One More Chance is exactly the kind of romance novel I expect from Ali Vali, and believe me, my expectations from this author are high. As all of you should know by now, I’m a huge fan of Ms. Vali, and I look forward to all of her new works. I can honestly tell you that I could not put this book down once I got into it. Indeed, somewhere around 2:00 A.M. I finally stopped when I fell asleep in bed and smacked myself in the face with my tablet. I woke up early the next morning and finished it then.
The story is well-written, as we would expect of such an accomplished writer. All of the characters, both main and secondary are well-developed. Harry and Desi, the two main characters are her usual butch/femme duo, and the bad guys are really bad in this story. The setting is New Orleans, and this tale is kind of in the Cain Casey/Sept Savoie universe since there are elements and mentions from both series. Sept even makes a cameo appearance in this book.
The story itself is heart wrenching and heartwarming. Though both main characters have known each other since the third grade, the two become separated (unwillingly) after high school, and Desi ends up in a very abusive marriage. It is only after an extremely brutal assault that Desi and Harry meet again. Harry, an orthopedic surgeon, is called to assess Desi’s injuries, and that is how they reunite. Luckily, Harry not only works to treat Desi’s injuries, but also to protect her from the hell she has been living. Of course this leads to even more danger and possibly a second chance at love. It is an intricate and intriguing story worthy of Ali Vali.
As you can tell from what I’ve written above as well as the blurb for the story, a major subject of this novel is domestic violence. It is a subject that I’m sure was hard to write about. However, it is important to talk about and shed light on since this type of abuse is often hidden, and the victims are left feeling alone and ashamed which only makes things worse. What is written in this novel happens in real life to countless women and men. We should never turn away from this subject simply because it is hard or uncomfortable to read about. However, I understand that some may have real problems reading this story because of their own history or the history of a loved one, so consider this a trigger warning for those who may have significant problems reading about spousal abuse.
Ms. Vali has been kind enough to pledge a portion of each sale of this book to her local abuse shelter. She also listed the phone number for the National Violence Hotline which is 1-800-799-7233, and as their motto says, “You are not alone”.
This novel has my highest rating, and I’ve listed it in my favorites folder. I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.