Title: The Bookshop of Second Chances
Author: Jackie Fraser
Genre: Adult Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!
“A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly handsome bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.
Thea Mottram is having a bad month. Her husband of nearly twenty years has just left her for one of her friends, and she is let go from her office job–on Valentine’s Day, of all days. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.
Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and shaggy, tulip-covered lawn. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s antique novel collection. His gruff attitude–fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord–tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t felt in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.” (Goodreads)
I really liked the sound of this one. It always intrigues me when a blurb mentions starting over, bickering, and feuds. It usually means I am in for a good time! The thing is, this book wasn’t anything like I expected and I can’t say I much liked the characters or the plot. They were all just a bit much most of the time.
Thea is dealing with a lot. She is newly single as her husband has been shacking up with her friend and she is ready for a fresh start. Luckily, her great uncle left her his house. That’s when she heads off on a new adventure.
I think Thea started off as a strong character but then I didn’t understand her fascination with Edward. We will get to that further in the review. I did feel for her and her situation. It’s hard having to move on from someone, and even your house, that you have spent so much time with. It’s even harder when your friend is the reason for it all. I did like seeing her journey in that aspect of finding herself away from her old life.
Now when it comes to Edward, I disliked him and never changed my mind. He is seriously horrible and for an older man he acts like a child.
I knew from the beginning that she would find herself fancying Edward. They started working together and as the colder brother of the two (who also hates women unless he is having sex with them (friends with benefits but he really doesn’t even have friends)). One day he even goes on to tell Thea why him and his brother don’t get along and it’s because he sleeps with all of his brother’s girlfriends and wives. Now, you would think that Thea would stop talking to this guy and find a different job but no. She just shrugs it off and still hangs out with him. The reason for him doing this is just so childish. He does it because when he was a young lad he told his brother about a girl he liked and his brother said he would talk to her. Well, his brother at a party started making out with her and Edward saw so then his brother became the bane of his existence. You would think he would get over it but no. Childish.
This also comes into play around the last bit of the book when Edward’s brother locks Thea in a room to I guess try and sleep with her. Just no. That is so bad! You never fight fire with fire. He ends up not doing anything with her but obviously gets punched in the face. It’s just too much!
*End of Spoilers*
The minor characters are just there for added plot twists and most of the plot twists I saw coming. There was just too much drama for me and not enough character development or even likable characters for me to really care much about this book. There would be times that I would get sucked in just a bit but then something would shut it down quick.
Overall, it was okay but not a book for me.