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Liberty #1

Second Chance Grill

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This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN:B009Y4ZSFK

An unforgettable tale of love, loss and second chances.

Dr. Mary Chance needs a sabbatical from medicine to grieve the loss of her closest friend. But when she inherits a struggling restaurant in Liberty, Ohio she isn’t prepared for Blossom Perini. Mary can’t resist falling for the precocious preteen—or the girl’s father. The bond they forge will transform all their lives and set in motion an outpouring of love that spreads across America.

Welcome back to Liberty, where the women surrounding the town’s only restaurant are as charming as they are eccentric.

319 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 30, 2012

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About the author

Christine Nolfi

23 books3,844 followers
Christine Nolfi is the award-winning and bestselling author of fifteen novels, including The Passing Storm, cited by Publishers Weekly as “Tautly plotted, expertly characterized, and genuinely riveting” and gold medal winner in general fiction, International Book Awards. Look for Christine’s 2022 release, A Brighter Flame.

Other works include The Road She Left Behind, a top book club pick by Working Mother and Parade magazines, and the award-winning Sweet Lake Series: Sweet Lake, The Comfort of Secrets, and The Season of Silver Linings.

Earlier works include Second Chance Grill, highly recommended by The Midwest Book Review and Treasure Me, recognized by the Next Generation Indie Awards and Put Your Heart in a Book Awards. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge was cited by The Midwest Book Review as “Poignant and powerful, as much a saga of learning to survive, heal, and forgive as it is a chilling crime story, unforgettable to the very end.”

A native of Ohio, Christine now resides in South Carolina with her husband and their crazy wheaten terrier, Lucy. For more information, visit www.christinenolfi.com

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5 stars
1,063 (47%)
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333 (15%)
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22 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 207 reviews
Profile Image for Susan.
1,110 reviews183 followers
September 9, 2013


Second Chance Grill is book one in the Liberty Series! I loved this book! I want to go and live in Liberty and have breakfast every morning at the grill and dive into all the local gossip. It was like reading about a group of friends. I can not wait to continue this series!


Second Chance Grill is owned by Mary. She was given the diner by her aunt and is a doctor. To say she has no idea how to run a diner isn't saying much! She is so way over her head but luckily the towns people help her out. She meets the man who runs the auto repair shop, Anthony and his daughter Blossom! This is when her life is really going to get turned upside down. She is instantly attracted to Anthony as he is to her but both don't act on their feelings.

The situations these people get into is just too funny. I loved all the characters in SECOND CHANCE GRILL and can't wait to continue to get to know them!
Profile Image for Sheila.
Author 67 books180 followers
September 2, 2016
Part romance, part drama, part social commentary, Christine Nolfi’s Second Chance Grill is a feel-good novel of small-town America, where a doctor takes a sabbatical to run a restaurant and definitely finds much more than she bargained for.

The romance is tasteful. The dialog is hilariously natural (with just the occasional swear-word used in a family-friendly way). The cast of characters is wonderful and fun. And the underlying drama of a young girl in remission from leukemia is heart-rending in all the right ways. It’s also hard for someone to read who has seen the pain of loss. But Second Chance is a delightfully hopeful tale, where strangers once at odds learn to pull together, and where the inequities of medical insurance meet the generosity of friends.

I came to the States from Britain, and I’ll probably suggest any friends back there read this book before they complain about the British medical system. But social complaint is nicely underplayed in the novel, as are question of doctors who pray, children who play, and more.

Second Chance Grill is a novel of recovery from loss, restarting after giving up, and re-trying after failure. I really enjoyed it.

Disclosure: I was given a copy and I offer my honest review.
Profile Image for Marcy.
28 reviews4 followers
December 13, 2012
Just what I needed.

Brought to my attention by my Goodreads book club moderator, this book and author have now been pushed to the top of my favorites list. At the time our book club was scheduled to start this read, I had a lot going on in my personal life and really didn't feel like I had the time to read this one. But the fact that the author herself was taking time out of her busy life to chat with us throughout the read influenced me to take the plunge. And I couldn't be more glad that I did.

Author Christine Nolfi truly has a talent for creating characters brimming with personality. Her use of dialog tics is outstanding, especially when it came to sweet little Blossom. Only a couple pages after being introduced to the precious sixth grader, I felt such a connection with Blossom. So funny, stubborn, and strong. She quickly had my heart: a connection that caused me to blubber and bawl a number of times as if she were my own child.

Having been born and raised in a small town myself, I easily connected with and related to several other characters throughout the book, especially Theodora and Ethel Lynn. When reading their dialog, images of some "old biddies" (and I say that lovingly) in my hometown easily came to mind. Nolfi has informed our group that characters such as Theodora and Meade are explored further throughout the series, so I will most definitely be on the lookout for the rest of her works of art to become available.

