Disclaimer: I received an ARC of Second Chance Summer from NetGalley. As always all opinions here are my own.
Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile…
The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .
One of the things Jill Shalvis does incredibly well, is creating characters that are wonderful and unique in their own way, but all feel endearingly familiar...like old friends you've just reconnected with. And that's one of the true joys of reading her Lucky Harbour and Animal Magnetism series, they're filled with friends that you get to catch up with and delicious, sweet, erotic love stories that you feel like you're a part of. But this time, with Second Chance Summer, I felt out of place and the first time I read it I really struggled to get into it. In fact, for the first time ever, I found myself putting the book down repeatedly and watching Warehouse 13 re-runs instead. But then I shook it off, grabbed some cookies and dove in again...and I fell in love.
Second Chance Summer, at times, feels slow and bulky because it's a brand new series and we got to meet almost all of the main characters, a ton of incredible supporting characters, a whole lot of backstory and a whole heap of intrigue. It's a lot to cover in a standard-length novel while also investigating an achingly sweet, teasingly delicious romance. But once you realise that you're getting nifty little tidbits of an intriguing backstory laid out before you, you kind of just roll with it and realise that Second Chance Summer is just the day-to-day life of Lily and Aidan as they fall in love. And while it did feel a little bit disjointed, it also feels incredibly real and I absolutely loved meeting the characters of Cedar Ridge and by the end of the story, I was completely in love with Lily and Aidan.
Aidan is a badass. But he's a teasing, funny and kind of adorable badass. He's sweet and loving and so very protective. His relationship with his mum, brothers and sister were incredibly well written, the dynamic is so realistic and all kinds of hilarious. Also, I'm pretty sure I want to be his mum when I grow up. There's a lot of intrigue and heartbreak surrounding this family and the more you find out, the more you fall in love with them, and the more you'll admire Aidan and want to do very naughty things with the man.
Lily is a hard nut to crack. She's so tough but also so vulnerable. She's suffered such great losses and her pain reaches out and grabs you from the page. She returns to Cedar Ridge
after a betrayal and huge, public embarrassment and watching her struggle as she fell in love with her old town was deeply moving. I adored her determination and her strength but I loved her sass and snarkiness more. Lily is the kind of chick I want to hang out with. She's funny, full of sass, determined, and complicated.
The characters, as always, reach out and grab you. You'll want to spend time in Cedar Creek, you'll want to meet the neighbours, and watch all the craziness, you'll want to hear the gossip and the scandals and you'll want to see all the drama. The sex scenes are a delicious mix of teasingly sweet, deeply erotic and ridiculously hot. The plot is engaging, intriguing and I honestly can't wait to learn more.
Second Chance Summer is not without it's problems. But overall, it's an incredible book and once you take a trip to Cedar Creek, you're not going to want to leave. And I grantee, you're going to fall deeply in love (and lust) with Aidan and Lily.
Second Chance Summer is available now in all formats from wherever you buy books. There are plenty of ways you can keep up with Jill Shalvis and her upcoming works: