From USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer, comes Second Chance at Two Love Lane, a fast-paced tale about the intoxicating effects of fame and what happens when a past romance is rekindled behind the silver screen.
Sometimes love is waiting in the second act...
In her professional career, Ella Mancini plays matchmaker at Two Love Lane but, in her personal life, she takes the stage at the Dock Street Theatre. Now she has a chance at a new role in a Hollywood movie that happens to be filming in Charlestonone that features a big-name actress, Samantha Drake. Long ago, Ella passed up a major audition while awaiting a marriage proposal. Not only didn’t she get the role; she never got the ring, either. Instead, her boyfriend Hank went on to become a huge film star…leaving her, and all her dreams, behind.
But now Hank’s back in Charleston, cast as the male lead in the same movie Ella’s in. In spite of the dramatic tension off-screen, he and Ella try to stay cool onset. But when their old feelings start to heat upat the same time leading-lady Samantha tries to play cupidall bets are off. How can Hank convince Ella, after all this time, that she’s the one he really wants to be with in real lifeand that some happy, rom-com endings really can come true?
“Readers who enjoy works by Nora Roberts and Luanne Rice will want to give Kramer a try.”Library Journal
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer is a former journalist and English teacher who lives in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with her family. She's a game show veteran, karaoke enthusiast, and general adventurer.
Kieran is the author of the House of Brady novels, including Say Yes to the Duke and The Earl is Mine.
Read an Excerpt
Her show must go on. That was what Ella Mancini told herself when she saw the flowers in her dressing room at the historic Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, South Carolina. The vase of her favorite hothouse blooms was from her old boyfriend, Hank Rogers. The (Former) Love of Her Life is what she secretly called him.
Ella was the star of her own life, and no ancient love affair was going to weigh her down, especially ten years after the breakup.
It had been an especially good night, the final night of the play's run, and an especially good audience, she thought as she inhaled the heady scent from the flowers. Maybe Hank hadn't appreciated her as much as she'd wanted him to, but tonight's audience certainly had.
She opened the card that came with the delivery, her fingers trembling a little. Dear Ella, the note read. I hope you're well! I need a huge favor. Please call me. It's not an emergency or anything, but it would mean a lot if you could. Hank.
He'd left a number she didn't recognize. Of course, he'd have gotten a new one since the last time she'd seen him, when he'd been penniless and had a flip phone. Now he was a big movie star and probably had a flip phone again — this time to protect his privacy.
Was he still single? He was in the tabloids all the time with different women, and yet he'd never been committed enough to one that rumors about an impending elopement or marriage had been passed around. Nope, every story was just about Hank loving life, a beautiful woman always on his arm, a new movie script in his back pocket.
Ella was a muddle of emotion, as she always was at the conclusion of a play's run and after each night's performance. She was spent, her vocal cords exhausted. But tonight she felt removed from the whole scene in a way she never had before. She didn't know what to think. She couldn't latch onto a single, clear feeling.
And it was all Hank's fault.
Why had he done this? Why had he contacted her?
Ella pressed down the hurt, the confusion, the simmering anger. He didn't deserve her attention. At all. Ever again. She refused to go back there, to the most painful — and yet the most glorious — time of her adult life.
The door to her tiny dressing room opened.
"You know the drill," the props master said. "Leave everything hung up in your dressing room."
"No prob," said Ella. "Are you going to come see me at Two Love Lane? There will be cookies, mint juleps, and sweet tea. Not to mention Miss Thing. She's always a hoot."
Miss Thing dressed like the Queen of England and was the office manager at the matchmaking agency Ella owned with her other best friends, Macy and Greer. They'd both recently married after whirlwind courtships — Macy to native New Yorker Deacon Banks, and Greer to Englishman Ford Smith. Miss Thing, Macy, and Greer were as close to Ella as her own sisters.
"I am," said the props master. "I promise." She'd broken up with her long-time boyfriend a year ago and told Ella she was thinking about becoming a client at Two Love Lane. She pulled the door almost shut, then pushed it open again. "Who are the flowers from?"
Ella forced herself not to roll her eyes. "An old friend."
The props master shot her an amused look. "That's cryptic. Is it something complicated?"
They both grinned, then the props master finally shut the door behind her.
Ella sank down on her castered vanity chair, closed her eyes, and took a breath. She pulled her cell phone out of her purse and saw that she had ten texts from ten different people, all wishing her well, including her sister Jill and Jill's new husband Cosmo, a famous tech mogul. Miss Thing had also texted. She'd seen Ella in five performances of the play already (Greer and Macy had come three times with various friends and family), but Miss Thing hadn't been able to come tonight because Pete, their dear friend from Roastbusters, the coffee house up the cobblestoned alley from Two Love Lane, had asked her to fill in at the shop while he was recovering from minor surgery.
