Review: Second Chance Girl by Susan Mallery

Title: Second Chance Girl by Susan Mallery
Happily Inc. Series Book Two
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Susan Mallery, read the second irresistible installment in the Happily Inc series!

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?

Don’t miss You Say It First, the first book in the Happily Inc series.

Review:

Set in a small town that caters to destination weddings, Second Chance Girl is an endearing addition to Susan Mallery’s Happily Inc. series. In this second outing, the Lund sisters, Carol and Violet, embark on romances that have their own set of obstacles to overcome on their way to happily ever after.

Carol is a gamekeeper on the town’s animal preserve and although she knows it will not go anywhere, she is crushing on her man-whore neighbor Mathias Mitchell, who favors one-night stands with visiting bridesmaids.  She knows she is not beautiful or special enough to attract Mathias so she ignores her attraction when they unexpectedly become friends.  When an evening of drinking culminates with a surprising admission from Mathias, Carol is delighted to indulge her fantasies about her sexy neighbor. However, the next day reinforces her insecurities and their once easygoing friendship becomes strained.

After a stunning revelation from his famous and temperamental artist father, Mathias feels doubly betrayed when his brother Ronan retreats both emotionally and physically. Needless to say, Mathias is unwilling to risk another emotional betrayal so he ignores his unanticipated attraction to his quiet and unassuming neighbor.  He also plays it safe when it comes to career and he confines his glasswork to creating  stunning dishware.  However, his creativity is reawakened after Mathias observes Carol’s tender interactions with her lonely giraffe, Millie.

Spending quiet evenings with Carol is a balm to Mathias wounded soul but their mutual attraction is becoming impossible to resist.  However, when things between them go awry, Carol is afraid to ask too many questions about what went wrong. At the same time, Mathias is garnering his courage to explore his sizzling desire for his lovely neighbor. Just when things are finally heating up between them, Mathias gets another reminder that love equals betrayal and he unequivocally  shuts down their budding romance. Will Carol find the confidence and courage she needs to challenge Mathias’s assumption that their relationship will eventually result in heartache?

Carol’s sister Violet also unexpectedly finds herself in a new relationship when Ulrich Sherwood, the Duke of Sherwood, arrives in town to confront her about her friendship with his grandmother. Although Ulrich has no recollection of having met Violet before, Violet has very fond memories of his kind words helping her feel better about herself when she was going through an ugly duckling stage as a teenager. Circumstances force Ulrich to remain in town and to both of their surprise, romance blooms between them. Is their relationship destined to be more than just a vacation fling?

Second Chance Girl is an enchanting romance between an emotionally damaged yet sexy man and an insecure but adorable woman.  This charming couple gradually transitions from friends to lovers but their respective emotional baggage quickly threatens to derail their relationship when an unpleasant family visit brings painful reminders of past betrayals. Despite the all too realistic problems that Carol and Mathias must overcome, this latest installment Susan Mallery’s Happily Inc. series is a light-hearted and witty read that old and new fans are sure to love.

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1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Happily Inc Series, Harlequin, HQN Books, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Second Chance Girl, Susan Mallery

One Response to Review: Second Chance Girl by Susan Mallery

  1. Timitra

    Thanks Kathy for the review