Review – Mrs. Sommersby’s Second Chance by Laurie Benson

About the Book:

She’s played Cupid for others

Now she’s met her own unlikely match!

Widowed society matchmaker Mrs. Clara Sommersby thinks handsome, self-made businessman Mr. William Lane is just the man for her neighbor’s overlooked daughter. He’s successful and confident, if somewhat emotionally distant, until suddenly—shockingly—his attention turns to Clara herself! She thought her days of romance were over, but is this younger man intent on giving her a second chance?

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                         Mrs. Sommersby’s Second Chance

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Clara Sommersby has thrived since the death of her husband ten years ago. During their marriage, all of Clara’s suggestions about managing their finances and investing fell on deaf ears.  Unfortunately, her husband’s failure to follow her advice led them to near ruination and the threat of debtor’s prison.  When she became widowed, her brother-in-law helped her out financially, and she’s now the successful, if secret, owner of the Fountain Head Hotel in Bath.

William Lane is a successful businessman, who has just opened a coffee shop in Bath, but has set his sights on a much larger venture.  He’s discovered that his property has hot springs, and with the huge popularity of the baths in town, rumored to be a cure for all ailments, he wants to invest in a spa.  The problem is that he doesn’t have the room on his property – but the hotel next door would be perfect – the Fountain Head Hotel.  He scrambles to assemble some investors, as this project is too large for him to finance alone.  Meanwhile, he’ll continue to study the town, and when the money is all in place, he’ll make his bid to purchase the hotel.

As Clara imbibes her usual morning drink of the town’s infamous water, she’s amused to notice a stranger eyeing, sniffing, and swirling his glass as if it were wine.  She can’t help but tease him about it, and they strike up a brief conversation.  Not long after, Lane encounters Clara again, this time in a messy tangle, thanks to her lovable spaniel, Humphrey.  Lane rescues Clara, and becomes an instant favorite of the mischievous puppy.  Perhaps he becomes a favorite of Clara’s, too, as she can’t deny she’s very attracted to the man, though he’s no doubt years younger than she.

Lane is certainly not looking for romance, but he’s very much drawn to the lovely Clara, whom he assumes to be approximately his own age of thirty-seven.  Clara is always quick to make comments about her own advanced age, which she finally admits to Lane is forty-five.  Lane is not put off by her age, and each time they meet, their attraction grows.  Soon they are sharing delicious kisses, but can there be any future for them?

Clara is terrified of giving up any control of the hotel which represents security and success to her.  She also is certain that Lane would need someone younger in his life, a woman who can provide him with children.  Lane takes Clara’s rejection as personal – just another person in his life who didn’t love or want him.  Lane was raised in a foundling home, no doubt the illegitimate child of parents who wanted no part of him.

MRS. SOMMERSBY’S SECOND CHANCE is one of those lovely books that just easily flows along, absorbing you into the lives of its characters.  Aside from the hotel business aspect, there is not a lot of external conflict, just a seemingly mismatched couple who longs for a future together that seems out of their reach.  The story is well written and definitely character driven, with sympathetic characters and a warm romance.  My heart broke for their insecurities – Lane’s about his birth, and Clara’s about her age and fears.  I love the touching gift Clara found for Lane, and how it led to their reconciliation and a heartwarming happy ever after.     ~Rose

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