Book Review: Love, Second Time Around by Penny Appleton

Title: Love, Second Time Around

Author: Penny Appleton

Published: 2017

Pages: 178

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Format: Print copy mailed by the author in exchange for an honest review

My rating: 4/5


Maggie Stewart is a retired lawyer, working to preserve the heritage of her little English cottage in Summerfield village. Her children have grown and she’s content to ride horses in the countryside and enjoy her retirement.

Except she needs money for her renovations … and she’s lonely.

When she joins her old environmental team to go up against an oil company, Maggie finds herself working in opposition to a man she once loved from afar, many years ago.

Idaho ranch owner Greg Warren is rich and entitled, with a dark past that he hides behind a professional smile. But inside, he struggles with loneliness after the loss of his wife, and the rage of a wild daughter who won’t let him move on.

Love blooms as Maggie and Greg take a chance on a new start, but can they find a balance between their two worlds?


I was pleasantly surprised by this quick story about love and timing, where it is never too late, no matter what stage we are in life. For me, I’m at what some may call the quarter-life, maybe a little past that. Stories about love later in life have not been in my reading routine, however, this storytelling has made me hopeful that love can happen at any time. I was left wanting more even though it is a pretty cut and dry story. It gives new meaning to “it’s complicated” when thinking about the trans-Atlantic relationship, the two different worlds, and two different past marriages – both losses but of a different reaction and lead up to the point they are at currently. I appreciate Appleton’s focus on shining a light on romance beyond the physical but the emotions and chemistry that has lasted longer than they’ve seen or even touched each other. In Greg’s case, there are more than one ‘The One’ – it’s about timing and loving a person in the way that makes sense for that time in life. An endearing story crafted to inspire optimism and second chances.

Some quotes that stood out to me:

“But when the hope of another partner is gone, there’s room for smaller delights…I’m free to do whatever I want to do. It’s a happy life. But sometimes a lonely one…Everybody faces loneliness in one way or another, but I have grown used to this life over the years” (Appleton 70).

“‘Marriage at our age is about love and support for the next adventurous third of our lives when we get to have fun.'” (Appleton 131).

“‘I’m terrified that it will be like the ocean cruise I went on. I looked forward to it and was so convinced it was what I wanted. But in the end I was desperately claustrophobic, with no ability to get off'” (Appleton 137).

Read Love, Second Time Around if you like the themes of:

  • Romance
  • Companionship
  • Blended Families
  • Long Distance Relationships

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