on October 1st 2017
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A touching modern fairy tale that won't let go of your heart, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool's Gold romances!
Mathias Mitchell's easy smile hides a world of hurt. After the worst kind of family betrayal, he moves to Happily Inc., California—the wedding destination town supplies a steady stream of bridesmaids, perfect for his "no promises, no pain" lifestyle. Yet he can't stop watching for his beautiful, elusive neighbor on the animal preserve behind their homes.
Gamekeeper Carol Lund knows she's not special enough to attract an alpha male like Mathias, so his offer to help her adopt a herd for her lonely giraffe is surprising—and his determined seduction, even more so. But just as she finally welcomes him into her bed, his careless actions crush her heart. Will she give him a second chance to prove she'll always come first in his heart?
~~Reviewed by Evelyn~~
SECOND CHANCE GIRL, the second book in the Happily Inc. series by best-selling author Susan Mallery, is a heartwarming story from start to finish. Not only do we get two HEAs instead of the usual one, but we also get a lovable giraffe in need of companionship.
Carol Lund is the gamekeeper at the animal preserve in Happily Inc. Her charges include zebras, a gazelle named Bronwen, and one lonely giraffe named Millie. She’s attracted to Mathias Mitchell, an artist who lives next to the preserve, but she’s sure she’s not his type. Tall, handsome Mathias is somewhat of a playboy and enjoys dating the bridesmaids at the local Weddings Out of the Box venue. What Carol doesn’t know is that Mathias is fascinated by her and he has been secretly drawing her every day when she walks with Millie. He plans to use the drawings in a future art project.
Carol’s sister, Violet Lund, has an unusual business buying and selling antique buttons. People send her buttons for her business from all over the world. One of her frequent suppliers and the woman who helped her start her business is the Dowager Duchess of Somerbrooke. Violet had the honor of meeting the duchess when she visited England as a teenager. She also a developed a huge crush on the Duchess’ grandson, Ulrich Sherwood who once asked her to dance. What a shock it is for Violet to see Ulrich, now the Duke of Somerbrooke, appear at her shop one day several years later. It is even more of a shock for Violet when she finds out the reason he is there: to basically accuse her of theft.
I enjoyed the characters in this book, especially Carol. It was refreshing, for a change, to have a heroine in a romance novel that is not drop-dead gorgeous. I loved it that Carol had the same insecurities about her looks and self-worth that plague most women at one time or another. It made her seem so real. I also loved how much she cared for her animals and how they played a big role in the story, especially Millie. Mathias was actually a bit of a jerk at the beginning of the book, but I liked him better and better as he became involved with Carol and her animals.
I must admit, looking back, Violet and Ulrich’s story seems a bit contrived, but it was so well written that I easily bought into it. My grandmother and mother both saved buttons, and I remember how much fun it was looking through their hundreds of buttons to find the prettiest or most unusual ones. I was totally intrigued by Violet’s button business, and throwing a duke into the mix, how could you miss?
Once again, Ms. Mallery weaves the main characters, previous characters, the town and lots of unique little details into a very satisfying read. There are enough twists and turns to keep readers interested and a conclusion that satisfies yet leaves you wanting more. I can’t wait for my next visit to Happily Inc.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.