Review: Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Title: Second First Impressions
Author: Sally Thorne
Publisher: William Morrow
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Published April 2021
Summary: 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 fa├žade.

I've been a huge fan of Sally Thorne's ever since I picked up THE HATING GAME, so when I heard that she had a new book coming out, I preordered it immediately. Well, cue to a few weeks ago, where I was eagerly stalking my mailbox on the book's release day, waiting for my copy. I cleared my entire schedule after work that day solely so I could dive into the book, and I'm so glad that I did! So without further ado, let's get into my review:

As the summary explains, Ruthie works at a retirement villa, and she's perfectly content living her life as a pseudo-old woman even though she's only twenty-five. That is, until she meets Teddy, who is everything Ruthie isn't -- disorganized, flirty, outgoing, and spontaneous. He's also the son of the owner of the company who wants to change the villa completely. She wants nothing to do with him, but he wants everything to do with her -- and thus begins the dance of her trying to avoid changing herself and her habits while also being unable to avoid the charm of the literal boy next door. And all while trying to keep her job (and her residents) safe.

I absolutely ADORED this book. I'd been in a reading slump for a little bit before this, so I was surprised at how quickly I devoured this one. I would read over 100 pages in a single sitting and stay up way later than I planned to because it was just that spectacular. I never wanted this book to end, truly. I loved seeing the way that Ruthie came out of her shell and learned to be more her age and more in tune with the people around her. I loved her friendship with Melanie, and I loved watching their friendship with Teddy grow, too. There were also several moments throughout reading this book where I would swoon or sigh out loud, or blush majorly because the tension was just wonderful. This was really such a great contemporary romance book, and I encourage everyone -- whether you've read THE HATING GAME or 99 PERCENT MINE or not -- to add this one to your TBR.

My favorite character in this book was definitely Teddy. Not only was he just super attractive and swoon-worthy, but he was also so sweet and funny that I couldn't help but fall for him across every page. The sexual tension between him and Ruthie was undeniable, and I loved seeing the way he hilariously charmed everyone around him and took everything in such stride. I've swooned over my fair share of love interests in books, but I don't think I've ever seen someone as boldly charming (and as aware of his charm without being egotistical!) as Teddy, and I really loved seeing him pop up throughout the book as he wore Ruthie down.

(Spoilers in this paragraph, so skip to the next one to avoid them!) I also really liked seeing how everything panned out in the end. I wasn't at all shocked about the Renata and Aggie revelation, since I saw that building up from the very beginning, but it was still really sweet to see that happening. The epilogue also took me by surprise, too -- I loved seeing Ruthie and Teddy together, but at the same time, it was really sad to not have Renata around anymore. But overall, the epilogue left off on a great note and left me feeling happy and fulfilled as a reader.

Overall, I absolutely adored reading SECOND FIRST IMPRESSIONS. If you're looking for a quick summer read that will make you swoon and sigh happily and squeal excitedly at all of the right moments, all while making you laugh as you follow along with Ruthie's antics, then I definitely recommend adding this one to your TBR! Seriously, everyone -- this is one summer beachside read that you absolutely don't want to miss.

1 comment

  1. I'm glad you liked this book! I'm very excited to read this one :)

    Tiffany Reads Books


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