Second First Impressions

- Sally Thorne

Goodreads Book Blurb:

Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.


My Review:

***Thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Australia for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.

enjoyable/easy to read:

3.5 stars, rounded down

This is a sweet contemporary romance. Ruthie is quiet and comfortable in her safe bubble living in the retirement village. Teddy is tattooed with perfect hair. Don’t worry, you’ll be kept up to date on his hair status throughout, just in case you forget how perfect it is. I did find Ruthie to be the more interesting character of the two, even if I did have a hard time relating to her. She went out of her way to be nice to everyone and to keep everything organised with her lists and plans. Then Teddy walks in, all needy and intrusive, messing up her life. Sure, she probably needed it, but I guarantee Teddy would be obnoxious in real life. Even with all that perfect hair (or maybe because of it?).

It took a little too long to get into the story for me. Thorne kept hinting at events from Teddy and Ruthie’s past but not really giving any information and there was a slow buildup to when it felt the story was actually started. At least Teddy has perfect hair. Suddenly it was all over and the ending felt rushed. I was sad to see how much time and effort was spent building the base, only for the …

… typical love conquers all and they all lived happily ever after …
… ending. I was impressed with how Thorne was able to keep me invested even after I felt it took so long to get started, though. And thank you for Teddy’s hair.

On the bright side, I really liked the turtles throughout the story. I’d also love to meet Teddy in real life, solely to get what sounds like would be an incredible tattoo (and to see his hair). But the absolute best parts of Second First Impressions were Renata and Aggie. Their wisdom, unexpected kindness, and incredible bond were the glue holding this story together. That, and Teddy’s hair.

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