New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick

New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth KendrickAvailable: February 3, 2015 Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: NAL

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily-ever-after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. She’s desperate for a safe haven, but everything has changed over the past ten years. Her family’s fortune is gone—and her mother is in total denial. It’s up to Lila to take care of everything…but she can barely take care of herself.

The former golden girl of Black Dog Bay struggles to reinvent herself by opening a vintage clothing boutique. But even as Lila finds new purpose for outdated dresses and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget…and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.

I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the series. I laughed my way through the antics of Lila, her mom and many of the residents in this seaside community. The first book, Cure for the Common Break Up, introduces us to Black Dog Bay, Delaware ” The Best place in America to bounce back from a breakup” and this follow-up book is just as delightful and fun to read.

Lila has come home to Black Dog Bay, Delaware after a miserable divorce. She is driving the only thing of value she received after signing the papers, and it does not even work correctly. Her mother Daphne, still lives in their old house on the ocean, her father died recently and Daphne is having a hard time dealing and immediately has Lila take over everything including opening up mail that has not been touched in months. They are deeply in debt and her mother is in denial.

Lila is not the only one back in town, Ben her boyfriend from high school is taking over his father’s commercial property business. He is reeling from a breakup as his fiancé decided she did not want to move to a small town. Malcolm Toth, a retired Marine has also returned home, he is a classmate that she hardly remembers, but he is looking fine now. I was fully invested in this story as mother and daughter try to find their way in this new world, I loved the journey.

I adored this book, I have now read three books by Ms. Kendrick and I am adding more to my list. She writes strong, quirky and intelligent women who pick themselves up after falling and keep on living, usually with some hilarious antics.

Lila is a kick, she is moving back home after a divorce, her husband decided he wanted someone different and the only thing she got was a new SUV which she calls FU V. When she arrives home she finds her mother is still having issues from the death of Lila’s father. She tries to help her mother, as well as herself and the outcomes are usually funny and unusual. I love how both mother and daughter grow so much from the beginning of this book to the end.

Malcolm is the hero in this story and I like him immensely, unfortunately we do not meet him until half way through the book and the romance is a slow burn. There is some history between them, but Lila does not remember much, especially a date he claims they had. I love how the running joke after they meet again is about high school, they turn an uncomfortable situation into something enjoyable, he even makes her want to do things she would have never done in the past. I also love the secrecy about his sewing abilities, the covert actions in order to keep his talent hidden is laugh out loud funny. There is not a lot of sex scenes between Lila and Malcolm but there is definite chemistry and you can tell they are perfect for each other.

Black Dog Bay is almost a character in itself, the setting is a small town in Delaware right on the ocean and it attracts people from all over the world who have recently broken up with a significant other. The whole town caters to these tourist and there are several businesses with cute names that reflect this. The secondary characters make up a large part of the story, the owner of the wine bar is a hoot, Summer who was featured in the first book is also key, and her stepsister/stepdaughter Ingrid, who is trying to get a wedding planned is hilarious.

The pace of the story is fast and there is always something going on to keep your interest up. This is not packaged as a series but the setting of Black Dog Bay and several characters are familiar because of book one, and it can easily be read as a standalone. I highly recommend this author and these two books about this quaint town in Delaware where you can commiserate with others about your breakup and if you happen to see a large black dog on the beach, things are looking up.

I give New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick 4.50 stars!

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