REVIEW: The Marine’s Second Chance by Victoria Pade

Posted April 13th, 2023 by in Blog, Harlequin Mills&Boon, Review, Special Edition. / 5 comments

In The Marine’s Second Chance by Victoria Pade, Marli Abbott had left town without a word to her best friend and first love, Dalton Camden. Seventeen years later she’s back in town helping her brother, Holt, who was a Marine that suffered a paralyzing injury while on a mission. Also back in town is Dalton Camden, now a Major in the Marines, to keep an eye on Marli’s brother. Holt, who has always had an issue with Dalton and his family, had disobeyed a direct order from Dalton, which led to his injury.

While Marli’s worried Dalton will use his anger towards her against Holt, that’s not the only reason she wants to try to make things right with him. She’s never stopped loving him and is hopeful that they can put the past where it belongs, in the past. Despite how angry he was at Marli, Dalton never stopped loving Marli, either. But Holt’s future is in his hands, and he’s being pulled into two directions: give his superiors the answer they want or make a decision that that will appease Marli. If he chooses the wrong option, it just may cost him his career.

This is the fourth book in The Camdens of Montana series. Not having read any of the previous books, I believe that you can read this as a standalone. The other books are about Dalton’s brothers, and while they make a couple of appearances in this book, readers won’t feel like they’re missing anything if they jump into the series here.

I liked Dalton and felt for him, because he was put in such a tough position. I wasn’t a big fan of Marli though. At first it really did feel like she was only trying to get Dalton to forgive her to gain a good outcome for Holt. Her reasoning for disappearing eventually makes sense, but if she just had an open and honest conversation with Dalton, it could have prevented seventeen years of pain and pent-up anger. I understand that she was young when she took off, but she still should have known the way she went about it was wrong.

A character I disliked more than Marli was her brother, Holt. Dalton and his brothers try to help him, but he can’t even bring himself to thank them, because he’s so focused on hating all the Camdens. He can’t even admit that his injury was due to his own recklessness because he wanted to blame that on Dalton, too. I wish there was some closure when it came to this, but there was none. The same angry, bitter Holt readers get at the beginning of the book is the same bitter, angry Holt readers get at the end. There was no character growth there, and I feel like the author missed a chance to redeem him in some way.

The Marine’s Second Chance is a book about forgiveness, healing, and, of course, second chances. I feel I would have enjoyed the book more if I had liked Marli, because her character brought the book down for me. This would be for readers who enjoy the second chance novels or military romances.

Book Info:

Publication: April 25, 2023 | Harlequin Special Edition | The Camdens of Montana #4

Dalton Camden and Marli Abbott’s teenage love story was legendary…until a shared secret tragedy led Marli to flee town. Seventeen years later, the former marine is in no mood to forgive and forget, not even when Marli seeks his help for her brother. But buried feelings and unchanged attraction are impossible to ignore as they work towards a common goal. Can Marli convince Dalton their love is worth the fight when she reveals the truth of her departure?



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