The Second Time Around (Susan’s Review)

Title: The Second Time Around
Author: Rowan McAllister
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Susan
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


Though born into wealth and privilege, Jordan Thorndike can’t keep pretending. He’s never going to become the lawyer his parents hope for or provide the daughter-in-law and two-point-four grandkids they expect. Faced with an ultimatum—carry on living the lie or get out—Jordan leaves with only what he can pack in his BMW. Homeless, jobless, directionless, Jordan heads to one of his mother’s pet charities: Better the Second Time Around Rescue Ranch. With his family name and charm, he has the staff eating out of his hand in no time—except for one man. Russ has never been handed anything, and he resents the spoiled rich brat using the ranch to live out a fantasy. Though Jordan is determined to prove himself to Russ through hard work, family and old wounds complicate matters. Will Jordan realize that what he sees as an escape is real life for most people? And can Russ accept that Jordan can grow—and that he wants him?

This is the 3rd book I’ve read about a spoiled brat trying to get by on a ranch and falling in love with a cowboy. And it seems I can’t get enough of this particular trope. While not as good as Someone Worth Saving or Edge of Forever, it was still a great book! There was one thing that really bothered me though and that was that

Russ kissed his ex while he was in a relationship with Jordan.
There were some extenuating circumstances that led up to that, but it still bugged me.

Jordan’s parents didn’t take his coming out very well. His father basically told him he would pretend it didn’t happen and Jordan could just go on with law school and date women. Well, Jordan didn’t want to live a lie anymore, so he packs a bag and get into his car.

Now homeless, jobless and apparently penniless, Jordan has no idea what to do and where to go. He suddenly remembers the ranch he spent several summers of his childhood on. The rescue ranch his mother donates a lot of money to. They have to take him on as a volunteer, right?

When Jordan arrives at the range, he is determined to charm the pants off of everybody so he can stay and help out for room and board. Luckily Phyllis recognizes him and is glad to have him help.

The ranch hand Russ is not so happy though. He treats Jordan like the spoiled brat Russ thinks he is. And yes, Jordan maybe spoiled and used to be rich, but he also works hard and is great with the animals. Now all he needs to do is make Russ see that…

I loved Jordan. He tried so hard to do everything right, and I was a bit angry with Russ for not seeing that. But of course I loved that Jordan just had to prove him wrong.

I also really liked that these guys had a good open talk after they got together about what they expected from each other. That was refreshing. Perhaps a bit soon, but still, I liked it.

There was one thing that I really didn’t like, and that was that Russ suddenly started doubting Jordan when

his ex came back into town. But what I really hated about that was that they kissed when Russ was feeling vulnerable.
I don’t think it added much to the story, just a bit of drama while there was enough other stuff going on to keep things interesting.

But besides that this was a nice story with some hurt/comfort and a rich kid finding his way in the world. We also had rescue animals and a biting ostrich. Together this made for quite an enjoyable book.

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Galley copy of The Second Time Around provided by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.