Monday, June 19, 2017

The Second First Date by Marie Lark

After years of an unrequited crush and exchanged secret looks, Mitchel Finch and Danny Rojas had one weekend of sex and self-discovery at a friend’s wedding. But when the morning after came, Danny got to return to his life in Philadelphia while Mitchel was left to deal with the fallout of publicly defending Danny from his high school bullies. He wasn’t quite dragged out of the closet, but he’s clinging to the door frame with the tips of his fingers and stubbornness.

Having grown up terrorized for his sexuality, Danny can’t imagine Mitchel ever choosing to be with him--even if the nights they shared were the most intensely amazing of his life. He knows Mitchel won’t risk his life or position in their small home town. No matter what Danny hopes for, he doesn’t expect they’ll get another shot.

Now, after weeks apart, they have two nights to explore their feelings for each other without fear of discovery or consequences. Is it enough to pull Mitchel out of hiding--and to convince Danny their connection is deeper than sex?

It’s all riding on their second chance at a first date.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

4.5 Emotional Stars

The Second First Date picks up approximately a month after the end of The First Morning After. I would advise against reading this as a standalone, even though this isn't listed as being in a series. This novella is a continuation of The First Morning After. To me, it reads more like a serial about Mitchel and Danny, with both books spanning a few days each in the lives of the characters.

Mitchel travels to Philadelphia to visit Danny for the weekend. The next 36-hours is a journey of emotional character development, without any other bells and whistles. The sole focus is on the relationship between Mitchel and Danny, which spans nearly their entire lifetime.

As the Golden Boy, Mitchel is in the closet to his family and everyone in their town. After the events in the previous novella, Danny fears the reception Mitchel is receiving at home. I was anticipatory while reading to know what was happening back in Peach Blossom myself, but the story sticks to Philadelphia, with a few paragraphs explaining what was going on back home.

The Second First Date was an enjoyable read, and I look forward to more about Mitchel and Danny in the future, as well as reading more by this author.

Following on from The First Morning After, Mitchel and Danny's story continues with The Second First Date. Mitchel travels to the city to spend the weekend with Danny. But Mitchel is more than a little uncomfortable in the city's gay district. He is still in the closet and struggling with his emotions and what he should do.

Danny and Mitchel want to be with each other but they are coming from very different places. There are repeated uncomfortable emotional situations and the story gives us a good amount of angst. I really liked seeing the difficulties these guys faced. I liked the realistic portrayal of their sex life. It is not perfect and the two of them learning about each other together.

As the story draws to a close, it is clear that we will see more of Danny and Mitchel and I look forward to seeing where they go from here.

Six weeks after Danny and Mitchell’s emotional hometown reunion, Mitchel summons the courage to visit Danny in the city to see if there is any chance of a future for them together. The connection between them is strong, but with Danny justifiably wary of straight boys and Mitchel completely unsettled by Danny’s open life in his urban gayborhood, they don’t get off to the best start.

If the first story in this series focuses more on Danny coming to terms with his past, this second book focuses on Mitchel coming to terms with his sexuality and considering his future as a gay man. His options aren’t simple and he can’t simply let go of the hateful ideas he has grown up with.

As Danny observes Mitchel’s struggle, he is torn between protecting his heart and hoping for a happily ever after. I had more empathy for Mitchel in this second book, but I still wanted to protect Danny from Mitchel’s hurtful comments and reactions. I loved Danny in his own environment. The confidence he lost when he returned to his hometown is back and he is wonderful in the city.

I’m guessing this isn’t the end of the series because the author again refuses to force a happily ever after on Danny and Mitchel. After this second book, I’m heavily invested in Danny and Mitchel’s relationship but theirs is a seriously angsty, difficult story. Each of the two books only covers an interval of an emotionally charged few days in Danny and Mitchel’s lives. The result is intense but I still can’t imagine these two actually sharing life together.

I’m thoroughly surprised that this hasn’t been marketed as the second book in a series – I think readers who haven’t read The First Morning After would be completely lost. This definitely isn’t a standalone story.

Also Available in the Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  Kobo
Loose Id

For reviews & more info, check out our The First Morning After post.

Marie Lark is a part-time teacher and rest-of-the-time writer. She lives in New York with her very respectable husband and tiny dog. She writes contemporary New Adult and LGBTQ romance, but loves love stories of all kinds. Romance is like kung fu—it’s in everything. Jackie Chan said that, right?

Connect with Marie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Second First Date by Marie Lark to read and review.

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