Everyone who knows me or reads this blog knows my absolute undying love for The Hating Game. I’m forever a loyal reader of Thorne’s for this reason alone…but, Second First Impressions seriously failed to impress me.
Ruthie is a manager’s assistant for a retirement community for the wealthy. It’s the only job she’s ever held, and it’s definitely aging her. That, and the two Parloni sisters with ridiculous requests that make the days last forever. This is her little piece of heaven, of simplicity and order. When the retirement home is bought out by a larger company, her boss heads out on a month long cruise and leaves Ruthie in charge.
This new company comes with baggage, however. Teddy, the boss’ son, is a tattooed mess trying to get it together and seek the approval of his family. When he runs out of couches, he ends up at the retirement community, an assistant to the Parloni sisters – and a wrench in Ruthie’s day to day. Despite her love for the straight and narrow, she finds herself drawn to him and his wild life.
I think one of the strengths of Thorne’s first novels was the strong personalities of her female characters, which falls short in this new book. Ruthie is meek and nervous, and doesn’t have the same sense of direction and assertiveness that Thorne’s other characters have had. I missed it. There’s nothing wrong with the way Ruthie’s character acts, other than I can’t relate to it.
ALSO, this may be totally ridiculous, but I hate romantic interests with long hair?? Hate it. Not into it. I don’t mind a man bun, but luscious locks make me A) jealous and B) convinced they must be some sort of man-child. Teddy didn’t do it for me. He was like the human version of every annoying golden retriever trait.
Bums me out that this book is not as good as The Hating Game. Sally Thorne set the bar high for the whole genre when she wrote that book, and nothing, even her own work, will ever measure up. I still quite liked this story, felt that the characters were well fleshed out (that is certainly one of her strengths in all her novels) but nothing will ever match the authenticity of Josh & Lucy. I will always be a loyal reader for Thorne, constantly chasing the high of an office romance like no other, but this one certainly didn’t make my favorites list.
There are tons of authors that hit their mark every time, but this one isn’t even going to make it onto my personal shelf or my library recommendations. This was a let down.
I received an advance readers copy of Second First Impressions by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.