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Mrs. Sommersby's Second Chance

(The Sommersby Brides #3)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  43 reviews
She’s played Cupid for others

Now she’s met her own unlikely match!

Widowed society matchmaker Mrs. Clara Sommersby thinks handsome, self-made businessman Mr. William Lane is just the man for her neighbor’s overlooked daughter. He’s successful and confident, if somewhat emotionally distant, until suddenly—shockingly—his attention turns to Clara herself! She thought her days
Mass Market Paperback, 283 pages
Published July 16th 2019 by Harlequin Historical
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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I've given this a B at AAR.

Since we ran our feature on Seasoned Romances over at AAR, I’ve been keeping an eye out for romances featuring more mature heroines, who seem to crop up less frequently in historical romances than in other sub-genres.  I was pleased to learn that Laurie Benson’s Mrs. Sommersby – eponymous heroine of the final book in her Sommersby Brides series – is an independent widow in her forties.  Having spent the previous books in the series seeking out suitable matches for
This was on mount TBR and the Amazon algorithm pushed it in my face. So I did as the bots wanted and clicked the description and, praise be!, an older heroine (45!) and a younger hero. Long story short, my face slammed into the order button and I was reading it seconds later. The bots were satisfied, another data point: push more romance about older women!

Anywayyy. I’m glad all that happened. There was nothing particularly amazing about this but it was thoroughly pleasant and sweet. A believabl
Aug 04, 2019 rated it liked it
45-year-old Clara Sommersby is a childless widow and owner of a successful hotel in Bath. 37-year-old William Lane is a self-made man and London entrepreneur who has purchased the coffee shop next door to Clara's hotel and is hoping to buy the hotel to create a big tourist attraction of hotel/spa on site.

Clara's ownership of the hotel is a secret and everyone, including William, assumes her cousin Edmund, who manages it for her, is the real owner. That's Clara's secret. William's secret is that
Frankie (Chicks, Rogues and Scandals)
Well, what to say about this, other than; My goodness, I love it, its absolute perfection!!! This ladies and – I think there maybe some – gents, is how you write a Regency romance. Laurie Benson, I bow down to you!!

I will attempt to put my scattered thoughts in order and write a proper review without too mush gushing, long sighing pauses and over the top waffling, but really with this beauty I make no promises that I won’t just talk for an hour about how gorgeous Lane is and how brilliant Humphr
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mr. William Lane came to Bath from London to secure a business matter. While debating on whether he should drink the local waters, he meets Mrs. Clara Sommersby. Clara has thrived since her husband's passing, and she enjoys her independence. She likes the very serious and dedicated Mr. Lane, but has not considered remarrying; she will not have a man dictacte how to manage her affairs, and besides William is too young for her. Clara and her friend Eleanor, the Dowager Duchess of Lyonsdale, cannot ...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
This is the third and final book in the Sommersby Brides series, but it is able to be read as a standalone story. Mrs. Sommersby is an independent widow in her forties. In the previous books in the series she acted as a matchmaker, seeking out suitable matches for her beloved nieces. In this book, Mrs. Sommersby gets her own happily ever after with a handsome and successful businessman eight years her junior. William Lane has travelled to Bath in order to pursue an investment opportunity. He has ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first read by Mrs Laurie Benson, I am slowly discovering Harlequin Historical Romance writers, I take profit of their new releases as my reading time is quite consumed by ARCs to read first before everything.
What attracted me first to preorder outside some great reviews, it was the characters, for once no more in their earliest youth and with the heroine being older than the hero.
And how I am glad I read Clara and William’s story, I smiled and laughed a lot. Mrs Laurie Benson has a w
Jul 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mrs Sommersby's Second Chance is the third and final book in The Sommersby Brides series. It can be easily be read as a standalone.

Mrs Clara Sommersby is a widow who unknown to others owns a hotel in Bath. It is her security and after nearly ending up in the poor house when her husband was alive security is imperative for her. She is content with her life and is happy to remain a widow, she won't give up her independence to any man by marrying again.

Mr William Lane is in Bath on business. He has
Tracy Emro
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Widow Clara Sommersby has a secret and no desire to remarry. For years Clara was helpless to control her husband’s spending and recklessness with their finances, but since her husband passed away, she secretly purchased a hotel in Bath and hired her cousin Philip Edwards to be the manager. Through smart choices and hard work, she has turned it into a very popular and profitable venture, one she will not risk losing control of by marrying again!

William Lane meets Clara in the Pump Room while tryi
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviews
Let me just say something up front… Although I haven’t read all the books in this series, I now really want to because I loved this book and meeting all the characters makes me wonder about the previous books, so you guys really have to check out the entire series, because that’s what I’m doing next: reading the books I haven’t read yet.

Speaking of this book in particular. Regency novels was what made me start in this crazy Historical Romance addiction that I have now, and it’s still one of my f
Jane Hunt
A witty, romantic Regency romance, set in Bath, with a delightful older heroine, who is looking for her second chance at love. The final book in #TheSommersbyBridesQuartet, Clara, finally gets her chance for happiness, after helping her nieces find theirs. This story reads as a standalone, but if you get the chance to read all the books, do.

This is not a traditional Regency romance, although the Bath setting is. Lane is a businessman, with secrets, Clara is a businesswoman with secrets, which ca
Gwessie Tee
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm utterly floored, this beautiful book is enchanting I adore it very much so, it completely slayed me and definitely has a special place in my heart.

Thank you so very much for writing this beautiful book dear lady.