Reluctantly, Ella put Hank's number in her phone. It was the polite thing to do. "But I won't call him," she said out loud to her reflection in the mirror, and entered Ancient as his first name and History as his last name into her contacts list.
What was that like for him, being famous? Ella would never know. But she was okay with that. She had a good life, a great life.
Inside, though, she felt a twinge. It sometimes came out in dreams about the old days in New York, when she'd been working so hard to make it as a professional actor.
But it's okay, she reminded herself. It really is.
She closed her eyes and tried not to think of "Bring Him Home," the most moving, tear-jerker of a song she knew ... from Les Misérables. But it was there — in her head. Instantly, salty tears flooded her eyes, which she clamped shut to stave them off.
Why did that song come to her now, crashing into her brain like a runaway train? Of course, it was because before he'd left, Hank would lie with her on the couch, and wrapped in each other's arms, they would listen silently to "Bring Him Home." Their love of music, of theater, was what had drawn them to each other in the first place. They'd been two struggling artists in awe of the beauty of songs like "Bring Him Home." Those special moments felt more sacred to Ella than any spoken vows of love. Without a word, they'd known they were made for each other.
After Hank left, Ella used to hope beyond hope he'd come home. To her. She'd stand in the shower in their tiny apartment, tears pouring down her cheeks, "Bring Him Home" running through her head.
But that was ancient history.
"Ancient history," she stressed to her reflection. Now she put the phone down. Turned it all the way off. Really looked at herself in the vanity mirror rimmed with naked, round bulbs. Her entire body felt rigid with hurt, still. It shocked her that it did. She felt pain. And sadness.
After all these years.
And she'd thought she'd been so happy. She really had believed it. All the wonderful things she'd done in the ten years since she'd dated Hank, things she could be proud of ... they did matter, but so did her heart.
And it obviously hadn't healed yet.
She swallowed back the lump in her throat, glad she'd turned her phone off. In fact, she didn't know if she'd ever want to turn it on again.
She stood. Slid out of the sleek wedding gown. Briefly admired the old-fashioned corset in the mirror. She'd never get to wear it again. And her legs — they looked gorgeous in thigh-high stockings and garters, if she did say so herself. Her underthings were important parts of her costume. At one point in the story, a chorus dancer slid Ella's skirt up and exposed one sexy leg all the way up to her garter belt. And in the same scene, a chorus member buttoned her up in her wedding gown, Ella's back to the audience, her corset laces exposed.
Those scenes had happened before she'd known Hank would have flowers delivered to her dressing room. Did he remember all the times they'd made love and he'd run his hand up her leg and told her how beautiful she was? Would he think she was as beautiful now as he'd thought she'd been then?
"I don't care," she said out loud to her mirror.
But the truth was, she did. Very much.CHAPTER 2
The day after the play's last run was a Sunday, and Ella was in her mother's kitchen, where she often found herself on Sunday afternoons when she wasn't at rehearsal or performing in a matinee. Mama Mancini owned a 1930s bungalow on a residential street in Charleston's new tech corridor north of Calhoun Street. It was a neglected area of town that had been declining steadily for decades but was currently being revitalized. Older houses there could be picked up at decent prices but required lots of work.
The whole Mancini family had fixed up Mama's house together — painting, tiling, refinishing the hardwood floors. Uncle Leo and Uncle Sal had done all the rewiring. Cousin Vittorio had updated the plumbing. The older nephews and nieces painted the bedrooms and the living room. The aunts worked outside, sprucing up the front walk with some monkey grass and planting azaleas beneath the living room bay window. Out back, they made Mama a little herb garden and added a bird bath, a comfy garden bench, and a hammock for her to lie in and read the fabulous romance novels she loved so much. And the sisters, amateur painters ever since Jill had gotten them hooked on YouTube videos about mural painting, had dutifully followed Mama's orders to paint decorative scenes wherever she demanded them.
In her mother's kitchen, a nearly naked Jupiter, artfully robed and surrounded by clusters of purple grapes, stared down at Ella from the ceiling while she prepared antipasti, which she could do blindfolded. Olives to the left, mozzarella to the right, peppers in the middle. A drizzle of oil, some good cracked pepper, and there you had it — the nectar of the gods.
Miss Thing called while Ella was scooping olives out of a Harris Teeter supermarket container. "I got your text," she trilled. "Hank Rogers had flowers delivered to your dressing room last night."
Ella braced herself. "That's right." She'd been about to give them away before she'd left the theater, but instead she'd brought them home to her mother and made something up about them coming from the Footlight Players' board of directors.
Something in her had not been able to give those flowers away, although she'd tossed the card.
"Sugar, I knew something was up," said Miss Thing. "Yesterday afternoon, I looked outside and I saw a cardinal looking at me on the branch outside my bedroom window."
