Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge #1) by Jill Shalvis
Published June 30, 2015 by Grand Central Publishing.

Links: Goodreads. Amazon. Book Depository. Barnes & Noble.

Source: Publisher via NetGalley. Thank you Grand Central Publishing for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: contemporary romance.

My rating:

Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge – and this bad boy – a second chance . . .


As you might know, I truly believe Jill Shalvis is the queen of contemporary romance. I only encountered her books last summer, when I read Simply Irresistible and though I only reviewed a small number of her novels here (the Wilder series), I actually read most of her works. I’m therefore comfortable in claiming that her series usually start off slowly, with us getting to know the small town she’s placed us in, meeting the extended family for the first time and so on.

Second Chance Summer is a very good Shalvis first book in a series. I’m sure that the sequels (and I hope there will be many of those) will get better and better, because we’ll know the people, we’ll care about some of the characters already and we’ll be eager to know more about them. I’m saying this because a 3.5 rating isn’t glowing but that’s because I’ve read Shalvis’s other novels and this one doesn’t quite measure up to some of them (my favourites include – but are not limited to – Rumor Has ItAlways On My Mind, and Animal Attraction).

Lily and Aidan are a typical Shalvis pair. They have a history together, they’d been a couple before but then a tragedy tore them apart and now they’re trying to see if they can make it work for the second time. The chemistry says yes, the sparks are flying but they’re struggling to see past the mistakes they’ve made, to forgive each other – and themselves. I liked the back-and-forth between them, the rekindling of the old flame. If I dislike something, it’s insta-love romance (I understand insta-lust though). I liked that Lily and Aidan decided to take a(nother) chance on each other.

One of the things I enjoy when reading Shalvis’s novels are the settings. Romance novels rarely make me care about the towns they’re set in, but I always envy Shalvis’s characters when I’m reading about the gorgeous scenery. I mean, the towns she uses are made up (hello, Lucky Harbor!) but have you seen her Instagram feed? :) She keeps posting pics of the forest and the lakes and it’s easy to see what inspired her writing.


Have you read any of Shalvis’s novels? Which one is your favourite? 

Do you prefer small town settings or the big cities in your romances? 

I’d love to hear from you! :)

  • You’re so right about the “first in series” thing, Kaja. I loooove Lucky Harbor, but it took until about book 3 for me to get seriously invested. I love it when everyone’s brother/sister/cousin/BFF/waitress/grocery store clerk gets their own book and their own HEA…swoon. Yep, I am a sap. ;) Second chance romances aren’t my favourite – I always prefer a good old fashioned enemies to lovers arc – but Lily and Aidan sound like a couple to root for. I like your allusion to the Wilder books, because it sounds like this new series could potentially have a lot in common with those books.

    Also, thank you for the link to Jill Shalvis’ instagram feed…I mean…paradise. All those nature shots with dogs look like they could be potential covers for her books, as long as a ruggedly handsome sexy lumberjack type was photoshopped in. OMG maybe that’s what you can do with your photos from the “Blue” post you did – romance novel cover for a Slovenian romance, LOL. But actually…that would be hilarious.

    • I don’t think she’s had a lumberjack hero before! Is this your Canadian soul speaking out, requesting rugged mountain men? :)

      Slovenian lumberjacks tend to be… err… middle-aged and un-sexy in my limited experience. I always feel like we’re missing out on a whole lot of sexiness, though, because our men in uniform (with the possible exception of soldiers whom I don’t find all that hot) are rarely thought of in these terms. I mean, cops are generally thought to be less than intelligent (LOADS of cop jokes), firefighters mostly excell at throwing raucous parties where everyone dances polka and drinks too much beer… Oh, maybe we could include the Search & Rescue guys in the photos? :) Anyway, what I’m saying is that American culture focuses on these “hero” jobs (also their sportsmen are thought of as celebrities…) and here we just don’t have that. Maybe for doctors, though?

      We’d have to find a sexy job for the hero… Like… Ummm… I find nerds sexy :D But I guess that would look weird with all the clouds and the open sky…

      Ok I’m stopping now, it’s nearly midnight and this joke has gone on too long ;)

  • Oh my gosh, yes exactly to Shalvis’s series starting off slow. When I first read Simply Irresistible (the first Shalvis book I read) I thought it was okay but nothing amazing. Then I went back to Lucky Harbor and discovered so many of these books that I LOVED!

    I’m really excited to get more into this new series of hers and see how things turn out.

    • Right? :) It’s like with any friendship/relationship, I guess – you have to get to know them, find out about their quirks and all and then you’re best friends (if a series was a person) :D

      I want to hear more about their sister – I think her book will be great :)

  • I have not read anywhere near enough Jill Shalvis. I own a few of her books, but I’ve only actually read Simply Irresistible. I think it’s because I stumbled across her when I was starting to get a bit tired of romance and needed a break, but I think now I’m reading an array of books I may need to check her out again for a fun read. From what I remember she was fun with a hint of serious, I need that. This book sounds like it could be pretty good. And I totally know what you mean about being jealous of the towns her books are set in, I get that with books like hers, where they are set in the same place with different characters, you feel like you’ve been there and want to go visit too every time you pick one of those books up.

    • Yeah her romances have some substance to them but they never cross into the too-serious – that’s something I often dislike with New Adult.
      I’d definitely love to visit Lucky Harbor! :)
      I’ve been tiring of romances too, lately, I’m trying to finish a particularly fat fantasy novel right now but review copies are breathing down my neck…

      • I know what you mean. I can accept the too serious from certain authors in the NA genre because I know they do it well, but it puts me off reading other books.
        I began to get so bored of romance, I’ve been trying to mix up my reading by hopping from genre to genre but it is way too easy to fall into that trap of enjoying a bunch of books in one genre until you get bored and I inevitably end up reading nothing at all. I am with you with review copies though, I now have 3 I seriously need to pick up!