Cover Image: The Bookshop of Second Chances

The Bookshop of Second Chances

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Member Reviews

Pros: books, books and more books
Cons: the leading man is an ass. His antics are dreadful and I really dislike him for most of the book. Thea was pretty cool and full of gumption but the rest of the characters were flat and boring. The premise was ok but it felt really flat. Sorry, this one was not for me.
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Wow did I not think I was going to love this as much as I did! Finally a book that has "bookshop" in the title that ACTUALLY takes place in a bookshop!

Thea Mottram has just found out that her husband has been having an affair with a friend and is leaving her. Not only that but that she is losing her home as well. Lucky for her, a distant uncle has passed and left her all of his belongings- including an impressive antique book collection inside a dusty yet, cozy cottage in the Scottish countryside. Confused about her life, she packs up for a quick trip to sell the cottage and go about trying to put her life back together.

But fate has other plans.

Thea finds herself seemingly "stuck" in the quaint town with a new part time job at a bookshop working alongside the handsome-although gruff- owner, Edward. What unfolds over the near 500 pages is simply easy reading. Yet, I honestly could not quit thinking and reading about Thea and Edward and the town around her that has come to feel like home.

I absolutely found this book to be balm for the soul. I am so happy I was gifted a copy from Netgalley for an honest review.
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The story and the characters were charming and the remote Scottish setting was delightful.  Thea’s story will appeal to readers who love books about books and how they bring readers, friends, and even lovers together.  It also has appeal for readers who want characters who’ve had their lives upended to have a second chance at happiness.  A fun and romantic but also thoughtful novel.
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The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser
Source: NetGalley and Ballantine Books
Rating: 4/5 stars

The Bottom Line: Thea Mottram is one of my favorite character types – the woman wronged, the woman whose life has been turned upside down but refuses to succumb to the wight of it all.  Rather than wallow in self-pity, Thea makes for a small coastal town intent on setting things right with her late relative’s estate and simply taking a few weeks to reset and determine the trajectory of her life from this point forward. 

As a few weeks turns into a few months, Thea finds she not only likes the small town and her cozy cottage, but she also likes her otherwise grumpy and irascible boss at the local bookstore.  The bookstore is something of a safe haven for Thea and she learns the business, she learns how to improve the business and that brings a great sense of accomplishment.  Even her surly boss is impressed by her endeavors and encourages Thea to soldier on.  To literally everyone’s surprise, Thea and her boss not only get along but seem to genuinely like one another and that sets tongues a wagging about town.  

Yet again, I find myself on the opposite end of the star rating spectrum with this book.  I enjoyed this read.  Between Edward’s sordid past, Thea’s recent life-altering experiences, and the locals, the setting for this particular story is just perfect.  Small towns always breed a bit of crazy and I find myself drawn to this setting again and again.  The Bookshop of Second Chances is exactly what it bills itself to be and for more than one character a second chance is exactly what is given.  Make no mistake, this isn’t a straight line from sad and awful to HEA, but a bit of winding road with plenty of bumps and potholes along the way.  The bumps and potholes make the second chances and the eventual HEA totally worth it and makes this book a solid stand alone read.
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A charming and delightful story set in Scotland, The Bookshop of Second Chances is a heartfelt look at finding yourself, finding friendship, and discovering love. 
Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title. All opinions and mistakes are my own.
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This book took me a while to get through but overall I think it was good. 

It has a bit of a slow start, so I didn't immediately love it but the main character Thea is very endearing. After her husband of 20 years leaves her for her best friend, she finds herself starting over in a small village in Scottland in a house that a distant relative left her. As she explores the town, and you get to meet all the side characters (town locals), you slowly see her start her new life - she gets a job at a bookshop, befriends the grump bookshop owner, and makes a lot of friends along the way. 

My favorite thing about this book was the setting, because, with the way Fraser writes, you can picture yourself there, and any time a book makes me feel like I'm traveling is a win.
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I loved this book. It would make a fantastic BBC movie. I picture Emily Mortimer, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Colin Firth. Thea is having a bad day (month, year) when she inherits a house in Scotland from her great uncle. She leaves London to check it out and meets brothers -- one who wants to buy the house & one who wants to buy the books. Instead of doing either, she takes a job in an antiquarian bookshop and decides to stay a while. 

While not an unusual plot (there are so many books & movies that start like this!), the characters are so well drawn and endearing I was quickly lost in the story. Not action-packed, this is a book for fans of subtle British comedy/drama. Loved it!!
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I would rate this 4 stars. I found the story well written and witty. The story follows Thea, after finding out her husband was having an affair, also finds out she has inherited a home in Scotland from her uncle. As in all romcoms, her short trip turns into something much more after she decides to stay, and finding her second chance at love. I thought overall, the book was cute and the characters were likable,
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A book about books will always steal my heart. This book was a delight to read and I recommend to anyone who needs a pick me up.
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What's ore delightful than a book about a bookstore set in Scotland? Pretty much nothing.

I loved this cozy story of Thea, a woman starting over after her husband cheats with her best friend. It's impossible not to root for her as she starts over in rural Scotland where a great uncle has left her a house full of books. She takes a job working for a grumpy bookseller she ends up being attracted to. Their relationship is realistic and nicely paced and addresses real, adult issues. 

This book is truly heartwarming and reminded me a lot of one my favorites from last year, The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett. I highly recommend it.

