The Second Chances Series

REVIEW:  I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery of Second Act written by Marsha West and looked forward to my reading time each evening. From the beginning of this novel, the author drew me in and kept my interest until the last page.

SECOND ACT is Book 1 of the Second Chances Series. We meet four women, now in middle age, who’ve been friends since they met at summer camp after second grade. Whether they realize it or not, they all need a second chance.

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When a member of the board of a non-profit arts agency in Fort Worth turns up dead, the homicide detective assigned to the case looks at everyone involved in the organization, including the Executive Director, Addison Greer.

Mike Riley, Fort Worth homicide detective, hates that he caught this case. His sister-in-law dragged him to a theatre fundraiser where he met Addison, the first woman he’s wanted to pursue a relationship with in a long time. Not about to happen now.

Addison hasn’t ventured into romance since she caught her now ex-husband in their bed with his secretary. As a result, she doesn’t do trust. How could she trust someone who seems determined to think she’s capable of murder? Or worse, thinks her kids might be involved.



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REVIEW:  5 stars for Ms. West’s romantic suspense novel, Act of Trust. She takes her time building the story and characters which I appreciate. The unlikely pairing of a gal from Texas who loves her home and friends with a dedicated lawyer from Maine who loves his state is a difficult story to make readers believe. But the back story is essential to understanding how the sparks fly and then fan into flames of love for the mature couple. Well-written with a satisfying ending.

A widow since 9/11 and a mother of grown daughter, Kate Thompson wants to keep her and her daughter safe, but the inheritance of land in Maine pushes her out of her comfort zone in Texas and into the arms of a Maine lawyer.

Maine lawyer and environmentalist, Jim Donovan wants to protect Aunt Liddy’s land and keep it from falling into the hands of the developers, but first he has to convince Kate Thompson she should hold on to the family land when she doesn’t even want to go look at it. However, he’s unprepared for the attraction each feels for the other but denies exists.

Will they be able to settle the land deal before anyone else is killed or they break each other’s hearts?


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REVIEW:  If you like complex mysteries, second-chance romances and emotion on every page, this book is for you. I found myself rooting for Devon the savvy businesswoman at the center of the story from the first page, as she gets hit with bad news after bad news, and then she met Brett. Who couldn’t fall in love with this man? I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

A cosmetics company owner in Dallas, Devon Moore, wants to save her company from bankruptcy, but her ex-husband’s embezzlement sends her into dangerous waters trying to pay back his clients, replace the money he stole from her company and keep her, her daughter, and her parents safe.

Private Investigator, Brett Townsend, wants to find who is threatening his new client and locate the missing money. He suspects the beautiful Devon hasn’t been completely honest with him. A wife has to know, doesn’t she? When she is attacked twice and her daughter is kidnapped, he decides he must adjust his thinking.

Despite Brett’s initial doubts about whether Devon really knew about the money her ex-husband stole, still he’s attracted to the redheaded beauty and admires her love of her daughter for whom she will do anything. Their attraction for each other sizzles under the surface of all they do.

Will they reclaim the hidden money and find the bad guys in time to save her business and the lives of her daughter, her parents, and Devon?


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Encouraged by her friends to protect herself, Kim Mason Dennison is determined to divorce her abusive husband. Cooper Wray, an attorney, assures Kim that her husband, Hunter, can’t keep the proceedings from moving forward because Texas is a no-fault divorce state. But why is Hunter doing everything he can to stop the divorce? And will that even include murder?

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REVIEW: This was an enjoyable romantic suspense novel! I am not a romance reader at all, but I thought the mystery in Vermont Escape was well done and the romance aspects tastefully written. I was drawn into the story almost immediately, into Jill Barlow’s life. Ms. West has a gift for developing great characters, descriptive settings, and believable dialogue. The book had a superb plot. I also enjoyed that Vermont Escape featured a middle-aged protagonist.

Two years after the murder of her husband, someone guns down Jill Barlow’s father, a Texas State Representative. The authorities suspect a connection between the murders, but can’t find proof.

Jill longs for the peace she found when she visited Vermont after her husband’s death. With the perpetrators still at large, she flees to the small town.

Considering buying a crystal store, Jill is surprised by the attraction she feels for the owner’s son. A Vermont State Assemblyman, Jerrod Phillips, seems to resent her presence in his town.

A terrifying series of break-ins shatter her peaceful new life. Jill shields her adult children from the knowledge violence continues to stalk them.

Despite having lost so much already, with the lives of her family and friends at stake, Jill will be required to make more sacrifices.


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REVIEW: I love a good romantic suspense, and this was a great read. Meg and Scott team up with Meg’s brother to learn who is blackmailing her father. As the story unfolds the family secrets unravel, leaving Meg shocked and confused. The romance built slowly, giving Meg and Scott the chance to get to know each other before moving to the next level. If you like tension, emotion and danger, you’ll enjoy Truth Be Told.

Looking forward to a peaceful Christmas visit with her Fort Worth family, Meg Bourland is shocked to discover someone is blackmailing her father. When he rebuffs her offer to help, the Atlanta SWAT team member enlists her LA police officer brother and his former partner to uncover the truth. She fights her attraction for Scott and the immediate tug to her heart caused by his sacrifice. Her life is in Atlanta, and his is in California.

Scott McClaine, medically retired homicide detective, came to Fort Worth to recuperate from life-threatening bullet wounds he received saving the life of Meg’s brother. Hard enough to accept his new physical limitations, but they make him unacceptable for strong Meg. Regardless, he commits himself to helping her stop the blackmailer. Working closely with her, a bond forms. Could she feel the same? In the search for truth, they uncover pieces of the puzzle, which threaten to ruin her father’s career as mayor and destroy the family she holds dear.

Will Meg and Scott find their way through the maze of family secretes? Will they find the strength to make the sacrifices required for real love before the blackmailer makes good on threats to kill?


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REVIEW:  Romantic Suspense at its best! Could Not Put Down! Kelly and Josh are such a cute couple and it keeps you wanting to know more about each character! Read it in one sitting about 5 hours ! LOVE LOVE LOVED!

Forty-year-old, never been married stage and TV actress Kelly Lawson returns to her Texas home to choreograph and star in the Glenview Theatre summer season. Kelly’s mother has made a hobby of trailing out every new man in town for Kelly’s inspection, hoping she’ll fall in love and use Glenview as her home base, especially now that Kelly’s father has entered the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s . Two years ago, Kelly broke off an engagement shortly before she discovered her former fiancé dead, a gun in his hand and a hole in his head. Reason enough to guard her heart.

When Kelly accuses a Glenview police officer of harassing two of the theatre’s gay actors, Police Chief Josh Kincaid, her mother’s candidate for this trip, becomes involved in the investigation. Incidents pile up, making it clear someone has it in, not only for the theatre, but for Kelly as well. Josh searches for clues to the person behind the attacks and the reason for them, all the while trying to ignore his developing feelings. How could he trust his heart to a New York actress?


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Review: Tainted is another great romantic suspense by Marsha West. Talk about suspense. Although early in the story we know who the bad guy is, West builds the suspense that kept me reading. Probably because the characters are well-developed and I connected with them. Love the real location of the story. I can tell from Ms. West’s writing how much she loves the place too. Sounds like a place we would enjoy visiting. This is a book any romance reader will enjoy.

Socialite and philanthropist Elizabeth Hartman needs to start a new life after divorcing her husband Gerry Richardson who’s in federal prison for money laundering, a crime the Feds suspected her of being involved in. Her mother’s family vacation home in Red River, New Mexico offers just the respite she needs. Or does it? 

One too many deaths sent retired Dallas homicide detective and now Marshall Matt Thornton to Red River to seek a less dangerous place to serve. The New Mexico mountains promised to be that refuge until his high school sweetheart Liz Hartman arrives, bringing with her danger to his town and his heart.

Review: I have enjoyed Ms. West’s series of Second Chance Romance. Love is not just for young people. This story takes place in New England rather than in her beloved Texas. It was mixed with just the right amount of romance and danger to keep me reading.