Whenever Miss Thing saw a cardinal on the branch outside her bedroom window, that was her late husband come down from Heaven to let her know something big was going on. At least that was what she said, and Ella believed her.
Except that a cardinal landed on that branch at least once a week, so Miss Thing was in a constant state of high drama. But if that meant she felt closer to the man who'd brought her such joy, then Ella was perfectly happy to go along with her friend's excitement.
"Well, he wants a favor, but it's not an emergency, so I'm going to take my time thinking about if and when I'll respond," said Ella.
But she didn't need any trouble. And those eyes of his were trouble. So was his mouth. And his voice. Every time she heard it on the big screen or on television, it still sent shivers down to her toes — the good kind. But she didn't tell Miss Thing any of that.
"Don't you think for a minute he doesn't still have designs on you!" Miss Thing said. "He never would have asked you a favor if he was completely over you. Aren't you dying to know what he wants?"
"Miss Thing." Ella strove to be gentle. "No. We were together ten years ago. I can't imagine I could help him in any way. The man's a celebrity. He's got assistants and agents and whatnot. Let them do him favors."
She tried to forget that this morning she'd woken up from a feverish dream in which he was making love to her on their old brass bed with plump feather ticking.
"But he left you when he was young and foolish and didn't know his own mind," said Miss Thing. "He's matured. As have you."
"We both made a very sensible vow to put our careers first," said Ella. "He wasn't being foolish. Look how it paid off."
"Yes, but when you had your shot, you didn't take it. Because of him!"
Ella sighed. "I was the foolish one then, wasn't I? Let's not talk about it anymore." It reminded her too much of her conversations with Papa.
She'd failed Papa. She couldn't stand thinking about it.
"All right." Miss Thing sighed. "Although I have to admit something. I'm glad you're here with us in Charleston."
"I'm glad too," said Ella. And she was.
But secretly, every time she thought about the choices she made in New York, she got furious. At herself. Which was why she didn't think about New York. She'd been happily free of any regrets for years now, except for one day a year — Papa's birthday.
And now, last night. Receiving those flowers had thrown her off her game.
"I'm a terrible person being glad you didn't hit the big-time like Hank," said Miss Thing. "But living in Manhattan or L.A. in a fancy penthouse, riding around in limos, wearing amazing designer clothes all the time, and making movies in exotic locations — that ain't nothin' compared to living in the Lowcountry."
Sometimes Miss Thing lapsed back into her super Southern voice, especially when she was bragging on the place she'd been born and never left.
"You got that right," said Ella, who was ripping open a bag of pita chips. They scattered across the counter, and she started scooping them up. What the heck, she thought, and ate a few right out of her cupped palm.
"What's that noise?" asked Miss Thing. "Static?"
"No," said Ella, "it's me chomping on pita chips."
"Oh, honey. You only do that when you're stressed."
"I know. Mama just told me today we're having eight cousins over seventy years old coming over from Sicily for the next couple of weeks. She's farming them out and wants to know if I can put up two at my apartment for the first week. They'll go to one of my sisters the following week."
"Well, can you?"
"Sure. But they barely speak English. And they're very loud. The neighbors won't be pleased."
"A week with you and then a week with your sister? That's a long time."
"Not in Mancini time. They only come over every five years or so. They try to get the most from their airline ticket."
"Poor you. Want to leave them the apartment and come stay with me?"
"I'd love to."
"But you'd have to share your room with my new guinea pigs. I have no other place to put their cage. They love to squeal. Do you like guinea pig squeals? They're adorable."
"I guess. Do they squeal at night?"
"Sure. Any time of day or night."
"And do you care that I'm having painters come? They're painting the whole house. But they're hot, honey. College boys. Which is disgraceful of me to mention. I don't think of them like that, but you might. They told me they've just graduated, actually, and don't want cubicle jobs."
"Miss Thing. I'm too old for college boys who've just graduated."
"I don't think so."
"I am too old for them!"
"I understand." But she could tell Miss Thing still thought she wasn't. "They're only seven or eight years younger, though —"
"Enough of that. And I don't want to sound like a diva, but if I hear a guinea pig squeal at night, I might have a heart attack in my sleep. But thanks anyway for the offer to stay."
"No problem, sugar," said Miss Thing. "Back to that celebrity scene you're missing out on. Who needs caviar and endless pairs of designer shoes? Look at where you are. How many places can you put out a crab trap in the morning and have a feast that evening? Or ten months of the year, be able to jump off a dock for a good float down the creek? And then get gussied up and go to a white-tie ball? They're a dime a dozen around here, all year 'round. I have fourteen ball gowns. And I use 'em. Thank God for Goodwill during prom dress season. They've saved me many a dollar."
