The Second Chance Café (Hope Springs Series #1)


Kaylie Flynn was luckier than most children left to the Texas foster care system, blessed with a foster mother who taught her the comfort of home…and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie.

Now, Kaylie has journeyed back to Hope Springs to open a café in the charming Victorian she once shared with her foster family — and to finally find answers about her past and where she came from.

Yet Kaylie’s carefully laid plans quickly become ...

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Kaylie Flynn was luckier than most children left to the Texas foster care system, blessed with a foster mother who taught her the comfort of home…and the healing power of baking the perfect brownie.

Now, Kaylie has journeyed back to Hope Springs to open a café in the charming Victorian she once shared with her foster family — and to finally find answers about her past and where she came from.

Yet Kaylie’s carefully laid plans quickly become complicated. The house needs far more work than she realized, and Tennessee Keller, the carpenter Kaylie hires, stirs up feelings she hasn’t felt in a long while. When an unexpected crisis threatens to unravel her dreams, Kaylie seems to have all the ingredients for a perfect disaster — or quite possibly the perfect love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran romance author Kent (Undeniable) inaugurates a small-town series set in Hope Springs, Tex., the kind of place where people remember Kaylie Flynn by name when she comes back after 10 years away. She left as a newly emancipated foster child; now she’s a college-educated woman with one successful business built and another taking shape in her mind. The gorgeous but deteriorating Victorian house that was her refuge in childhood will be renovated and opened to the town as a lunch cafe—if the surprises in those old walls and Kaylie’s own secrets don’t bring her plans crashing down. Shoring up the dream is building contractor Tennessee Keller, a man with a troubled family history of his own and a determination not to mix business and pleasure. Girl talk, brownie recipes, and a goofy dog named Magoo complete this pleasant confection with the right balance of hope and memory, tears and sizzle. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Kaylie Flynn returns to the only home she's ever known, intending to open a cafe; along the way, she'll find friends, family and perhaps the love she never knew she was looking for. When Kaylie's father joined the military and she was abandoned by her mother to the foster-care system, she was lucky to land in Hope Springs with the Wise family. They're gone now, but she's back in town to buy the lovely Victorian house the Wises owned and convert it into a restaurant. She's spent her adult life keeping her eye on that prize, and now that she's fulfilled the dream, for the first time ever, she finds herself drawn to the people around her: the sexy contractor she hires to do the renovations to make the home a business; the artistic weaver who's found amazing success with the Hollywood crowd; and a variety of other workers and members of the community who are making a stamp on her heart. Kaylie distrusts her own emotions, and depending on other people has never been easy. Adjusting to Hope Springs and the many people who want to help her--and maybe even love her--is a difficult leap of faith, and one she's unprepared for, but maybe the time has come for a change. Maybe she'll even trust them enough with her hidden secrets or enlist their aid in helping her find her father, who disappeared into the sands of time. While the premise is wonderful, and the character-building is well-done, the storytelling simply moves too slowly to be engaging, and for the most part, the conflict is too weak to carry any true emotional intensity for the duration of the book. Some awkward phrasing, poor pacing and a plot that misses the mark in building tension from the start make for a decent but unspectacular read. Great concept, lackluster execution.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781611097894
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance
  • Publication date: 3/5/2013
  • Series: A Hope Springs Novel Series , #1
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 358
  • Sales rank: 1,253,125
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Kent is the author of more than fifty published works, including her debut novel, Call Me, which she sold live on CBS’s 48 Hours, in an episode called “Isn’t It Romantic?” Her novels A Long, Hard Ride and Striptease were both finalists for the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, while The Beach Alibi was honored by the national Quill Awards and No Limits was selected by Cosmopolitan as a Red Hot Read. The author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing Erotic Romance and a veteran blogger, Alison decided long ago that if there’s a better career than writing, she doesn’t want to know about it. She lives in her native Texas with her geologist husband and a passel of pets.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Wonderful Read

    Who says you can’t go home? Sometimes returning home is all you need to make your hopes and dreams come true. I immediately knew I was going to love this book. It felt familiar from the start. If you’re a fan of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River Series, then you are going to love this book as well.

    The Second Chance Cafe is full of characters who deserve second chances. Many of whom believe they have done something so horribly wrong that they don’t deserve happiness. A majority of the characters are carrying around demons they shouldn’t be carrying around and punishing themselves for things they believe they should have done but failed to do.

    Twenty-eight-year old Kaylie Flynn spent thirteen years of her life as a ward of the state of Texas, after something terrible happened to the only parent she knew. When she was ten, she moved to Hope Springs and became the foster child of May and Winton Wise. With the Wise’s, Kaylie was finally able to have a home and know what it was like to feel love for the first time. The day she turned eighteen, she packed her bags and left, never returning because it was too painful for her to know that the Wise’s weren’t truly her family.

    When Tennessee “Ten” Keller was sixteen, his whole life changed and his family was destroyed. Tennessee blames himself. Ten was only trying to be a friend which resulted in a crime being committed. Ten’s self-imposed punishment is to isolate himself from his family, because he feels he let his family down and didn’t protect them. Ten also feels the need to help non-violent ex-cons out on parole get adjusted to the outside world. He tends to hire them to help him with various construction jobs.

    Ten years later, Kaylie has returned to Hope Springs with three goals in mind. She wants to purchase her “true” home with money left to her by May after she passed away. Kaylie wants to honor the two people she loved and cared for by opening a cafe called Two Owls Cafe, in the home once owned by the Wise’s. And finally, she wants to look for her birth parents.

    Kaylie hires Ten to do the renovations on her house. There’s an immediate attraction between the two but both try desperately to fight it. Kaylie and Ten become friends, with Kaylie sharing some of her dreams and secrets with him. Ten in return does the same. Telling Kaylie things he’s never told anyone before.

    After hearing gossip about Kaylie, Luna Meadows comes into the picture and becomes a close friend. Luna, herself, has a decade old secret that she thinks about consistently. Luna has known a man named Mitch Peppers her whole life. She knows of the guilt he has been living with and sees a way to relieve that guilt and takes the opportunity to do so. In that one moment, Luna’s only concern is for Mitch until she realizes that she might have overstepped.

    What transpires within the pages of this book will test the bonds of friendships, both old and new. Events will unfold to allow some of the characters the closure and forgiveness they are seeking. One character will finally get the courage to face the demons of their own past.

    The Second Chance Cafe is a sweet, heart-warming story. At times, it will make you want to cry. I can’t wait to return to Hope Springs and to the wonderful characters I was introduced to. I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store.

    Source: NetGalley
    Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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