by Lauren Dane
Publisher: Carina Press
Available: October 25th 2010
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Ten years ago, Rori Simon left town shy, unattractive and with zero self-esteem. Now she’s back, older, stronger and finally loving herself—and it shows. Hot men are soon knocking at her door, including Jude Callahan, the bad boy who starred in her teenage daydreams…and her adult fantasies.
Jude can’t believe the sexy, confident woman before him is actually Rori! She’s gotten under his skin like no other woman has…and brings out secret desires he can’t resist. He wants to dominate Rori with every fiber of his being. Wants to own her and pleasure her. To cherish her as he makes her his.
Rori discovers she likes being controlled. She also knows Jude is not a one-woman man. Everything changes when she meets Zach Helm. Edgy, sensual Zach knows just what she needs, and before long, she’s in love. Jude watches them together and wonders if he’s lost his chance forever…
Reviewed by: Sophia (FV)
Rori was awkward and overweight as a teen and suffered with self-esteem issues. But she went off to college, saw the world and went through some emotional and physical changes over the years. After a messy break up with her boyfriend, she has returned to her hometown and with a whole new outlook. Since the moment she’s arrived it seems she’s caught the eye of every available bachelor in town but there is one in particular she’s got her eye on. Rori wants the town bad boy, Jude Callahan. They were friends as kids but Rori had a crush on him back then and wouldn’t mind taking their friendship to a new level now that they’re adults. Jude is not a one woman man though, and Rori is not interested in being one of many.
Jude finds just about everything about Rori attractive. She’s all he can think about and there’s something about her that is different from his many other conquests. He can see himself settling down with Rori, he wants her bad. But his old habits die hard and he has a hard time reconciling the idea of what it means to be in a committed relationship. His bad behavior opens Rori’s eyes to the fact that she can’t change him—doesn’t want to change him. She then finds love in the arms of another man.
I’ll start off saying right here, right now, Lauren Dane knows how to write a steamy story, no doubt about that. For an erotic romance to work for me, there has to be good strong emotional connections between those engaging in the red hot steamy sex and Ms. Dane certainly knows how to deliver on that level as well.
Although Jude came off like a jerk at times I liked him. The emotional and sexual chemistry between him and Rori also worked for me. Jude is conflicted in his need for Rori and his inability to grow out of his bad boy tendencies and Rori, a former ugly duckling is realizing a life long fantasy in her new relationship with Jude. Both seem a little overwhelmed by this new relationship and where it’s headed. I really wanted them to communicate and work things out, but such as life, it was not meant to be and Rori moves on to find happiness with another. However Jude knows he screwed up and he let the only woman he ever loved walk away. Now he must watch from afar as Rori finds happiness with another.
Rori moves on and falls head over heals in love with Zach who seems to be absolutely perfect for her. Here is where I began to struggle with the story a bit. Although we know Jude loves Rori and is struggling to accept that she has moved on, he becomes absent from the story for a long period of time, and I’ll be honest I missed him. Zach and Rori have a budding relationship with no place in it for Jude, but I felt his absence unsettling since the relationship between Rori and Jude was left open on Jude’s part. Although I liked Rori and wanted her to find happiness, I just never bought into her relationship with Zach. His character seemed flat not as developed as I hoped for. I never picked up on the emotional connection between them at all.
Although I felt the eventual outcome of this book was obvious because of the title, Lauren Dane managed to take the expected and create a very emotional story that takes her characters on a journey of personal growth, tragedy and redemption. I felt there were some flat spots along the way, however I loved how the friendship and romance played out between Jude and Rori. Second Chances was an enjoyable read.
“I want her. I don’t want her to love anyone else. I want her to love me.”
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Purchase link: Carina Press