"I know." Ella started chopping olives. And then realized she wasn't supposed to chop the olives. She wasn't making pizza. So she ate the ones she'd chopped and spread the other ones on the antipasti plate. She rolled them around a little too much. Three fell off the side and landed on the floor.
"How many ball gowns do you have?" Miss Thing asked.
"Ten." It was true. Charlestonians loved blackand white-tie events. You needed long evening gowns here all year 'round. Most of Ella's came from TJ Maxx or a good Macy's online sale. She bent down and went looking for the missing olives.
"Did you hear about the new movie they're making here? You should audition." Miss Thing slurped something up a straw. Probably an iced coffee from Roastbusters.
"Yes, I heard. But I'm not interested." Ella had a Screen Actors Guild card, so every time a movie came to Charleston, she was alerted via email. And they were coming way more often than they used to. Just about once a year now.
"Why don't you want to audition?" Miss Thing asked.
"Being a film extra is more trouble than it's worth," Ella said right away. Maybe she sounded like a diva, but it was. She had no desire to sit around eight hours a day and occasionally stand up and play a bystander in a scene and then get paid a pittance, all because you wanted to appear on-screen for a second or two or, more likely, have your scene cut.
"But what if you got a speaking role?" Miss Thing was always persistent. Like Papa had been.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Second Chance at Two Love Lane"
Copyright © 2018 Kieran Kramer.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Southern charm with this second chance romance. Ella plays matchmaker at Two Love Lane but her true love is acting, when she gets the chance to audition for an upcoming movie being filmed in Charleston. Now to only find out that her ex boyfriend from ten years ago is the lead actor. Now they only have one week to reconnect. They both still love each other but can they make it work in the end? This is the third book in the series and I was so excited to finally get Ella's story, which I loved. II also loved the secondary characters of Pammy and Miss Thing, I think they both are a hoot!! Great dialogue between the characters that will keep you turning the pages.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Another romance book where the reader knows where the characters will end up, but the book is more about the journey then the predictability. Ella Mancini is a matchmaker at Two Love Lane and she is the final of the main three to find love. She is doing some community theater in Charleston, SC while doing the matchmaking business and in walks a former love who is going to shoot a movie in Charleston and maybe he isn't there just for work!
Second Chance at Two Love Lane has a strong beginning that sucked me in, but along the middle of the story I had a hard time keeping interested. When Ella and Hank reunite that is about the point in the story where it fizzles for me. Ella and Hank's story seemed downplayed and their past seemed like a small part of why they were no longer on speaking terms. The characters in Ella's life from her family to her friends in the matchmaking business created a distraction from their romance, but it was just a distraction. It was totally separate from what was going on between Hank and Ella and did not really connect the story. Overall, the story leans more toward women's fiction than contemporary romance. I would recommend for fans of Jennifer Probst. *ARC provided in consideration for review*
Ella and Hank come face to face 10 years after their devastating breakup. Ella has moved to Charleston and is a partner in a dating service. She is content with her life but does think about Hank often. Hank has become a big Hollywood star and has never forgotten Ella either. When a move role comes his way again, he decides to take it and face Ella. Hank realizes that he wants a second chance but knows Ella will not be so easy to win over. Ella carries a lot of resentment towards Hank and makes no apologies for letting everyone know it. When Hank shows up, Ella is surprised to discover the depth of feelings she still has for him. When Hank proposes that they see what happens, Ella will have to make a decision on what to do. You will have to read the book to find out what choices each of them make. I will say the book was pretty sweet and had a great feel to it. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
Today's the release of Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer so I thought I'd post my review today too! Second Chance at Two Love Lane is the third book in the Two Love Lane series. As the title implies, this book is about a second chance for two lovers who were previously torn apart by ambition. Our heroine is this book is Ella Mancini, who is a partner in a popular matchmaking agency named -- you guessed it "Two Love Lane". The agency covers everything about matching folks together from finding the perfect match for the client to preparing and planning their wedding. Ella's partners in the agency are Macy and Greer, who are the heroines of previous books in the series, and Miss Thing. Ella is also an actress who is involved with community theater in Charleston, South Carolina. The other main character of this book is Hank. Hank threw everything away to pursue his career of becoming a mega-star and that included leaving Ella behind. While this broke Ella's heart at the time, it also helped make her stronger and helped form the woman she has become. Now Hank is back in town and this time he is looking for redemption and wants a second chance with the one person he has never been able to forget - you guessed it again - Ella. While this book definitely serves as a standalone, it's always great to read all the books in a series. Either way, you'll really enjoy this contemporary small town kind of romance. It's a quick read that's well written and the characters and their actions are quite believable. I felt like they could have been some of my neighbors and friends! Ms. Kramer knows how to write a great romance, that's for sure! I was provided with a complimentary electronic advanced reader copy from St. Martin's Press through Net Galley in exchange for my post. I was not required to post a positive review, but have chosen to do so because I loved the story! Thank you St. Martin's Press!
