Second Time Around by Nancy Herkness
Contemporary romance released by Montlake Romance on July 24, 2018
Kyra Dixon, a blue-collar girl from the boondocks, is dedicated to her job at a community center that matches underprivileged kids with rescue dogs. When she runs into Will Chase—Connecticut blue blood, billionaire CEO, and her old college crush—she’s surprised that he asks a favor from her: to be his date for his uptight family’s dreaded annual garden party. If his parents don’t approve, all the better.
Kyra’s not about to say no. It’ll give her a chance to be oh-so-close to her unrequited love. What begins as a little fling turns so mad hot, so fast, that Kyra finds herself falling all over again for a fantasy that won’t come true. How can it? She doesn’t belong in Will’s world. She doesn’t want to. But Will does want to belong in hers.
All he has to do now is prove it. Will is prepared to give up whatever is necessary to get what his heart most desires.
I’ve really enjoyed a number of Nancy Herkness’s romances, especially the Wager of Hearts series. I also liked the novella Second to None, the first story in the Second Glances series. Second chance romances are my jam, so a combination of these things piqued my interest. And of course even with all the annoyances of ugh billionaires … I still do like the ones that make sense, and Second Time Around handles the wealth aspect really well. I have to admit that I read the book more than two weeks ago, so the details are a bit fuzzy. I liked the book, but I didn’t love it. It’s definitely a solid read, but not my favorite from Nancy Herkness. I am excited about the rest of the series though, and see what character(s) get their stories next. (Hopefully not the ex-fiancée though, because ugh.) But that being said, I really liked Kyra and Will.
Kyra Dixon is … defeated. She hasn’t had the best life – a pretty normal one, but she’s definitely had more than her fair share of hard knocks. Kyra also has a lot of pride, and is a surviver. Kyra is refreshingly normal. She’s a pretty girl, a nice girl, but nothing oh my god special. She’s also determined, and has managed to take care of herself for nearly a decade, living in Manhattan. Albeit paycheck to paycheck – no thanks to her mom. She’s got chops. In a way she’s also reverse classist. I get that it’s a totally different world that she’s moving in when she’s with Will, but the fact that she thinks it automatically means they can never be together annoyed me. That and the whole “everyone was so equal in college and the smartest kids were the most popular.” I have no idea where that really is true but … that’s never been my academic experience. I liked that she recognized that there were class issues, because that’s definitely true, but the blanket way she treated it got frustrating.
Will Chase is a good guy. A bit of an idiot and emotionally stunted … but overall a good guy. Although he’s actually a smidge petty and … being less that perfect made me like him more. While his family had money, he didn’t use it directly to start his company, but he absolutely understands his name and family connections helped him with his start. Will also has an overall supportive family, and friends. I loved the cameos from Nathan Trainor, and that he establishes a better relationship with his father and his sister. I’m not sold on his mom. I also liked that he was so into Kyra from the start. However he’s so in his head that he has no clue what’s right in front of his own face. I did like the little bits where his friends are calling him on his bad mood(s).
As I said, my brain is mush after the past few weeks, so I apologize for lack of detail(s). That being said, I really enjoyed the secondary characters, and how Kyra was so steady with herself in so many ways. I liked that she put value in herself and although it was hard did what she thought was best. I wanted a bit more from Will, once he realized that he was actually in love. It was so obvious that he was gone for her from the beginning, but he was so emotionally stunted he had no clue.
I liked the gradual movement toward a relationship, with both Kyra and Will fighting it for different reasons. They needed to talk to each other though … and Kyra was the brave one. Will was the idiot for more of it, which is why I said I wish when he “made it up to her” it would’ve been a grander gesture – although he was sweet. Another thing that annoyed me was the ~vernacular of the kids. I realize maybe it’s because I constantly deal with juveniles, but their dialogue and slang was stilted, and really took me out of the story. This happened in Second to None as well, unfortunately. I love the center, and all the dogs – but just the way the kids talk. That I think was just as bad as the manufactured conflict.
The emotion in Second Time Around is excellent though. First of all, Kyra and Will have crazy chemistry. Then, the “will they won’t they” when it comes to the relationship is really engaging. Will wants more from the start, but being the “idiot boy” and having been burned before he’s all “I’ll never love again – I’m incapable of it.” A bit of an eyeroll, but he does mean well. Kyra, for her part, sees things (mostly) for how they are, and I loved their interaction in the kitchen … and when the kids act as Will’s “wingmen.” It’s a sexy, fun, feel good story.
If you enjoy friends to lovers stories, contemporary romances with a lot of chemistry between the hero and heroine, and second chances, this is the story for you. Especially if you’re a fan of Nancy Herkness. While Kyra and Will were never together in college, they were a huge what might have been. Which is also very tempting, and I loved that it worked out for them. I can see myself re-reading this book, and I’m definitely looking forward to more in the series. I might even re-read the Wager series.
You and read an excerpt here or buy a copy here. As a bonus, Nancy Herkness will be donating a portion of her royalties from the first two weeks to three animal rescue groups.
sounds decent enough
Oops! I thought I’d replied to this – it is, Denise – Nancy Herkness is an author whose books I’ve really enjoyed – but I think [so far] I like the Betting Hearts series more…