Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Alison Kent has a new series (Hope Springs) that begins with THE SECOND CHANCE CAFE.  It deserves a look by all romance lovers. Here's all about it!

Kaylie Flynn was just five years old when her mother abandoned her to the Texas foster system and vanished. But Kaylie was luckier than most, blessed with a foster mother who taught her the comfort of home…and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie.
Now two decades later, Kaylie has journeyed back to Hope Springs to open a café in the rambling Victorian she once shared with her foster family—and hopefully to find answers to lingering questions about her birth parents.
Yet Kaylie’s carefully laid plans quickly take a turn for the complicated. The house needs more work than she ever imagined, and handsome Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires for the job, is having an unnerving effect on her heart. Add an unexpected crisis to the mix, and Kaylie has all the ingredients for a perfect disaster—or a perfect love.

My review:
Alison Kent meanders down a slightly different path than in the past with her new Hope Springs series. While I have enjoyed her work practically from the very start, I’m finding this new series to be a breath of sweetly fresh air. This is my review of THE SECOND CHANCE CAFÉ, first in the series.

Life hasn’t always been fair to Kaylie Flynn. Dealt one bad hand after another, she easily could have made excuses, given up, and made nothing of herself. Instead, she takes her life experience and determined independence and puts them to use in opening her own café. Kaylie was just a little girl when she witnessed her mother’s grisly suicide attempt.  Between her mother’s subsequent imprisonment and not knowing the father who seemingly abandoned them, she’s tossed into the foster system, being tumbled around until she eventually landed in the home of Winton and May Wise. Being in their care was better than any dream Kaylie could have dreamt. Kaylie learns from May how comforting a warm, loving home can be, and that time spent in the kitchen can be healing and good for the soul, which is best described in the following passage referencing said kitchen: “It was this room, more than any other, where she’d come to terms with the life she’d lost and the one she’d been gifted in return”. Several years later, Kaylie purchases the home she shared with the now deceased Winton and May.  She hires highly recommended local handyman Tennessee “Ten” Keller to update the first floor for her envisioned cafe, and while you know there will be an attraction between them, it starts off as slow simmer, slowly showing the promise of building to a full rolling boil.

Ten Keller has ghosts of his own but is willing to face them in order to help Kaylie start her business. His attraction to her and her simple, unassuming way, has him loosening his tongue about his painful past and sharing deeply personal things with her that he has kept silent for many years. He finds himself smiling more and very much anticipating a future that looks to include Kaylie.
This book is almost poetic at times and readers are warmly welcomed to the story. Comfortable as an old shoe, it steadily gains intensity and even picks up a little intrigue on the way. The secondary characters and their stories add a great deal of charm and a wealth of raw emotion. I am eagerly anticipating the next installment in this series.  

Please do yourself a favor and click over to Amazon where you can get the paperback version for almost half price at $6.99 and the Kindle version for $4.99!  A real steal for a book this good!


Friday, April 12, 2013


If it's not one thing, it's 271.  I'm working on review of Alison Kent's THE SECOND CHANCE CAFE because it's stellar and deserves high praise, but the past week and a half has been a little unsettled at Casa Damron.  Tim fell at work on 4/02 and broke his right elbow in two places and his left wrist. Wrist is casted with thumb up as if he's hitchhiking and elbow was in a splint until this past Tuesday when orthopedic surgeon told him to take splint off and start exercising arm, trying to straighten it. Well, my overachiever husband had it pretty much straight by Wednesday (he has a very high pain tolerance). The cast will be on the wrist for five more weeks. He should be back to work in a week or so, under light duty restrictions.

Interesting making drinks/food accessible for him while we're at work. I was showering with him b/c he couldn't get either hand/arm wet and we had to bag them in plastic. Difficult showering when you don't have workable arms/hands/thumbs! Showering together was a lot more fun 30 years ago when we were younger and didn't worry about falling and breaking something (else)!!

I hope you're all having a great spring - we're still waiting on it in Ohio, it's been a little on the chilly side.  Are you reading anything great?  Do many of you like to read series? If so, who do you recommend? Personally, I love them. Some good ones are by Jill Shalvis, Lori Foster, Pamela Clare, Kaylea Cross, Catherine Mann, Kristen Ashley, Dee Davis ...  I could go on and on!

Have a great weekend - and look for that Alison Kent review soon!