Ella is a professional matchmaker at Two Love Lane, but her personal love life tanked years before when she lost the man of her dreams and her dreams of becoming an actress in the time it took to say “CUT.” Hank and Ella were in love, but stardom called Hank and as he rocketed to fame and fortune, Ella became the girl he used to know, the girl he left behind, the girl he still loves. Now they are together again, Hank as the lead male and Ella as a bit part cast member, can they rekindle the love they once shared? Can Ella trust in Hank? Can she trust herself to know what she wants or have the scars of love lost hardened her heart and shattered her self-confidence? SECOND CHANCE AT TWO LOVE LANE by Kieran Kramer is the story of love lost, the fear of being hurt again and hanging on to the past a little too hard. Meanwhile, quirky supporting characters take a run at playing matchmaker themselves and it is nearly lost in the lack of communication and honesty between Ella and Hank. I wanted to see these two actually speak up and get out of their heads, particularly Ella, who acted more like a child than an adult at many points. All told, not bad, just not my favorite from this author or this series! 3.5 stars
This is a wonderful romance. I loved reading about Ella and her matchmaking business. Pammy was a great character and I really liked Hank and Samantha. I enjoyed seeing a little bit of how a movie is created. I loved the nonnas and how they were. This book had a lot of parts to it and they worked well together. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
A slow, sweet, Halmark-esq story that, at times, was too slow. The passion was tame and innocent. If you like romances that don't focus on the sex, this is definitely perfect. I thought the characters could have been stronger, especially Hank. He fell flat a few times. There also wasn’t a lot of emotional tension even though the plot had the possibility of having some great moments of tension. I enjoyed Greer and Ford's story more. They had obstacles to overcome that were believable. This story's conflict wasn’t believable because from the get-go Hank acknowledged to himself that he wanted a second chance with her, but then he was like, 'oh, wait, that means I have to quit being a famous actor, which I gave her up to be in the first place.' He, I guess, assumed she would be ok leaving her life or didn’t think beyond wanting a second chance. He came across as thinking it would happen without working for it, or that he would have to prove to her he was serious, being his choices ten years ago were what broke them up in the first place. Ella was a stronger character and I am glad that she wasn't willing to give up her dreams or the life she built for herself for a second chance on his terms. I din't however understand how she went from resisting him to taking her clothes off when they played scrabble. It was a sudden change in the plot and I am not sure it worked with how the story was going. I do understand that being the story had to take place in only 1 week that things had to move quickly, I would have preferred to see Hank coming across stronger rather than passive in trying to win Ella. He should have been more assertive. The story did have a cute romantic ending. If you like sweet, almost innocent (or at least not a lot of description) romances this is definitely a good one. The plot was good, I just want more passion and more tension between the characters in order to overcome obstacles and have a happy ever after.
I really enjoyed Second Chance at Two Love Lane. It was a little steamy but felt nostalgic and wholesome overall. It shows a great connected family and two people who fell in love at a young age. Differing priorities led to them separating after several years. Here they've managed to find each other 10 years later and it's like they've never lost that loving feeling. There's a healthy dose of desire, but also tender feelings as well. It's a perfect rom com. I received an ARC of this book, from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for a fair and honest review
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and I am voluntarily reviewing it. This is the first time that I have read anything from this author. I truly enjoyed it. It had some very heart-breaking moments. I got teary eyed at several places. I loved the dual POV format. It helps me to understand the characters so much better. I wished that Hank's POV was reflected more. I loved him but I really didn't understand the why of his leaving and not trying to take Ella with him or getting back with her sooner. That would have made the story even more better. There were sections that I read and re-read over and over. I highlighted and bookmarked many places. I did thoroughly enjoy this book. I loved the entire Mancini family and the drama there. I highly recommend this story to anyone. Even though it is the third and last in the series (maybe?), you don't have to read the prior stories. I will though as the characters sounded delightful. Highly recommend.