If you're looking for a light, heartwarming read that is still full of meaning, I highly recommend Second Chance Grill. It had me laughing out loud one moment and wiping away tears the next, which is an effect that very few books have ever had on me. Second Chance Grill ended up being just what I needed at this time in my life: a reminder to slow down, ground my perspective a bit, and focus on the important things in life...family and friends...and being there for them no matter what.
Profile Image for ReadAlongWithSue .
2,634 reviews170 followers
September 12, 2014
SECOND CHANCE GRILL What a fantastic read! I think I've found a brand new author for me. This book was so good. Easy to read, had some fun times in it, some really good things where you actually forgot where you were and in the same room at the characters in this story.

Single dad, mother walked out, brought up his daughter on his own, went through a very hard illness with her. That girl has spunk! I loved her, you couldn't help but love Blossom. The imagination with how the dad looked, well, I think of him as a very handsome chap!

Second chance grill.....wonder why the book was called that? read it, find out, the author has given a lot of thought to this title I can see where she is coming from with it.

Who ran the Second Chance Grill? Well it was Mary. How did she get to run it? read it to find out. It wasn't her ambition to be the owner, why did she end up running this place, and would see go back to where she came from?

It was at 88% through of reading this book that I ended up with a lump in my throat. I gulped, took a minute to digest what was going on. Because it wasn't expected at that point, at least not by me.

I loved the front cover too, fresh, interesting, and alive, just like the story it holds inside this cover.

Thank you Christine for a wonderful read, it was a pleasure.

*I received this book from the author with thanks as a chance to read and review it, I actually asked her! and she said "YES" woooo, loved it.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
1,438 reviews237 followers
November 26, 2016
I really enjoyed this novel and now I know I have a new author to me to read all the backlist which is always exciting. I loved this small town setting with its variety of interesting characters. The tension built really well and as I came to sit at the 50% mark I had to just sit on the couch for the evening and read to the end. Very heartwarming and depicts how hope and determination is so important.
Profile Image for Philomena Callan Cheekypee.
3,873 reviews396 followers
March 3, 2015
Absolutely loved this book. I found myself ignoring tv & staying up late to finish this book. This book has a lovely storyline to it. The author did a fantastic job.
I had goosebumps from about three quarters way through.
Highly recommend this delightful yet emotional book to all readers:)
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,847 reviews34.9k followers
April 23, 2013
I literally devoured this book! Its part of a series but it can 'completely' stand alone.

Its packed filled with emotion -- (its the 2nd book I cried like a baby in within the last month)....which until having read "Calling Me Home" by Julie Kibler", (cried in her book also) --I can't remember crying in a book in long time.
So, I cried in "Second Chance Grill". [sue me]. Sure smiled and laughed a lot, also.

I'm not a fan of traditional 'chick' books ---but this is NOT that -- but yes, I do think more woman will read it. Its a very believable story that takes place in a small town. (a human story to inspire--inspires me to be a better person, if I tell the truth about it).

The dialogue between characters feels organic --so very intimate. I felt part of the community. I wanted to be!!

I happen to know a a wonderful MAN right now who would have a hard time reading this book himself without sobbing. His 4 year old daughter has leukemia.

Right now -- very close friends in Canada have a 4 year old daughter with a very rare type of Leukemia. Without a bone transplant she won't live. Medical costs are way outside the normal insurance coverage. They are searching for a Doner. There story has gone national.

I don't want to give too much away in "Second Chance Grill" -- but say, its a book you CAN'T put down.
You'll fall in love with Mary, Blossom, Anthony, the "Old Biddies"...and the entire community of Liberty of Ohio!

**Lucky YOU** who will read this gem!
Profile Image for Naomi.
4,679 reviews138 followers
February 5, 2013
Read my full review @ http://bit.ly/11FRM2D

4.5 Stars


My opinion: OH MY GOODNESS...I LOVED THIS BOOK! Not being a huge fan of Ms. Nolfi's first book, Treasure Me, I went into this book with oodles of trepidation. I was SO pleasantly surprised!

I actually abhor when people do this, but Second Chance Grill reminded me of novels written by my favorite romance author, LaVyrle Spencer. There was such an innocence to this novel in the romance between Mary and Anthony, that I found myself smiling the entire time I was reading it. It was "clean" and the romance between the two "built up". I didn't feel that it was simply built on sexual tension and sex. I think that Ms. Nolfi allowed the tension to build at the right pace and with just enough tension that made it realistic and just simply sweet! Second, I think the town and its' inhabitants were "laid out" much more in detail than in the first novel giving readers much more insight into the town.

