foster home to foster home before being welcomed into Winton and May Wise’s family. It was May who taught Kaylie the comfort of home, and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie. Years later, May leaves Kaylie the money she needs to open her own café in the charming Victorian house they once shared. Now back in Hope Springs, Kaylie’s determined to finally make all her dreams a reality—and unearth answers to lingering questions about her past.
Soon, however, Kaylie’s carefully laid plans take an unexpected turn. The house needs far more work than she realized, and Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires, is proving to be a very handsome and very unneeded distraction from her quest to uncover the truth about her parents. When a crisis threatens to destroy everything she’s worked so hard to build, Kaylie must decide where her heart lies: with the ghosts of her past or the love and promise of her future.

Who says you can’t go home? Sometimes returning home is all you need to make your hopes and dreams come true. I immediately knew I was going to love this book. It felt familiar from the start. If you’re a fan of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River Series, then you are going to love this book as well.
The Second Chance Cafe is full of characters who deserve second chances. Many of whom believe they have done something so horribly wrong that they don’t deserve happiness. A majority of the characters are carrying around demons they shouldn’t be carrying around and punishing themselves for things they believe they should have done but failed to do.
Twenty-eight-year old Kaylie Flynn spent thirteen years of her life as a ward of the state of Texas, after something terrible happened to the only parent she knew. When she was ten, she moved to Hope Springs and became the foster child of May and Winton Wise. With the Wise’s, Kaylie was finally able to have a home and know what it was like to feel love for the first time. The day she turned eighteen, she packed her bags and left, never returning because it was too painful for her to know that the Wise’s weren’t truly her family.
When Tennessee “Ten” Keller was sixteen, his whole life changed and his family was destroyed. Tennessee blames himself. Ten was only trying to be a friend which resulted in a crime being committed. Ten’s self-imposed punishment is to isolate himself from his family, because he feels he let his family down and didn’t protect them. Ten also feels the need to help non-violent ex-cons out on parole get adjusted to the outside world. He tends to hire them to help him with various construction jobs.
Ten years later, Kaylie has returned to Hope Springs with three goals in mind. She wants to purchase her “true” home with money left to her by May after she passed away. Kaylie wants to honor the two people she loved and cared for by opening a cafe called Two Owls Cafe, in the home once owned by the Wise’s. And finally, she wants to look for her birth parents.
Kaylie hires Ten to do the renovations on her house. There’s an immediate attraction between the two but both try desperately to fight it. Kaylie and Ten become friends, with Kaylie sharing some of her dreams and secrets with him. Ten in return does the same. Telling Kaylie things he’s never told anyone before.
After hearing gossip about Kaylie, Luna Meadows comes into the picture and becomes a close friend. Luna, herself, has a decade old secret that she thinks about consistently. Luna has known a man named Mitch Peppers her whole life. She knows of the guilt he has been living with and sees a way to relieve that guilt and takes the opportunity to do so. In that one moment, Luna’s only concern is for Mitch until she realizes that she might have overstepped.
What transpires within the pages of this book will test the bonds of friendships, both old and new. Events will unfold to allow some of the characters the closure and forgiveness they are seeking. One character will finally get the courage to face the demons of their own past.
The Second Chance Cafe is a sweet, heart-warming story. At times, it will make you want to cry. I can’t wait to return to Hope Springs and to the wonderful characters I was introduced to. I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store.
Rating: 4
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Book Length: 358 pages
Source: NetGalley
Reading Format: Available in eBook and Paperback

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Buy Links:  Kindle | Paperback

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