by Sally Thorne
Published by William Morrow
Release Date: April 13, 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Humor, Romance
Format Read: ARC
Buy on Amazon
Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.
Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.
Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.
Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.
Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.
From the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.
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.
Sally Thorne won me over with The Hating Game a few years ago and that love was cemented with 99 Percent Mine. Having been a fan of Thorne’s previous books, I jumped at the opportunity to read her newest novel Second First Impressions. Second First Impressions, is a contemporary romance novel that features Ruthie Midona, a girl trying to find her way out of her shell and Teddy Prescot, a guy who lives life couch surfing and throwing caution to the wind.
Ruthie has been working at Providence Retirement Villa for the past six years and after all that time, she has started to resemble her residents-25 going on 75. Ruthie is a consummate professional who is always buttoned all the way up under a sensible cardigan. Ruthie knows that if she ever wants to find love she’ll have to let her hair down, both figuratively and quite literally.
Not long after deciding to let loose, Ruthie meets Teddy-a motorcycle riding, long-haired, tattooed-covered, and devastatingly charming smile. Through unforeseen circumstances, Ruthie winds up sharing her townhome with Teddy. With an incredibly thin wall as the only barrier between them, Ruthie helps Teddy learn to be more dependable and Teddy teaches Ruthie a thing or two about letting go of her tidy life. But Teddy is a vagabond just passing through and Ruthie never leaves Providence, so will they be able to make it anything but friendship work?
From what I have come to expect in a Sally Throne book I will admit that I found Second First Impressions lacking. I set down this book multiple times and made myself keep reading because I expected it to pick up. About 65% of the way through, I started to really connect to the characters. I know the whole point was that Ruthie was kind of boring and learned to loosen up as the book goes on, but that character development arc made it hard to stay invested. If you are a reader who enjoys a slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, girl-next-door trope, then I think you’ll like Sally Thorne’s newest novel. However, if you are just dipping into the genre of Contemporary Romance, I would point you to Thorne’s earlier works. Second First Impressions really was not for me and I probably will not be revisiting it.
Taylor (she/her) is a self-proclaimed binge reader, who like Rory Gilmore can always be found with a book in her hand and a TBR that will outlive her. Taylor knowingly sets herself up for failure by comparing every potential partner to the romance stories she loves so much. Formally big city, currently small town, she spends all her free time reading, walking, and setting herself up for potential meet cutes. A firm believer that you are never too old for YA, and Romance ought to be respected as any other genre. Lastly she is an firm Twilight apologist, but don’t hold that against her.