Back to Before by Tracy Solheim (Second Chances #1)

Back to Before by Tracy SolheimAvailable: January 6, 2015 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

When his father’s sudden death puts his family’s construction business in serious debt, architect Gavin McAlister is forced to put his dream career in New York on hold. Making matters worse, his fiancée calls it quits. Desperate to return to his big-city life, he discovers an opportunity to save his family, one that has him reluctantly starring in a home restoration TV show.

Former soap star Ginger Walsh hopes this job as a TV makeup artist will lead to better things. So far it’s only brought her to a hamlet full of people who don’t like her—except Gavin. After a wild night out leads to Ginger waking up in Gavin’s loft—and the rest of town talking—the two of them soon wonder if getting back to before is what they want. Because being in each other’s arms certainly feels like what they need…

This is a great start a new series and another enjoyable romance from Ms. Solheim. An engaging romance based on the premise of how you can never go home again as too many people and places change.

Ginger Walsh had trained all her life to be a world renowned dancer but an unfortunate incident changed her career prospects along with her best friend Diesel’s. They both trained at Juilliard but are now taking different paths in life. She recently ended a role on a soap opera as an evil teen and can’t seem to shake the image people have of her. She accepts a job with Diesel on a construction reality show he is producing in hopes of helping him prove something to his father, and hopefully also propelling her back to a dance career.

Gavin McAlister runs McAlister Construction. He is in Chance Inlet to run the family business and has agreed to the reality show because it is the only way to save his mother’s Bed and Breakfast. His father left a financial mess when he died and Gavin believes he can fix it quietly without anyone knowing before he goes back to being an architect in New York. Yep, that always works out.

Gavin and Ginger are immediately attracted to each other, it is the unfortunate attitudes of the residents of the town, his mother and various others that seem to sabotage their efforts to get together. Not to mention that they are both on track to go back to the careers they left behind.

Back to Before is a very enjoyable story, there is humor and emotion as the characters view this reality show as a pit stop toward gaining back their careers. However secrets and lies are unraveling around them, will they be able to survive the crash?

Ginger is a great heroine, she is ready to put her career as a soap opera teen to rest, unfortunately the town of Chance Inlet is not, she is unsure of how she managed to get on the wrong side of most of the residents but she is getting defensive about how they treat her which leads to several hilarious incidences she is involved in. Along the way there are some touching scenes that help change the attitudes of the town.

Gavin is also a wonderful hero, he is trying his best to fix the mess his father created without anyone knowing, he is afraid his mother will blame herself. But his house of cards is destine to fall and we just wait to see what happens. I love how his family rallies around each other to help.

The people in the town make up a good part of the story, Gavin’s mother Patricia and the local sheriff are dating and brother Miles hates it and makes it known. There is Cassidy, a 16 year old who is bullied by the boys in her class and although she has this vulnerable side, she is also strong and is ready to make her mark in the world. I love how the town is always there for her, especially Ginger who she continues to call Gidget. The town itself is special, people believe it is a place of second chances and Patricia is the queen of helping others get their second chance, except for Ginger who she feels will hurt Gavin, Patricia must take a hard look at herself in her dealings with Ginger.

The pace works well as we go behind the scenes of the reality show, count the weeks until the Founder’s Day festival and wait until the wall of secrets comes tumbling down. I like the conclusion of the book but I felt the wrap-up of Diesel’s story was a bit disappointing and seemed too rushed. I am looking forward to more in this series as there are several characters that I would love to see more of. I recommend this book to those that enjoy entertaining romances with humor and emotion.

I give Back to Before by Tracy Solheim 4 stars!

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