Second Chances by P.J. Fiala


Second Chances Cover
After a nearly 30 year marriage to a man suffering from depression, Samantha Powell has decided a nice quiet, drama-free life is for her. She has demons to combat and self-esteem issues to overcome. She has decided to sell her house and find a nice little condo that places virtually no maintenance demands on her and allows her to work on herself for a while.
Grayson Kinkaide has waited his whole life, all 55 years of it, looking for his soul mate, the other half of himself. He suffered through an awful marriage with a manipulative, selfish woman who almost brought him to his knees. The only things that kept him strong were his children and his growing business.
When Gray meets Sam both of their lives are changed drastically. Sam’s dream of a drama-free life is jerked from her grasp as Gray’s exes do everything in their power to tear them apart. Gray finds himself having to fight, hard, to convince Sam they are meant to be together. 
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What drew me to this book was the fact that it’s about an older couple (each previously married around 30 years) who find love together.  I get really sick of books about teens or people in their 20’s finding love.  Let’s hear it for the “mature” characters!!
However, I have to put this book firmly in the “meh” category.  It has some redeeming qualities, but also falls quite short in many other ways.
Sam’s husband died in an accident a year ago.  By chance, she meets Grayson, who is a few years out of a divorce from a very manipulative woman.  Grayson has sworn women off, and gets his kicks from one night hookups.  Then, he meets Sam and he’s smitten.  They hit it off quick and soon find love with each other.
But not all is meant to be.  Sam’s insecurities and low self-esteem from her previous marriage rears its ugly head and Grayson’s baggage continues to plague him.
When Sam is threatened, will she make it out alive to even find out if she and Grayson can find happiness together?
Ok, so, the good.  I liked Sam and Grayson together.  Their sexual relationship was surprising to me, but in a very good way.  Grayson is kind of an alpha dominant in and out of the bedroom and that was sexy as hell.  And Sam is just sweet and you can’t help but hope she’ll let go of her past so she can enjoy true happiness in life, I was in her corner.  Together, they are very sweet together.  I enjoyed the love and sex aspects of this story quite a bit.
My major problem wasn’t the plot (which was a bit predictable, but I can live with that), it was the writing.  This book is written in third person and alternates the voice between Sam and Gray in the third person.  This was confusing at times, since it seems to sweet perspective sometimes within the same paragraph.  I think you really have to have third person mastered in order to pull it off effectively, and I’m sorry to say that I didn’t feel the author has mastered this.
Also, it seemed to have needless detail in a lot of scenes.  Sam will do something, and then she’ll tell Gray in the next paragraph that she’s doing it.  It was awkward to read and just strange in this way.  The flow was not great and just didn’t work for me.  It’s not the worst writing on a technical level that I’ve come across, but I found that it detracted from my enjoyment of the story quite a bit.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad book, but I wouldn’t consider it a good book either.  Like I said, it’s a firm “meh” for me.  3 stars.
I was born in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri named Bridgeton. During my time in Missouri, I explored the Ozarks, swam in the Mississippi River, played kickball and endless games of hide and seek with the neighborhood kids. Spending summers in Kentucky with my Grandmother, Ruth, are the fondest childhood memories for me.
Author PicAt the age of thirteen, my family moved to Wisconsin to learn to farm. Yes, learn to farm! That was interesting. Taking city kids and throwing them on a farm with twenty-eight cows purchased from the Humane Society because they had been abused, was interesting. I learned to milk cows, the ins and outs of a breeding schedule, feeding schedule and the never ending haying in the summer and trying to stay warm in the winter. Our first winter in Wisconsin, we had thirty-six inches of snow in one storm and were snowed in our house for three days! Needless to say, I wasn’t loving Wisconsin.
I am now married with four children and two grandchildren and a new one on the way this summer. I have learned to love Wisconsin, though I still hate snow. Wisconsin and the United States are beautiful and my husband and I travel around by motorcycle seeing new sites and meeting new people. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are interested in where we are going and what we have seen along the way. At every gas station, restaurant and hotel, we have people come up to us and ask us about what we are doing and offering advice on which roads in the area are better than others and great rides others have been on if we are interested.
I come from a family of veterans. My grandfather, father, brother and two of my sons and one daughter-in-law are all veterans. Needless to say, I am proud. Proud to be an American and proud of the service my amazing family has given.