Second Helpings by Charlie Cochrane

Old kitchen table rural cottage morningStuart 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.

This one was short and sweet. The jury’s still out on whether 140 pages was enough to tell the story that needed to be told.

Second Helpings was a story of love and loss. It was also a story of trust. Stuart had lost the love of his life and Paul was desperately searching for his. I have to CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1admit that I got aggravated with both of these characters at times. Neither one of them seemed to have the ability to see what was right in front of them. Both of them almost blew any chances that they had to even try to start a relationship of any kind. Yet, there were things that I admired about both of them too. I loved Stuart’s easy relationship with his father. They were more than just father and son and it was obvious in the way that they interacted with each other. As for Paul, I loved his protectiveness over his mother. Their relationship had come full circle and his leeriness of anyone getting close to her was understandable.

Then there were the parents themselves. I loved them both. They were wise, the way parents should be, without being pushy or overbearing. Both men having supportive parents made the turmoil that they were putting each other through a little bit easier.

If the story were a little bit longer it would have given me time to get to know the characters and be a little more invested in their relationship. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy the story though, or like the characters. Spending a little more time with them would have just made me like them more. 😉



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