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✍🏻 Professor Romance’s 4.5 ⭐️ Review: Laney Hatcher’s Second Chance Dance, book 2 of her Bartholomew series âœðŸ»

Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️

Tropes: enemies to lovers; grumpy-sunshine; hero falls first; historical romance; regency romance

Laney Hatcher’s Second Chance Dance is book 2 from her Bartholomew series, and it holds the most delicious chemistry between the Duchess, Patricia, aka Patty, and Miles Basilton. The story follows a disillusioned and dissolute Patricia, a widow and duchess by marriage. Society, namely the marriageable males, see her as a prize, a transaction, to win without acknowledging her as her own person. Miles has recently returned to London society after six years exiled by his family in France. Both Patty and Miles meet at a ball when Miles, overwhelmed by his return to society, takes a moment on an outdoor balcony as a reprieve from the busyness of it. Shortly after finding his way outside, Patricia comes out cursing, not realizing that Miles is there. Miles is beguiled by Patricia instantly. He loves this break in her cold and indifferent countenance, her societal persona, and his journey begins in winning her heart. Unfortunately, the exaggerated and pointed overtures of The Gaggle and the experience of her marriage to the duke have built impenetrable walls around a heart. Will their situationship and his tenacity win her over?

Historical romance is a guilty pleasure of mine. Hatcher’s capacity to draw compelling characters of this time period while also ascribing them to contemporary issues attaches them to her readers. As Miles and Patty develop a situationship and draw closer together, a process that Hatcher takes her time in doing, you find yourself compelled forward into their story. Both Miles and Patty must deal with societal expectations through different lenses. Patricia married a duke under the guise of her becoming the diamond of her generation. However, in choosing societal expectations over love, she’s lost in the disdain of her situation. Miles eschewed the expectations of his father as a young man and earned an exile from his friends and mother. On his return to London society, he lives in the shadow of his father’s disappointment. As they battle against other people’s intentions for them, they find companionship and love for each other. Through their journeys, readers must learn that living for yourself and with your own rules is necessary to forging an abundant life. Hatcher deftly crafts characters who reflect her readers even in the realm of historical romance.

Adding to this character development is the enticing universe formed in the Bartholomew series. As Miles and Patty navigate their journeys, they are surrounded by ancillary characters who add layers to this world. From Patty’s best friend, Lady Mary, to her sister, Emery, the heroine in book 1 of this series, to Genevieve, her youngest sister and the anticipated heroine in book 3, you want to know the stories of all of these characters. Patty’s brother, Silas, along with Emery’s husband, Augustus, and Miles’s best friend, Daly, act as wizened guides for his journey, especially in the moments when he must remedy the issues of their relationship. Even though this world exists in the past, Hatcher makes us want to inhabit this world in the present, which is why I will continue to read her stories. 

My only criticism of Second Chance Dance is its pacing. There are moments when the story reads slow, and the push and pull of Miles and Patty’s journey can feel repetitive in those moments. However, I highly recommend this story especially if you’re a fan of historical romance. I suspect you’ll struggle to leave this world at the story’s end and want more stories just as I do.

In love and romance,

Professor A

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