It was supposed to be an innocent night, celebrating my brother’s birthday. Nothing was supposed to go wrong. We’d vowed to be on our best behavior after all . . .
But it only took one rowdy night with my brothers to flip my world upside down. One unlucky encounter saddled us with a family curse and the promise of doomed relationships. I laughed it off immediately. “Yeah, right,” I thought. “A love curse. Ha!”
Boy, was I wrong.
Word spreads quickly in a town like mine; rumors about that night soon made us the most eligible yet untouchable bachelors in Port Snow, Maine. As a subject of endless gossip and speculation, I could kiss my dating life goodbye.
It would have stayed that way if Ren Winters, the new girl in town, hadn’t crashed into my life. Brave, beautiful, and smart—her vivacious thirst for a fresh start has given me hope that maybe, just maybe, I can have one too.
Everyone wishes for that second chance . . . but could this really be mine?
A couple months ago, I’d read my first Meghan Quinn book, The Secret to Dating Your Best Friend’s Sister, and honestly everything about that book blew me away. The characters were great, the romance was wonderful, and the writing just clicked with me. When I saw this book was coming out, I got a little excited because I knew that I’d wanted to read more of Quinn’s work. And when I had the opportunity to get this book from my internship, it was like it was meant to be. It’s pretty easy for me to bang out a romance book, since they make really easy reads, but I really wanted to take my time with this one and cherish it because it was that damn good. Was it an award winning story? No, but are any romance books? What this book was was a story that centred around moving beyond trauma and taking steps to be better and grow as a person, and showing you that there’s always a second chance at love. It sounds super cheesy but it’s true and it just really made me love the story.
- I’m probably gonna act like I know everything about Quinn since I’ve read a total of two of her books, but man can she write genuinely good male characters. A lot of time in this genre, particularly when diving deeper into NA romances, the male characters are more often than not the alpha male billionaire. Nothing wrong with that, but they’re not entirely my jam. If we can meet the normal down-to-earth girl in every romance, why can’t we do the same for the men? Why can’t they be genuinely good, warm hearted people? Granted, Bram Scott was a billionaire, but he didn’t act like most of the others in similar books I’ve read. But with Griffin Knightly, he didn’t come from money, he didn’t have a business empire under his belt, he was just a small town guy who loved working for his town and dreamed of taking over his parents’ business. He was such a refreshing male character, one that had all this inherent goodness in him and was always there when you needed a hand. But even going beyond Griffin, all of the Knightly boys just seemed like good hearted men. They all have their different personalities, and some of them have that cocky trait pushing through, but you can see that they have a caring side to them and it’s great to see how much they all love each other and how they always look out for one another. I’m hoping Quinn plans to extend the series for all four of them because I would truly kill to get to know each and every one of them. I want to see more men like them in NA and romance in general.
- I feel like it took me a while to like Quinn’s previous female character in her other book, but I immediately loved Ren the moment I met her, and it’s easy to see how Griffin fell for her so fast. She’s the type of girl who can just see the wonder in the world and always takes the time to stop and appreciate her surroundings. But you also immediately learn how strong of a person she is. She’d previously been in a life threatening car accident and had to fight for her life. I feel like because she was so close to losing her life before, she doesn’t take anything for granted and just tries to be the best person she can be for herself and for everyone around her. We first meet her in the midst of her second car accident, the poor girl, and I think for anyone else it would’ve made them shut down and turn back home but with Ren, she never really let it bring her down and just continued to move forward and instead made it a running joke with her and Griffin. She didn’t have a bubbly, positive personality in an annoying way, but was a comfortably positive person, always willing to help and knew that it was what she wanted to do with her life. And she was also the type of girl who stood up for herself and was able to hold her own, especially in a town that gossips as much as Port Snow does. She’s the type of girl who fights what she wants until she can’t anymore, and just everything about her made me love her.
- I think the biggest reason the romance worked for me, other than the characters being truly fantastic, was because they had established a friendship first and foremost and they had such a solid foundation before transitioning into something more. Everyone knew that there was something between Griffin and Ren, whether they wanted to admit it or not, but it was cute seeing how they always seemed to find ways to be around one another but were both too nervous to make a move. Griffin’s nerves were a bit more understandable, since he was so hung up over the supposed “love curse” but I liked seeing how Ren was showing him that it was worth taking that chance, even if he kind of had a stupid spell near the end. But I always believe that a good foundation helps a romance and it helps to back up and solidify any feelings of love, at least it does for me. And it was so cute seeing how all of Griffin’s siblings kept trying to get them together, which shows me how much they support one another and want to see them all happy. But damn, if this wasn’t such a killer slow burn! I know that I said I love establishing a foundation, but I thought I was going to explode if these two didn’t get together. However, that can be a good thing because it allowed me to really invest in the relationship and see the chemistry between them, with was so unbelievable. They had their differences, but they complimented each other so fantastically that it’s impossible not to see that they’re meant to be together. This was a romance that felt real and it also felt a bit magical, and it was able to warm my cold dead heart. I loved it.
- I kind of like the overall message of the book, of how the curse was more of a mental block for Griffin and that you can really love someone once your mind matures. I think it was important for Griffin to lose his wife so early to a) help him grow as a person and b) to show him that it’s ok to love again. It was a bit childish for him to believe in the curse, though we needed it for the last minute drama and for him to be a bit dumb, because all men are stupid, but I still thought it was important. He wasn’t truly ready to let himself love Ren because of this mental block and it was something he needed to overcome to really be ready. The real curse here was his guilt and once he accepted it wasn’t his fault, he was ready to move on. It was good not just for his character development, and later the rest of the brothers’ development, but for the story and the romance overall and I was really pleased with it.
- I don’t really have anything truly concrete to complain about. I guess I wish that I could’ve seen Ren have more girl time with Ruth and Rylee, seeing as I felt they have a really great friendship building between them. And I’m also a bit confused about the overall timeline from when Griffin’s wife died to where he is now, given how it’s stated Griffin and Claire were high school sweethearts but she died when she was 25, two years prior to us seeing Griffin in the present, who’s 30. I’m guessing that Quinn maybe got her math wrong in the beginning? And I get it, math is hard, but I just felt a bit confused about these facts.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- This book was equal parts romantic, heartwarming, and funny, which made it a truly enjoyable book. I loved how real the characters felt, and how beautiful the setting of Port Snow seemed to be, and it made me wish it was a place I could actually visit. I loved so much about this book and I’m sure it’ll be a story that I reread again and again. I don’t know what it is about Quinn, but her writing feels truly magical to me. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the Knightly brothers and what I’m sure is to be a wild love life.
BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: That Second Chance (Getting Lucky #1)
Author: Meghan Quinn
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Pages: 334 (Paperback)
Until next time,
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