I know a book is good when I can't put it down and I ended up reading Second Chance Grill in about 2.5 hours! I didn't even watch The Following last night to read this! I did make sure to DVR it...so no harm...no foul!
Profile Image for Melodie.
588 reviews64 followers
November 4, 2013
Mary Chance(love the last name) has inherited the Second Chance Grill. This dovetails nicely with the fact that she is dealing with the loss of her best friend and colleague, killed in a hit and run. Taking a sabbatical sounds like a great idea, and how hard can it be to run a diner in small town Liberty?
Well actually, really hard. Her staff are quirky to say the least. Opening day turns into Mary's baptism by fire. And the women of the Second Chance aren't the only oddball characters in Liberty.And there is preteen dynamo Blossom and her good looking but harried Dad.Sense a romance brewing?
While the book follows the typical formula, it is still fresh, thanks to the cast of characters.Love,loss,friendship and small town life still make for engaging reading.And we won't talk about this reader having to stop reading because of tear-blurred eyes. Second Chance Grill is actually the prequel to Christine Nolfi's Treasure Me. That being said, this book stands on it's own just fine.
36 reviews
June 11, 2017
Thoroughly enjoyable

I really enjoyed this book. Read it in one sitting and enjoyed the characters
You won't be disappointed with this book if you are after some easy reading chick lit
Profile Image for Mary.
170 reviews11 followers
October 29, 2012
A small town community goes viral.

The town is Liberty, Ohio and the setting is Second Chance Grill. The Grill has a new owner, Dr. Mary Chance, who inherits the restaurant, and is determined to turn it into a success in about a year.

Being a doctor, Mary is a fish out of water running a restaurant. But the inheritance coincided with a tragedy. Mary lost her best friend where she lived and worked in Cincinnati. In trying to deal with her grief she takes a sabbatical and decides to go to Liberty to run Second Chance Grill.

Mary’s plans are to return to Cincinnati, in about a year, to take over a clinic, however, she falls in love - not once, but twice - first with Blossom, a spunky eleven year old cancer survivor, and then with Blossom’s father, Anthony.

Blossom is one month shy of being cancer free, when her leukemia returns. What does Dr. Mary Chance do when Anthony’s health insurance doesn’t cover a bone marrow transplant? What does the small town community of Liberty do to help? What plan do the extraordinary women of Second Chance Grill devise?

What a treat Christine Nolfi’s readers are in store for! It is great fun to meet up with all the extraordinary women of Second Chance Grill.

Christine Nolfi writes this captivating story, Second Chance Grill, applying her expertise writing brilliance. Her characters are all unique and we care about each one of them. No one is perfect in Liberty, Ohio, especially at Second Chance Grill. But everyone deserves a second chance.
Profile Image for Mary.
616 reviews
September 5, 2014
I absolutely loved this book. It takes place in Liberty, a quaint and lovely little town full of very shall we say interesting people. Mary is a doctor on sabbatical, trying to run a restaurant her aunt gives her. And she doesn't do it very well, I am sorry to report :) The characters are quite funny, Theadora to Finney the cook to Meade and her dopey little dog ...I laughed out loud so many times. Of course there's a serious side, little Blossom has cancer. So the book can take you from laughter to tears, and back again. Like life. The romance is sweet and sexy, and made for a very good read. On to the next Liberty book!
Profile Image for Kelly.
296 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2012
Pull up a tall glass of sweet tea, or an icy beer or whatever drink brings you to recall those feelings that you get when you think of a small midwestern town. Got it? Good. Now get comfortable. This review is going to take you on some explanations and will hopefully convince you to go out there and buy this book. Buy all any any books you can find by this author. You won't be sorry and in fact, I'm going to go out a limb and say that you might even be a better person for it. Really? Really.

This book, Second Chance Grill, takes us back to the lovely characters and charming small town of Liberty, Ohio. Second Chance Grill is the second book in the Liberty Series but this is a little bit confusing because it's really the first book. The characters are separate and both the first book in the series and this one can be read as a stand alone but, as the ladies in my book club remind me, this is sometimes not something people will consider doing EVER so, my advice is this: read the second book first (Second Chance Grill) and then read Treasure Me, the first book. Clear as mud right? Having read Treasure Me as well, I believe that the reader falls more in love with the town and its charm and its characters than it does in Treasure Me. Not that Treasure Me doesn't have the same grab factor, because it does. But the beginning of this story definitely feels like Second Chance Grill and that was something that confused me in Treasure Me. In fact, I gave Treasure Me a 4 star rating but now, after having read this book, I want to go back and change that rating to a 5 star because now things fit into place. Now it's not as confusing.

