Second Chance Grill: A Review

I have often read cozy mysteries (where there is a murder, but there are no gory, graphic details or scenes, and the person killed is someone you “love to hate”), but I would describe Christine Nolfi’s 2012 novel, first book in the Liberty Series, as a “cozy romance.”

There are all the elements required for coziness: a handsome, rugged man who works with his hands, a mechanic named Anthony; a female protagonist, in this case Mary Chance, who is a doctor, but has inherited from her eccentric Aunt Meg a cafe and grill in a small town, Liberty, Ohio; a leukemia-striken kid, Blossom, Anthony’s daughter ;and the combination of these elements makes for a fine, inspiring novel.

The book begins with the disastrous opening day of the Second Chance Grill. (Get the connection? Mary Chance is the second “Chance”, after Meg, to run the grill.) Nothing goes right, and the cook nearly runs off the entire town. Mary really gets off on the wrong foot. Blossom decides from first sight that Mary is perfect for her widowed father’s second wife. What she doesn’t know is that Mary is only taking a break from doctoring to escape from the extreme grief she feels over the sudden death of her closest friend, and she intends to take over the deceased girl’s father’s practice just as soon as she meets her obligation to her aunt to get the grill up, running, and making a profit.

Of course, Blossom nearly dies, and the reader meets Anthony’s zany family who immediately agree with Blossom’s pick for her stepmother.  So many miscommunications and plot twists happen that the reader never loses interest or becomes bored. There are thirty-one short chapters that keep the reader swimming in cliffhangers.  It is the perfect escape read, something all of us need from time to time. The next book will be titled Treasure Me, which probably involves the many antiques that make up the decor of the grill.

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Author: Rae Longest

This year marks my fiftieth year in AAUW (American Association of University Women). The Alvin chapter was begun in 1947, and as a new, green teacher to Alvin Independent School District, I joined in 1968. In the 80's we began a book group to share our love of reading, books,and fellowship with other women and girls who loved the same. We resurrected the group on-line in September of 2015. Eventually Powerful Women Readers folded as an on-line book club, but I kept the title and turned it into a blog. (See "Introduction,"first blog). This is my first experience at blogging or publishing anything and is becomes more fun with each blog posted. I am currently teaching as an adjunct at The University of Houston Clear Lake. This makes my 28th year there after three years at Alvin Community College and an almost-twenty year career as a classroom teacher with Alvin Independent School District. Reading and writing are "in my blood" just like teaching is. I hope you enjoy the blog.

9 thoughts on “Second Chance Grill: A Review”

  1. Dear Rae,

    It’s always a delight to discover a new review for the book that launched my publishing career. Presently Hallmark is considering Second Chance Grill for film; the plot for the second book in the series, Treasure Me, does indeed involve the antiques at the restaurant. Treasure Me is a Next Generation Indie Awards finalist.

    Thanks to the success of the five books in the Liberty series, I signed a traditional publishing contract in 2016. The third book in that new series, entitled The Season of Silver Linings, will be released by Lake Union in July, 2018.

    Thank you for your lovely review of Second Chance Grill.

    Warmly,
    Christine
    christine@christinenolfi.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am honored you took the time to read my review. I enjoyed the read, it being just exactly what I needed on the day I started it. I look forward to the other two Liberty books.

      Like

  2. I was intrigued by the number of readers who told me, at the recent library conference, “I’m reading light these days.” Many went on to say that, because of the difficult political climate, they are finding refuge in light mysteries and romances and other genre fiction these days.

    (I’m having trouble posting to WordPress accounts lately. I’ll try this again.)

    Liked by 1 person

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