Ballantine Books, Book Review, Chick Lit, Divorce, Friendship, NetGalley, Random House, Romance, Second Chance, Women's Fiction

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser


A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly handsome bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. Her husband of nearly twenty years has just left her for one of her friends, and she is let go from her office job–on Valentine’s Day, of all days. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and shaggy, tulip-covered lawn. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s antique novel collection. His gruff attitude–fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord–tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t felt in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.


I absolutely love this debut novel by Jackie Fraser. First of all, I love any story set in Scotland. Secondly, it made me laugh, cry, and stand up and cheer for Thea’s happiness.

Reading about Thea’s turmoil and anguish about her husband and best friend’s betrayal is so realistic and raw. But it’s Thea’s strength, kindness, and exceptional sense of humor that gets her through the bad times and opens her up to a sense of purpose and belonging. After all, who else could get the grumpy Edward Maltravers to hire a woman in his bookshop and actually make him laugh at her startling forthrightness and hilarious wit. I would love to have Thea as a friend any day.

Edward is so messed up when it comes to relationships and Thea is obviously not an expert with her recent past. So watching them become friends with their no-holds-barred honest conversations and LOL moments is so refreshing and certainly makes them an exceptional pair. Not to mention Thea is determined to fix a decades-long grudge between Edward and his brother Charles. And boy it’s a doozie!!

What can I say? I adore this charming and delightful story about finding yourself, finding love again, and finding peace in a beautiful setting with remarkable new friends.

Thank you to Ms. Fraser and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


The Bookshop of Second Chances

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Jackie Fraser is a freelance editor and writer. She’s worked for AA Publishing, Watkins, the Good Food Guide, and various self-published writers of fiction, travel and food guides, and self-help books. She reads a lot (no, really), in multiple genres, and is fascinated by the Bronze Age. She likes vintage clothes, antique fairs, and photography. She likes cats.