As to my review: You know how sometimes you read a book and the writing is SO intense that you have to stop and reread various passages several times because you know there is some hidden meaning behind it's prose? That WILL NOT happen in this book. It is simply written (not written simply) with sentence structures that don't make me crazy. There are passages that make me feel the way the author wants me to feel in the story. For instance, at one point, the author talks about the "smell of summer's first hot dog" and the "...scent of freshly mown grass mingled with the sweet aroma of lavendar spilling in waves across the sidewalk..." These simple descriptions just plant me on some park bench in the middle of Liberty, Ohio watching everything going on. That is reason number one that I love this author, her style of writing. Its easy to read and yet provokes intense emotional response.

Reason number two: This author stands for family. I've said that about Ms. Nolfi before, in fact I've said that in all my reviews and I apparently mean it. Even better, the author means it. In this particular story, we meet Anthony and Blossom, a single father and his terminally ill 11 year old daughter and the love interest, Mary. The story is about how they come together, about the community that helps them, and about how they overcome a series of obstacles that threaten to pull them all apart. It's a love story between man and woman, father and daughter, mother and daughter and together as a family.

Now, the minute I said "terminally ill" I know what you are thinking. "Rut roh, tear jerker book." You would be right. I cried pretty much the entire way through the book, but to be honest, most of that was because of my own issues. You won't be crying for those issues (unless yours are the same as mine). I digress. This author stands for family. This book stands for family: Whether it's blood or people that become like blood, whether that relationship is a neighborly one, or a marriageable one. It's so pleasantly nice in a day and age where it's all about how crappy the economy is and political this and political that to remember that there are FAR more important things in life. You have to look at what's right in front of you sometimes and hold on to it with both hands.

The story is not unpredictable. There were some parts where one might even say they were a tad hokey. A little contrived perhaps. But what's important to note here: I didn't care. I didn't. I loved it. I wanted more. And if you know me, you know a few things about me. Like for instance that I always try to tell the truth (that means this review is an honest one) and that I tend to be cynical most of the time. I don't go for romance fluff. It doesn't wave my red, white and blue (no pun to Liberty intended). For me to like this sort of thing , and to like it on the level that I do like it in this book, speaks enormous volumes. And "volumes" is what I'd like to see in the continuing saga of Liberty, Ohio.

Of important note, the characters in this story, I'm talking the secondary characters, are as charming as the bunting in the Second Chance Grill. I fell in love with the characters originally in Treasure Me, and here they are again in Second Chance Grill. I wonder if we'll always see them in future books? Are they like a comfortable pair of jeans? I sure hope so. Also to note, and I have to do this even though a book review may not be the place for it, so I'll be brief on this point. Ms. Nolfi makes an important statement about the alarming status of health care in our nation without politicizing it. I hope someone stands up and takes note and is smart enough to figure out how to fix it and then gets to work doing just that. My goodness, if the author were able to somehow promote that to happen, I know she'd be happier than a Pulitzer Prize winner!

I don't normally offer a preference on this, but I love this series so much, I highly recommend buying a real (paper v. e copy) version of this book because it's probably one you are going to love holding onto and sniffing the pages and then going back years later to reread the book and noting the pages where your tears have fallen onto the page. That is, after all, the true essence of a good book and this book, this SERIES, is full of that essence. Enjoy!
Profile Image for Nikki Bywater.
406 reviews13 followers
March 5, 2013
When Dr Mary Chance inherits a restaurant from her late aunt, she travels from Cincinnati to Liberty, to relaunch and reopen the restaurant naming it The Second Chance Grill. The gift of inheriting the restaurant had just come along at the right time for Mary, it had given her a chance to get away and reflect on her life, after the tragic loss of her dear friend Sadie. Sadie also a doctor and Mary had been planning to take over Sadie’s fathers practice when he retired, but now with Sadie’s death, Mary now faced the fact that she would be running the practice alone. Once she got the restaurant up and running she planned to go back to Cincinnati and return to her life.

Along with inheriting the restaurant Mary also finds she has inherited the people who work at the restaurant, who are an interesting and lively bunch of characters. She also makes friends with eleven year old Blossom, who is always hanging around the restaurant asking for a job. When Mary meets Blossom’s single dad Anthony there is an attraction between them, but Mary knows she will not be staying long in town and Anthony knows that he needs to tread carefully when it comes to relationships, as he has to consider what is best for his daughter Blossom. So they become friends despite the mutual attraction. Both Mary and Anthony have been through difficult times. Will they too get a Second Chance?

If you are looking for a good read, then I really recommend this book, I found the story really moving and it is written so brilliantly that you become so involved in the story it is almost like you are actually sitting in the restaurant listening and watching over what is going on. I really hope that there will be more books about the lovely people in the community of the town of Liberty.

