BOOK REVIEW: Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

BOOK REVIEW: Second First Impressions by Sally ThorneSecond First Impressions by Sally Thorne
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From the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.

Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.


This was exceptional. I don’t even know how else to describe Sally Thorne’s writing other than to say that it just makes me feel good. Even though all three of her leading ladies are incredibly different, they were parts of them that were still somehow all relatable and warm and comforting. Sally’s books are something that you can pull out on a day full of sunshine at the beach to enjoy or on a gray day filled with sadness. No matter what you’re feeling when you begin them, I can guarantee you will feel better when you’re done.

That being said, I know a lot of people didn’t like 99% Mine as much as me. This book, and Ruthie in particular is nothing like that. I REALLY think that those that didn’t like Darcy’s abrasiveness will fall in love with Ruthie’s quiet but quick witted personality. And Teddy. Ohhhhh Teddy. Teddy is the embodiment of his name. A big, giant, teddy bear that you can’t help but want to love and squeeze tight and never let go. He grew up in a wealthy family but has always been treated as the lazy one, the one who will never take grown up life seriously, and I think that has really had a big impact on actually turning him into that person. However, once he’s forced to spend some time at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa as personal assistant to the sassiest, funniest, loveliest old ladies you’ve ever seen and gets to know Ruthie, things change.

Ruthie, who is a quiet, keeps-her-head-down and never-leave-the-Villa type of gal really hasn’t experienced much of what life has to offer. Between Melanie, her new assistant turned friend, and Teddy, that changes. She comes out of her shell (har har nod to the tortoises) and begins to quickly discover how having these two meddling in her every day life is starting to make her want things she hasn’t in a long time.

This book has it’s fair share of interesting plot points outside of the addicting romance, too. Finding out something from Ruthie’s past that has shaped certain aspects of her life now, finding more out about Teddy’s past and his tumultuous relationship with his sister, Rose, and even why Ruthie’s boss won’t e-mail her back. Sally Throne has hit it out of the park once again and I’m not even surprised about it.

Huge thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.♥

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  1. Sam@wlabb

    I actually liked 99% Mine, and so with what you mentioned here, I expect to give this all the stars.
    Sam@wlabb recently posted…Can’t Wait Wednesday!My Profile

    • Arielle

      I know I felt personally betrayed when so many people didn’t like it, lol! I hope you love it so much!

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