Review by Jenny & Gitte
Gitte: Sometimes you come across a story that as soon as you start it, you just know that it will leave an emotional mark and stay with you forever. The kind of story that hits you so hard; written beautifully raw and honest, but most of all the kind of story that grips your heart so tight and doesn’t let go, not even after having finished.
Second Chances by T.A Webb is just that kind of story and this Author and his words have without any doubt made a permanent home in my heart.
Second Chances tells of heartbreak & pain, self-discovery and redemption and of course the many sides of ‘a giving loving heart’….Love in its most real and basic form and ultimately the love you find in true friendship.
Second Chances was real, it was honest. It was beautiful and ugly. It tore at my heart and it made me cry, laugh and smile. I loved the brilliantly written characters…all the characters. If I could have, I’d have jumped into my kindle and hugged the hell out of every single one of them. That’s before grabbing them out the kindle just so they could stay with me.
“Now I’m yours.”
No question, one of the most emotionally written and beautiful stories I have ever read about the grief of losing a loved one, forgiving another and being forgiven in return; believing that hope will always exist and that love is always there no matter what even through second chances. If you open your heart and eyes it is all there for you to experience, feel and believe. The heart is big and it loves with passion.
I’m so mindful not to give away too much in this review as a beautiful journey like this should be read and experienced with fresh unknowing eyes.
So Jenny, no question, Second Changes will be on the ‘Best Of’ list at the end of the year and T.A Webb is now an automatic one-click for sure. Don’t you agree?
Jenny: I absolutely agree I will be 1Clicking this brilliant authors work…every time…no hesitation!
Gitte, there is no question whatsoever that this book will not only have a place on our “Best of List”, but also a place in my heart, because it has managed to take up permanent residency right there.
“I need you to know I’m him. I’m that guy.”
“What guy babe?”
“The guy who would do anything to deserve a man like you”
At the end of Second Chances I wanted to message T.A. Webb and ask him if he wanted me to return his heart and soul because it felt like he had left them on the pages of Second Chances, such was the intense personal and “real” feel of the story. Almost as though the man himself was inside this book.
Second Chances was definitely emotions stripped to their very rawest form. Breathtakingly beautiful are the words that sprung to mind the minute I closed this book.
“Why was it raining inside my office, I thought. There were drops of rain on the letter.”
You know Gitte, every now and then you read a book that moves you so implicitly that the thought of penning a review actually becomes an intimidating process because you feel anything you express cannot adequately do justice to the words you’ve been privileged to read.
That’s how I’m feeling writing this review for Second Chances….just how do I do justice to this profoundly beautiful piece of work? Fellow readers and friends often ask me why I enjoy reading MM books. When I’m asked that question in the future, I will simply reply….go and read Second Chances and you’ll know why.
What I really felt like doing was screaming, “Can’t you see I’m going under?”
There is a level of intensity in the emotion that cannot be replicated. As a reader first and a reviewer second I implore you to please, please pick up this book – and if you’ve never read MM before, then this is the book in which to start that journey.
“You’re still that man. Am I that for you?”
I promise you, this will move you like nothing you have read before.
Gitte: So, Mark Jennings our main voice, he’s a beautiful soul; so honest and real. He’s exhausted and stressed, emotionally drained and his heart is breaking from the loss of loved ones.
“When you stand at the abyss, you fall to your knees and you fucking grab for any comfort, any little thing to keep it from swallowing you whole. You grab it with both hands and you wrestle the bitch to the ground and you force mercy from it.”
I fell in love with Mark. He said it as is, no games no ulterior motives. I completely connected with Mark. Such an amazing man who went through so much but with the love and backing of his fabulous Mum and Dad he set about on the right path and gave on that love and respect. He was a man used to being in charge, the protector with the controlling streak. So, to see Antonio come into his life and show Mark that it’s okay to be held too. Well, it was pretty damn special.
“It was nice to have someone be strong for me. But I could never say that.”
I fell in love with Antonio too, how could I not. This gorgeous man who comes across so full of life and confidence has a huge heart too. Yet hides so many insecurities and self-doubt. The friendship between them is quite powerful and I loved the build-up of it, the natural way in which this friendship forms with banter and comfort; trust and ultimately love. Antonio was a healer and the connection with Mark was intense and felt so real.
And Brian…oh my still sobbing heart. I’m actually crying all over my laptop as I’m writing this; or to channel Mark…is it raining inside? Brian made a mistake, he came back to support and grieve. Brian who’s not had an easy life, a tormented scarred soul, seeking his second chance. Well, he got his second chance too and he took every second, minute and hour and made it matter. Made it count.
“There aren’t many moments in life when someone bares his heart and soul wide open for you. I was lucky; I was blessed with it twice.”
Mark and Brian….Antonio and Mark…So many stories within a story I felt everything; every one. I still do and I’ll never forget!
“”Shhh. Sweet, sweet baby. I’m here for you. I won’t let you go through this all by yourself. Remember, we talked about this. I know you can see me and hear me…”
“This time though, something different happened, I felt his hands still on the sides of my head. I opened my eyes and looked up to see if something was wrong. He looked down at me with something that looked like a cross between sadness and hope. Then he bent down and gently kissed me.”
The messages in Second Chances are a plenty and they are all so very poignant and beautiful. Just thinking about this story again as I write this review is making me cry all over again.
“You’re my heart and it’ll go with you. I’ll be here, and I’ll hold your hand, and you focus on me, and when you leave me, you won’t be alone. Don’t be afraid. We won’t be saying goodbye, baby. Just, ‘til later.”
Jenny: I couldn’t have said it better Gitte. Every character in this book meant something to me. Every word moved me and every character was such an integral part of this beautiful story and each one took a piece of my heart with them.
“And you know what he sounded like when he laughed. Jesus, like the sun coming out.”
This story was built up over years which afforded the reader the opportunity to really feel and experience with every single breath the developments of the relationships. You will connect with these characters, you will care about these characters and you will experience the love between these characters as if you are there with them and you will believe every single word you read. This is as real and as raw as a work of fiction will ever get. This was an author giving a piece of his soul to a reader and as a reader I feel it’s my duty to treasure that forever.
“Sometimes you are never too old to be held by a parent.”
The messages in this Second Chances absolutely hit home and you really do take something from this story. Forgiveness, tolerance, acceptance, love, pain, grief, to open your heart to a second chance and take that almighty that leap of faith, it’s all there and delivered in such beautiful and moving prose.
“It was being touched again, for fuck’s sake.”
There were heroes aplenty in this book, but none more so than Mark. Mark who had so much love to give, so much heart despite experiencing so much pain and loss.
“Don’t fucking leave me. Don’t break my heart.”
Heroes come in forms, but Mark was a hero in the true sense of the word. An ordinary person doing extraordinarily ordinary things….who gave so much of himself expecting so little in return. There were heroes aplenty in my eyes in this book and Second Chances depicted that in such a moving, sentimental and heartrendingly beautiful way.
“God damn it. My fucking heart broke and my own tears spilled down.”
I closed this book knowing I had just experienced something special. I felt an emotion so profound, mere words cannot express and I honestly feel what I’ve said here doesn’t do this story justice.
T.A. Webb, you sir astound me. Thank you for sharing your talent and your soul. I will never forget this book and always be grateful you chose to share a piece of your heart with us.
Oh…and ice cubes in the Merlot….nothing wrong with that 😉
Gitte: 5++ stars
Jenny: 5++ stars
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