The plot of Second Chance at Two Love Lane was simple. Ella is a matchmaker. She is also an actress who failed to make it big. She turned down the role of a lifetime because she thought her long-term boyfriend was going to propose. Not only did he not propose but he ended up becoming an A-list movie star. Ella is bitter over that. She also has never gotten over Hank. Imagine her surprise when she finds out that he is in Charleston filming and he is the cousin of her new friend, Pammy. Hank is able to get Ella a small part on his movie. Soon, they are reconnecting. Ella wants to keep Hank at arm’s length. But it doesn’t happen. Can she let go of the past to embrace the future? Or will she be left behind and heartbroken, again? Ella got on my nerves. I know suddenly ending a relationship sucks, I have been there myself. But to hold onto it for 10 years. A little excessive, if you ask me. I know her heart was broken but still. I kept breaking out (in my head) “Let it go“. I did like her, though. Her relationship with her mother, sisters, cousins, and nonnas was amazing. Not to mention her friends. She had a huge heart. I didn’t know what to think of Hank. He didn’t like being a superstar. All he wanted was to be left alone….which wouldn’t happen because he’s famous. But as the book went on, I started to like him. He wanted to make things right with Ella. He didn’t know how to make things right with her. Getting her that small part in his movie was part of that. I started liking him by that point. He wanted more from Ella but he wasn’t going to push her into anything she didn’t want. He knew that she was still dealing with her feelings from 10 years ago. By the end of the book, I was crushing on him hardcore. If I had any doubts about his feelings for Ella, they went away by the ending. The chemistry and sex scenes with Hank and Ella were lukewarm. I couldn’t get into those scenes as much as I wanted to. I didn’t get a hint of chemistry between them which reflected in the sex scenes. Don’t get me wrong, they were beautifully written. They didn’t do it for me. The secondary characters made this book. Mainly Miss Thing. When I first saw her name, I thought “Maybe its a typo“. But no, it isn’t. I loved her!!! I also liked Samantha and Pammy. Samantha made me laugh with her not so subtle ways of trying to get Hank and Ella together. That whole dinner that she set up cracked me up. I loved Pammy too. She was refreshingly real. From her telling Ella that she had a nice butt (which cracked me up) to her unlikely romance with the mayor of Charleston, she made me laugh. I also liked Ella’s family. They were large, loud and they love each other. It was the sub-storyline about Ella’s mother that made me tear up. I wasn’t expecting it. Neither was her mother or Ella. The end of Second Chance at Two Love Lane was your typical romance novel ending. I did like what Hank did to Ella. Tied in perfectly with the book. The author did a great job of taking all the sub-storylines and tying them into the main storyline. I was not left wondering about anything. Which happens more often than I can count. **I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**
Second chances in life, and love, are rare. When they come around, one should grab a hold of them with both hands and hold on for dear life. Such is the case with Ella and Hank in Kieran Kramer’s latest Second Chance at Two Love Lane. I’ve loved this series from the beginning Kramer’s distinctive lowcountry writing style keeps me turning pages as fast as I can. Visits to Two Love Lane are to be treasured, because I never want them to end. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
If you are looking for a romance I just finished Second Chance at Two Love Lane. It is not the first in the series. I didn’t know that before I started reading the book. It did not make any difference. The book tells the story of Ella Mancini who lives in Charleston, SC. She co-owns a business, Two Love Lane, which is a matchmaking business. She also loves to act in community theater. Ella grew up in New York City. She adored her father and he had completely supported her dream to be an actress. Her father told her many times that she should not let any man get in the way of her dreams. Then she met Hank. They were both struggling actors and she made a mistake. She passed up a movie role to stay in New York with Hank. On her birthday, the night she thought that he would ask her to marry him, he broke up with her instead because he had received a role in a movie and was leaving town. Ten years have passed and she and her family are settled in Charleston. She suddenly receives flowers from Hank and on the card, he asks her to call him. She doesn’t know what to do. The next day when she is visiting her Mother, Pammy arrives. Pammy is Hank’s cousin, who is new to Charleston. She doesn’t know anyone and wants Ella’s help in meeting people. Ella assumes that helping Pammy is the favor that Hank was looking for and she doesn’t call him back. In the meantime, Hank is in New York with his family and he is feeling down. He finally starts to admit to himself that he misses Ella and that she is the only one who truly knows him. Then he is offered a role in a movie filming in Charleston. He has turned down the role before even though it is a good role because he doesn’t want to see Ella. When the role is offered again, his father urges him to go to Charleston and find out if the relationship is what he thinks it is. It wouldn’t be very romantic if Hank didn’t take the role. Does the relationship work? Can Ella forgive Hank for dumping her? Would she even be willing to leave Charleston and her company? This is a fine book if you need something light to read. Even the title gives the indication that it is a romance and it is light and fluffy. There are no huge surprises but it is pleasant.
A great second chance romance that pulls at the old heart strings well written and likeable characters make this a sure fire good read I received a copy from Netgalley and I am voluntarily leaving my own honest opinion
This is not only the first book I have read in the series, it is also the first time I have read this author. I want to say this was an amazing 5 star read but it wasn't. Don't get me wrong it is well written and I enjoyed the first part of the story with no problems Dad and birthdays, priceless. I even love the quirky characters that kept me laughing throughout the book. The author does a great job of keeping lots of action going on which keep you involved and turning the pages until you reach the end. There are parts of the story that don't mesh with me but that's my own personal thing because it just feels like there wasn't enough time spent on them and it makes it hard to care about their second chance. I enjoyed the read but really enjoyed the secondary characters more because we learned more about them. This is my first read by this author and yes I would read more just to see if this is a one off or if we really just don't mesh. It wasn't bad just not my type of second chance romance.
