Friday, July 23, 2021

Review: Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

There's a perception that young people are out at the bars living their best lives, partying, and just the slightest bit self centered. This is, of course, not true of all twenty-somethings (and maybe not even for the majority of them). Some are quiet, introverted types who have settled into a staid and quiet life, like the heroine in Sally Thorne's Second First Impressions. But it also never hurts to inject just a little bit of spice and excitement into an otherwise predictable life.

Ruthie works at a retirement community and she truly cares for the inhabitants of the place. She lives on the grounds and enjoys her job. She is hard working and conscientious. And when she tries to be a Good Samaritan at a local gas station, she is mistaken for an elderly woman, like the residents at Providence Retirement Villas. Filling in for her boss, who is on an extended vacation, Ruthie spends her days checking the locks, keeping things running, attending to the needs of quirky folks like the elderly, irascible, Parloni sisters, watching a Christian based tv show called Heaven Sent, and dodging her temp Melanie's desire to add some spunk to Ruthie's non-existent love life.

Teddy Prescott is the son of the retirement village's new owner and is the man Ruthie rescued at the gas station. He is also the one who mistook her for one of her aged residents. Teddy has an appealing little boy lost vibe to him but he's also covered with tattoos and has luscious long hair that Ruthie wants to run her fingers through. He wants to open his own tattoo studio rather than go to work for the family company. He is definitely not a long term romantic prospect for Ruthie. She suggests Teddy as the newest assistant to the Parloni sisters and to her surprise, he actually enjoys it, lasting far longer than any of their previous "boys."

This is a quick, light, and fluffy romance that ends up feeling more platonic than romantic. Teddy's hair must be impressive indeed because it is mentioned enough it should almost be its own character. There's supposed to be a clear dichotomy between the buttoned up, straight laced Ruthie, daughter of a reverend, and the long-haired, tattoo artist, love 'em and leave 'em Teddy that makes them a surprising pairing but somehow their relationship comes across as more friendship than sexy and unexpected. And Teddy was definitely more infantilized than he was a bad boy, despite his appearance. The secondary characters are quirky and generally fun, if sometimes over the top. The pacing of the book was steady until the end of the book when all of the plot lines and reveals wrapped up incredibly quickly. Family issues that had governed lives for decades were immediately solved and absolution handed out like lollipops. Over all an easy and enjoyable enough read for a couple of hours but not quite as satisfying as I wanted.

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