Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite
Second Chance Hearts is a historical romance written by Billi Tiner. Rachel had been living in an orphanage ever since her mother passed away when she was six years old. Her father was a soldier and died as a result of the war. Rachel’s mother had been disowned by her parents because they had not gotten married before he died, so the orphaned girl had nowhere else to go. Now that she’ll be turning 18, Rachel is thrilled to be leaving the harsh and austere care found in Whitman’s Home for Orphaned Girls, but she’s saddened at the prospect of leaving behind her best friend Susannah, who had become more of a sister than a friend. In the past, Rachel had some fears about her ability to survive on her own in New York City, but they were put to rest by a chance encounter. Rachel has a secret that only Susannah knows; on an errand to the market for vegetables, she met a handsome and gallant young man named Matthew Compton. They've been secretly meeting, and he’s asked for her hand in marriage. After they’ve wed, they’ll be traveling out west for his new job as a banker.
Billi Tiner’s historical romance, Second Chance Hearts, is well-written and entertaining, and it continues the Sand Hill Romance Saga begun with Tiner’s previous novel, Scarred Hearts. While the reader is all too aware that the charming, sociopathic Matthew does not have Rachel’s best interests at heart, Rachel soon realizes it herself and takes steps to ensure that she does not remain his victim. I loved seeing how she befriends Lily and the other women in the brothel where she had found Matthew, and how she insists on working for her keep as a housekeeper for them. Rachel’s story is in many ways a coming of age tale as well as a romance, and it’s marvelous to see how she makes her way after that initial disastrous misstep. Second Chance Hearts does have some non-explicit sexual content that might be found objectionable by readers who are seeking squeaky clean historical romances, but the sweet romance and the warm spirit of Western community in this story ring honest and true. Second Chance Hearts is highly recommended.