Raised by an unstable and controlling guardian, an over-protective brother, and her boat-captain grandfather, Collette Moreau’s upbringing has been far from refined — clearly unconventional. Seeking a more cultured future, she sets her hopes on marriage to an English Baron’s nephew — a choice any woman would make. But when the wedding gets postponed, Collette decides to visit an ailing uncle and learns he’s not only been keeping family secrets, he highly disapproves of her fiancé. He’s already engaged the services of the passionate Christian Jordan — suspected womanizer. Uncle’s plan is to induce Collette away from her betrothed toward Mr. Jordan, or, if necessary, toward Christian’s pious and meddling brother, the community parson.
But should Collette comply with this preposterous whim of some distant kin? What sensible woman would agree to be wooed by a possible Romeo or religious zealot when she’s about to wed Baron Kirkland Dewey’s distinguished nephew? Should Collette comply with the preposterous whim of her evasive Uncle? What sensible woman would elect to choose between two meddling Jordan brothers over a Baron’s distinguished nephew?
Publisher and Release Date: Desert Breeze Publishing, September 2013
Time and Setting: Post-Civil War/Victorian America, New Orleans
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 3 Stars
Review by Susan
Collette Moreau is torn between going through with her well laid-out plans to marry Neville Dewey or forsaking security and setting her sights on the elusive Christian Jordan who knows which buttons to push to get under her skin. Her dilemma is reminiscent of the conflict faced by leading lady Jo March in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
The tone of Connolly’s story also has many similarities to Alcott’s novel, which are illustrated in the characters’ discussions centering around their goings-on and the anticipation of the upcoming Christmas holiday. Similarly to Alcott’s story, the characters in Connolly’s tale are everyday people living everyday lives having everyday conversations.
Connolly spices up the tale by sprinkling the narration with excerpts taken from Miss Baskin’s column in the local newspaper. She is a cross between the town’s central tattler and an inquiring sleuth. Miss Baskin’s column informs the townsfolk of New Orleans about the current happenings and what to expect in the days to come, breaking news such as the return of Collette’s brother Joshua, something considered newsworthy at that place and time. Miss Baskin is a type of Hollywood reporter like Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons whose gossip columns during the 1940’s and ‘50s were the talk of towns across America. The closest modern day version of Miss Baskin’s column would be TV shows like TMZ and Entertainment Tonight.
Christian wields cleverly thought-up remarks to counter Collette’s snarky wit which is only in evidence when he enters the room. Their verbal sparring will remind audiences of the friction between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, although at times, it becomes somewhat grating. But it’s clear that the two are attracted to each other but fear rejection if they were to be honest about their feelings.
The plot revolves around this single theme with the author continually implying that no one knows what tomorrow will bring – although the tone of the story suggests it’s something good. Subsequently, Second Time Promise reinforces the notion that, no matter the challenges, life ultimately turns out well.