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Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Blurb: Position Vacant: Two ancient old women residing at Providence Retirement Villa seek male assistant for casual exploitation and good-natured humiliation. Duties include boutique shopping, fast-food fetching, and sincerely rendered flattery. Good looks a bonus—but we aren’t picky.

An advertisement has been placed (again!) by the wealthy and eccentric Parloni Sisters. The salary is generous and the employers are 90 years old, so how hard could the job be? Well, none have lasted longer than a week. Most boys leave in tears.

Ruthie Midona will work in Providence’s front office, and be at the Parloni’s beck and call, forever. That’s sort of her life plan. If Ruthie can run the place in her almost-retired bosses’ absence, with no hijinks/hiccups, she has a shot at becoming the new manager. She might also be able to defend her safe little world from Prescott Development, the new buyer of the prime site. Maybe after all that, she can find a cute guy to date. All she needs to do is stay serious—and that’s what she does best.

Until, one day, someone dazzling blows in to town.

Teddy Prescott devotes his life to sleeping, tattooing, and avoiding seriousness. When Teddy needs a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer dad. Teddy can stay in one of Providence’s on-site maintenance cottages—right next door to an unimpressed Ruthie—but only if he works there and starts to grow up.

Ruthie knows how this sweetly selfish rich boy can earn his keep—and be out of her hair in under a week. After all, there is a position vacant…

Review: Fans of The Hating Game will rejoice with the release of Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne. Many (not myself) found the transition from a fun, easy to read book like THG to a more intensely emotional 99% Mine to be jarring, so I’m happy to announce that Second First Impressions is much more a return to that breezy writing style and easy-to-love characters like Lucy and Josh.

Ruthie is another quirky, somewhat dorky heroine (reminiscent of Lucy) whose obsessive compulsive disorder and unconventional religious upbringing have provided her with few skills necessary to interact with those her age, making her “old soul” feel much more at home among the residents of the retirement community where she works. Even leaving the sprawling community, for no matter how short a time, leaves her feeling anxious and overwhelmed. But even though she trends not-like-other-girls there’s none of the typical resentment towards other women including her perky, social media obsessed coworker which I truly enjoyed. Ruthie doesn’t look down on other women or people. She’s always finding ways to admire them and long after what she perceives to be their easy-going natures and ability to weave into the social network around them.

While Ruthie is a similar character in some ways to Lucy from THG, our easy-to-love, somewhat flighty hero Theodore couldn’t be more different from the Joshua Templeman. He’s a tattooed currently unemployed tattoo artist who rides a motorcycle and wears his long black hair in a messy bun at the back of his head. He’s wild and funny Everything Ruthie longs to be and doesn’t feel is attainable which makes their budding friendship (after Ruthie gets over the whole being mistaken for an elderly woman thing) a sight to behold.

Their budding friendship and slow-burn relationship is truly a beautiful thing to witness. Nothing feels forced or rushed, happening at its own pace and giving the reader exactly what they need when they don’t even know they need it. This is the sort of book you’ll crush to your chest with emotion. A book that’ll have you sighing with longing and happiness long after you’ve finished. And a book that’ll have you rereading it over and over again just to feel that rush of desire through your veins as you read their first kiss. It’s cute without being too cutesy and adorable without sacrificing sexy.

Just a wonderful story of two people helping each other to find themselves and falling in love in the process.


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