Second Rate Chances - Holly Stephens

Anyone who takes a look at my shelves knows that if given a choice contemporary romance is not my preferred cup of tea. That said if you give me a story with a hook, in this case a mystery that breaks apart two soul mates, I'm probably gonna go for it! What can I say? I'm also a HUGE sap, seriously, ask my husband.


The story of Sam and Lil is a tale easily described as the things people who love each other do when they are hurting and don't even realize it. They push away their partners, their friends, even their family when they need them most. What is not so easily described is the full impact of those choices and the repercussions they have in their lives.


Sam wakes up in the hospital expecting to find his girlfriend by his bedside. Instead, he finds a bleached-blond diva, claiming to be his fiancée, hovering over him. When he learns that he's just woken up from a coma and has lost the last three years of his life, any semblance of stability he thought he had falls down around him. All he wants – all he needs – is Lil.


Poor Lil!! After rebuilding herself from the ruins of heartbreak, her tidy, well organized life is thrown for a loop when she is asked to help her ex, Sam, recover his memories after a head trauma. Complicating matters is the fact that she obviously she has to come to terms with the fact that doing this might cause the truth of their break up to finally come to light as well as kissing her secretly longed for chances for happiness goodbye.


What follows is a careful dance between two wounded people. There is obviously a big problem that everyone is tiptoeing around and this drives the story as both Sam and Lil renegotiate a relationship that was severely damaged by strong emotion and misunderstanding. Sam has a rough road, reexamining his life through a not so flattering lens as he works to unravel the reasons for the haunted look in Lil's eyes and the unforgiving stares of his best friends. Lil on the other hand is trying to do the right thing and hopes to come out with her heart intact as she revisits feelings better left buried.


Second Rate Chances ends on a uplifting, and 'obvious' note. Obvious because we know that if two people get a second chance to work their way back to a place of happiness, they can build happy, new memories on top of the old, painful ones and most of all learn that you should always appreciate that the ones you love the most are the ones you should never push away!