Sally McCall is not looking forward to seeing the aunt who traumatized her when she was five years old, so the last thing she needs is to have her bag taken by someone else at the airport. Now she’s stuck in Chicago for four days with no clothes and not really able to afford to buy many replacements.
When the mysterious suitcase stealer calls Sally after finding her number in Sally’s diary, she’s even more shocked to discover that it’s none other than Harriet Locke—Sally’s first love. Harriet broke Sally’s heart when she moved away to college and called off their relationship shortly after, and seeing Harriet again dredges up all the old feelings, both good and bad.
The attraction and chemistry is still there, but long distance didn’t work for them when they were young. How can it work now when Sally lives in New York and Harriet lives in Chicago? Can Harriet convince Sally to take a chance on them again?
Harriet and Sally are both very easy to like and connect with. I loved how the sparks started almost right away when they reunite and I was totally on Harriet’s side, encouraging Sally to take a chance. They both have some growing and changing to do, which includes interrogating their priorities, and Lydon did a great job with their arcs.
They’re also surrounded by some highly entertaining characters, especially Sally’s aunt Paula and best friend, Taylor. I can’t quite tell if they were the angels or devils on Sally’s shoulder, but they were the perfect antidote to Sally’s tendency to overthink things and I immensely enjoyed every scene they were in.
The Writing Style
The story is nicely paced as Sally and Harriet rekindle a friendship and then move along to rekindling their romantic relationship, without ever dragging or moving too quickly. The flashbacks to their first relationship are also handled well so that we get the context of where they’d been and understand what their young love had meant, especially when it was taken away from Sally.
I’d never listened to a book narrated by TJ Richards before and this won’t be my last! She was an excellent choice for Twice in a Lifetime because she captured the characters so well, including the supporting cast. I found myself inventing excuses to keep listening because the performance and story together were just that good.
Everything worked for me! I loved the characters, the romance was delicious, and there’s a scene that I’m pretty sure is an homage to Thirteen Hours, which, just… whoa!
Second chance romances are usually super angsty, which can be fun sometimes, but Twice in a Lifetime isn’t like that and I adored that about it. The world kind of sucks for a lot of reasons right now, so I loved being able to hide away from it all with these characters. This book is so warm and lovely, I totally recommend it. And if you’re a fan of audio, definitely get it in that format!
Excerpt from Twice in a Lifetime by Clare Lydon
She spotted her suitcase first, with a chestnut-haired woman sitting beside it, her shoulders slightly hunched, the sole of her silver Oxfords tapping on the floor. She was facing in the opposite direction, and as Sally approached, she could see the woman had her phone in her hand, the familiar Facebook screen being scrolled through.
When Sally drew up behind her, she cleared her throat and put on her best smile. “Harriet?” she said, a weird feeling flowing through her body.
Because all of a sudden, she knew who this was. Even before she turned around, Sally knew this was not just any Harriet, but her Harriet. She knew, because she’d never forget those hands, or the way she smelt. She was still wearing the same perfume 17 years later, and every time Sally had smelt it in the intervening years, she’d always thought of her. How could she not?
Sally held out a hand as Harriet turned, staring back at her with those piercing green eyes. Eyes that Sally knew. A mouth she knew. A face that was so familiar, Sally felt like she’d traced it with her heart a million times.
And now, here she was, the suitcase thief.
“Harriet?” Sally repeated, taking Harriet’s hand in hers: it was warm, just like she remembered. And despite the intervening years, a shiver ran through her. She shook her head slightly, reminding herself she wasn’t 17 anymore.
Only, around Harriet, she’d only ever been 17.
“Harriet Locke?” Sally had to say her full name, just to be sure she wasn’t making this up on the spot. She glanced down at their intertwined fingers, neither of them letting go.
Harriet nodded, an incredulous smile on her face. “Sally McCall?” she replied, her voice a whisper. “What the hell?”
All around them, the hotel lobby buzzed with activity, but all Sally could see was Harriet. All Sally could feel was Harriet.
It was like she’d been transported back to her 17-year-old self in the blink of an eye, rendering her speechless.
Like nothing had changed at all.
Only, it had.
Sally was pleased to see Harriet looked just as freaked out as she was, too.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781912019526
- Publisher: Custard Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Custard Books
- Narrator: TJ Richards
Clare Lydon Online
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