cover image Second Time Sweeter

Second Time Sweeter

Beverly Jenkins. Morrow, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-269926-8

The ninth Blessings novel from Jenkins (after Something Old, Something New) thoughtfully considers notions of forgiveness and second chances. Malachi “Mal” July has a lot to atone for after years of belligerence and home-wrecking in Henry Adams, Kans. After seeking treatment for alcohol addiction, Mal establishes a diner and sets his eyes on Bernadine Brown, the woman who once gave him her heart. Readers will root for Mal as he comes to terms with the consequences of his actions and seeks forgiveness. Series fans will find all their favorite characters here, including Trent and Lily July, who are planning their high school reunion, and grocery store manager Gary Clark, whose ex-wife arrives in town demanding custody of their daughters. Though many subplots run throughout, Mal’s story remains the focus, and it’s through his experiences that the town of Henry Adams once again emerges as a vibrant character. Although the book will be tough to follow for readers new to the series, Jenkins’s many fans will love this installment. (Aug.)