Thursday, May 11, 2017

Blog Tour: Sense & Second Chances by Brittany Larsen

Reviews * Giveaway
Sense & Second Chances by Brittany Larsen

Book Description:

Emily Carter is on the fast track to success when the unthinkable happens: a tragic accident claims the lives of her parents. Now Emily must set aside her dreams and raise her two younger siblings, Annie and Bryce. Emily and Annie are sisters, but that doesn’t mean they are anything alike. Whereas Emily reacts to the tragedy with her characteristic stoic calm, passionate Annie spirals into depression. Just when things seem like they can’t get any more difficult, Emily’s older half-brother and his fiancĂ©e arrive not to help, but to claim the family home he’s inherited from their parents. Without a place to call their own, Emily must take action—and fast. 

When an exciting employment opportunity arises in Utah, the displaced Carters decide to build a new life in a new home. But it soon becomes clear that their future prospects will go far beyond professional, as each sister is faced with an unexpected romance. Yet love is never simple, and in matters of the heart, one sister must proceed with caution while the other needs to take a leap of faith . . .

Tarah's Review:

Well, this was a book that I couldn't put down. I picked it up and just devoured it in hours. I loved Larsen's first book Pride and Politics (oooo, I should go reread that....) and I loved this one too.

Larsen writes the characters in a way that really makes you feel for them, cheer them on, want to thump some sense in them, and just melt when the timing is right.

If you read her first book, then you know Larsen is writing LDS fiction. The Mormon church is referenced and talked about and integrated into the story as well as the Jewish religion and culture. I loved the messages that came from having these two religions in the story, and the message of loving each other and suspending judgement. Isn't that something we all need to hear?

There is more substance to this novel than my typical fluff novels, but it's still super entertaining. It brings up difficult topics, questions, and situations. I can't wait to recommend this to my book reading friends. This is a book I can see myself rereading.

Andrea's Review:

Sense & Second Chances was an enjoyable read. I will admit I was a little thrown when the main characters were suddenly dating. It seemed like that was mentioned before they'd really gone out. I felt like I'd skipped a page or something between where they met and talked to being an item. But, other than that I enjoyed reading about them.

It was interesting seeing how Emily hurt so much by sticking to standards, but then seeing it turn out really well in the end. That was important. Sometimes we may think that it's not worth it, but this was a good demonstration that although we might not be immediately blessed for staying strong, in the long wrong it will be good.

Seeing Annie have a moment of weakness where she let her standards slip really had some devastating results. It was also important to see how judging played into the story. We all do it, but sometimes we really judge unrighteously. It isn't up to us to determine someone's intentions. Of course we need to be careful, but "casting the first stone" is important to keep in mind. I know I often fail at that.

This was a clean and entertaining read.

Rorie's Review:

I always get a kick out of reading a book and having it mention my hometown (or, near my hometown in this case.) I'm still trying to figure out how they drove through Heber to get to Park City when they flew there from California though...because the airport's in Salt Lake...unless they flew into the small airport in Heber, then that would work. See, all I have to do to solve my questions is just type them out. :)

Aside from that silliness above, I really enjoyed this book. I can't even imagine how tough it would be to lose your parents and then suddenly be thrust into the role of guardian. Not only are you grieving your loss, but you've got to be responsible for two younger siblings, one of whom is going through some rough mental health issues.

When Emily was trying to figure out where to move her family to, my first thought was "How could you not jump at the chance to move to the ranch and get out of LA?" Full disclosure. I am a country girl. I abhor city life. I did it for 5 years and that was 5 years too many for me. Now, before people start coming for me with torches and pitchforks, I realize there are some people who thrive living in the city. Emily seemed to be one of them. I just couldn't wrap my head around it. I was happy when they picked the ranch though. :)

I also really liked Joel. Emily and Joel hit it off almost immediately, but I could understand her reasons for not wanting to get too close to him. Differences in beliefs can cause so many problems in a relationship. I appreciated that she was more concerned with how Joel converting to the LDS faith would affect his whole life and relationship with his family than she was about her own feelings. I really liked that it was made clear in this book that someone needs to search out the truth for themselves, they can't just do it for someone else.

The author did a great job of helping us get to know all of the characters in the book. The difference between a good book and a so-so one (for me) is if I can get lost in the story, or if it just feels like I'm reading words on a page. I definitely got lost in this story. Two thumbs up from me. :)

Tour Schedule:

* May 12th

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Title: Sense & Second Chances
Author: Brittany Larsen
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: May 2017
ISBN: 1524401617
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase:  Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book