Christine Nolfi owned a small public relations firm in Cleveland, Ohio. She closed the firm after she travelled to the Philippines and adopted four children. She has been writing novels fulltime since 2004
Profile Image for John Hancock.
Author 18 books88 followers
February 20, 2013
TURNED MY HEART AROUND:

Ok. I stayed up last night finishing this book. Against my will? well, kinda. Let me explain:
When I first started reading this, I thought, as a 50 something adult male, I had stumbled onto another YA romance book. But I was wrong.
Well, maybe I was right I have no idea what category this is in.
Sorry, let me get back on track.

This was very well written, and the dialogue between characters was not only believable, but felt organic to their characters, and was interesting and compelling.
The main characters drive the story. My favorite was Anthony, the father of a headstrong but clever girl named blossom. Maybe because he was multidimensional, and his backstory believably directed his decisions and actions (or inaction). Or maybe because initially it seems he's the only male in town. (Go team testosterone!)

No, but really, the reason is I identified with him: he was a decent human dealing with being a single father raising a cute but exasperating alien creature (oh wait, I mean a girl). And when he meets Mary, whatever was left of his tenuous grasp on control over his world unlaces quicker than a kid kicking off tennis shoes to jump in the swimming hole. Or insert a more appropriate metaphor here. What I'm saying is, this guy is cattle-prodded at the beginning of the story by a dragon lady named Meade, and then heart-kidnapped by the new gal in town when she takes a break from being a doctor to try to resurrect the Second Chance Grill.

Mary begins by swimming upstream against the various females that seem heck-bent on frustrating her plans. ...But I better stop here or I'm going to spoil everything.
And I don't want to do that because you're going to enjoy reading this for yourself. Seriously. Even an old guy like me.

I recommend this book to anyone, don't get fooled by genre or anything. This is a good read.
Profile Image for Jennifer C.
228 reviews29 followers
January 11, 2013
This is a lovely book about a small town pulling together finding love, friendship and a sense of belonging. As the reader, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the wacky characters, the struggling restaurant, and a little girl battling a very grown up issue. I adore stories about small towns and this one ranks right up there with the best. It provides a detailed view of the town, it allows us to meet the townspeople in a way that I cheered them on and want them to succeed and the author leaves us with wanting to know more about the people and their lives and their families. I can’t wait to visit this town again.

What I Liked:
The character development
The town depiction
The family feel of the book

What I Disliked:
How Blossom came back from the Luekemia – not that I didn’t want her to, it just seemed to predictable and neatly tied up with a bow. That being said, I don’t know how it would have affected the story if she hadn’t.
Profile Image for Christine.
331 reviews18 followers
February 21, 2016
Thanks to BooksGoSocial and Christine Nolfi for the chance to read and give an honest review.
I loved this novel, I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters of Liberty, Ohio, they were charming, funny, very eccentric and all very endearing. I loved Dr. Mary Chance, she takes a
sabbatical from medicine because of the loss of her best friend.
She inherits a restaurant from her aunt and decides to become a restaurant owner, needless to say she know nothing about running a business, and boy does she learn, with lots of help from the townsfolk. She meets Anthony and his charming daughter, Blossom, who she falls in love with.
This novel is about second chances, new beginnings, families, and love. This is a perfect afternoon read, I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thank you, booksgosocial....
Profile Image for Kelly.
296 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2012
Pull up a tall glass of sweet tea, or an icy beer or whatever drink brings you to recall those feelings that you get when you think of a small midwestern town. Got it? Good. Now get comfortable. This review is going to take you on some explanations and will hopefully convince you to go out there and buy this book. Buy all any any books you can find by this author. You won't be sorry and in fact, I'm going to go out a limb and say that you might even be a better person for it. Really? Really.

This book, Second Chance Grill, takes us back to the lovely characters and charming small town of Liberty, Ohio. Second Chance Grill is the second book in the Liberty Series but this is a little bit confusing because it's really the first book. The characters are separate and both the first book in the series and this one can be read as a stand alone but, as the ladies in my book club remind me, this is sometimes not something people will consider doing EVER so, my advice is this: read the second book first (Second Chance Grill) and then read Treasure Me, the first book. Clear as mud right? Having read Treasure Me as well, I believe that the reader falls more in love with the town and its charm and its characters than it does in Treasure Me. Not that Treasure Me doesn't have the same grab factor, because it does. But the beginning of this story definitely feels like Second Chance Grill and that was something that confused me in Treasure Me. In fact, I gave Treasure Me a 4 star rating but now, after having read this book, I want to go back and change that rating to a 5 star because now things fit into place. Now it's not as confusing.

