Hello ladies and gents! Today I’ve got something for you I haven’t had in quite a while … a review! This review is of Lisa Renee’s More than a Second Chance.
Like I said, I don’t often post reviews anymore (though I will hopefully start doing so again soon), but I really need to because these kinds of amazing books need spotlighted!
In particular, this book contains amazing Christian themes and a unique storyline.
About More than a Second Chance
Cassie Chambers, a dedicated youth worker, is determined to rescue the troubled youth in the city of Perth, Australia.
Cassie has made mistakes but hasn’t allowed tragedy or divorce to stop her. She devotes every working hour at Youth Connect. But her own needs are neglected.
Chef Chris Evanson offers work experience to young men from Youth Connect. Cassie and Chris’s encounters become more than sassy bantering with a hint of attraction. Chris is a sincere romantic.
How will Chris respond when he finds out her secret? She must tell him before he falls in love. Will he believe she deserves more than a second chance?
To complicate matters, one of Youth Connect’s troubled teens needs rescuing. She’s pregnant and moves in with Cassie, bringing absolute chaos. Chris gains insight into what life with Cassie involves. Does he still want the total package? Is he Cassie’s true soul mate?
About Lisa Renee
Lisa Renee is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Omega Writers, Australia. With an Australian theme, she wrote the Single Again series featuring More Than a Second Chance and Acres of Promise, to encourage women to heal past wounds and to dare trust again. Lisa adores babies enough to have seven of her own. Recently, Lisa has taken up breeding Ragdoll cats instead of breeding humans. The tribe lives in Australia, where Lisa and her husband enjoy their writing projects, public speaking, and are on the pastoral team at their church
FIND LISA HERE:
One person will win an eBook copy of More Than A Second Chance by Lisa Renee.
Follow the Tour …
Use this schedule to follow the tour from stop to stop!
Monday, October 21st
Kellyn Roth / Opening Post
Kelly Barr / Interview with Lisa Renee
Thursday, October 24th
Jane Mouttet / Interview with Lisa Renee
Saturday, October 26th
Abigail Harris / Book Review
Monday, October 28th
Michaela Bush / Spotlight
Thursday, October 31st
Paula Marie / Book Review
Friday, November 1st
Abigail McKenna / Book Review
Saturday, November 2nd
Amie / Book Review
Tuesday, November 5th
Emily Harris / Spotlight
Thursday, November 7th
Chelsea Pennington / Book Review
Saturday, November 9th
AbbyRose / Book Review
Monday, November 11th
Rose / Spotlight
Lori Parrish / Book Review
Wednesday, November 13th
Kellyn Roth / Book Review
Thursday, November 14th
Connie Porter Saunders / Book Review
Saturday, November 16th
Jo A. Ruth / Book Review
Monday, November 18th
Kellyn Roth / Wrapup Post
Isabel Olivetti / Book Review
I really liked this book! I wasn’t at all sure if I was (for various reasons explained below, but mostly because I’m not a contemporary romance kinda girl), but soon after I started, I realized it was a unique one.
Some of the best parts were Chris (yes, he deserves his own part) and the themes, which ended up surprising me (even though I don’t 100% agree with all the author’s conclusions).
Cassie, the main character, took a while to grow on me. She just came across as a bit dramatic and whiny for a grown woman – she’s not a teen, so I expected more maturity which means less drama. Still, I came to respect her over the course of time. She was a hard worker with a good heart who was going through some tough stuff (which I of course didn’t know at the beginning, meaning my heart wasn’t as soft toward her as it could be – it just felt like she was whining a ton for no reason!).
Her life story was honestly super inspiring, even though it was like a BBC drama for a while then. (I was going, “Is she the Lady Edith of the modern world? Is Chris her better-suited-for-her Bertie?”) I was glad to see it unfold over the course of the story (and pssttt, glad it ended how it ended!).
Chris is a sweet guy. We all need a guy like him in our lives! At times he seemed a little too perfect, which would be my only complaint. Compared to Cassie, he just seemed like a saint sometimes. I was like, “Do you have any faults, Chris!?”
I’m not quite sure he did – and it felt like his past was a bit glossed over compared to Cassie’s. I would have liked to know more! It felt like there was just one conversation. I suppose that’s because he was so … over it. Which was FANTASTIC and a good example – just made him a little less interesting.
The Australian setting was unique. Could have used with a bit more description, but there was still of course a foreign atmosphere to it.
I almost wished the author had have spent more time digging into the uniqueness, but of course, that might have annoyed/confused some readers who are just looking for a good romance without worrying too much about the setting.
The themes were the place where I had hesitated when reading the blurb. I was like, “Oh, no … I’m going to disagree.” But divorce and remarriage after divorce is one of those things that, though I do have some strong opinions on, I have a little bit of wiggle room. I believe that God offers some grace in certain situations.
So I was hoping it wasn’t one of those things where the author is like, “Oh, yeah, she has a past. We’ll mention it twice and then be done because it’s not a big deal, God is love, He doesn’t care, blahblahblah.”
Thankfully … no. Cassie’s past relationships (of which there were two or three depending on what you call a relationship) were discussed in detail and dealt with. I think considering the subject, Lisa Renee did a good job handling some tough topics.
I didn’t necessarily agree with all the author’s conclusions, but I do believe it’s situational. Divorce is a horrible thing, but it’s not always avoidable (if the relationship is abusive, if the spouse cheats and refuses to repent, etc). I believe that it’s safe to assume that understanding God’s will for your life is the main thing in such cases.
The plot was a little slow-paced, and at times I found myself very tempted to skim as I wanted to get to the next “good part.” ? A little more action and a little less “Cassie bemoaning her life” would’ve been appreciated at times, too, though I suppose I understand why she would feel as she feels.
The book probably needs a quick developmental edit for clarity in some places. It wasn’t huge, but the book — especially the feelings of the characters — seemed to hop around a lot, and probably needed someone to comb it all out straight.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed it!
This is not your average Christian romance novel. There are tough themes and tough situations.
Drug abuse is discussed and witnessed, and Cassie works at Youth@Risk, a center for helping troubled youth get over addictions, etc., and move on.
A young woman seriously considers abortion and at a later time, a young woman seriously considers committing suicide.
At least two children conceived out of wedlock are dealt with within the story (probably both conceived on one-night stands), and the mothers have to deal with this.
Feelings of attraction between the main couple are mentioned, and they take extra care to control themselves.
There is also a bit heavier kissing than I’ve seen in most Christian fiction. But the kissing seems to be more realistic to me, too. As in, we’re not pretending couples AREN’T attracting to each other, but we are acknowledging that control is required in a Christian relationship. (There were some great conversations about this!)
Talks about infertility, miscarriage, and early term labor leading to a stillborn child. Talks about husbands and wives being unfaithful.
And I think that’s it! It was overall a sweet/clean novel that dealt with some more adult themes than your average Christian fiction book.
More than a Second Chance is an awesome, heart-touching debut that thoroughly explores many tough situations and relationships with grace. I’m really excited to see what the author comes up with next!
Have you read anything by Lisa Renee yet? (If not, what are you waiting for?) What themes do you think need to be addressed in Christian fiction nowadays? What do you think of the cover which was designed by Reveries Co-*start gagging at the blatant promo* Okay, okay, but I get to be a little proud, right?