Second Chances by A.E. Radley

I always know when I get a new A.E. Radley Book I’m in for a treat. They make me feel so good after reading them that most of the time I’m just plain sad that they have finished.

Alice has just moved to a small town in England to start her new job as a grade one school teacher. On her first day she encounters a timid girl, Rosie who doesn’t talk in class. When she meets Rosie’s mum, Hannah, she is stunned by this woman who is not only gorgeous but unbelievably sweet and affectionate with her daughter. She knows straight away she’s attracted to this woman. They navigate their path to one another while also dealing with the possibility of small town gossips and how it could affect Rosie. But ultimately the gravity between them is too much to ignore.

Second Chances is told from both protagonists point of view which was great because it really was excellent to understand both women’s internal commentary on each other. The pace of the novel was excellent (no surprise there, it’s an A.E. Radley book) and I felt it closed on a beautiful moment even though there was no epilogue (which you all know I love), it was enough for me to feel like these two women would make it. In my mind’s eye they are currently lying in a park somewhere, Hannah staring into the sky while Hannah and Rosie read to each other…

Alice was my favourite character in the book. I stayed up all night to read this book and at 3am in the morning I realised why, I had a massive crush on Alice… it’s because she reminds me of a sexy version of Miss Honey from the book Matilda! Alas, it all became clear. The chemistry between Alice and Hannah is lovely and sweet. They make a beautiful couple and wondered if A.E. Radley would continue their story into small town romance series… Now that would be exciting.

Rosie and her mum, Hannah are such great characters. I kept mirroring them to my relationship with my son and how his intelligence is sometimes much superior to mine (not even kidding here… he’s got the smarts). And because of this I really connected with Hannah on the way she feels about Rosie and school. I also felt her anxieties along with her as they are the same ones I have everyday I drop my son off at day care. A.E. Radley needs to be commended in the way she writes children in to her books. She is able to write and understand the child and their parents in a way I have never before read in this genre.

Also, secondary character and Hannah’s boss, Adrian was awesome and I had a few chuckles when he had page time. I love a good protagonist’s best friend who actually doesn’t deter from the story but enhances it . And Adrian certainly did that.

All in all, Second Chances has landed on my favourites shelf. Honestly, this book is worth every second of your time.

5 stars

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