Title: Second Chances
Author: T.A. Webb
Narrator:: John Solo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 7 Hours
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Mark Jennings is at a crossroads. His finance job in the Atlanta nonprofit scene stresses him out, his mother is dying, and his relationship with Brian Jacobs has crashed and burned. He needs a distraction, some way to relax, and a massage seems like just the thing. He never expected his massage therapist, Antonio Roberto, to become his best friend.
Despite their differences – Antonio is a divorced single father-the two men forge a firm friendship that weathers Mark’s reconciliation with Brian and Antonio’s questionable taste in women. Over the years, Antonio remains constant in his support, though others in Mark’s life come and go through a revolving door.
When a young boy runs away from the group home where he works, Mark finds another door opening. Through it all he holds on to the things his loved ones taught him-about family, about friends and lovers, about life and death. Most importantly, he realizes that sometimes the greatest gift of all is a second chance.
Review: This is the first T.A. Webb book I have read or listened to, and it will not be the last one. This was a beautiful story told over a decade of time. It is not an insta-love book. It is probably one of the more realistic stories I have read in a long time. It is about love, loss, loyalty, longing, life lessons and any other Ls you can attach to it. It is told from Mark’s perspective. He is a gay man from a large, loving family (well, most of them) that sticks together whether they share the same views or not.
The book starts with Mark dealing with his terminally ill mother and a breakup from his long-term boyfriend and best friend, Brian, due to cheating. His boss sends him home one day and suggests he needs a massage and that is where Antonio comes in. He is a tattooed, single, straight, ex-gang type character who decides he needs to be a better role model for his son, Jason, so he becomes a licensed massage therapist. Mark and Antonio develop an awkward friendship at first, one that turns into a life line for both of them over time. This friendship helps Mark realize that people are not perfect and deserve a second chance. He learns forgiveness, compassion and how to love again. We get to watch Mark navigate more loss, new jobs, new friendships and new relationships through the years, and all the bumps and bruises that come with it. I have to say Antonio’s (then Mark’s) massage technique is interesting, and maybe I have been picking the wrong therapist for my massages!
This book is like life, a roller-coaster, and the listener gets a good understanding that life is not perfect, but you make the best out of what you are dealt, with the support of family and friends. I love all of the characters in this book, and it was great to witness them grow up through the years.
This is the first time I have listened to John Solo as a narrator. He does a good job with voice variations throughout the book, and I was able to picture all the characters and their personalities by the end. I was not a fan of all of his voices, but I liked the attempt of variety with one person narrating.
This audio is definitely worth the money. It’s a beautifully written book about life, love and friendship that everyone should read. For the length of the book, the reader or listener experiences almost every aspect of life. I cannot wait to read and listen to the next T.A. Webb book. This author will now be on my auto-buy list.
You can buy Second Chances here: