Title: Footsteps of the Past
Series: Second Chances #2
Author: Felice Stevens
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 21, 2021
Cover Design: Reese Dante
It was like in the movies: their eyes met from across the room and they fell in love.
Nine years later, Chess and André are the envy of all their friends.
But this is real life….and things are never what they seem.
Still waters run deep—the better to hide Chess’s ugly past. He’s worked hard to bury the troubled teen he once was and is living a life he never imagined possible. André’s love is a gift that makes him believe in second chances, and Chess is grateful for it every day. The only thing he wants is what André finds impossible to give: his time. Six months apart might be the breaking point, even for Chess.
One horrible night changed André’s life forever. Formerly a party boy of the Hamptons social scene, André buries himself in work for years until he meets Chess and learns to enjoy the simple things. He’s tired of being away from home all the time and ready to step down from his role as CEO of the family business, no matter how they try and pull him back in. But old habits die hard…and so do memories.
Photos from the past and present surface, shocking Chess and André out of their carefully constructed dream life. They are forced to face the unthinkable: the love they thought would last a lifetime may be on the brink of falling apart. Secrets are exposed, opening a Pandora’s box both men hoped would stay locked forever. Now Chess and André face the hardest question: do you ever really know the person you’re living with?
“Felice has done it again…a masterful combination of raw emotions and love.” ~Audrey, Goodreads reviewer
“…their story is ultimately a beautiful testament to unconditional love. This one has my highest recommendation.”~ Randall, Goodreads reviewer
“This book does have angst, but oh was it worth it. Love that this story is about a couple who has been with each other for years…I absolutely adored this story – Chess and Andre have each other’s hearts and mine too!” ~ Nicole, Goodreads reviewer
Felice once again writes a tender, heartwarming story with genuine and unique characters. The men are far from perfect, and that is what always pulls me into one of her novels. I feel a true connection, and the MCs always leave a mark on my heart. Book 2 of her Second Chances Series can be read as a standalone, but I do recommend reading The List first. There you are introduced to key members that are intertwined in this series.
Chess is a gentle and unassuming professor, who has been in a stable and loving relationship for the past nine years. He has a great support group of friends he met in school, and they are a constant source of amusement, as the reader will learn about their at times complex interactions. Chess is the love of Andre’s life. Poor Andre has so much burden on his shoulders. After the passing of his beloved father, Andre is acting as CEO of their thriving, and huge family business. I really ached for Andre, as all he wants is to slow down, and spend time with Chess. The last assignment kept them apart for 6 months and, despite his mother’s nagging and demands, Andre is never going to have that happen again!
Both men have secrets they never shared. Chess, especially, has a dark and horrific childhood that he hides not only from Andre, but from himself. Pressures from work, challenging family dynamics, and a devious attorney threaten to fracture the loving relationship that Chess and Andre have forged. In true Felice form, be prepared for some perfectly crafted angst and a hard journey to reach the ultimate goal of happiness. I highly recommend this wonderful romance, and hope you love it as much as I did. Happy reading!
* * Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement * *
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
This is book 2 of the Second Chances series and I was curious after book one to how the second chance would apply to an established couple. I should have had more faith in the author; the story works on more than one level as a second chance. Firstly, when they actually met, for both, it was a second chance. They were moving on from past mistakes, making a fresh start with each other. Now in the present, they are having a second chance at making their relationship work.
I’m not a big fan of flashbacks but in this story, it is very necessary as we really get to know the characters, what drove them when they first met and what is driving them now. Secrets rarely stay secret and while there was never any malice in hiding the mistakes of their pasts from each other; they do have to be addressed if they are to move forward.
What you get is a beautiful love story but also an absolutely realistic portrayal of love not being perfect. There is never any doubt that they love each other. Chess is insecure, though, because of his past, his insecurity means that he has not at times had those tough conversations he needed to. Andre is pulled by his guilt from the past that drives him to be the perfect family member. He allows himself to be manipulated and that causes distance, quite literally with Chess. The separation and loneliness are tangible between them.
It is the strength of the writer that you trust her to not only expose the flaws they carry but to ultimately bring them together, stronger and more in love than before. A beautifully written, emotionally charged, highly satisfying read. Very different from book 1 but just as perfect.
Total recommendation from me.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***
Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. She believes that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending just around the corner. Her characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy, and that includes love.
She lives in New York City and has way too much black in her wardrobe yet can’t stop buying “just one more pair” of black pants. Felice is a happily addicted Bravo and Say Yes to the Dress addict and proud of it. And let’s not get started on House Hunters. Her dream day starts out with iced coffee and ends with Prosecco, because…why shouldn’t it? You can find her procrastinating on FB in her reader group, Felice’s Breakfast Club
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