Book Reviews

Second Chances by T.A. Webb at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Drama
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 30-October-2012

Book Blurb

Mark Jennings is at a crossroads. His finance job in the Atlanta nonprofit scene stresses him out, his mother is dying, and his relationship with Brian Jacobs has crashed and burned. He needs a distraction, some way to relax, and a massage seems like just the thing. He never expected his massage therapist, Antonio Roberto, to become his best friend.

Despite their differences—Antonio is a divorced single father—the two men forge a firm friendship that weathers Mark’s reconciliation with Brian and Antonio’s questionable taste in women. Over the years, Antonio remains constant in his support, though others in Mark’s life come and go through a revolving door.

When a young boy runs away from the group home where he works, Mark finds another door opening. Through it all he holds on to the things his loved ones taught him—about family, about friends and lovers, about life and death. Most importantly, he realizes that sometimes the greatest gift of all is a second chance.


Book Review

Everyone deserves a second chance, but not everyone gets one. In' Second Chances' by T.A. Webb, there are lots of opportunities for second chances. Some are more obvious than others. The lessons to be learned on the journey of life can be painful. It's how we step up to the challenge that counts.

Mark is a wonderful person with a strong moral compass who believes in doing what's right. He's strong, powerful, assertive, loving, nurturing, and forgiving. He also believes in expressing himself be it civilly or not. What you see is what you get with Mark and what you get is a man who is loveable and loves deeply. He has a sense of family that warms my heart and even when the family members don't always agree, they come together when necessary. He's organized to a fault and likes to have situations and people in neat little cubbyholes where he can deal with them find them later. But if he encounters a situation or person who does not fit into a space, he doesn't try to stuff them in one anyway; Mark believes that every person deserves to have a good life on their own terms. The problem with his compartmentalizing is that sometimes he can't see the whole situation and misinterprets it which makes it worse. Mark doesn't do things halfway. It's all or nothing for him. His loyalty is admirable; when you are in Mark's family, you are in for life.

Antonio is a complex, confused young man. He's not been raised with a real sense of family which is one of the reasons he gravitates to Mark and the comfort that comes with a situation fueled by unconditional love. It's also the reason why he's so absolutely adamant about staying in his son Jason's life. Antonio doesn't have the direction or motivation it takes to meet his full potential. His relationship with Mark provides him with the courage to try harder. Mark is the first real friend Antonio has had since his childhood friend was murdered. He is unable to open himself up to anyone else because he thinks he'd never survive the pain. Antonio has been running and hiding since he was young, pretending so long he's lost track of himself. He needs a rock like Mark by his side.

The characters are so wonderfully drawn that they practically jump off the pages and drag you along with them on their journey. I felt the raw, but tender emotion they experienced at a deeper level than usual. The story is honest, straightforward, touching, heartbreaking, as well as hopeful as many of the characters reach for their second chance. I recommend this story to everyone who would appreciate a unique, straight-shooting love story, with lots of raw emotion, which will both break your heart and put it back together again. Thank you, Tom, for a stirring experience.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 200 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-October-2012
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
Buy Link