I am absolutely delighted to be part of the launch celebrations for The Second Chance Shoe Shop by of one of the nicest writers around – Mel Sharratt, writing as Marcie Steele. The Second Chance Shoe Shop was published by Bookouture in e-book and paperback in early April 2016 and is available to buy on Amazon. Today I have a review of the story.
The Second Chance Shoe Shop
All Riley Flynn wants is to meet someone who makes her happy. But attracting the right kind of man is not easy, and with her heart still hurting from her last break-up, Riley believes she’ll never find love again.
A year ago, Sadie Stewart’s whole world was shattered when her husband, Ross, died. She has struggled to keep herself together for the sake of their young daughter, but with the anniversary of his death approaching, Sadie finds herself overwhelmed by grief.
Sadie and Riley work at Chandlers shoe shop, in the charming town of Hedworth. But when Chandlers is threatened with closure, the friends are confronted with the loss of not only their jobs, but also their support network – the glue that holds them together when they are close to breaking.
As they put together a plan to save their beloved shop, Sadie realises that she might just be learning to live again. Could it be that new beginnings are just round the corner? The campaign also finds Riley unexpectedly crossing paths with charming photographer, Ethan. Maybe her second chance at love is right under her feet …
My Review of The Second Chance Shoe Shop
I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect from Mel writing as Marcie. The Second Chance Shoe Shop is billed as a heart-warming story of love, loss and new shoes and if I’m honest I thought it might be a bit twee and contrived. Not a bit of it. The Second Chance Shoe Shop is a smashing story that gets under your skin so that you become part of the circle of friends who’ve lost Ross to cancer and who are struggling to balance their lives and their relationships.
The characters are very well drawn so that they are three dimensional and realistic. I’m not keen on children in fiction but Esther is natural and appealing. I never once felt her character was unrealistic as I sometimes do when reading children’s roles. I particularly loved Riley as a woman with flaws, assumptions, loyalties and mistakes – just like a real human being.
The plot is so well done. At the centre is the need to keep Chandler’s Shoe Shop open, but this is just the trunk of the narrative from which all the branches and twigs of sub-plot and theme emerge. Marcie/Mel explores up to the minute issues of online dating, adultery, the many sides of social media, the effects of grief, the threat of redundancy and real friendships.I loved the conceit of having an online campaign of #ShoeLove in the book running alongside Mel’s #ShoeLove on Twitter. Indeed, so realistic was the fictional campaign that I really wanted to be part of it.
But the most important aspect of The Second Chance Shoe Shop is this – it’s a really satisfying read that totally absorbs and entertains the reader – what more can you ask of a book?