by Kieran Kramer
Series: Two Love Lane #3
Published on August 28, 2018 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romance
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?
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Despite enjoying the first two books in this series, Second Chance at Two Love Lane was definitely just not for me. As much as I love second chance romances (and considering that’s in the title, I knew it’d play a big role), I dozed through this book.
First, let’s talk PACING. Because there was none. It was all slow and dragging. Far too much self reflection and indecisiveness from the characters led to a really drawn out romance and not in the good way. Because I really wasn’t feeling the love here. And because I wasn’t into the chemistry between Ella and Hank, I was bored.
The inconsistent writing set the stage for the rest of the book and ultimately led to a lack of enjoyment on my end. The characters never felt. . . finished, as if the author was still learning about them and hadn’t figured out what they did and didn’t want. So then I didn’t understand their motivations or why they made the decisions they did. And, frankly, the way they acted, I didn’t think they should should be together (or with anyone) until they figured out what they wanted.
Neither Ella nor Hank felt real. They read as placeholders for characters that didn’t exist for this story so they become caricatures instead.
As for the story itself, it was just as scattered along with being over the top. I mean the entire premise of this series with the trio of matchmakers and that’s their main business. . . is that a thing? Do those exist? I’ve mostly gone with it but then combine it with the whole “we’re making a movie in your town and it just happens to include your ex and a potential rival romance?” What part of that am I supposed to get behind? I read romances for escape, absolutely, but I need to feel grounded in the world and this particular story combined with the other issues of the book just didn’t work for me.
Though the first two books were good, I wouldn’t recommend the third and I hope that if there are any other installments in the series that they can be read without this one. I still look forward to more by Kieran Kramer but this one was a bust.