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Second Time Around
Cover of Second Time Around
Second Time Around
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
For anyone who has ever wondered “What if?,” this engaging novel provides a sweet, funny look at friendship, romance, and second chances. 
Every summer, four college friends hold a mini-reunion. They laugh, reminisce, and commiserate about their soul-sucking jobs. Maybe they should have listened to everyone who warned them to study something “practical.”
Then an unexpected windfall arrives—one million dollars, to be exact—with the stipulation that they use it to jump-start their new careers. Almost overnight, a professor, a bartender, a copywriter, and an administrative assistant reinvent themselves as a novelist, an event planner, a pastry chef, and a bed-and-breakfast owner. But the changes in their professional roles create unexpected turbulence in their personal lives, and soon the secrets and scandals from their past start to resurface.
 
For anyone who has ever wondered “What if?,” this engaging novel provides a sweet, funny look at friendship, romance, and second chances. 
Every summer, four college friends hold a mini-reunion. They laugh, reminisce, and commiserate about their soul-sucking jobs. Maybe they should have listened to everyone who warned them to study something “practical.”
Then an unexpected windfall arrives—one million dollars, to be exact—with the stipulation that they use it to jump-start their new careers. Almost overnight, a professor, a bartender, a copywriter, and an administrative assistant reinvent themselves as a novelist, an event planner, a pastry chef, and a bed-and-breakfast owner. But the changes in their professional roles create unexpected turbulence in their personal lives, and soon the secrets and scandals from their past start to resurface.
 
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Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1 Chapter 1    

    "The only way not to think about money is to have a great deal of it." —Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth   

      We all should have gone to law school." Jamie Burton plopped down on a white rattan rocking chair, kicked off her flip-flops, and gazed out at the lake. "I'm telling you. Everyone who warned me about majoring in English was right. If I'd gone to law school,I wouldn't be flashing my decolletage for tips. If I'd gone to law school, all my student loans would be paid off, and I'd be swanning around in the trinity of Christians: Dior, Lacroix, and Louboutin. If I'd gone to law school, I'd be—"  

    "Careening down the slippery slope of insanity," said Arden Henley, who had a framed J.D. diploma from Georgetown and a plushly appointed office in a prestigious Manhattan law firm. She'd hosted a girls' weekend reunion here at her family's cottage inthe Adirondacks every Fourth of July weekend since they'd all graduated from college ten years ago. "You'd hate being an attorney. Trust me." 

      "You're probably right." Jamie stretched out her long, tanned legs and swatted away a mosquito. With her bleached blond hair, freckles, and disproportionately ample bustline, she wasn't classically beautiful, but she was so cocky and outspoken that beautywas beside the point. Jamie made it clear that she didn't care what anyone thought of her and so, paradoxically, most people fell all over themselves trying to earn her good opinion. "I'll admit that my brief foray into corporate America wasn't exactly a rousingsuccess. Just the thought of being stuck in a cubicle makes me break out in hives. But I'm sick of bartending and getting home from work at three a.m. and being ogled like some airhead model." She paused. "Okay, maybe that part's bearable. But the rest . .."  

    Brooke Asplind stopped painting her toenails long enough to strike a match and light the citronella candle next to the chaise longue on the porch. The sharp citrusy fragrance mingled with the scent of the pine trees surrounding the cottage. "You're burnedout, that's all. This little vacation is perfect timing. Stop talking about how the glass is half empty and grab a cold drink."  

    "Twist my arm." Jamie grinned. "What're we drinking? Microbrews? Wine?"  

    "Wine coolers." Arden rummaged through a large metal washtub filled with ice and extracted a bottle of peach-flavored booze with a pastel label.   Jamie wrinkled her nose. "Are you serious? I haven't had a wine cooler since . . . last summer, when you lowbrow degenerates peer-pressured me. We're not twenty-one anymore, ladies."  

    "No, we are not," Arden said. "We're more mature . . ."  

    ". . . more worldly and alluring . . ." Brooke added.   ". . . and still paying off those student loans," said Caitlin Johnson, who had leveraged her B.A. in literature all the way to a Ph.D. and an assistant professorship at tiny Shayland College in Connecticut. "But all that debt was worth it, don't you think?We had some good times in college."   "We're still having good times." Arden took a long swig from her wine cooler. '

      Brooke's forehead creased in concern. "Should you really be drinking that? Since you just took your pills an hour ago?"  

    Arden tucked her feet up under her and settled back in her cushioned wicker chair. Her baggy beige cargo shorts and threadbare Thurwell College T-shirt only served to emphasize the gauntness of her frame. She had always been pale and petite, but now hercomplexion looked ashen and her cheeks had hollowed out underneath...

About the Author-
  • Beth Kendrick is the author of four previous novels, including Nearlyweds and Fashionably Late. She also writes teen fiction as Beth Killian. She lives near Phoenix, Arizona, with her husband, son, and an assortment of badly behaved dogs.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 8, 2010
    Kendrick (The Pre-Nup
    ) revisits the notion of doing it all over again in her buoyant if uneven sixth novel. Best friends since college, Jamie, Arden, Brooke, Caitlin, and Anna get together for their 10th annual Fourth of July girls’ weekend at Arden’s vacation home to discuss what they should have done differently—except Arden, who is a successful lawyer. Two months later, Arden dies and leaves $1 million for her friends to divide amongst themselves, with the stipulation that they use the money to pursue their dreams. Brooke buys the ramshackle ex-dormitory they shared as college students, intent on turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, and the ladies move in to assist with the renovation and assess their own desires. As the women embark on their new enterprises, each discovers that Arden’s gift has led them into situations they hadn’t expected. Although some situations feel tacked-on or phoned-in, Kendrick is an undeniably practiced hand at depicting female bonds, and her insight eases this tale of wish-fulfillment to a gratifying and not entirely predictable conclusion.

  • Kim Gruenenfelder, author of Misery Loves Cabernet

    "A funny, charming story about the power of female friendship, and a must-read for all English majors, past and present."

  • Jane Porter, author of Easy on the Eyes "Smart and fun, this is my favorite book this year. Beth Kendrick captures the hearts and lives of women perfectly."
Title Information+
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    Random House Publishing Group
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Second Time Around
A Novel
Beth Kendrick
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