Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
April 13, 2021, by William Morrow
Review by Angela
It must be a very, very difficult thing for a debut novel to be a huge hit and beloved by many a romance reader. Expectations are set and readers want that same level of awesomeness over and over. Sally Thorne literally hit it out of the park with The Hating Game. Her sophomore effort, 99 Percent Mine, was just an okay read for me, mainly because the first chapter was so disjointed and hard to get through. Nevertheless, I picked up Second First Impressions confidently, expecting a weirdly charming love story set in the odd location of a retirement village.
This is very much an opposites-attract romance. The heroine, Ruthie, is a 25-year-old woman who has spent her entire adult life working for Providence Luxury Retirement Village and catering to the residents who live there. She is a young woman living the life of an elderly person, dressing in mundane clothes, reading glasses hanging off of a chain around her neck, and with a strict routine, she follows day and night. Ruthie doesn’t leave the property very often and she doesn’t trust anyone to take care of the day to day management responsibilities. She is thrown for a loop when the son of the new owner is basically thrust into her orderly life.
Teddy Prescott is a tattooed, long-locked, free spirit who jumps from couch to couch and doesn’t seem to take anything too seriously. When he runs out of places to crash his father decides a brief stay in one of his newly acquired properties is just the thing Teddy needs to get his shit together. He’ll do some odd jobs and earn his keep. Maybe even decide he wants to become responsible and join the family business.
Ruthie and Teddy are complete opposites, but they are drawn together anyway. I will say I was charmed by this couple and their differences. Teddy is such a ray of sunshine with his jokes and shining, flowing head of hair and goofiness in the guise of getting Ruthie out of her shell. Ruthie is all buttoned up and afraid of making a mistake, but she is so caring and sweet and I wanted good things for her. Despite Ruthie being a “tidy girl” together they are a messy couple with a whole lot of family angst and a history of being misunderstood. Neither of them received the love they deserved from their families and each is searching for a safe place with a partner who understands their issues.
They are surrounded by a lovely cast of secondary characters. From Melanie, Ruthie’s assistant who has made a career out of being a temp employee, and has ideas on how to get Ruthie a makeover and a date with a nice man. To Aggie and Renata, two residents, who hire Teddy as their errand boy. They were a hoot and have him performing some truly outrageous tasks, which he completes to perfection.
This was a heartwarming, sweet romance. Ms. Thorne has this quirky way of telling a story that just makes me smile. I didn’t mind that there seems to be a touch of instalust between the main characters, I just chalked it up to chemistry. Who doesn’t love the bad boy falling for the good girl trope? The ending was lovely and I thought wrapped everything up quite nicely. I liked the HEA that Ruthie and Teddy chose for themselves.
Second First Impressions was a delightful way to spend the afternoon reading. I look forward to this author’s next release.
Final grade- B