Review by Nicola Smith – Short Book and Scribes

Publisher: Simon & Schuster      2nd September 2021 

ISBN: ‎ 978-1398500549   PB

Thea has just been dealt a couple of major blows. Her husband has been having an affair with one of her friends and she’s been made redundant. The news that she has been left a lodge in Scotland on the edge of a large estate seems to be just the escape she needs. It’s time for Thea’s second chance. She gets a job working for the very cantankerous Edward at his secondhand bookshop in Baldochrie where she might just start to heal.

When I picked up this book I think I was imagining something light and fluffy but it’s got so much more depth than that, I think in part because the main characters are all 40+ and so have had many life experiences already. It felt real and relatable.

Thea is a fantastic heroine. She’s feisty, funny and sweary, and I enjoyed her reinvention and her journey into her new life so much. Edward is just wonderful. For all his irascibility, he’s also rather charming and good-looking and I defy any reader not to fall for him just a little bit. The chemistry between the two of them was hot! There’s a bit where Thea thinks she might just melt away and I felt exactly the same reading it.

Scottish settings are always a favourite of mine and this one is a delight. It’s a small town where Thea quickly becomes a part of the community and starts to make friends and think about putting down roots. You know a book is a winner if you start to imagine yourself in the place where it’s set. I could just see myself pottering around Edward’s bookshop and having lunch at The Old Mill.

The Bookshop of Second Chances is a complete joy from start to finish. I spent most of my time reading it with a smile on my face. It’s full of warmth and romance that made my heart sing and I was thoroughly enchanted by this tale of new beginnings, love, friendship and books. Perfection!