Book Review: Jill Shalvis’ Second Chance Summer

Posted November 13, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Jill Shalvis’ Second Chance Summer

Second Chance Summer


Jill Shalvis

contemporary romance that was published by Grand Central Publishing on June 30, 2015 and has 368 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Instant Attraction, Instant Gratification, Instant Temptation, The Night Before Christmas, "Under the Mistletoe", Animal Magnetism, It Had to Be You, Simply Irresistible, The Sweetest Thing, Animal Attraction, Rumor Has It, Rescue My Heart, It’s in His Kiss, Head Over Heels, Lucky in Love, He's So Fine, At Last, One in a Million, Forever and a Day, My Kind of Wonderful, "Wrapped in You", Get A Clue, The Trouble with Mistletoe, Chasing Christmas Eve

First in the Cedar Ridge romance series and revolving around the Kincaid family and their at-risk Cedar Ridge Resort. The couple focus is on Lily Danville and Aidan Kincaid.

This ARC was sent to me by NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for an honest review.

My Take

Oh, lordy, Shalvis caught me from the beginning with that scene with the raccoon-eyed Nicky leaping onto Aidan as his partner rappels down next to him. Shalvis caught me by surprise with that one — I should’ve hit the bathroom before I started reading!

“‘You remember we have a strict no killing each other policy?’

Aidan reluctantly nodded.

‘I’m going to lift that rule for a one-time exception,’ the captain said, cocking his head at …”

Dang, ya can’t keep nothin’ secret when Facebook exists, lol.

It’s a quirky story with lots of feel-good talk that will keep you laughing, even if I keep trying to ignore Lily’s idiocy about Ashley, Aidan, school, the whole works … ’cause I do like the heat that simmers between her and Aidan. And poor Aidan, he was so clueless ten years ago as to why she took off. Yet he didn’t do much of anything to pursue his interest.

Wait a minute. Lily is basing her entire aversion to Aidan on her sister saying (back in high school!) she thinks Aidan likes her back. I must be missing something else. And ten years later, she’s still being stupid about Ashley. Well, it does suit her thinking style, since she believes she’s responsible for the death of half her family. Duh. Then there’s the reason Lily got fired in San Diego. If it was such a HUGE deal for the celebrity, why would the salon leak anything? It doesn’t make sense. That part about the Kincaids not amounting to anything. Huh? When they employ half the town? Sounds like they amount to quite a bit *scratching my head*

“I especially like the way you’ve got the entire junk food pyramid represented here.”

The way Shalvis describes the Kincaid family…yep, they’re dysfunctional all right, but they do function well together. I especially like, ahem, the pink satin panties bet.

“Well dammit, it was hard to hold on to a good mad with a compliment like that…”

Shalvis always does the best cast of characters for her stories, and Second Chance Summer is no exception. From the wronged mother who takes in her straying husband’s children, to the just-met siblings who accept each other and who take care of those who are important to them, whether they’re family or not.

Oh god, oh god, I absolutely loved the scene where Gray and Aidan confront Marcus about dating their mother, about taking her…dancing for gosh sakes…! Talk about embarrassing…and I do not mean Marcus, ROFL. It only gets better when Mitch takes Captain Tyrant at his word and sets to work washing windows with his “twig and berries swinging in the wind”. Oh. My. God. I had to re-read that one over and over. I do love it when a jerk gets his comeuppance, lol. I, ahem, particularly enjoyed the notes stuck to Mitch’s windshield at the end of shift.

Then there’s the Kincaids’ living situation. It does allow for lots of crazed interactions, especially with salami and leftover pizza *she says as she grins around a mouthful* I gotta say, though, nothing beats that lost couple who couldn’t find any other kindling for a fire than what they carried in their pockets, *more laughter* Huh, didn’t know about that rule in the employee handbook. I reckon I could live with that…

It’s a good point we should all consider, “… to … live your life … not just mourn [the past] …”

If you want a feel-good story that will leave you laughing, this one’s a buy in my book. Despite Lily.

The Story

Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid — firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could forget that devastating smile…

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. A place where Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge — and this bad boy — a second chance…

The Characters

Lily Danville, the daughter of the owner of a neighboring resort, has been gone for ten years, and now she’s back, to work as a cosmetologist. She was betrayed by her boss and boyfriend, Michael, in San Diego. Ashley was Lily’s sister. The bisexual Jonathan is her childhood best friend and new employer. Donna Danville is her globe-trotting mother.

Aidan Kincaid is part of the fire crew. Gray is his older brother and runs Cedar Ridge Resort. Penny is Gray’s wife who works insurance fraud cases, and they’re still hot to trot. Char is their mom, and she’s suffering from an injured hip. The twins, Hudson is a cop now as well as S&R and Jacob took off for the army, and the professional snowboarding Kenna are half-siblings from their father’s other families. Their father, Richard, is a major jerk none of them want to deal with. It could have something to do with all that traveling he’d been doing back in the day. Back when he started up a second and then a third family.

Cedar Ridge Resort is…
…a ski resort owned by the Kincaid family and based in Cedar Ridge, Colorado. Lenny works for them as a big-equipment operator and has a problem with getting arrested. Marcus Dolby, the resort’s equipment manager, is taking Char out on dates. The Mane Attraction is the resort hair salon which Jonathan runs. Cassandra is one of its employees and is off on maternity leave. Terika and Rosa are his part-timers. Devon is Rosa’s jerk of a significant other. Evan is their hair products rep. He also has a crush on Jonathan.

Colorado Wildland Firefighters
Mitch is Aidan’s partner on the job. Both volunteer on the local search-and-rescue when needed. Captain “Tyrant” is new and itching to make his mark.

Shelly is an ex-girlfriend of Aidan’s, a bed buddy really, a local bartender at the Slippery Slope, and had been on the S&R team. Mason is the Slippery Slope’s boss and an old friend of Aidan’s. Nicky is a regular on the jumping-from-a-building-circuit, and Aidan and Mitch are grateful she’s left her Victoria’s Secrets on. Mrs. Myers was Lily’s high school English teacher. Cliff is a clerk in a convenience store. Danielle and Chelsea are sixteen-year-old BFFs needing matching updos. Trevor is the two-timing boy channeling Richard Kincaid. Tessa is a teacher. Shannon is the teen who goes missing. Aaron Roberts is another teen in trouble. Gil is his friend.

The Cover and Title

The cover is Mountain Rescue to the rescue with Aidan all in black, a hank of red rope tossed over one shoulder as he poses at the top of a mountain, looking out over the valley.

The title is what Lily needs, a Second Chance Summer to find forgiveness.