ARC for honest review with no compensation received from Net Galley and St. Martin's Press. This is book 3 of the Two Love Lane series and while each book is a stand alone readings them in order gives you a feel for these lovely matchmakers!! This book gives us a back drop to the time when Ella was young and finding her love for the theatre and therestaurant where her father always took her. The restaurant was also where she meets the love of her life and soul mate,Hank. She and Hank both have goals they want to accomplish and as life happens...things change for them and they separate. Now 10 years later Hank, a big time movie star gets a part in the film that happens to be taking place in Charleston where Ella lives. He knows that since he and Ella split his heart has always wondered if their paths would cross again and if they might have a second chance at love with the one that got away??
Ella is a matchmaker and loves acting, appearing in Charleston’s local productions. She formerly lived in New York, auditioning to be on Broadway. She was in love with Hank, but they broke up when his career started taking off. Now a movie production comes to town which brings Hank back in her life after 10 long years. I loved all the characters in this book and the author’s writing style. Now I am anxious to read the other books at Two Love Lane!
My favorite romance trope is second chance romance and this one is done particularly well. All the characters in this book and series are intriguing and fun. Add in all their southern charm and you have a great relaxing read. In this one Ella is reunited with her first love Hank Rogers. The chemistry between them is still there and burning brightly but Ella was burned once and not willing to go there again. Not only is Hank in Charleston but Ella is getting a second chance at her dream of becoming a successful actress. As time goes on and Hank's charm begins to work on her, Ella begins to wonder if she'll be able to have it all this time or will she be left with nothing once again. I highly recommend this one.
Ella works as a matchmaker, but her first loves outside of family were acting and Hank. Till Hank broke her heart. Ten years later, he walks back into her life, but is she willing to put her heart out there again? Hank knows he hurt Ella, but until he sees her again, he doesn't realize how much, and what it will take to regain her trust in order to earn her love again. As Ella works as an extra on Hank's film, she finds away to open her heart...a recurring phrase in the story is "let go and let love." Both characters have to find a way to let go and let love. Let go of the past, and hurts, let their love for one another rise to the top. The added cast of characters from the matchmaking service, Hank's cousin, the Nonnas and Ella's Italian family all play a role in helping these two open up and find love--and it's infectious as love abounds in the story. A wonderful way to end this beloved series. Fabulous story I recommend! Remember to "Let go and let love!" **Received an ARC from netgalley
Solo nos quedaba una de las chicas casamenteras de Two Love Lane por encontrar el amor de su vida. La cosa es, que Ella Mancini ya había encontrado a ese hombre hace 10 años y él prefirió avanzar con su carrera de actor a quedarse con ella. Hank es un gran actor y ha conseguido el papel principal de una película que se filmará en Charlston, el lugar donde vive Ella porque se arrepiente enormemente de haberla dejado hace 10 años. Quiere recuperarla pero Ella aún está dolida por el abandono y quiere que el trato sea de formalidad entre ellos. Pero claro que eso no sucede. A pesar de no haberse visto en tanto tiempo pronto caen en la familiaridad y siendo que el amor aún está allí, es imposible resistir la atracción. Tenía un poco de miedo con esta novela porque eso de las segundas oportunidades no me encanta. Sobre todo porque sabía que él simplemente la había dejado y desde el principio eso me cayó mal. Poco a poco Hank se va redimiendo y se entiende que ambos eran jóvenes y cometieron errores. El libro se sintió diferente a los anteriores porque aquí los personajes no se estaban conociendo, más bien era volver a acostumbrarse uno al otro, lo cual sucedió bastante rápido. También tenían que perdonarse. Ella no tenía un gran resentimiento hacia él porque entendía la importancia de su carrera y en 10 años tuvo tiempo de analizar lo que sucedió. Pero si hay un poco de resentimiento no sólo hacia Hank sino consigo misma porque ella dejó de lado su carrera de actriz por él y cuando Hank la dejó la abandonó completamente. Asó también se trataba de que Ella estuviera en paz con las decisiones que había tomado en el pasado. Disfruté mucho de la familia de Ella. Los Mancini son una enorme familia con personajes muy interesantes y llenos de color. Hank tiene una prima en Charlston y debo admitir que no me agradó mucho. Se me hacía un personaje sobreactuado y terminó cayéndome un poco mal. Algo que me confundió fue el tiempo. Se la pasaron mencionando que el rompimiento sucedió hace 10 años y Ella en este momento tiene 29 así que lógicamente terminaron cuando ella tenía 19. Pero ellos comenzaron a salir después de que Ella terminara el College y mencionaron que fueron 4 años. El College por muy jovenes se inicia a los 17 así que ella debería haber salido de 21 años. Las cosas no me cuadran y confieso que pensé demasiado en eso. En general el libro me gustó pero siento que le faltó algo. La historia de amor no la sentí tan fuerte o atrayente como la de las demás protagonistas. Además, la trama se sintió un poco floja a mi parecer. Aún así quiero seguir leyendo libros de esta autora por sus personajes diferentes e interesantes.
