Second-Chance Sweet Shop
Second Chance Sweet Shop is a very pleasant romance about a patisserie owner who falls in love with a single-father dentist six years her junior. Unfortunately there are a few hiccups that keep it from reaching DIK status.
Having recently divorced an abusive country star, Sasha Manning has finally opened her long-dreamed-of patisserie, Sasha’s Sweet Shop, and she can hardly wait to get the business going.
Preparing for opening day, she takes a job application from Kiera Adams, a young high school student looking for part-time work. Kiera’s cheerful attitude gets her hired – and puts Sasha in contact with Kiera’s ex-military father, Dwight.
Before Kiera accepts the job, the protective Dwight decides to meet with her prospective boss – and when Sasha sees the handsome younger man, her heart starts beating faster. Dwight was in her younger brother’s class, and although Sasha didn’t know him back then, she definitely wants to know him now.
As Dwight tries to deal with Kiera’s typically teenaged behavior while trying to adjust to being her sole custodian, Sasha tries to run her business and move on from her ex. But when said ex-husband rears his ugly head and Dwight’s ex-wife’s new husband becomes an issue, will Sasha and Dwight be able to forge ahead without jealousy getting in the way?
Second Chance Sweetshop is a lovely little romance that’s got the grit of life well lived to it. While it does have a few flaws, it captures lives lived in a small sleepy town quite well. It’s only the stock jealousy plot that intrudes towards the end of the book that keeps it from getting a higher grade.
Dwight and Sasha have both been around the block, and the way the book rewards their love is beautiful. I liked Dwight’s well-ordered ways and his grown-up behavior. Dwight gives a really great grovel at the end of the book that’s worth the price of admission alone.
Sasha is a bit more fanciful, but she’s nobody’s doormat, and she’s tough and uncompromising in her own way.
The romance is… well, I appreciated the quiet and grown-up, with okay though not flawless chemistry between the leads. But the book has one big issue – the last quarter of it. To reveal too much of what happens would be to spoil a major plot point, but I was disappointed that an easy jealousy-based Big Misunderstanding provided the final twist. Also, Dwight makes an extremely disappointing leap of logic that made me side-eye him (it was a great grovel for a reason).
But Second Chance Sweetshop provides just enough tenderness to result in a recommendation.