Review: The Single Mom’s Second Chance by Kathy Douglass

Posted July 23, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Single Mom’s Second Chance by Kathy Douglass
The Single Mom's Second Chance

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Series: Sweet Briar Sweethearts #7
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin
Released on August 1, 2020
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

She picked his brother, they have been coldly distant for years, and now, she needs his help with her children as she fights cancer.  I spotted the blurb on this one and I had to leap in with both feet.  Between a second chance at romance and a widowed heroine fighting for her very life and trying to hold together her family.  She seemed as tough as it gets and I wanted her story.


Review

The Single Mom’s Second Chance is the seventh book in the Sweet Briar Sweethearts series.  I chose this one out of order and had no trouble jumping in.  I think the setting as well as brief glimpses of past stories is the loose connection a reader can anticipate.

The story opens with Roz Martin nervously approaching her brother-in-law, Paul Stephens, for the biggest favor of her life.  He has hated her since she married his half-brother even though she saw how it was when he went away from college and slowly drifted away from her.  Paul is a busy, successful businessman so what she is asking of him is huge, but he is the only one she can turn to.  She never stopped caring and can only hope that she can survive the cancer and being near Paul once again.

Paul is shocked when the woman who turned to his brother after he had such huge plans and dreams for them together stands before him and begs him to come to her home and look after his nieces and nephew while she undergoes cancer treatment.  They have done their best to avoid each other for years, but this shock makes him let go of some of the anger and hurt.  He only has one answer to give and will be fighting his feelings the whole time.

The Single Mom’s Second Chance had all the markings of a story full of emotion and angst.  It is also something of a gamble to center a romance around a situation like a heroine undergoing cancer treatments.  The author deftly rode the line between drudging along too heavily and flitting across the emotions and physical ailments too lightly.  There are descriptions of a mom and her kids who have barely started healing from the loss of her husband and their dad, now they face the cancer treatments and the reunion with Paul.  Each element was acknowledged and the hardships were not ignored or glossed over.  Roz struggles with illness, frustration over her weakness, her kids fears, and even her looks.  The kids act out or withdraw.  Friends were there for them as was Paul.  Paul was a pillar, but he had to figure it all out even while jiving the past with where they are at now so they can be at peace.  Like I said, it had reality, but didn’t become morose.

As to the romance, I thought the cancer gave them a good excuse to come together and keep things less personal, but at the same time, they could actually talk now like they never had in the past.  It would be easy to say miscommunication was at the heart and get frustrated with them both, but the truth was, it was complicated.  For one, they were very young.  But, for another, they both brought family baggage to the table that played a huge role.  Roz interpreted Paul’s less than frequent contact and claims of being busy as abandonment and losing interest in her because she grew up an orphan child in her aunt’s house knowing the aunt didn’t want her and felt obligated.  After Roz decided to interpret Paul’s busyness at college as feeling obligated and not caring, her choice to go to his half-brother who never liked Paul and was the golden boy to their dad was a knife to the gut.  So, beyond the cancer, they had a lot to iron out.  I appreciated how the author brought the romance along steadily and left it more of a sweet slow burn.  It suited the story.

All in all, I through this one was a fabulous book and I would definitely like to read more of the author’s Sweet Briar stories.  She puts heart, real life situations, and a lovely community all into her contemporary romances that I can definitely recommend.

I received this book from Harlequin via Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.


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New Release #87


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
12 days ago

Oh when I saw the author’s name I knew it was a Special Edition my very favorite of the HQN series which reminds me I’ve been remiss in my monthly feature of them. Thanks Sophia Rose glad you enjoyed this

Sophia Rose
11 days ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

I spotted that blurb and I just had to read it. First time reading her books.

Yes, love your freature. I add books to my wish list right and left off your list. 🙂

Nadene
11 days ago

This wonderful and emotional. I need this one. Thanks for sharing.

Sophia Rose
11 days ago
Reply to  Nadene

Sure thing, Nadene! It was a heartwarming one that I think you’d appreciate.

Ethan
11 days ago

I love that they are going to become reliant on each other given their past history. I’m here for all the drama and fun!

Sophia Rose
11 days ago
Reply to  Ethan

You said it, Ethan! Watching them overcome the past and rely on each other was so good. 🙂

Anne - Books of My Heart

Sounds like high emotion from the start. Great review!

Sophia Rose
11 days ago

It does and there was some of that, but not as much as I expected. It was just the right amount of angst that I could tolerate. 🙂

Melliane
11 days ago

Oh this one looks quite well done

Sophia Rose
11 days ago
Reply to  Melliane

Oh yes, a nice plot and romance build up. 🙂

sherry fundin
11 days ago

sounds intense.
sherry @ <a href=”http://www.fundinmental.com/”> fundinmental</a>

Sophia Rose
11 days ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

It does sound like it, but, in truth, it was a gentle heartwarming story with no threat of tears. 🙂

Rachel
11 days ago

It can be emotionally draining to read a book that deals with cancer, so I’m happy to hear it wasn’t so here. Also, I’m happy you know going in that the heroine is dealing with it because I’ve read books where it was a surprise and it’s tough. I have to find out more about the story before picking a cancer book up because I have a hard time reading them. I lost my mom at a young age to breast cancer so in the past I avoided any story featuring it. This does sound like a complicated romance, but… Read more »

Sophia Rose
11 days ago
Reply to  Rachel

You raise a good point about not surprising the reader with a big health issue in the story. I never thought of it, but you’re right. Warnings about severe illnesses, mental health, and worst, a death might seem like spoilers, but they are a kindness when a person is not in a place where they can read about such things. I can see where this book would not be a good match for you possibly because there are scenes with the kids struggling with their fear and her illness.
Sorry for your great loss, Rachel. Hugs across the miles.

Lover of Romance
11 days ago

I get so much more out of a story that features a relatable real life situation, and this book sounds like such a keeper. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

Great review…as always!

Sophia Rose
11 days ago

It did feel relevant and my emotions were much more engaged than some conflict that feels contrived. It was so heartwarming, Renee. 🙂

Carole Rae
10 days ago

This does sound good…but the lady on the cover looks….not happy lol

Sophia Rose
10 days ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

LOL, maybe it’s that moment when she’s trying to ask him for her big favor and knows how he’ll react. 🙂