Second Chance Summer Review
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Ex-convict Gabe Fenton returns to the St. Lawrence Seaway to crash a wedding and look up his long-lost girlfriend, Katie. He needs to gauge her reaction to him and ask a question thatís been burning in his mind for the past nine years. Many years ago, he left the relationship in crumbles, with only a flimsy explanation, to do time for a hit-and-run violation. He hoped for her forgiveness but received anger in its place.

Americaís sweetheart and childrenís book author Katie Parker feels like a fraud. How can she understand children so well but fail as a mother herself? She couldnít even bring a child into this world that lived longer than a few days. And now the father of her lost child turns up again, after leaving her with nothing but lies and a broken heart.

Katie plans on restoring the old home place on one of the islands, but she didnít anticipate Gabe showing up and insisting that heíll do the workónever mind that he doesnít have a clue about carpentry. He just wants a second chance with Katie, but the pain in her heart may not be so easy to remove.

Second Chance Summer packs a powerful emotional punch without splashing over into maudlin territory. Katieís emotional scars can only lessen with forgiveness and boundless love, and she valiantly and admirably struggles to grasp both. Her anger and hurt, though painful to watch, are justified, and youíll feel their full impact as you read. Gabe doesnít get, nor deserve, an easy return; Katie has a backbone, and she keeps it rigid until he earns something more.

With courage and determination, Gabe manages to wring sympathy out of the reader, no matter what his past sins may have been. Though I didnít like how he left Katie, I still hoped that she might give him a second chanceóbecause not everything happened the way it seems. He had good reasons for his actions, and heís doing his best to atone for the past.

I donít normally like reading novels that are heavy on emotions, but sometimes itís hard not to get caught up in the tragic lives of well-rounded characters. Such is the case with Second Chance Summer. Ms. McAdam expertly traverses the murky waters of the human heart without making her charactersí feelings sound annoying.

Wholesome and engaging, tragic and magnetic, Second Chance Summer latches on and wonít let goóand it just might leave you with the hope that love can survive anything.

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