Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Perfect 10: Second Time Around by Beth Kendrick

SECOND TIME AROUND – Beth Kendrick
A Perfect 10
Bantam Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-385-34224-7
April 2010
Women’s Fiction

Thurwell, New York – Present Day

Five women get together for a reunion, having met every year since college ten years ago. They are commiserating over the fact that they got their degrees in English and are still paying off their student loans and working at mundane jobs. Jamie is bartending; Arden is an attorney and ill with lupus; Brooke works at the school for alumni affairs; and Cait is an assistant professor. Anna comes bustling in—she is the only one who is married, and she is desperately trying to have a baby. Anna edits technical manuals, and is an excellent cook and baker. They all discuss what they would like to do with their lives if they only had money. Two months later, Arden passes away leaving her friends one million dollars with the stipulation that it must be used to begin new careers.

Brooke buys Henley House where all the women lived while attending college. It had always felt like home to her, and now she intends to turn it into a Bed & Breakfast. She talks Jamie into helping her, and Cait and Anna soon join them. Mulling over their choices for a second career, Jamie decides to begin an event planning business, and Cait wants to write her first novel.

Brooke is devastated to discover that her house needs complete new wiring that will cost more than she can afford. She looks for help and hopes to do it herself. Jamie gets her first job planning a wedding, and Anna, a wonderful cook, will make the cakes. Cait runs across a professor on whom she had a huge crush in college. When he asks her out for dinner, it gives her the inspiration to begin a romance novel. Things are beginning to fall into place for the four women. Of special interest is Trish, Anna’s archenemy, who complements the tale and rounds out Anna’s story.

SECOND TIME AROUND is the story about second chances, and about four women, best friends, who help each other and remain friends through thick and thin. They are all likeable, fun, sometimes irreverent, and always there for each other. They all have the opportunity to start new careers that don’t always work out as expected, and make new friends and lovers. The dialogue and pacing are excellent. It is a beautifully written book that will keep you turning the pages. Trust me, you won’t want to put it down! It is a Perfect 10.

Marilyn Heyman

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