My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"Second Chance Boyfriend" is Monica Murphy's follow-up to "One Week Girlfriend." I loved "One Week Girlfriend" and absolutely fell in love with Drew and Fable. Both are so damaged in their own distinct ways, and their fucked-up pasts make them perfect for each other. They are really the only people in the world who can actually relate to, and accept, the other person for exactly who they are. I actually think that I liked "One Week Girlfriend" a little better than "Second Chance Boyfriend," but let's be honest - it would have been nearly impossible for Monica Murphy to top the perfection that was "One Week Girlfriend." I mean, it had it all: angst, love, anger, betrayal, lies, deceit. The bombshells that were dropped left and right at perfect times in the story just had me reeling. And the "marshmallow" cry for help from Drew to Fable at the end of the book had me in tears. That book moved me.
"Second Chance Boyfriend" continues Drew and Fable's story. The book starts out with them split up - Drew is dealing with all of his emotional fallout from his and Fable's visit to his family home during Thanksgiving. He hasn't contacted Fable in nearly two months, and she thinks he doesn't want anything to do with her. Well, of course, in the best kind of angsty love story, they are both totally in love with each other, but can't get over their own hang-ups to actually BE together. They are finally thrown together at a party where Fable is a waitress and Drew is a guest, and the fireworks start at that point. It is obvious that they are meant to be together, but neither one of them believe it. They are both so emotionally damaged and stunted that they are scared to believe in the feelings that they have for each other. Scared that they will be utterly destroyed by the magnitude of what they feel when they come together. Both so scared to trust another person with their heart and soul. The story revolves around their journeys to get to that point where they can both feel safe with each other, and allow themselves to just love.
Ms. Murphy, reminiscent of "One Week Girlfriend," throws in several huge dramatic scenes as catalysts to move Drew and Fable's relationship in the right direction. The most memorable of these scenes left me heartbroken and verging on tears - furious that a mother could callously hurt her children in such a way (the scene when Owen returns to the apartment and calls Fable in a panic). And the last dramatic scene of the book is a terrifically twisted and horrific scene that actually left me feeling quite satisfied (once you read it you'll know what I mean .... she totally had it coming). The only part of the story that to me felt lacking was that it never really seemed like Drew and Fable had to really WORK for their relationship. They would have an argument, and then it seemed like they would immediately be apologizing to each other and hopping back into bed. Maybe this is reality for a lot of relationships, but with two people with as many problems as they have, in my mind, their fights and make-ups would be a lot more messy and complicated. Of course, this critique is also because I wanted to "live" with them inside the story, and really wallow in the growth of their trust in each other, and the realization that they loved "this" person more than anything else in the world. It would have just felt a little more real.
I really do love this story, and these characters, and hope that maybe there will be more of Drew and Fable's story in the future, although I can't even imagine which direction the story would take. But if Ms. Murphy decided to write it, I would definitely be willing to go on whatever journey she decided to take them on. Overall, I loved the book and the only reason I didn't give it 5-stars is because I gave "One Week Girlfriend" 5-stars, and this just fell a teeny, tiny smidgen below that, for me.
"Drew and I were never believers in the fairy tale. We both had our own issues, our problems, our fucked-up home lives that blew all thoughts of happily ever afters right out of the water. Once upon a time, we were cynics facing the world alone. Our story changed into two warrior cynics facing the world together. Now, we own the happily ever after and we refuse to let that bitch go." Fable - and this is a perfect example of why I love her SO MUCH!
"Most of the time I'm thinking of you
All of the time I love you
Remembering the good times and the bad
So much has
Maybe I'm moving too fast
All I know is I...
Love you. And want to
Live with you
Will you be my wife?"
Drew to Fable. Perfection Ms. Murphy. Pure perfection. :)
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