As to my review: You know how sometimes you read a book and the writing is SO intense that you have to stop and reread various passages several times because you know there is some hidden meaning behind it's prose? That WILL NOT happen in this book. It is simply written (not written simply) with sentence structures that don't make me crazy. There are passages that make me feel the way the author wants me to feel in the story. For instance, at one point, the author talks about the "smell of summer's first hot dog" and the "...scent of freshly mown grass mingled with the sweet aroma of lavendar spilling in waves across the sidewalk..." These simple descriptions just plant me on some park bench in the middle of Liberty, Ohio watching everything going on. That is reason number one that I love this author, her style of writing. Its easy to read and yet provokes intense emotional response.

Reason number two: This author stands for family. I've said that about Ms. Nolfi before, in fact I've said that in all my reviews and I apparently mean it. Even better, the author means it. In this particular story, we meet Anthony and Blossom, a single father and his extremely ill 11 year old daughter and the love interest, Mary. The story is about how they come together, about the community that helps them, and about how they overcome a series of obstacles that threaten to pull them all apart. It's a love story between man and woman, father and daughter, mother and daughter and together as a family.

Now, the minute I said "extremely ill" I know what you are thinking. "Rut roh, tear jerker book." You would be right. I cried pretty much the entire way through the book, but to be honest, most of that was because of my own issues. You won't be crying for those issues (unless yours are the same as mine). I digress. This author stands for family. This book stands for family: Whether it's blood or people that become like blood, whether that relationship is a neighborly one, or a marriageable one. It's so pleasantly nice in a day and age where it's all about how crappy the economy is and political this and political that to remember that there are FAR more important things in life. You have to look at what's right in front of you sometimes and hold on to it with both hands.

The story is not unpredictable. There were some parts where one might even say they were a tad hokey. A little contrived perhaps. But what's important to note here: I didn't care. I didn't. I loved it. I wanted more. And if you know me, you know a few things about me. Like for instance that I always try to tell the truth (that means this review is an honest one) and that I tend to be cynical most of the time. I don't go for romance fluff. It doesn't wave my red, white and blue (no pun to Liberty intended). For me to like this sort of thing , and to like it on the level that I do like it in this book, speaks enormous volumes. And "volumes" is what I'd like to see in the continuing saga of Liberty, Ohio.

Of important note, the characters in this story, I'm talking the secondary characters, are as charming as the bunting in the Second Chance Grill. I fell in love with the characters originally in Treasure Me, and here they are again in Second Chance Grill. I wonder if we'll always see them in future books? Are they like a comfortable pair of jeans? I sure hope so. Also to note, and I have to do this even though a book review may not be the place for it, so I'll be brief on this point. Ms. Nolfi makes an important statement about the alarming status of health care in our nation without politicizing it. I hope someone stands up and takes note and is smart enough to figure out how to fix it and then gets to work doing just that. My goodness, if the author were able to somehow promote that to happen, I know she'd be happier than a Pulitzer Prize winner!

I don't normally offer a preference on this, but I love this series so much, I highly recommend buying a real (paper v. e copy) version of this book because it's probably one you are going to love holding onto and sniffing the pages and then going back years later to reread the book and noting the pages where your tears have fallen onto the page. That is, after all, the true essence of a good book and this book, this SERIES, is full of that essence. Enjoy!

Profile Image for Marleen.
1,721 reviews95 followers
April 29, 2017
The sentiment of the book is well noted, but the execution of the story felt childish to me. I honestly didn't enjoy this book, well, not as I had hoped to. I think the adults felt like caricatures and their dialogues stunted. I don't think I will pursue this series.
Don't get me wrong, I felt the plight of the single father - and yes, I absolutely and strongly empathized with young Blossom battling cancer, but the way the story was delivered felt so puerile. Especially the adults' behavior and narrative lacked credibility, in my eyes. Believe me, I wish I felt different.
Profile Image for Noreen.
331 reviews7 followers
October 31, 2017
Loved, loved, loved this book. It's great when an author develops the characters so you can visualize what they look like and what their personalities are. There is so much about this story that I loved from the history of the Second Chance Grill to the employees of the grill to the eccentric women of the town of Liberty. Small towns definitely rally when one of their own needs help. I stayed up late and got up early to finish this book in less than 2 days. The author has you walking around with the book to find out what is going to happen with the Cafe, Mary's medical career, Mary and Anthony's relationship and of course Blossom.

