3 out of 4 stars
Review by gali
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Does everyone deserve a second chance? How hard would you fight to have a second chance at love? This is a story about powerful love, trust, and second chances.
This poignant love story started when Jillian and Malik were young and restless. The couple developed a close friendship during their high school and college years, but it ended up badly. After Malik Cooper was chosen first in the NFL draft, he broke up with Jillian by the advice of his agent. He didn't even have the decency to tell her that directly, leaving the dirty job for his agent. Ten years later he is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the New York Kings. An incapacitating injury during one of the games forces him to slow the pace and take stock of his life.
Jillian Peters was devastated when Malik broke up with her, to say the least, but moved on with her life and finished her medical studies. She opened a medical practice in her hometown that keeps her fulfilled. As a dedicated doctor, aside from being the only African-American woman doc in town, she is in high demand. She never forgot her old flame though, and is still carrying a torch for him ten years later. When her first and only love comes back to town, asking her to rekindle their love and handle his physical therapy, she’s caught off-guard. She must decide if she wants to give him a second chance, risking being hurt again.
This plot isn't particularly original, but the execution felt refreshing. Although it was pretty predictable as far as the plot went, I enjoyed it more than I expected to. Obviously this book is about a second chance, so all the stereotypical things happen. However, there is so much more to the story than that. Interwoven within this sweet tale are themes of second chances, forgiveness, friendships, life-altering events, heartbreaks, family, open one's heart, learning from the mistakes you made, lessons learned about life, and gaining wisdom from experiencing all of these things. I have to say that some twists completely took me by surprise.
The intensity of Jillian and Malik's love took my breath away at times. The relationship between the pair had an authentic feel that resonated with me. Although I was somewhat ambivalent about the hero, I found this couple's interactions endearing. The author drew the internal conflicts of the characters very well. The characters are amazingly written, coming across very genuine and fully well-rounded. While there are a couple of sex scenes, they are tastefully done and more focused on descriptions of emotions rather than acts.
Filled with beauty, heartache, forgiveness, redemption, and an undying love all around, it is a sweet and endearing read about love and second chances. It eloquently portrays the bonds of true love and what one is willing to risk in the name of love. Jillian was quite possibly the most kindhearted, generous heroine I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. There were times where she came across as overly meek, but she was stronger than she seemed and I rooted for her. I personally think we should give second chances, and that love is worth risking heartbreaks.
My only issue with the book is the poor editing! The author would have benefitted greatly from the use of a good editor! There are many typographical and grammar errors throughout the book. There are typos, incorrect punctuation, missing words, awkwardly worded sentences, run-on sentences, commas in the wrong place, and other editorial oversights which sometime disrupted the flow of the reading. With better editing and general tweaking, this book could be a hit.
I enjoyed this book overall, so I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. It is a story which just oozes romance. I liked this book and have no doubt readers who love charming second-chance-at-romance plotlines will enjoy it as well. The pacing is perfect as the pair reconnects and an incredibly intimate love story unfolds. It is a warm-hearted, feel good kind of book, which, if you can put your cynicism aside, is very enjoyable to read.
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