Review: The Second First Chance
readers who believe that soulmates will always find their way back to each other @
The Second First Chance by Blakely Bennett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ms. Bennett is an auto-read for me. Her writing just gets better and better. When I first read the blurb of this story, I was mixed. It is intriguing but I'm not too interested in contemporary romance. Within the first few pages (or screen swipes) I am hooked and I know I made a grave mistake. I started this book right before I was going to bed. Warning, do not start this book just before you are going to do something or go to bed. Set time aside to savour this book from beginning to end. This is one of those books that give you quite a book hangover. I'm emotionally wrung out after going through Jayden's second chance to be with the love of her life.
The set up of the story is filled with angst. If you were given one chance to go back in time with all the knowledge you currently have, would you do it? What if it was because you were able to meet your soulmate years earlier? Would you do it? What if you had to give up your currently life and there is no guarantee your soulmate will recognize you years before you initially met?
For Jayden, a tragic moment causes her to leap at this chance without thought to the ramifications. This is cleverly done to support Jayden's impulsive and rather reckless personality. I really liked Jayden even if I didn't understand half the choices she makes. Ms. Bennett does a wonderful job of creating a what if scenario with a possible unhappily ever after.
The layers to this story is truly awe-inspiring. The observations of a 48 year old in an 18 year old body resonates so well for women in their 40s (like me). Yet even having all the knowledge of an older more experienced self, I do not believe I would take this chance because for me, it would be hell to go back to my college years at the age of 18. Would I do many things differently? For sure, there is no doubt. What Ms. Bennett sneakily does is interweave between trying to re-creating the same results sooner as well as trying something different. This constant pulling between what Jayden knows can happen and wants to happen versus seeing the past with a new perspective is very well done. Ms. Bennett balances it so well. I am impressed with how she masterfully shows that sometimes, it is about meeting at the right person at the right time, not the right person at the wrong time. Because as most people evolve and grow based upon their painful experiences, a younger version may not be exactly the right fit.
The erotic piece to this story is smoking hawt. There is a little hint of kinky sex to kick up the heat. The sexual tension and sensual flirtation is what makes this erotica so arousing. It is a fine tease to an explosive orgasm instead of a quick back alley blowjob. When it come to sex, Ms. Bennett knows her stuff and how to get a rise, even if it is just an illicit fingering in a professor's office.
The relationship between Cally and Jayden both the first and second time plays into the romance lover's desire for a soulmate. For those who believe, this is a story of affirmation and possibilities. For those who don't believe, it is a still an endearing and moving piece of love which transcends time. This speculative romance is highly recommended to readers who believe that soulmates will always find their way back to each other.
*I received this book as a review copy in return for an honest review