For twice in my life

Annette Christie

Book - 2023

A second try at love becomes more than one woman bargained for in this delightfully funny and romantic new novel from the author of The Rehearsals. Can one little lie lead to a big second chance? Layla's chaotic life transformed when she met Ian Barnett. Ambitious, committed, and thoughtful, Ian has been everything she'd dreamed of, and she knows he'd say the same of her. So when he breaks up with her out of the blue, Layla is stunned. What went wrong? But then, Layla gets a call from the local hospital. Ian's had a biking accident. He's okay, but he needs someone--his someone--to get him home safely. As it becomes clear Ian doesn't remember he ended things, it also becomes clear that the accident has given him... a new outlook on life...and Layla a second chance to get things right. That is, until Ian's younger brother comes to town. Matt is restless, unpredictable, and threatens to upset the careful balance Layla and Ian have rebuilt. As things get more complicated both at home and at work, Layla realizes she might lose her chance at real love--and real happiness--if she doesn't come clean about the stories she's been telling: to Ian, to Matt, to her family, and most importantly, to herself.

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Romance fiction
New York : Little Brown and Company 2023.
Main Author
Annette Christie (author)
First edition
Physical Description
312 pages ; 25 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Second chances take center stage in this cute contemporary from Christie (The Rehearsals). Seattle theater manager Layla Rockford is still a mess months after an unexpected breakup with businessman Ian Barnett. Apparently, she's still Ian's emergency contact, so when he crashes his bike, the doctors at the hospital call Layla in, assume she's his significant other, and instruct her on how to care for him through his concussion. Weirder still, Ian goes along with their mistake--and Layla realizes his head trauma has left him with no memory of dumping her. Despite being counseled by friends and family to tell Ian the truth, Layla takes the memory loss as a sign that they should try again, and soon she and Ian are connecting more than they ever have. She does feel guilty, however, both for her lies and for the unexpected chemistry she feels with Ian's brother, Matt, an emerging playwright who is helping to save her theater's season. Christie does a good job fleshing out Layla's backstory so that readers will sympathize with her despite her deception. This is a charmer. Agent: Joelle Hobeika, Alloy Entertainment. (Feb.)

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Review by Library Journal Review

Layla is reeling from an unexpected breakup with ambitious, impeccable Ian. This disaster is only the most recent in her humiliating history of failures; so recent, in fact, that when Ian arrives at the hospital after a bike accident, Layla is still listed as his emergency contact. Realizing that his concussion erased their breakup from his memory, she seizes the opportunity to set their relationship right. Ian seems determined to make changes too; with a new focus on family, he invites his estranged brother, Matt, to live with him. Artistic and angsty, Matt shows Layla that there is more to romance than reliability and that maybe her second chance lies with the other Barnett brother. Christie (The Rehearsals) creates a character-driven contemporary romance with the quirky combination of a love triangle and an amnesia trope. Rich detail fully develops the scenic Seattle and San Juan Islands setting. Narrator Melissa Moran brings a relatable and engaging energy to the narrative. Her performance perfectly captures Layla's aspirations and apprehensions. VERDICT This audio will appeal to listeners seeking a closed-door contemporary rom-com with While You Were Sleeping whimsy. Recommended for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Elle Cook.--Lauren Hackert

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A woman gets a second chance at love after the boyfriend who dumped her gets a concussion in this clever take on While You Were Sleeping. Layla Rockford is an office administrator for a Seattle theater, and while she loves being around creativity and performances, she hates the drudgery of her job. But at least she's on the path to happily-ever-after with her workaholic boyfriend, Ian Barnett…that is, until he dumps her with no warning. Layla knows that if she only had another chance she could show him that they're perfect for each other. And then she gets a call from the hospital--Ian was in a bike accident and he's asking for her. Layla rushes to his side and discovers that, because he has a concussion, he doesn't remember the last few weeks…including their breakup. Unable to tell him the truth in his weakened state, and thrilled at this second chance with him, Layla simply pretends that Ian never ended things. She'll tell him later, when the foundation of their relationship is so solid that he won't even be upset at her lie of omission. It's easy to forget their past troubles when post-concussion Ian seems like a different person--his near-death experience makes him focus on what's truly important in life, like working less, spending more time with Layla, and reconnecting with his family. This includes his brother, Matt, whose play Layla's theater ends up producing. Matt is everything Ian isn't--cold, snarky, and annoying--but as Layla gets to know him better, she begins to wonder if there isn't more to him. Just as she did in her debut, The Rehearsals (2021), Christie deftly upends romantic comedy tropes. Her characters are complex and realistic, even in heightened situations. A unique love story that will keep readers guessing. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.