Once and Again by Jana Richards: Review

November 27, 2013 Reviews 0

It’s not always that you get the chance to reunite with your first love. The pain of past regrets and the roadblocks that the present has thrown up can be problematic, but it shouldn’t be insurmountable.

First and Again is all about second chances.

What is First and Again about?

First and AgainBridget Grant is back in Paradise. Paradise, North Dakota, that is.

She’s swallowed her pride and moved back to her hometown with her daughter after her divorce and the loss of her catering company. Now she’s trying to navigate the strained relationships she’d left behind—including her first love, Jack Davison.

Jack never forgot Bridget, or the day she left town—and him. When Bridget caters a lunch at Jack’s tourist ranch, old flames reignite. They have more in common than ever—Jack’s also a single parent. Though they both try to keep things casual, Bridget, Jack and their girls are starting to look a lot like a family.

But Bridget’s only planning to stay in Paradise until she’s saved enough to relaunch her business. Jack’s invested too much in his ranch to leave. And with their daughters involved, both have a lot more at stake than heartbreak. How can they risk falling in love?

So, here’s what I thought of First and Again!

At its heart, First and Again is a story about second chances – not only in love, but with family as well.

The connection between Bridget and Jack is one that no matter the passage of time, it never quite severed. However, sometimes throughout the course of the story, there seemed to be a lack of communication. Jack was very quick to judge and Bridget had spent so long being a doormat to her ex and child that she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) stand up for herself. The romance, while well-written, was not as strong for me as I would have enjoyed. It seemed to focus more on the familial relationships than the romance between Bridget and Jack.

I loved the interaction between Bridget, Jack and their children. Each brings something out in the others that they weren’t able to draw out themselves. Even with issues that face them, you sense that when the HEA arrives, they will bond together to create a great family unit.

I have to applaud Jana Richards for including a character with special needs, and not making them into someone who elicits only pity. I was quite impressed with how the character of Leslie was shown to be a kid who is aware of her differences but is frustrated that she is unable to do things she’d like to. Jack’s behaviour towards his daughter is that of someone who truly loves his child, but is truthfully so terrified of losing her that he just tries to keep her free from perceived dangers.

First and Again was not a perfect read for me, however it was a lovely story of family and second chances.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Release Date: 7 October 2013

Purchase Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Carina Press – Kobo – iBookstore

Note: I was provided with an advance reader copy by Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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