Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

second first impressions
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Romantic Comedy, Forced Proximity

Steam Level: It’s Getting Warmer


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.

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Unfortunately, Sally Thorne wrote on my all-time favorite books because now I compare everything she writes to The Hating Game.  Second First Impressions was very good, and while I still like The Hating Game a little more, this book is close. 

My favorite thing about Second First Impressions is the characters.  I feel just as hard for Teddy as everyone else did.  He’s a bad boy with a heart of gold, trying to prove he finally has his stuff together.  Ruthie is your typical risk-averse stuck in a rut character.  I related to her quite a bit and could see how without a wonderful and supportive family like I had, she could easily fall into being trapped and taken advantage of.  I loved that Teddy and Ruthie were just what the other needed, making each other see how wonderful they are. 

One this book had over The Hating Game was the side characters.  Melanie was just the friend that Ruthie needed.  I loved how she worked hard to push her out of her comfort zone.  But the real stars were Renata and Aggie.  They are exactly who I want to be when I’m old (older).  I loved how they said what needed to be said and their antics with Teddy; it was just too funny. 

As I mentioned, this is about Ruthie and Teddy finding confidence in themselves and dealing with some clear family and mental health issues.  I wish that had been explored a little more, but I understand that this is a romantic comedy, so I am just happy these issues were even mentioned.  

I really enjoyed this one and would highly recommend it!


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