The latest First Reads Goodreads giveaway this pedometer geek read was a Kindle edition of Elisa Lorello’s The Second First Time. Recently Goodreads has added this option to their giveaways, but I digress. Although this was an e-book, it is available as a book as well. This author has several other novels to her name, but this is the first of hers that this pedometer geek has read. This is the extended review.
The Second First Time
by Elisa Lorello
Published by Lake Union Publishing, 2016
a division of Amazon Publishing
Lorello’s novel is a contemporary romance that is all about finding home, and finding the person that makes you feel that you are home. As the synopsis of the novel indicates this pair of novelists, Sage Merriweather and Jonathan Moss, should be a perfect match. They share the same publisher, have become best friends, and have mutual respect for each other. They may even have deeper feelings for each other so they plan a cross-country trip together to explore possibilities of taking things further. That is, until Jon bails out at the last moment, leaving Sage devastated.
As the book opens, it’s a year later, and Sage is finally beginning to heal from his Dear Jane letter. The story is told through Sage’s perspective, and the reader is treated to both her inner dialog as well as the action going on between characters. Her writing of romances allows her to create stories of happily-ever-after loves rather than abandonment.
For Sage, home has always been Long Island with her mother and sister Gaia, especially after her (now estranged) dad divorced her mother and abandoned his daughters. So when she finds out about his death and upcoming memorial service, she still calls the man who broke her heart…the man who was her best friend, the man with whom she had decided to go on a cross-country road trip a year ago…until he bailed out on her with a devastating letter.
Jon suggests they give the trip another try, their relationship another try as well as offering to go to the memorial service with her. This is a second first time for both, but can they forge a relationship, can they forge a love when one is still reeling from the hurt? And even if the trip is successful, and with them living on separate coasts, can they find where “home” truly is?
This contemporary romance is about letting go of hurts, finding that best friends can also be in love, that sometimes less is more, and home is where the heart is. Writers Jon and Sage deepen their friendship and love on a road trip fraught with emotional potholes.
The romance does not have graphic sex scenes, but it’s definitely a story similar to the kind she is described as writing. (Does life imitate art, or just the reverse?)
Both main characters are fleshed out. Both Sage and Jon seem realistic; they are not so exotic and rich as to be unbelievable, which is part of the charm of the story. Their experiences on the road trip as they go through awkward moments are both funny and poignant.
There are some minor typos in the text, but not enough to make it irritating. The story is not full of What-the-tuck trends, which is refreshing. The book was a pleasant surprise, and makes this reader want to read more by the author.
A few quotes of note:
” There’s always a defining moment in your life where, if you had to do it over, you’d go back and change the trajectory.” (3%, beginning of Chapter 2)
“As with so many things, the day the depth of one’s desire surpasses the depth of one’s fear one’s life is always when one’s life changes for the better.” (66%, Chapter 16)