by Emma Hart
Release Date: Monday, September 23rd
Cover Design by: Emma Hart
Format Acquired: eARC from author (thanks, Emma!!)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBookstore | Kobo
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Love Game and Playing for Keeps is a story of hope and the beauty of getting a second chance at the kind of love that comes once in a lifetime…“You don’t get a love like ours and get to leave it behind.”Kia James was never meant to return to her hometown of Harlan Grove, Alabama… But she has.And Reese Pembleton was definitely not supposed to still be in love with her the way she is him… But he is.Last summer was the summer to end all summers. It was the summer they both fell in too deep to get out, and try as she might, Kia can’t deny that whatever was there between them a year ago is still there. If she’s honest with herself, there’s so much more there than there ever was, but the way her dad walked out six years ago has shattered her belief of that fairytale love every girl craves.Reese isn’t giving up so easily. His biggest mistake was not chasing after Kia the way he wanted to when she upped and left him without a word. Despite what she says, he knows her better than anyone, and he knows she still wants him the way he wants her. And this time, nothing will stop him from getting – and keeping – his girl.But nothing is that easy. When Kia’s dad arrives back in town, family secrets come tumbling out she never realized existed. Everything her mom has ever told her about the reason he left is a lie – but how can she trust the man who, by his own admission, didn’t fight for her as hard as he could have?With her past and present wants and needs colliding, Kia is thrown into the turmoil of the biggest decisions of her life. And she realizes, sometimes a second chance is all you need.
Yet another book by Emma Hart that will make you fall in love... or frustrated that you're not in love. As frustrated as I was. But that's not the point! My point is: this book is sweet. The right kind of sweet that will fill your reading experience with plenty of happy sighs.
Second Chance Summer is the first book in Emma Hart's new Chance series. What a series opener! I've read the first two books in The Game series and they were both really good. This one isn't any different. So we start off with Kia coming home to Alabama for her summer break. I like that the story didn't waste any time and went right to business. Right away we meet Reese and we can see that he has history with Kia. More than that however we find out that there's something else, something bigger, that's keeping Kia away from her home town. Immediately, Reese turns on his charm and tries to win Kia back. That guy is just oozing with confidence that you'll quickly like/love him and will even hate Kia for being so reluctant. Throughout the book, Reese shows Kia just how much he loves her despite everything what she did one summer ago. Just when you think Kia's finally on board she pulls back - much to Reese's and my disappointment. I think I was just cheering for the first half of the book! Come on, Kia. How can you not give him a chance?! Thankfully though, Kia gave in. But then things still weren't perfect at home.
That's when we get to see just what really went down in Kia's family. She had herself believe that she'll somehow end up like her drunk mom, left behind by her dad, if she allowed herself to be happily in love. But towards the end of the story, we find out the real reason behind her parents' marital problems. Kia finding out the truth really broke her and she found comfort in Reese and her friends. I loved that Kia had a support system other than Reese, that she was surrounded by a lot of people who genuinely cared for her. I think this is the what I liked about the book the most: that it wasn't just her and Reese. There was Luce and Patty and Adam and everyone else in the Grove who weren't so eaten up by gossip. It just showed that in spite of how Kia feels about their small town, it was still home. Not the conventional kind, but home nonetheless. I also liked how Kia sorted out her crap and was strong in handling all off it. It really showed her tougher side as opposed to the one that quickly melts in Reese Pembleton's arms.
One other factor that made this book enjoyable were glimpses of Kia and Reese's previous summer - the one where they got together. They were really just brief flashbacks but I loved seeing how they fell in love with each other before the drama caught up with them. They were also somewhat similar to some of the things that were happening in the present. It was almost like Reese purposefully did a couple of things similar to last summer for the sake of reminding Kia how great they were with each other. And they are. All it took was for Kia to accept that Reese wasn't going anywhere and they were back to how they were before, better this time around. I think the only thing that I didn't quite like was the constant push and pull between Kia and Reese. While it was understandable, given Kia's history, I still wish it didn't take them so long. It got kind of dragging for me at some point. But that's just me.
The story leaves readers with a couple of loose ends that'll surely be answered in the coming books. It's scary waiting for the next installments but I'm sure the wait will be worth it. Emma Hart brings another love story that teaches us that in love, taking chances is just as important as giving them.
“Are you gonna be wearing that dress all day?”
I suck my bottom lip between my teeth and look at him innocently. “Why?”
“I… You can’t answer a question with a question.”
“Fine. No, I won’t be.” I cross one of my legs over the other, my dress sliding up my thigh. Reese stretches his fingers on the steering wheel.
“You won’t be?”
“No. We’re going to the beach, right?” He nods. “Well, then. I’ve got my bikini on underneath. I’ll be wearing that.”
“No, Reese,” I say dryly. “I have a trench coat in my beach bag I was planning on putting on when we get there.”
He’s silent for a second, his eyes flicking to me and back to the road again a few times before he says, “I like it when you turn on the attitude.”
“I don’t have an attitude!”
“I don’t have an attitude!” I repeat, shifting in my seat. “Do I?”
“Yeah, you do, baby. And I feel like I need to respond with my own attitude.”
“The one that is supposed to sweep me off my feet, right? That attitude?”
We turn off-road, taking the shortcut we used last summer, and Reese nods. “That attitude.”
“And how exactly is that attitude going to help you now?”
The truck swerves suddenly and stops at the side of the empty road. My hand is released, and I hear the click as Reese undoes his seatbelt. He leans over toward me, one hand on the back of my seat and the other resting on my thigh.
I look up from where his hand is on my leg and straight into his eyes. His nose brushes against mine as he breathes out across my lips. My eyes shut slowly, and his fingers dig into my skin a little.
“This attitude,” he whispers huskily, his probing hand moving further up my leg until it reaches my bikini bottoms. He slips a finger under the waistband, running his finger along my skin from my hip to the clenching muscles between my legs, not touching them, and back again. His breath moves across my mouth as he breathes heavier than usual, and I can do nothing but sit here and let him do whatever. I’m frozen in place with anticipation. I’m blazing hot wherever he’s touching me, and everywhere he isn’t is ice cold.
I tilt my head back slightly, but he pulls away. I open my eyes and stare at a sea of gold flecked hazel. Hardened gold flecked hazel. Yep. He’s pissed.
“If you kiss me right now,” he breathes, his face as hard as granite. “There isn’t a chance in hell we’ll make it to that fucking beach today.”
About the author
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.