This was a fun, well-written book. Ella works as a matchmaker, but in her personal life she acts on a local community theater stage. She has a chance to play a role in a real movie featuring a big name actress. Her former boyfriend, Hank, comes to town as the male lead in the same movie. He wants to convince her that they can have a second chance and she's the one he really wants to be with in real life. This book can be read as a standalone story, though it is #3 in the Two Love Lane series. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more books by this author.
Second Chance At Two Love Lane, is the third novel from Kieran Kramers's series, Two Love Lane. Both the primary and secondary characters are quite interesting and well-defined. The prologue is thoroughly captivating, which sets the stage for the story to unfold. This book can be read as a standalone. Ella Mancini and Hank Rogers met at New York City's famous Serendipity 3, and overtime fell in love. Both were waiting to be discovered, when Hank was offered a big role. A day later Hank was off pursuing his dream while Ella was all alone. Ella had turned down a chance at stardom in exchange for Hank's love. In fact, when Hank told her he had big news, Ella thought they were getting engaged. Now it is ten years later and Ella is a professional matchmaker living in Charleston. She loves her job, her family and her friends. Hank is a down-to-earth, Oscar nominated actor with a residence in Brooklyn. Ella and Hank never fell out of love, so when Hank is in Charleston for a week of filming, they finally find their forever together. I liked this book, however the pace was a bit slow for my taste. The secondary characters, especially Hank's cousin Pammy, and Ella's nonnas, were quite entertaining. Overall, a solid read. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
I enjoyed reading Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer, book three in her new Two Lane series. This Ella’s story as she is reunited with her ex-boyfriend, Hank, after ten years apart. Professionally, Ella is a matchmaker at Two Love Lane, but during her spare time she performs at the Dock Street Theatre. Before returning to Charleston, Ella passed up a major audition while awaiting a marriage proposal. Not only did she not get the role; she never got the ring, either. Instead, her boyfriend Hank went on to become a huge film star, leaving her, and all her dreams, behind. Now she has a chance at a small role in a Hollywood movie that is being filmed in Charleston with Hank cast as the male lead. Ella and Hank try to act cool while on the set, but their old feelings are returning when they are off the set. It doesn’t help when leading-lady Samantha Drake tries to play cupid, reuniting the former couple. Hank realizes that he never forgot Ella, nor stopped loving her. He now wonders if he can convince her that after all this time, she’s the only one he wants to be with in real life. Ms. Kramer wrote a delightful story; filled with sexual chemistry, fun dialogue, and endearing characters. I definitely recommend this book to other readers and look forward to reading the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
I have enjoyed reading all of author Kieran Kramer's Two Love Lane Stories. I shared Macy and Deacon's Happily Ever After in Christmas at Two Love Lane and Greer and Ford's Happily Ever After in A Wedding at Two Love Lane. Now in this story I have been happy to share Ella and Hank's second chance at a Happily Ever After. I do like second chance love stories and this is a good one. It took some soul searching but in the end both Ella and Hank knew where they wanted to be - together. I just loved the ending in Second Chance at Two Love Lane - so romantic.
Second Chance At Two Love Lane is a beautiful. Second Chance love story that will pull at your heartstrings while you root for a HEA. This is the first story that I have read by Kieran Kramer and it is absolutely not my last. I fell into this mesmerizing, entertaining, heartbreaking, and complicated story and didn’t want to leave. I loved everything about it from the vibrant, interesting characters and their personalities that light up the pages. Their interactions and their amazing chemistry and connections, as well as all the amazing details. So many great characters that added to this story and I loved them all and wished that they were in my circle of friends and family. Between Ms.Thing, Pammy, Samantha Drake, Macy and Greer the shenanigans and entertainment never stops. But most of all I loved the main characters Ella and Hank. They both still have feelings for each other after being apart for ten years. Oh Ella didn’t want to acknowledge it, and denied it a lot. But you feel the pull between them, the sweet tension and that sizzling chemistry,o as well as their love for one another that is right below the surface. Just like it was ten years ago when they were two struggling artists. Without a word they’d known they were made for each other. Will they be able to find that magical love again? You will have to read to find out. This story was a fantastic mix of everything I adore in a story: humor, heart, and heat. Loved every second of it. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.