Available: Now Amazon
Type: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Sent
Elli, a breast cancer survivor, must conquer her fear of recurrence so she can truly claim her second chance on life and love. Elli fought the brave fight against breast cancer and won. Now she is in another battle to save the foundation that she started to help others avoid the same breast cancer nightmare that she experienced. The foundation is in a crisis. The essential operating money raised at their most important fundraiser was stolen.
Fortunately, Elli has just inherited half of a Louisiana plantation. If she sells it, her share can be used to save the foundation. Desperate, Ellitravels halfway across the country pretending the diva dog she rented is hers in hopes to impress a man known as the Cajun-Dog-Whisper. She must convince him to sell his half of the plantation that they inherited together…A plantation that has been in Ben Bienvenu’s family for over two hundred years…A snobby rental dog, an impossible will, a nosy Bienvenu family, a distracting Mardi Gras season and a man who thinks he is protecting his son and not repeating past mistakes by standing his ground against her…Two broken people.
Both in need of a Second Chance…
This is an amazing story of a woman who was living the fast pace busy life in Hollywood only to stumble and pick herself up again to live. I thoroughly enjoyed this book about perseverance, survival and love.
Three years ago Elli Morenelli was a busy movie producer, when she found a lump in her breast she barely had time to have a doctor look at it, but once he got her attention she devoted everything she had to fighting it. During her treatment she met some amazing people, one woman gifted her a blog: Bosom Blog Buddies before she died. Elli kept it up and it became a lifeline for her and many others going through her same struggles.
Now Elli is living in remission and with her good friend Abby McCord they started a foundation: The Gene I.D. Foundation, which provides financial assistance for patients unable to afford the expensive genetic test. Unfortunately during a major fund raising event the event planners took off with the money and financial information on the donors. The foundation is about to go bankrupt unless they can get some much needed money. To the rescue is Elli’s deceased aunt that left her half a plantation in Louisiana, Sugar Mill Plantation. She must sell her half to use it for the foundation; unfortunately there are some stipulations and an angry half owner to deal with.
Ben Bienvenu is the other owner, his family has own the plantation for several generations and he is not happy with what his father’s mistress did. Ben trains search and rescue dogs and wants to raise his son Joey on the property and plans to never sell. And the standoff begins as Elli moves in and disrupts the lives of the Bienvenu family.
This is the debut novel from Ms. DeSalvo and it is wonderful. The characters are engaging and dynamic, in fact he whole Bienvenu family is amazing and they add so much to the story that I laughed out loud several times when they appeared.
Elli is such a strong woman who although is scared about her future wants to help others navigate through their sickness and remission so they have the knowledge they need, she just gets kicked in the knees by thieves and must do what she thinks is best. It is unfortunate that she falls for Ben, his son and the whole family so her decision making is skewered. At first I thought Elli was a Hollywood diva who wears designer clothes and shoes and does not want to get dirty, but after spending some time with her I found a woman who can laugh at herself, get dragged around by several dogs yet can hold her own against Ben. I really like her, she says she is not brave because she has no choice except to fight, but I have known people that give up, and I believe she is brave. Ben on the other hand is just as he appears, a man protecting his son, family and the family heritage. He was dealt a bad hand when his father’s mistress gave him only half ownership; he is gruff and grumpy and ends up taking it out on Elli and fights his attraction to Elli, trying to keep their relationship superficial but the chemistry is too strong.
I so enjoyed the Bienvenu family, Beau the attorney is hilarious along with Tante Izzy and her pink car. I love everything about Tante Izzy, from the first time she threatens to shoot Elli to when she gets to be in several scenes on the movie set and she wins the director’s heart. Add in the antics of the family as they enjoy watching the filming of a movie to the parade on Fat Tuesday for Marti Gras and I believe no one could help but fall in love with the Bienvenu’s and I am looking forward to more, it looks like Beau will get his story next and I can’t wait.
The plot progresses nicely as we watch Elli struggle to save her foundation and fight the attraction of Ben and losing. The author takes us along with her to the Bayou and I felt such a part of the area, the smells, surroundings and the history all came through as I was reading. I love how the wisdom of dogs is presented here; they live in the moment and enjoy the now, a perfect way to greet each day. I highly recommend this story filled with strength and love.
I give Elli, A Second Chance Novel by Tina DeSalvo 4.50 stars!