The Second Chance Cafe – Alison Kent – 4 stars

February 24, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 1

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The Blurb:

Kaylie Flynn was luckier than most children left to the Texas foster care system, blessed with a foster mother who taught her the comfort of home?and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie. Now, Kaylie has journeyed back to Hope Springs to open a caf? in the charming Victorian she once shared with her foster family ? and to finally find answers about her past and where she came from. Yet Kaylie’s carefully laid plans quickly become complicated. The house needs far more work than she realized, and Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires, stirs up feelings she hasn’t felt in a long while. When an unexpected crisis threatens to unravel her dreams, Kaylie seems to have all the ingredients for a perfect disaster ? or quite possibly the perfect love.

My Thoughts:

I have to thank Alison Kent for sending me an advance copy of this as a result of a Twitter conversation but had no expectations of a review other than hoping.  This is a very heartwarming story of discovering who you are and what your past means to who you will be in the future.

Kaylie has lived through more than anyone should have to in her life.  She was thrown in to the foster care system at the age of five believing that her father left because of her and her mom tried to commit suicide because of her.  Actually she knows her mom didn’t do what she did because of her but because of drugs but this doesn’t make things any easier.  She landed at the age of 10 in a loving home and is back in Hope Springs to make a new life for herself out of that home by creating a small cafe to sell lunch out of.  She’s driven but haunted by her past and thinks that being back in the one place that she felt love and acceptance might help her find out more about her parents.  She’s mainly haunted by her father’s defection when she was four and the journey that we see in this book was at times painful but truly inspirational.  She makes so many steps forward in this that I loved cheering for her to find everything her heart desires.

Ten has ghosts of his own and when she shows up looking for a contractor he finds that he wants to not only help her renovate the home he wanted to buy for himself but that he wants to get to know her in any way she will let him.  He is drawn to her more than he has ever been to a woman but holds himself back because of his skeletons.  He does a lot of changing in this book as well as he comes to terms with a horrible incident in his past that he believes was all his fault.  The relationship is slow to develop but this works for them as both are wounded deeply and trust comes slowly even though lust is there from the beginning.

Add stories of Luna (I want her book NOW), Mitch, and a few others to this for one heartwarming read.  I adored what we saw of this little town in this book and Alison had me drooling for brownies throughout this book to the point where I am about to go make up a pan of the first recipe in the book.  I hope you enjoy this but also make sure to have the ingredients on hand to make brownies because Kaylie speaks of them during the book and there are quite a few recipes for them that I am dying to try.

 

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