23 March 2017

The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Keenan

The Second Chance Tea Shop (Little Somerby)

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Genre: Women's fiction, contemporary romance
Format: Free ARC obtained through NetGalley (no compensation for review)
Sweet or hot?: Medium; a few sex scenes, a few curse words

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, I will get a few coins and my coffee budget will thank you. However, if you are skint and have to borrow the book from your library, I understand.

The Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Keenan chronicles the courtship of Anna Hemingway and Matthew Carter. Anna is a widow with a three-year-old daughter who has returned to her hometown to run the local tea shop and finally get out from under the oppressive grief of losing her husband two years prior. Matthew is the managing director of the local cider farm, and he has a few issues of his own. The book follows them during a year of activities in their village of Little Somerby.

My first thought after finishing this book is that title is slightly misleading. The tea shop of the title does not play as big a role in the story as I expected. With books like The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Shop on Blossom Street, a lot of the action is in the shop or concerns various patrons of the shop. In this book, the shop really is just a place where the heroine works. The regulars are mentioned but they aren't fleshed out in a way that would make the book feel like it had an ensemble cast.There are a few times where Keenan seems to remember the title and makes a reference to the shop being Anna's saving grace, but I didn't get the feeling that it was central to the plot.

Other than that, there was plenty to like about this book. Keenan paints a picture of the village and the various events that makes you want to tarry a while. She gives readers a portrayal of Anna's grieving process that felt realistic without bringing the tone of the book down too much. The kids in the book add to the story without being annoying. Although there is a bit of drama in the second half of the book, it isn't of the nail-biting sort.

The only aspect that could stop you from recommending this book to your maiden auntie is the sex scenes. There isn't exactly the explicit detailing of Card A going into Slot B, but the scenes don't fade to black, either; the lights are on the whole time. It's nowhere near 50 Shades of Grey, but it is surprising considering the tone of the majority of the book.

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley where the publication date is listed as 01 Apr 2017. However, it seems that the book was actually released on 10 Mar 2017. So if you would like to escape into a bit of light romance while the kids are driving you crazy over spring break, give this a try.

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