Review: Second First Impressions (Sally Thorne)

Second First Impressions
Author: Sally Thorne

Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

From the USA Today  bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.

Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.

Hilarious, warm, and romantic, Sally Thorne’s novel delivers an irrepressibly joyous celebration of love and community for fans of 99% Mine and The Hating Game.


I had a good time reading Second First Impressions. Ruthie was a young women who was old before her time. At twenty-five, she acted older than most of her peers. She worked and lived at a retirement community. Her life revolved around that and making sure she followed the rules and schedules she had mapped out for herself. She was a sweet person and I liked her.

Ruthie’s world is thrown out of whack when a new temp in her office comes up with a plan to help Ruthie date. Melanie wasn’t my favorite character. She had a place in this story, but I didn’t always love how she handled things. I don’t feel like she was most qualified to help Ruthie since she didn’t truly understand her.

Things are even more crazy for Ruthie when the property owner’s son, Teddy, shows up. The happy-go-lucky bad boy ends up living next to her. It changes her routines and shows her maybe she doesn’t really know her own “type”. I loved and disliked Teddy all at the same time. I didn’t always get a good read on the guy. I loved what he gave to Ruthie in someone who saw her for who she was. I disliked him because he showed her how he felt when he knew he was leaving. I know everything worked out the way it should, but on the journey this bugged me. I think what won me over in the end was how he treated the two ladies he worked for at the retirement communities. They might not have been very PC with him, but he took it all in stride and it made the book more fun with their shenanigans. Without that fun, this book would have been very dull.

Overall, Second First Impressions kept me entertained. It was character driven, and the characters definitely made the book. The plot was on the weak side, so I appreciated them.

14 thoughts on “Review: Second First Impressions (Sally Thorne)”

  1. It sounds like this one was filled with some entertaining characters. I had to laugh at the descriptions of the 90 year old ladies and the tasks Teddy performed for them. Even without a strong plot, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I still have to read a novel by Sally Thorne. I do enjoy character driven books, but I think that the plot might bug me as well. It has a great premise, though. Maybe I will try the audio version of this one. 😉

  3. Great review! I love the book cover for this one and it sounds so good. I need to give Sally Thorne another chance. I didn’t really like The Hating Game, but I might have to read more of her books to see if I like her other stuff.

    1. Thank you! Yes, give her a chance with this one. It’s different from that one. Maybe you would like it more.

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