Second first impressions A novel

Sally Thorne, 1981-

Book - 2021

"An advertisement has been placed (again!) by the wealthy and eccentric Parloni Sisters. The salary is generous and the employers are 90 years old, so how hard could the job be? Well, none have lasted longer than a week. Most boys leave in tears. Ruthie Midona will work in Providence's front office, and be at the Parloni's beck and call, forever. That's sort of her life plan. If Ruthie can run the place in her almost-retired bosses' absence, with no hijinks/hiccups, she has a shot at becoming the new manager. She might also be able to defend her safe little world from Prescott Development, the new buyer of the prime site. Maybe after all that, she can find a cute guy to date. All she needs to do is stay serious--and... that's what she does best. Until, one day, someone dazzling blows in to town. Teddy Prescott devotes his life to sleeping, tattooing, and avoiding seriousness. When Teddy needs a place to crash, he makes a deal with his developer dad. Teddy can stay in one of Providence's on-site maintenance cottages--right next door to an unimpressed Ruthie--but only if he works there and starts to grow up. Ruthie knows how this sweetly selfish rich boy can earn his keep--and be out of her hair in under a week. After all, there is a position vacant..."--

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FICTION/Thorne, Sally
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Romance fiction
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2021]
Main Author
Sally Thorne, 1981- (author)
First edition
Item Description
Includes P.S. Insights, Interviews & more...
Physical Description
336, 8 pages ; 24 cm
  • Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk of Providence Retirement Villa for years, living on-site at the beck and call of the wealthy residents-- and the rare tortoises that roam the lawn. Teddy Prescott, son of Providence's new owner, is in town saving up money to pursue his dream of opening a tattoo shop. He's the definition of risky, and Ruthie's dazzled-- until he mistakes her for an old lady! She has revenge in mind: her most eccentric residents, the Parloni sisters, have placed an ad seeking a personal assistant. Not one of their assistants have lasted a week. As Teddy charms his way through the Villa, his family's plans threaten to ruin Ruthie's universe. Will he be there when it really counts?
  • adapted from jacket
Review by Booklist Review

Thorne (99 Percent Mine, 2019) returns with a cozy romance set in a high-end retirement community. Young and beautiful Ruthie, the retirement villa's manager, is an old soul looking for a man who wants to snuggle up on the couch and watch her favorite shows. Despite her coworker's pleas to set her up using her "Sasaki Method," Ruthie's demanding job and trauma over her previous relationship make her reluctant to seek out love. When the CEO of the company that has acquired the retirement community coerces his carefree son, Teddy, to work for Ruthie while living on the property, she finds that maybe love is just next door. Thorne injects humor and emotion into Ruthie's story, along with a great cast of characters that make the setting come to life. Teddy is an easy-going, tattooed biker who drifts in and out of people's lives, while Ruthie is a steadfast, tidy worker reluctant to give up on her dreams for order and duty. They clash, but always in a playful, fun way that makes this romance the perfect low-angst read.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Extreme opposites are drawn together in the most unlikely of circumstances in this sweet, cheeky rom-com from Thorne (The Hating Game). Theodore "Teddy" Prescott is a tattoo-covered, motorcycle-riding, itinerant rich boy; straitlaced Ruthie Midona is an administrator at the affluent Providence Retirement Villa who rarely leaves the compound--and has rarely been kissed. Good girl gets the bad boy may be a popular trope, but the quirky supporting cast of crazy rich old people and Thorne's precise and original prose give the premise new life. Teddy first meets Ruthie at a gas station and offends her by assuming she's in costume as a character from The Golden Girls. That might have been the end of it, had Teddy's father not recently acquired Providence. Now he decrees that Teddy should temporarily live and work on-site while getting his life on track. Ruthie and Teddy inevitably grow closer, but longtime social outcast Ruthie struggles to imagine Teddy sincerely liking her, let alone wanting more, and Teddy has some emotional baggage of his own. The couple bond in part over their surprising mutual love for a late 1990s, 7th Heaven--esque family drama. As with that show, readers longing for laughter and heart will find comfort here. Agent: Taylor Haggerty, Root Literary. (Apr.)

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Review by Library Journal Review

Ruthie Midona is a preacher's daughter and the live-in office manager of a retirement complex, although she wants to become a vet. While running an errand, she meets Teddy, a free-spirited tattoo artist who's the son of the retirement complex's owner. He reappears at the retirement complex, takes a job with the Parloni sisters (who may be more than sisters), and begins to steal a place in inexperienced Ruthie's heart, despite the vituperations of office temp Melanie, Ruthie's tech-savvy dating coach, who fears Teddy will run her over. Jennifer Jill Araya brings a musical background to her first-person narration of 25-year-old Ruthie in Thorne's (99 Percent Mine) newest. The listening experience is enriched by Araya's pregnant pauses, accents, dramatic emphasis of certain words, and easy rhythm and lively voice that suggest the characters' youthful freedom. VERDICT Fans of Thorne's and readers who enjoy romantic comedies will find this book appealing.--David Faucheux, Lafayette, LA

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A kindhearted, by-the-book heroine is drawn to a playful, charismatic tattooist. A preacher's daughter who was disgraced by making out with her boyfriend on prom night--when said boyfriend went to her father for counseling the next day--25-year-old Ruthie Midona has found refuge as the live-in office manager of the Providence Retirement Villa and creator of a fan forum for a wholesome TV show called Heaven Sent. Just as she's getting ready to date for the first time since that disastrous prom, other changes threaten her safe routine, including a corporate takeover of the retirement community and the arrival of the new owner's ne'er-do-well son, Teddy Prescott. Though Melanie, the Villa's office temp who's serving as Ruthie's amateur dating coach, judges Teddy as too risky for Ruthie, his disarming behavior undermines Ruthie's pragmatic judgment that he's a rolling stone. When Teddy needs a place to live and his father lets him move into the Villa if he earns his keep, he becomes the temporary caretaker for two eccentric seniors, and Ruthie glimpses signs of a compassionate character and a skilled artist under his careless facade. Writing from Ruthie's first-person perspective, Thorne manages to bring all the characters to vivid life, endearing them to the reader through the enumeration of their quirks and fleeting revelations about their pasts. Each scene between the protagonists--whose first meeting will make you laugh and wince simultaneously--is a delight, as is Ruthie's motley found family. The turning point in Ruthie's professional and personal arc is unsurprising, but the denouement is joyful in more ways than one. Charming, funny, and heartwarming. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.