Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book Tour for Second Helpings by Charlie Cochrane (Review & GIVEAWAY)

I love discovering new-to-me authors and today I'm introducing you to Charlie Cochrane and her intensely emotional read, Second Helpings.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this book, along with my impressions of it, and then enter both giveaways below for ebooks and an assortment of summer seaside goodies too!

I'm thrilled skinny to be dropping in here as part of the Second Helpings blog tour. A million thanks to Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess for having me as a guest.

Stuart Collins’s life might as well have ended a year ago when his partner died in a car crash. Even Stuart’s widowed father has found new love with an old friend, Isabel Franklin, so why can’t Stuart be bothered to try?
Then he gets a phone call from Isabel’s son, Paul, who wants to check out whether or not Mr. Collins is good enough for his mother. During dinner together, though, they end up checking out each other. Trouble is, Paul’s got a boyfriend—or maybe he doesn’t, since the boyfriend’s supposedly giving Paul the push by ignoring him. Or maybe Paul just wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Honesty with each other is the only way to move forward. But maybe honesty with themselves is what they really need.


It's said that love hurts and in Second Helpings that's very true as the two main characters are both reeling from a past relationship.  Stuart's love died in a car accident and he's still going through the motions of living.  He misses the comfort of having someone close and is scared to move on as he sees it as a betrayal.  Paul had a hard time growing up as his father never accepted his sexuality and flaunted his affairs which has tarnished each of Paul's relationships.  His past loves have left him feeling unimportant by telling him what he wants to hear and not the truth which had him doubting every aspect of their time together.  When both of these men meet in a clever matchmaking moment they seem to be the answer to each other's prayers, but Paul's doubts about himself get in the way and leaves their connection in doubt.

This is a book heavy with dialogue but very little steam.  A lot of the book is spent on the early stages of their relationship which felt realistic but dragged a bit as the story progressed.  The relationship itself though moved at a believable pace as they had a lot in common and they could understand and sympathize with each other's pain.  Their time together brought both of them out of their shell before Paul's past put a damper on their growth.  I was frustrated by his continuing feelings for his ex Ben even when it's obvious they shouldn't be together.  Paul was wishy-washy in his feelings which is clearly due to his father and I kept hoping he'd put that behind him too.  Stuart was clearly the more grounded of the two and I liked him from the start.  His relationship with Mark was beautifully reflected on and I could understand why he's having trouble moving on, but I loved seeing him rejoin the land of the living and was frustrated by Paul's treatment of him due to his commitment issues.

This was a good book by a new-to-me author.  I enjoyed the parents in this story and the support they gave their sons.  Their subtle matchmaking also made me smile.  I enjoyed the book's realism and its heartbreaking premise but wish it had had a bit more action.  I also felt that Paul was a bit immature in their relationship compared to the more grounded Stuart which has me concerned for their HFN conclusion.  Overall though this was a quick comfort read with a likable main couple that has me hopeful for what Ms. Cochrane will create next.

My rating for this is a C+

*I received this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries.
Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series, set in Edwardian England, was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes Books, MLR, and Riptide.
To sign up for her newsletter, email her at, or catch her at:



There’s TWO WAYS TO WIN today! COMMENT BELOW for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist (excluding Second Helpings), and a mix of summer seaside goodies! AND you can also...ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER!

-Please include your email addy with your comment.  Comment at each of the Second Helpings tour stops to increase your chances of winning.  Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on July 29th, and winners will be announced on July 30th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com