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.
I thought the premise of Second First Impressions was cool. A twenty-five-year-old woman who dresses like she’s closing in on one hundred meets a biker tattoo artist, and a romance goes from there. It is a nice concept, but I’m not sure how much I ended up liking the book.
Ruthie has anxiety because apparently, either the hero or heroine or both has to. She grew up in not the most loving household where her father was a reverend and was very hard on her. I’m not a fan of religion in books, and for a minute, I thought things were going to veer too far into a Christian book territory, but thankfully it never did. Sex scenes were pretty tame, and there were occasional mentions of her old church, but a discussion never came up.
Teddy was described as a womanizer, but I never got that vibe from him. His past conquests were mentioned, and one even showed up at some point, but he came off as more of a flirt and fun person. That may be because the story was from Ruthie’s perspective, and she didn’t think of him that way. He had his own family issues, but they ended up being resolved.
An issue I had with the ending is that Ruthie never got her big resolution with her family. There was one line in the epilogue that mentioned them and that they no longer believed she’d let $10k get stolen when she was a child, but that was it. I was crying when Teddy got his big talk with his sister, but there was nothing from Ruthie. It was very disappointing.
Second First Impressions ended up being a bit lacking for me. The support characters ended up being much more interesting than the heroine. After having to DNF Love at First and then not enjoying Second First Impressions, I’m bummed. Hopefully, my next read is good.