Rules for Second Chances

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Pub Date Jun 25 2024 | Archive Date Jul 09 2024
St. Martin's Press | St. Martin's Griffin


Brimming with heart and heat, Rules for Second Chances explores the hardest relationship question of all: can true love happen twice...with the same person?

Liz Lewis has tried everything to be what people want. But she’s always been labeled different from everyone else in the boisterous world of wilderness expeditions—that is, if anyone notices her at all. Her marriage to popular adventure guide Tobin Renner-Lewis is a sinkhole of toxic positivity where she’s the only one saying no. In a mountain resort town built around excitement, introverted Liz gets…spreadsheets.

When she gets mistaken for a server at her own thirtieth birthday party and her last line of communication with Tobin finally snaps, Liz vows to stop playing a minor character in her own life. The (incredibly well-researched and scientific) plan? A crash course in confidence…via improv comedy class.

The catch? She’s terrible at it, and the only person willing to practice with her is a certain extroverted wilderness guide who seems dead set on saving their marriage one bonkers improv scenario at a time. But as Liz and Tobin get closer (...again), she’s forced to confront all the reasons they didn’t work the first time, along with her growing suspicion that there might be more to her social awkwardness than anyone realized. Liz has just eight weeks to learn improv’s most important lesson—"yes, and"—or she’ll have to choose between the love she always wanted and the dreams that got away.

Brimming with heart and heat, Rules for Second Chances explores the hardest relationship question of all: can true love happen twice...with the same person?

Liz Lewis has tried everything to be what...

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ISBN 9781250910127
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Average rating from 428 members

Featured Reviews

RULES FOR SECOND CHANCES is a truly unique love story that deserves high accolades for being honest, unbiased, and truthfully written. It follows the story of a lady, Liz, who feels like a bystander in her own marriage. Her husband, Tobin, can mesmerize a crowd, with them hanging on his every word, while she feels invisible. They don't seem to share anything together or do anything together anymore. They have chemistry and she does love him, but Liz walks away from her marriage and takes a stand. They both work for an outdoor tour company. Tobin is a popular tour guide and charismatic. Liz is on the quiet side and is good at spreadsheets. She is dying for a promotion at work, but falls short of obtaining it. She's to quiet, to insecure, to good at her desk job, to this and that, her boss says. So, Liz never gets a promotion that she has worked so hard for, that she joins an improv class. She wants to learn how to project herself brightly and gain that elusive magic just like her husband. Can she do it?

Liz is determined on discovering who she is and getting the world to see and respect her. Improv teaches her to let down her barriers, good and bad. So, she can recognize her own self worth. As Liz does improv with partners and Tobin, they learn many things about each other. Do Liz and Tobin get back together?

RULES FOR SECOND CHANCES is emotional, introspective and incredible. What an engaging, thought-provoking story! Who would think that improv can sustain a story, let alone a relationship, between two lost souls who need to find their way back together and really understand one another. The author does an outstanding job using a truly unique way to learn about a person in-depth. As Liz and Tobin battle through their hopes, feelings and dreams, I wondered if they would ever get back together. You have to read to find out what happens between them. It's a struggle, woven with a vast cast of characters who sometimes confuse and steer them in the right direction. But, who is to say what is wrong or right in a relationship? We all must decide for ourselves what feels right. This story comes together with the right touches. A fascinating tale with a powerful message.

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This BOOK! A sparkling debut with relatable and lovable characters and stunning prose. Tobin and Liz feel so real to me, like if I was ever in town, I could stop by for a beer. I loved this marriage in crisis story with such heartfelt and relatable moments to anyone who has been with a partner for a long time. And then the improv subplot added so much humor and levity and openness and trust to this story. I loved going on this journey with Liz where she really came into herself and started exploring what she wanted out of life and who she wants to keep in hers. Love love love!

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I will never be able to say enough about this book — and I’m going to keep trying to find the words. Amazing. Beautiful. Lovely. A must read.

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Sweet and surprisingly deep. I read this in one sitting and was rooting hard for the happily ever after the entire time. A beautiful story that I am sure many will enjoy! 5/5

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Wow! A heretofore unheard of combination of improv, backcountry adventures, neurodivergence and a very sweet and heartfelt romance between two semi-estranged spouses. Just heart-meltingly lovely and also funny and wise. A perfect book for grownups!

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a fresh take on second chance love/marriage in crisis. I feel like marriage in crisis books are so hit or miss and come from a place of anger. This book was from a place of love and really, growth. It’s easy to root for Liz and Tobin throughout the book and wanting them to love themselves and each other. The use of improv was very clever and seemless in the story. There were also some funny parts (Merman!). This is a must read for 2024.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing this book for review consideration via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Thanks to @netgalley @smpromance and @mnorthauthor for the early peak at Maggie North's debut, Rules for Second Chances. It releases on June 25, 2024.

This was an unbelievably tender, hilarious, and heartwarming story about a neurodivergent woman who decides she needs to be the main character in her own life. Her marriage has become the shadow of what it once was and she's tired of being passed over for promotions, yet expected to do all the operational work at her outdoor adventure company.

Enter improv classes. She takes them on the advice of her boss but learns so much more about applying the philosophy of "yes, and" to her life. When her husband Tobin offers to be her partner for improv exercises as they try to work through their issues, the story becomes heart-wrenching and hilarious. (I am still chuckling over the mermaid scene!)

It isn't easy to pull off the marriage-in-trouble trope, but Maggie made it look effortless. Her voice was sparkling, and I can't wait to gobble up her future books.

Add this one to your TBR!

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥
Tropes: marriage in trouble, armchair travel, small town

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Rules for Second Chances is a breathtaking, deeply romantic story about the second chances we give to love, each other, and most importantly, ourselves. Maggie North has the singular ability to hit you with truths that are at once hilarious and aching, stark and soft, painful and necessary, and she writes Liz and Tobin’s journey with an obliterating tenderness I felt in every corner of my heart. This book and its author land effortlessly among my all-time favorites.

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How do you save a marriage when you don't even know who YOU are? Liz and Tobin had my whole heart as they went on this journey of self-discovery through improv. Liz struggles to be the "main character" in her own life, a wallflower who fell in love with the life of the party. This second-chance romance encompasses so many life lessons about pushing away doubt and what others think and embracing the true you. North did a phenomenal job of showcasing Liz's journey to realizing her neurodivergence, and I appreciated being able to see myself in a character. It was poignant and beautifully written.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this eArc in exchange for an honest review!
I have never read a second chance romance trope book involving a married couple before, but this book follows Liz and Tobin and their achingly beautiful, honest look at themselves and their marriage. This book was tender, serious, funny, raw, and I was rooting for them the whole time. I will 100% read whatever Maggie North writes next.

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Smart, empathetic, and enigmatic. I very much enjoyed Maggie's writing style and keen observations about the human spirit. Tobin was dreamy and wonderful and I want him I WANT HIM.

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A beautifully crafted marriage-in-trouble romance that tugs at the heartstrings. This novel explores the delicate balance between love, self discovery, and the power of improv.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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