Friday, March 31, 2023

Book Review - Second Time Around by Melody Carlson

My Review

Mallory Farrell is a successful interior designer, divorced with grown children. When she suddenly inherits her grandmother's little tourist shop in coastal Oregon, her life changes.  Mallory visits the shop and decides she would like to move there. She has plans to renovate the old, somewhat ramshackle building, putting a home decor shop downstairs and living in the small apartment upstairs.  After moving she meets her teen crush from years ago, Grayson Mathews, and finds sparks are still there - although he wants to tear down the older shops and put in a multi-use development mall.  Mallory struggles with her feelings for Grayson and also with a renovation project that has one surprise after another.

I wanted to read this novel because I love Melody Carlson's books.  Her women's fiction reads like the very best Hallmark movies, with relatable protagonists and charming characters (often in small town settings).

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  I read it in just a couple of days because I couldn't put it down;  if I had spare time, I was reading Second Time Around.  

Mallory is a very likable character -- I felt for her moving back to a place she loved through her childhood, wanting to make a success with a new shop there.  Grayson is also likable, although they initially have very different life goals.  Their romance starts slowly, as a friendship, with some twists and turns.

There are also many twists and turns with the renovations of Mallory's shop and apartment upstairs.  I love HGTV shows that focus on renovating old homes or buildings, so loved the details in this book.  

I recommend Second Time Around for fans of small town fiction, home renovation stories, women's fiction, and sweet romance.  (Please check out Melody Carlson's other books too - they are delightful!)

Book Synopsis

Who doesn't love a second chance?

When Mallory Farrell inherits her grandmother's run-down tourist shop in Portside, Oregon, she knows selling it is the only sensible thing to do. The place holds treasured memories for her, but it would take a fortune to restore it.

But when she learns that her childhood crush, Grayson Matthews, wants to buy the building to redevelop the funky town's business district into a soulless, cookie-cutter outdoor mall, Mallory digs in her heels. With a lot of hard work and a little bit of help, she is sure she can renovate the property herself.

Though Mallory makes incredible progress turning the store into an eclectic home decor shop, she's heartbroken when an exciting opportunity turns into a guaranteed nightmare. Should she surrender her dreams to Grayson's bulldozers? Or is there a future for both of them in this charming seaside town?

Author Bio 

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than 250 books with sales of more than 7.5 million, including many bestselling Christmas novellas, young adult titles, and contemporary romances. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, her novel All Summer Long has been made into a Hallmark movie, and the movie based on her novel The Happy Camper premiered on UPtv in 2023. She and her husband live in central Oregon. Learn more at

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