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Second First Impressions – Sally Thorne

Thank you so much to the publishers for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Position Vacant: Two ancient old women residing at Providence Retirement Villa seek male assistant for casual exploitation and good-natured humiliation. Duties include boutique shopping, fast-food fetching, and sincerely rendered flattery. Good looks a bonus—but we aren’t picky. 

An advertisement has been placed (again!) by the wealthy and eccentric Parloni Sisters. The salary is generous and the employers are 90 years old, so how hard could the job be? Well, none have lasted longer than a week. Most boys leave in tears. 

Ruthie Midona will work in Providence’s front office, and be at the Parloni’s beck and call, forever. That’s sort of her life plan. If Ruthie can run the place in her almost-retired bosses’ absence, with no hijinks/hiccups, she has a shot at becoming the new manager. She might also be able to defend her safe little world from Prescott Development, the new buyer of the prime site. Maybe after all that, she can find a cute guy to date. All she needs to do is stay serious—and that’s what she does best. 

Until, one day, someone dazzling blows into town. 

Teddy Prescott devotes his life to sleeping, tattooing, and avoiding seriousness. When Teddy needs a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer dad. Teddy can stay in one of Providence’s on-site maintenance cottages—right next door to an unimpressed Ruthie—but only if he works there and starts to grow up.

Ruthie knows how this sweetly selfish rich boy can earn his keep—and be out of her hair in under a week. After all, there is a position vacant…

I think, like most of the internet at the moment, I’ve seen so much hype for Sally Thorne’s books that I knew I had to put her on my radar. Each of her books seems as though they would be a lot of fun to read and like they all differ from each other. Second First Impressions is the first book by Sally Thorne that I have picked up but it certainly won’t be the last. I was intrigued by the premise of this story and then it was the characters and the adorable moments that drew me in completely.

This book is unique in the fact that it is set, almost solely, in a Luxury Retirement Village. This is not usually a location that would come to mind when discussing romance novels. It makes for a very unique story with some very interesting characters.

The main character Ruthie, is a 25-year-old who acts as though she is 75. She is meticulous, likes to be organised and doesn’t stray far from the Retirement Village. At first, I had absolutely no connection to Ruthie as a character but as the story progressed and I started to relate to her so much more, I grew to love her. We get to see why she is the way she is and I loved watching her grow as a person.

Then, we have Theo. His father has just bought the Retirement Village that Ruthie is managing and Theo has been sent there to work for a while. Theo came across as entitled at first and it make me dislike him. Throughout the book we learn more about Theo and see that the first impression we had of him is not the real him and I grew to adore him. There are so many side characters in this book. Mel deserves a special mention because she is absolutely brilliant as are Aggie and Renata. I loved them all. Some of them I would have loved to see more of such as Theo’s sister Rose. I think it would have helped to expand Theo’s story a little bit more.

I loved watching Ruthie and Theo’s relationship develop and there are so many adorable moments that brought a huge smile to my face. I think this book is an excellent portrayal of the opposites attract trope and it has made me want to read more books with this trope in the future.

Second First Impressions has certainly given me a taste of Sally Thorne’s writing. I thoroughly enjoyed it in this book and I would love to see how this writing is in her other books.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for an opposites attract romance set in an unusual location. It made me laugh, smile and warmed my heart.

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