Second Chance At Two Love Lane
Two Love Lane (Volume 3)
by Kieran Kramer
St. Martin’s Paperbacks | St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: 08/28/2018 Available for Pre-Order
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
From USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer, comes Second Chance at Two Love Lane, a fast-paced tale about the intoxicating effects of fame and what happens when a past romance is rekindled behind the silver screen.
Sometimes love is waiting in the second act…
In her professional career, Ella Mancini plays matchmaker at Two Love Lane but, in her personal life, she takes the stage at the Dock Street Theatre. Now she has a chance at a new role in a Hollywood movie that happens to be filming in Charleston—one that features a big-name actress, Samantha Drake. Long ago, Ella passed up a major audition while awaiting a marriage proposal. Not only didn’t she get the role; she never got the ring, either. Instead, her boyfriend Hank went on to become a huge film star…leaving her, and all her dreams, behind.
But now Hank’s back in Charleston, cast as the male lead in the same movie Ella’s in. In spite of the dramatic tension off-screen, he and Ella try to stay cool onset. But when their old feelings start to heat up—at the same time leading-lady Samantha tries to play cupid—all bets are off. How can Hank convince Ella, after all this time, that she’s the one he really wants to be with in real life—and that some happy, rom-com endings really can come true?
This is a sweet book, a little steamy but with a lot of the action deferred. The real action is two people trying to understand who they are — in the world and their careers, and to each other. They are both living busy, superficially happy but, somehow, empty lives. It helps to have a lot of people pushing these two together, physically and through example and experience.
While Hank is successful he is a bit ruled by his career. He has one funny cousin with a devil-may-care attitude and a career she owns, a new work-friend who has been in their career area for a while and doesn’t want to see him as lonely as she is. Then we have Ella with her very successful career as a matchmaker and a full family life. That family life is about to blow up, with lessons about who one is, and how.
I did not really believe Hank’s character — he is either portrayed as a slick character or he is thinly drawn. He does feel like a man who is lost in his success. I feel some of the other characters are too unreal, caricatures: the Nonnas, and the agency receptionist is a mysterious cartoon of a southern church lady and QE2 fangirl. Seriously, I cannot understand what is meant between the lines on her.
Kieran writes very sweet, heart-felt stories. I wanted the couple to hend up together, but, I know in any romance there has to be a bresak-upo before the HEA. It’s nice, and a little unusual in my experience with the genre lately, to see a woman stick to her guns.
The Italian family activity feels a little artificial and nothing like my Northern Italian relatives. That’s fine as long as it’s presented as individuals and not as stereotype. I’m not sure what Kieran was aiming at with the Italian family scenes.
All in all the book is sweet and diverting. I cared about the characters and how they ended up and was curious to see which character compromises the most. Without the good friends in each person;s camp the ending might not have been as happy. We all need help sometimes; and ultimately, the message of this book is that friends and family are there and want to help when we have trouble.