I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.
4 reviews1 follower
August 24, 2021
The writing of this book makes you feel like you are a part of the town of Liberty. I fell in love with all of the characters and miss them now that I am finished reading - even Meade and Theodora who aren't the most likable. Mary's journey and struggles throughout the book is so real and relatable. Blossom is probably my favorite character in the entire book. I can just picture her sitting at the counter, kicking her legs, at the Second Chance Grill eating a big bowl of ice cream talking to Mary and the rest of the crew at the grill. Her zeal for life and living reminded me of what is like to be a young kid so full of life. I don't want to say too much and give to much away about this book. Just that it is a must read.
60 reviews39 followers
March 2, 2015
Even though I knew some of what was going to happen in the story, having read TREASURE ME, I was still incredibly moved by the story. The love and tenderness of the characters warmed my heart. I love eccentric characters and this book has plenty of them. The characters are well developed and at times are dazzling. I'd like to be friends with some of these people, not only because they are eccentric and fun, but because they are down to earth and just so REAL. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting and stayed up all night until it was finished. I can't wait to read THE IMPOSSIBLE WISH so that I can visit Liberty again.
Profile Image for Vivian Payton.
114 reviews20 followers
September 2, 2017
Second Chance Grill is my first book I’ve ever read by Author Christine Nolfi. By the first chapter, I was hooked, and that’s when I know a story is going to grab and pull me in. Nolfi does a fantastic job describing her three main characters, Dr. Mary Chance, and Anthony and Blossom Perini, who develop a very strong bond. I was enamored with the story lines of each character, including their backgrounds and current lives.

Mary loses her best friend by a drunk driver and, in the meantime, inherits a restaurant. She takes a sabbatical from medicine and decides to give the restaurant business a whirl while grieving, although knowing that she will return to Cincinnati to run her best friend’s father’s free clinic. At the Second Chance Grill, she meets Blossom, a feisty teen battling leukemia, and her father, Anthony. Anthony is a single parent who protects Blossom fiercely and is afraid to open his heart. Blossom wants a mom, and intuitively knows Mary is the right one for her father. Of course, there are happy endings all around.

Nolfi weaves a heartwarming story that intertwines family, love, courage and second chances. I thoroughly enjoyed Blossom’s character. She makes the story well worth it. I even cried toward the end, and when that type of emotion grabs me, that’s when I know the author has done a great job. I enjoyed this book immensely, and I’m looking forward to reading the series. I hope you will too.
165 reviews3 followers
September 26, 2019
A heartfelt story of a nurturing love that could save a child's life.

I love second chances, don't you? Second Chance Grill is a novel that does just that, more than once. Mary arrived in Liberty, Ohio to try to heal her heart. Her best friend, almost sister, has died because a drink driver killed her instantly. Mary and Sadie were both new doctors and planned to work at and eventually manage a free clinic in Cincinnati. Instead Mary accepted her aunt's restaurant offered as an inheritance. Mary has absolutely no previous restaurant skills and needs to rely on a vast of zany female characters to reopen the Second Chance Grill and that's when the fun begins. This is primarily a joyful book, yes there's a sad side but an eleven year old girl who is impish, wise, funny and definitely trouble steals the show. Follow this prequel to the author's Liberty series, however, uniquely the Second Chance Grill is an good stand-alone story on its own.
Profile Image for L Corky.
161 reviews5 followers
July 15, 2017
Mary and her best friend Sadie are doctors, planning on taking over a clinic owned by Sadie's father, Abe. Sadie is killed by a drunk driver. Mary is in mourning and needs to figure out what to do with her life. Her Aunt Meg gives her the Second Chance Grill.

Mary plans to stay in Liberty for one year, get the restaurant running well then go back to Cincinnati and take over the Clinic. Mary finds herself becoming attracted to the handsome Anthony Perini. She also adores his eleven year old daughter Blossom. Mary is torn between these feelings and knowing that she has to go back and take over the clinic. She can not let Abe down and also feels she needs to do it for Sadie.

Set in a small town where everyone knows each other. There are some quirky characters, drama, tears and laughter. This is a feel good story that tugs at your heart and makes you believe in second chances.

