Title: Renewing Forever (This Time Forever #2)
Author: Kelly Jensen
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: November 12th 2018
Page Count: 285
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Frankie and Tommy once dreamed of traveling the world together. But when seventeen-year-old Frank kissed Tom, their plans ended with a punch to the jaw and Frank leaving town without looking back. Thirty years later, Frank’s successful career as a journalist is interrupted by his uncle’s death and the question of his inheritance—the family resort where his childhood dreams were built. When he returns to the Pocono Mountains, however, he finds a dilapidated lodge and Tommy, the boy he never forgot.
Tom’s been keeping the resort together with spit and glue while caring for Frank’s uncle, Robert—a man he considered father, mentor, and friend—and his aged mother, who he refuses to leave behind. Now Robert is gone, taking Tom’s job with him. And Frank is on the doorstep, wanting to know why Tom is still there and why the old lodge is falling apart.
But before they can rebuild the resort, they’ll have to rebuild their friendship. Only then can they renew the forever they planned all those years ago.
I honestly expected to love this one. I really enjoyed the first book in the series and when I saw that the second book follows two of my favorite tropes, friends to lovers and second chances I got pretty excited. Unfortunately, this story happens to include a lot of my pet peeves and stuff that don’t work for me as a reader. I’m pretty sure that other people won’t find it that bad, but it’s just how I feel.
The writing. I really like Kelly Jensen’s writing, mostly the dialogue.
There wasn’t too much steam but the existing sex scenes were smoking hot. Good chemistry.
Sense of place. I even googled the locations mentioned. Very interesting.
The flashbacks! I liked them way more than the present days.
When it comes to second chance stories, what I’m looking forward to the most is the tension. All these pent up emotions and hard feelings that try to find a way out! We got none of that here.
Frank is supposedly the wronged party. 30+ years ago Tom punched him in the face, disappeared and left Frank’s letters unanswered. I kept waiting for bitchy, no nonsense Frank from book one to make an appearance and give Tom hell. Nope. Instead, he followed Tom around like a puppy, hearing half truths and excuses about the past. I don’t like it when the wronged party doesn’t act accordingly. Call it a personal preference.
Speaking of the past…I’m still confused as to why Tom had this major freak out all those years ago that made him hurt Frank so bad, ignore him for the all these years to come without ever reaching out to him. I have no answer other than Tom playing the martyr at a very young age. And the thing is that “the reason” is revealed way too late into the story. I honestly expected something bigger.
Also, I was expecting a totally different Frank than the one I got here. In the first book, Frank was a super interesting character. Here, he was just….flat. His jealousy over Simon’s happiness came across as petty and malicious.
The story was too long and wordy. I found myself spacing out or skimming.
So, despite its redeeming qualities (which are a lot), I ‘ll go with 2.5 stars based on my overall enjoyment. If you ‘re a fan of the author and the series, though, you might still like it more than me.
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