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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Second Chance by Julia Templeton

A Second Chance by Julia Templeton
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemp, Sci-fi/fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (103 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Amaryllis

After divorcing her unfaithful husband, forty-five-year-old Deanie Johnson is ready for whatever life has to throw at her. When she meets a frizzy-haired old woman who asks her if she wants another chance at love, she says yes…and wakes up in Regency England in the body of a twenty-four-year-old beauty, and discovers she is married to a gorgeous viscount—who absolutely despises her.

Reece Rayborne cannot believe the changes in his wife since her miraculous recovery. The adulterous, cruel woman the ton nicknamed “The Ice Princess” is anything but cold. In fact, he is soon falling victim to her charms once again. Even though she is now the wife he always longed for, he can’t bring himself to risk having his heart broken a second time by the same woman.

This was a sweet and sexy story that also tugs the heartstrings; a delight to read, and surprisingly full of emotional depth for a short story.

The heroine, Deanie Johnson is long-suffering and loyal without being made into a martyr. I admired her emotional bravery in taking the old woman’s invitation to go and find her soulmate. The hero Reece Rayborne, the Earl of Pembroke is gentlemanly and sexy, a perfectly drawn hero of Regency England.

Reece’s feelings for his difficult and emotionally cold wife are handled well without becoming trite. It’s easy to sympathize with him.

Deanie’s feelings of shock and surprise when she wakes up in the body of a twenty-four year old beauty are realistic and well done. The sexual chemistry between her and the gorgeous man who is now her husband crackles. I enjoyed Deanie’s frank enjoyment of Recee’s sexy bod and handsomeness. I liked the touch of humor about it too. The sex was hot but vanilla, full of graphic sensuality and romance. None of it was gratuitous; it all moved the plot forward as Deanie works to melt the ice in Reece’s long tortured heart.

Ms. Templeton does an excellent job of showing Deanie’s conflict between the her ties to the world she left behind and the growing bond she has with Reece. I like how the author solves this, even if it does feel a bit rushed at the end. A perfect sugar and spice romance and a quick but satisfying read.

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