07 March 2013


Title: Second Rate Chances
Author: Holly Stephens
Publisher: January 11th, 2013, 225 Pages
From: the Author
Format: eARC
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis: Sam wakes up in the hospital expecting to find his girlfriend by his bedside. Instead, he finds a bleached-blond diva, claiming to be his fiancée, hovering over him. When he learns that he's just woken up from a coma and has lost the last three years of his life, any semblance of stability he thought he had falls down around him. All he wants – all he needs – is Lil.

After countless visits with her shrink and too many sleepless nights waiting for the one man she loves to walk back through the door, Lil wants nothing more than to separate herself from the life she used to have. But the moment Sam smiles at her, Lil knows it's going to take more than self-restraint to stay away.

Second-Rate Chances is about a young man fighting to regain his memory, and the one thing in his life that felt real. A modern-day Samson and Delilah, it's a look at what it means to love and be loved, and to fight though it seems hopeless.

Review: 3.5 Stars - Second Rate Chances, the debut title from author Holly Stephens is an emotional tale of what happens to a forever kind of love when a devastating event changes two people’s lives.

Sam and Lil found each other on the first day of their freshman year of college when moving into the dorms and soon after the two became inseparable. Their story begins in the middle, which is their past and continues in the present dealing with the aftermath of what was nothing but heartache for the two.

An accident leaves Sam without the memory of the last three years and he unintentionally forces Lil back into his life to try to help him recover the years he’s lost. Memories she would rather not relive with the man who helped create them. The past is told in these memories of the sad events that ultimately became too much to bear for both Lil and Sam.

These two characters are likeable in the present tense yet because I figured out pretty early on what was the cause of the two finding their forever a thing of the past, made me question who both were as people. Especially Sam… I mean wow. I can’t even imagine what was going on between those two when everything came crumbling down on them but I thought maybe that was my proof that where they ended up those three years later was where they were supposed to be? Thankfully I’ve never had to face such devastation in my life so I can only imagine how horrible of a place they would both find themselves in and maybe because of that I should give them more credit than I do.

Yet in the end I do agree to them finding their way to their second chance and while these two might have been stubborn and hurting, it takes Sam’s accident and coming out of a coma minus three years of memories for these two to get the second chance they deserved. I tend to believe that people should for the most part have a chance to make a wrong, right.

The main hitch in the whole story is a doozy… Sam’s engaged to be married, and in a few short weeks! Yes, enter a different set of problems and emotional crap for poor Lil! I felt like this girl just couldn’t get a break. Speaking of Sam’s soon to be bride. Ummm, are you kidding me?! Talk about selfish and looking for a smack! What the heck lady!! That was a HUGE frustration for me in the story. I think in a way it’s one of the things I felt that the conclusion for her part was… off or lacking. She might be cold hearted but if the main two characters are growing shouldn’t Sam have started his “new” life off with a bit more of a conclusion? Shouldn’t he have been a better person from what he’s learned of the last three years of his life?

All in all the writing is smooth and a fairly quick read. While I loved reading this title the story being predictable and the weirdness here and there from the characters made me like the characters slightly less than desired. That’s sadly why I brought my star rating down a bit. The overall enjoyment for reading their interesting story won out and offered a balanced for any ill feelings I might have had while reading.

 If there was a sequel I’d defiantly be extremely eager find out what comes next for these two.

I do recommend this title to fans of a good contemporary.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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