The Second Chance Cafe by Alison Kent

The Second Chance Cafe by Alison KentAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

My Copy: Sent

Reviewed by: Pam

Kaylie Flynn was luckier than most children left to the Texas foster care system, blessed with a foster mother who taught her the comfort of home and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie. Now, Kaylie has journeyed back to Hope Springs to open a cafe in the charming Victorian she once shared with her foster family and to finally find answers about her past and where she came from. Yet Kaylie’s carefully laid plans quickly become complicated. The house needs far more work than she realized, and Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires, stirs up feelings she hasn’t felt in a long while. When an unexpected crisis threatens to unravel her dreams, Kaylie seems to have all the ingredients for a perfect disaster or quite possibly the perfect love.

Kaylie Flynn has lived all her life waiting for something to happen, wondering if her mother or father was ever coming to get her, wondering when was she going to her next foster home and when she turned eighteen she wondered how long before her foster parents would kick her out. But by that time, she was done wondering what was going to happen to her and made her own things happen. She left Hope Springs and her heartache behind, moving on with her life. Ten years later she is back, the proud owner of a three story Victorian house, the one she had spent the best years of her life in. She came back to Hope Springs, Texas to find the answers she is still wondering about.

Ten years ago Kaylie left Hope Springs; she was eighteen and afraid of the rejection she knew was coming now, that she was too old to be in foster care. She had loved the eight years she spent with May and Winton Wise, they were wonderful to her, however she was always waiting for the next thing.

When Kaylie was twelve, May introduced her to brownies and she has never looked back, after graduating from college, she opened the Sweet Spot and for over four year, it was a great business for her. And although she left town because she did not want to miss what she could no longer have, thinking it would all disappear, it took her a while to realize that May and Winton were always there for her and would seek her out over the years.

When she was ready, she sold her business in Austin and paid cash for the house, finally coming home. She planned to open a café called Two Owls Café, a place for people to gather and enjoy themselves during the hours of 10 and 2 each day. She also had another reason for moving back to town, to find out what happened to her parents. The last thing she remembers of her mother is her lying on the floor after she tried to kill herself and she does not remember anything of her father. She had no way to find him as his name was not on the birth certificate, but hopes that there is information in Hope Springs.

Kaylie needs help renovating the beautiful home she now owns and most residents recommend Tennessee Keller (Ten) a local contractor with a great reputation. As a matter of fact Ten had always wanted that home for himself and after Kaylie hires him on the spot, they make several compromises about how the café should look and still keep the integrity of the house.

She needs a chef so she puts an ad in the local paper but also asks around, as this is a small town and nothing is faster than small town gossip. Luna, a woman who grew up in Hope Springs hears about Kaylie and she not only knows a chef who would be great but also knows a secret about both Kaylie and the chef, Mitch. Mitch came home from the Gulf war years ago to tales of violence and drugs and has unsuccessfully been looking for his daughter ever since.

The town of Hope Springs is a town full of friends, family, hope and unfortunately secrets. Between what Luna knows, the fact that Ten wants to save every young man in trouble because of the guilt he feels about his brother and Kaylie trying to find out about her long lost parents, The Second Chance Café is a story full of secrets. Life is all about making your own way and yet it is nice to know there are those people you call friends who will always help and Hope Springs has just those types of friends.

This was a nice, small town romance that was enjoyable to read. The characters were fun and quirky like most small towns and pleasing to get to know. Ten and Kaylie had a nice romance with some believable ups and downs and the story develops well as secrets are uncovered, feelings are hurt and tension is thick. And even though I love a great HEA, the ending was a little too predictable with little flourish. We learn a lot about the main characters of Hope Springs, and yet there are many more individuals with stories to tell. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series.

I give The Second Chance Café by Alison Kent 3.5 stars!

 

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