Author Duo Christina Lauren Share Their Favorite Second-Chance Romances

Posted by Marie on October 18, 2019
Ah, second-chance romances: the beloved trope where lovers meet, fall in love, fall apart, and then fall in love again. At the heart of these stories is a tenacious sense of hope—a hope that past mistakes can be forgiven and that a happily-ever-after is still possible despite first-time disasters.

Co-authors Christina Lauren (the shared pen name of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) are known for feel-good contemporary romances, including Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, and The Unhoneymooners.

But their searing second-chance novels, Love and Other Words and Twice in a Blue Moon, show their expertise in the signature angst that makes these "do-over" love stories so addictive. Here they share their thoughts on this beloved genre staple as well as their favorite recommendations.


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Let's be real: There are an infinite number of ways to mess up a relationship when we're young. And whether you have two "could-have-been-the-ones" or 200, we can all relate to that feeling of regret in the rearview mirror. But for all of those perfect and embarrassing and heartbreaking and mortifying moments, there's always the other side: the Romance Upside-Down, where you get to try again.

There are few things more delicious than falling into the fantasy of getting a second chance with someone who was perfect—or even someone who was terrible but now looks great in a pair of jeans and apparently drank deeply from the life wisdom well in the time since you last saw them.

Second-chance romances can be lighthearted, funny, embarrassing, and playful stories where the hero or heroine gets to fix a hilarious mistake. But they can also be deeply moving and allow the hero or heroine to finally soothe an ache that has throbbed in the background for years.

OK, imagine: You're meeting a group of work friends for drinks and, ugh, who invited your office nemesis? Uncool. But their date looks familiar…and then it hits you. That's the hottie soccer player from college, and just a moment of simmering eye contact tells you two important things: One, they are miserable on their date, and two, they absolutely remember how you broke the lamp.

No matter what, do-overs are romance crack because they are the fantasy every one of us has. Most of us may not ever have a surprise baby situation, and many of us may never fall in love with someone we used to hate. But all of us can imagine a situation where we get to try again with someone we really wanted to be perfect for us.

And because there are an infinite number of ways to mess things up, there are an infinite number of ways to fix them. Here are our favorite second-chance romances.


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Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth were engaged, but Anne ends things when persuaded by a friend that he’s a poor match. Fast-forward eight years and the regretful Anne gets a second chance when Wentworth returns from sea a rich and powerful captain, and finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin.





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On Emma and Jesse’s first anniversary, Jesse disappears. Emma moves on with her life and becomes engaged. When Jesse returns, Emma finds herself with a fiancé and a husband, and has to decide what she wants.





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After catching her husband cheating, Avery returns to Rome to learn how to live again. What she doesn’t expect is to run into Marcello, the man she fell for while on a college trip nine years earlier.





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For years, Livvy and Nicholas met up for one night of illicit pleasure—until one night Nicholas doesn’t show. When they find themselves in the same town again, they’ll have to decide if they can forget their past or risk breaking all the rules to be together.





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Liv and Dorsey try to put a fateful night behind them, until a documentary—and a kiss—brings it all back.





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Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, needs an heir and must find a wife by summer’s end. The problem: He already has one. Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, can have her freedom when she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want but cannot resist.





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Likotsi and Fabiola meet through a dating app, but when Fabiola ghosts her, Likotsi is heartbroken. Back in NYC, Likotsi is determined to find her joy again—so of course she runs into the woman who broke her heart.





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Sixteen-year-old Piper falls for bad boy Kyle. Thirteen years later, Piper is preparing to take over her father’s real estate company. She’s elated to discover that Kyle is her building’s new security guard—and devastated that he doesn’t even remember her name.





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On the run for a decade, Ivey played it safe. Until Grayson. When he broke her heart, she swore to move on. But when Grayson finds himself in trouble and Ivey is called in to help, she discovers that things aren’t what they seem.





What are some of your favorite second-chance romances? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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message 1: by Selena (new)

Selena Blackwell Ok, i have to say this, I LOVE YOUR BOOKS, but this business of ,,oh I'm a woman so it's up to me to mend the relationship " is pure bullshit. It is so mind numbingly irritating that I can actually see the moments when you dont know how to fix the situation in the book, and you're like "fuck it, I'll just make a maid or a mother figure come in and tell them it's all theirs fault and because he's a man, he's selfish and he never will come to apologize." It is very irritating, and completely takes the charm out of the book. I understand them being tall, dark and mysterious, but that doesn't make them insensitive jerks that even when they're wrong they're right.
I've said my 2 cents.


message 2: by TMR (new)

TMR These book recs are really awesome. I look forward to reading them.


kittykat (Jo Tortitude) LoganWelch wrote: "Most of us want to have good income but don't know how to do that on Internet there are a lot of methods to earn huge sum, but whenever Buddies try that they get trapped in a scam/fraud so I though..."

Festus wrote: "Hello my name is lamon my finance broke up with me last week i was so sad I changed completely, I wasn't eating and i wasn't talking to anybody, I cried a lot,I was so depressed and stressed out th..."

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Rachel Reads Ravenously omg Play It Safe!!! Best second chance romance book ever, so glad it's on this list!


message 5: by Charlene (new)

Charlene The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase


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