Profile Image for Olga Miret.
Author 24 books229 followers
December 30, 2013
Second Chance Grill (Book Two Liberty Series) by Christine Nolfi
I read about ‘Second Chance Grill’ in Goodreads, and being a doctor (a psychiatrist) thinking about having a break from my career and doing something completely different, the plot appealed to me from the beginning. I had not read the first novel in the series ‘Treasure Me’, but must say that although I’ve read the extract at the end of the novel, ‘Second Chance Grill’ stands alone and it seems that one could start reading at any point in the series.
The story in the ‘Second Chance Grill’ is that of Mary, a doctor who’s lost her best friend, Sadie, recently, and has a history of loses (lost her parents and was informally adopted by the parents of her friend Sadie, who also studied Medicine with her). The two girls had very similar backgrounds and they were planning on taking over the running of the free clinic that Sadie’s father had in Cincinnati. Her friend’s death and her aunt’s leaving her a restaurant in Liberty, Ohio, combined to change what she thought was her well-worked out future. Her initial plan is to stay there until she can turn the restaurant into a feasible business and then return to manage the clinic. As you will suspect, things don’t go quite as planned, and Mary experiences it all, from staff’s difficulties, problems trying to obtain health coverage for her employees (a very current topic in the US that become even more pressing towards the end of the novel), bad-press, jealousy, and… love. She is chosen, from very early on, as an ideal substitute mother by Blossom, a charming teenager with health problems, and the girl’s father, Anthony (a very attractive and fit Italian-American garage-owner and Mr Fix-It) makes her wish the girl’s fantasies become true. Mary is pulled between her wish to stay in Liberty and have a new family and what she feels is her duty towards the family who took her into their fold and nurtured her interest and skills in Medicine. It is a difficult decision
The author manages to combine smiles, pathos, sadness and laughter in her novel to make the reader feel satisfied. I’d like to say that life is a balance of sad and happy moments, but that is not true. As we know, sometimes everything seems to go wrong and at others everything is going so well that we worry it cannot possibly last. Some people seem very lucky and others get more than their fair share of bad luck. Sometimes it is the attitude and the spirit of the people that can put a spin on events. Ms Nolfi, like all good authors, knows that sad moments can enhance the happy ones, as too much sugar can make us all sick. I enjoyed the novel. It is easy to read, the main characters are well-drawn, believable and I, for one, would like them as friends. The secondary characters help to bring Liberty, the town, that is an important character in its own right (and I understand why it provides the name for the series) to life. They are also detailed enough to make the readers feel they know them, and I bet they���d be scene stealers in any movie (I’d love to see Theodora in the flesh and her driving skills put to the test!) It reminded me of Nicholas Sparks and of some bittersweet films one watches, that can make you cry throughout, but eventually you leave with a smile on your face and feeling all the better for it (one of my favourite’s the Italian movie ‘The Son’s Room’ by writer-director Nanni Moretti).
If you don’t enjoy romance, you expect flashy action or heavy erotic scenes; this is not your novel. If you want to cry, laugh, and finish your read with a warm feeling in your heart, go ahead and read ‘Second Chance Grill’. After reading the first chapter of ‘Treasure Me’ I very much suspect I’ll be back for a second helping of the Liberty Series and will continue to explore Ms. Nolfi’s career looking forward to more tears and plenty of smiles.
696 reviews23 followers
July 15, 2019
I loved this book. I cried and I laughed. Mary is moving into a world that she doesn’t have a clue. She has a lot on her plate right now. Blossom is so special and dealing with something a child should never have to deal with. It doesn’t slow her down much. There is no telling what she might think up! Anthony is Blossom’s dad and he is pretty special in my opinion. This is a story or sorrow and joy. The characters are wonderful and such different personalities that you just don’t know what will be said or done next. I hope you get a chance to visit the Second Chance Grill and Liberty. I think you’ll like both places.
Profile Image for Nikki.
86 reviews3 followers
January 27, 2014
What is a person to do when they need to take a break from their life, when things have become too overwhelming to go on? For Mary Chance, the answer comes in the form of a small-town diner.

Second Chance Grill is the second in Christine Nolfi's Liberty, Ohio, series which began with Treasure Me. In this story, we finally get to learn how Liberty and all of it's inhabitants came to be where they were in the first novel.

The first thing I liked about this book is that it can be read alone or as a part of the series. I had read Treasure Me a while ago, but had trouble remembering some of the finer details. I was a bit worried about how that would effect me while reading this story, but as I read on I realized that you don't need prior knowledge to enjoy this book.

Christine Nolfi is probably one of my favorite authors. She may not be a bestselling author yet, but if she keeps up the good work I know she will be. Christine has mastered the art of writing a story full of adventure, suspense, and love, while being able to leave out the overwhelmingly graphic language and violence. Now, I'm not saying that I don't like reading stories with violence, foul language, or gratuitous sex. I'm simply saying that this story was able to engage me and keep me reading without the need of any of that. And in this day, where it seems like the only way to get anyone's attention is with something over-the-top, I feel like that is a huge accomplishment.

My favorite thing about this book was how it drew me in and made me feel like Liberty was my home. Though it is in no way a utopia, Liberty is striking similar to the small town in which I grew up which is coincidentally right outside of Cincinnati (another key location in the story.) From the little locally owned diner to the neighborhood gas station/garage, Liberty could easily have been my home.

Who would I recommend this to? Well, the better question is who wouldn't I recommend it to. I don't recommend you read this if you are looking for an action-packed thriller or mystery, something erotic, or a horror novel. But if you want a book that will sometimes make you smile, sometimes make you tear up, and always make you wanting more? Check out Second Chance Grill by Christine Nolfi.
42 reviews2 followers
May 21, 2020
Damned Good Book!

First time reading anything by this author and at first it did seem kinda boring, but then it started getting, then better! I couldn't stop reading!
I love her character's especially Blossom.
This book made me laugh, heartbroken, and cry.
Now on to the next book in this wonderful series!
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