Thanks to Random House- Ballantine and NetGalley for the copy to review.
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This was a dnf for me. I had a hard time getting into it. The writing was very descriptive but also somehow not descriptive enough? I just didn’t enjoy it all that much 


Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to review. All thoughts are my own.
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What a fun read! I love that it was a post-divorce story but never felt too heavy. Most of the time romantic relationship drama in books bores me but not the case this time. The brothers’ strained relationship was super toxic and kind of dragged this down for me.
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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital copy of this book in exchange for a fair review of this book. 

When I see that a book takes place in Scotland, it’s an easy decision to pick it up. This book did not disappoint! The characters are well developed and their storylines evoked real emotions for me. I loved Edward’s character- I mean, who doesn’t love a good grump! 

I have recommended this to several friends and I bought a copy for my mom, who is from Scotland. I really enjoyed this book and would read again!
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The romance in this book is at a slow simmer for the first half and really kicks into gear in the second. So push through if it's not grabbing you right away. 

Thea is a sympathetic heroine. Her husband has left her for her friend and she has conveniently also inherited a cozy house in Scotland at the same time. She gets a job at the local bookshop while trying to figure out what to do with her life next. She meets the grumpy and much in need of a therapist shop owner, Edward. A friendship grows and complicated emotional turmoil ensues. 

This is a high emotional drama between two very damaged people who are, luckily, both very self aware. They know they can do and be better versions of themselves, together. You will root for them. 

I'm rating a 4. I could've used some more descriptive love scenes and less emotionally charged dialogue in the bedroom. It would've been great to get a couple chapters from Edward's POV too (he's kind of a mysterious Mr. Darcy type. You never know what he's really thinking).

It was a very dramatic read and hard to put down once it kicked into gear. It will give you all those teenage first love tingles.
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This book was, unfortunately, not for me. I immediately wanted to pick it up after reading the story description; a more mature main character who works at a bookshop in Scotland. What's not to love? Let's start with the things I enjoyed about this story: the bookstore and coastal Scotland setting, a grumpy love interest, and the rebuilding-your-life and friendship themes. On the other hand, I found the writing to be very flat and one-dimensional. It was almost like reading diary entries. There was a lot of telling rather than showing, which almost made me DNF the book all together. I didn't really buy into some of the characters and their existing relationships (i.e. Edward and Charles), and I thought the romance was slapped together with no real chemistry, development, or reasoning. It just wasn't believable. Some of the profanity took away from the story. I'm not religious and swear like a sailor but the over-usage of "Jesus Christ" and "Christ" was just completely unnecessary and distracted from the rest of the dialogue. Speaking of dialogue, most scenes read like you were listening into a phone conversation with two of the most dull people imaginable. After finishing a scene, I'd ask myself, "Why did that matter? Why was that included in the story?" It all felt half-baked and generally unpleasant.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group, and Ballantine Books for the ARC!
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I had a hard time connecting with the characters in this book. I wasn’t super interested in Thea’s story and Edward was very unlikeable. The premise sounded cute but it just wasn’t for me. I stuck through as long as I did because the writing was good.
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Give me all of the books about bookshops, please and thank you. This was such a fun read! It's incredibly charming, and I really enjoyed the main characters and their relationship.
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What an uplifting book! A romance between a 40-somthing heroine (Thea) and her book-shop-owner boss (Edward). But, wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's how it starts. Thea loses her job and her husband of 20 years (he leaves her for one of her good friends!) at practically the same instant. As she is crying (she cried a lot at the beginning of the book but don't let that put you off) and sinking into a deep depression, news arrives that a childless great uncle in Scotland has died, leaving her his cottage and his enormous collection of first editions. Why? Because Thea once told him that she'd rather read than almost anything else. So, she journeys up to "visit" her inheritance--to sell everything because, as a result of the divorce, she is poor. But she is seduced by the picturesque Scottish village, makes friends with the locals, including the owner (Edward) of an antiquarian book store. Romance? Yes. And it unfolds in the loveliest way. There's something with Edward's younger brother (now a laird) but I won't spoil it for you). I will tell you that I was sad when I finished the book and, indeed, I read the last chapters rather more slowly than necessary.
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It moved slowly at times.  It uses the plot found in a lot of rom coms. Infidelity, rich relative, and cranky man in the new location.
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The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser is contemporary fiction. Thea Mottram is having a bad month. She’s been let go from her office job with no notice—and to make matters even worse, her husband of nearly twenty years has decided to leave her for one of her friends. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs. Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and lovely but neglected garden. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s book collection. His gruff attitude—fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord—tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t experienced in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.

The Bookshop of Second Chances is a story that I was not sure about in the beginning. I was not sure what category or sub category to label it is, and as I became invested in Thea's life it did really matter to me anymore. Thea had a rough month, getting fired for any reason is hard and then having a marriage split that includes friend and home division on top of it is horrific. I could understand the emotional and mental crisis Thea was going through- wondering what went wrong and what could possibly come next. I think that the fact that I am in the same age range as the main characters made it much easier to picture myself in their shoes, and empathize with the feelings that these kind of life changes bring on. I also liked that while there is romance there, and it certainly helped Thea move forward, it was not the key to what helped her see her worth and find her place. I liked reading alone as she made friends, and figured out how to move forward. I liked how she continued to try and make things better for those around her without compromising her own values or needs. When waves of trouble hit she dealt with it (got some good cries in because we all deserve that) and then pivoted and  adjusted. I am not sure that I could have been so calm and collected as Thea given the same circumstances, although her worries lined what perfectly with what I think I would have been thinking in her place. I will be thinking about these characters for a while now.

The Bookshop of Second Chances is a story that took a minute to grab me, but now after finishing it will not let go.
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