I'm so glad aunt Clara got her story and William they make a handsome pair
Mrs. Sommersby’s Second Chance is the final book in The Sommersby Brides series by author Laurie Benson. I’ve been waiting for Clara’s story since Ms. Benson first mentioned it many months ago. Although I’m sad to say goodbye to these characters, I can’t think of a better or more perfect ending for “The Sommersby Brides” series than for Aunt Clara to get her HEA!

Mrs. Clara Sommersby has been in all the previous books in this series. She is a loving and devoted Aunt, who has been there for all th
Caitlyn Lynch
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: regency-georgian
There are quite a few things unusual about this book, not least is that it’s set in the Regency and neither of the protagonists is a member of the aristocracy, though the heroine is closest, being a baron’s granddaughter and the widow of an earl’s younger son. The hero is very far from it, having grown up in the Foundling Hospital before being trained to work in a bank and working his way up to becoming an businessman and a man of some means.

Another way this story is unusual is that the heroine
Donna Maguire

This was such a lovely book to read and it made a lovely change for the heroine to be an “older” character as so many of these books focus on younger characters – this is one my mum would absolutely love!!

I loved the setting, the period, the characters and the author did a brilliant job of bringing the story and characters to life for me. The book had just the right amount of detail to make it a gripping read, it was an easy story to follow and I loved bei
Tiziana Langone
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Let’s start with the obvious fact: Yes, this is a love story.
But not just an ordinary story.
Clara Sommersby is a widow for 10 years now and is happily enjoying her freedom and independencen in an era where this is not just for being taken granted.
It’s more custom to marry again, or even take a lover.
But Clara is not that kind of woman. Having been struggling to survice the last years of her marriage, she is determined to do whatever she want, without having to explain herself to a man.
And then
Lisa C
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book definitely deserves 5 stars. The story is well written, the characters are well fleshed out, and the historical points are very interesting. I couldn't put the book down. Highly recommend. ...more
Mia Lansford
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Another fun and humorous book by Laurie Benson. I loved all the characters. I thought the hero and heroine were both lovely, charming, and witty. I find that Benson's voice causes me to smile and gives me an enchanting world to escape too.

Readers who adore Julia Quinn books will want to pick this one up.

#matchmaker #seasonedromance
Good book that is a bit different than the usual Regency romance. We have two people that are older, Clara, who is 45, and Lane, who is 37. Neither of them are in the upper echelons of society, though both have friends who are. It also takes place in Bath instead of London, which was a nice change of pace. Bath is frequently mentioned, but I rarely get a good feel for the area in those books. Here most of the action takes place away from the Pump Room setting.

I liked both Clara and Lane. Clara i
Rose Blue
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
As reviewed at Roses Are Blue:

Clara Sommersby has thrived since the death of her husband ten years ago. During their marriage, all of Clara’s suggestions about managing their finances and investing fell on deaf ears. Unfortunately, her husband’s failure to follow her advice led them to near ruination and the threat of debtor’s prison. When she became widowed, her brother-in-law helped her out financially, and she’s now the successful, if secret, owner of the Fountain Hea
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A romance with a difference

Clara Sommersby is a fiercely independent widow who, cleverly, invested money in a ’shocking' way rather than tread the usual fate of widows, becoming a companion or remarrying swiftly. As such, she has learnt her lessons from life with her late husband, and she vows never to depend on a man again – or to marry again, for that matter.

William Lane's humble background as a foundling – a baby dropped off at the Foundling Hospital in London without any trace of his family
Laura Nelson (Tangents and Tissues)
*mutters to myself behind the door*

How do I get myself into these situations? *palms face* This is like Groundhog Day. Fingers crossed they’re gentle with me.

*deep breath*

Okay, you got this!

*shouts through door*

I have a confession.


I haven’t read any of the other Sommersby Brides series before diving into Clara and William’s story.

*blows out breath*

*pauses* (Yes, again – don’t start with me!)

Is it safe to come out now because I abso-flipping-lutely loved this book and I’m bursting to t
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 . I've not read any previous historical romances by Benson, but was drawn to this when I saw it on Netgalley because of its 40+ year-old protagonist, widow Clara Sommersby, who apparently spent her time matchmaking for her nieces in earlier installments in the series. Clara's a bit lonely in Bath, now that those nieces have wed and left her, despite keeping company with a lively new puppy and an older witty dowager duchess. She meets William Lane at the pump room, not knowing that the newcom ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Review excerpted from my blog post over at FanSciHist (

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Library recommendation: Recommended for public library historical romance collections.

Warning: Hereafter, you chance spoilers. I will try never to reveal major plot points, but to review any book, you must reveal some parts of the story.


Number of titles I have read by this author: 1

Love story speed: Insta-attraction; slow-ish burn

Relationship dynamics: The
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Mrs Sommersby's Second Chance is book four in The Sommersby's Brides Quartet, each book can be read as a standalone story but as a series it's such a treat to be able to read each book and learn more about the characters as each story focuses on a different lead character. The books in the series are:
One Week to Wed
One Night Under the Mistletoe (novella)
His Three-Day Duchess
Mrs Sommersby's Second Chance
Mrs Sommersby's Second Chance is my first introduction to the works of Laurie Benson and her w
Aug 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was SO REFRESHING in all the right ways!

Author Laurie Benson gives us a story filled with humor, wit, temptation, and potentially scandalous near misses that warms the heart, quickens the pulse, and brings a smile to your face. The leading lady is 30+, and her potential suitor is junior to her senior (though not in a distance of decades or anything), but as anyone can see, they are a PERFECT MATCH! Funny how love can find you when you weren't even looking...and for these two, watching
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Up until now, Mrs Clara Sommersby, society matchmaker, was seen in The Sommersby Brides series as an aunt who loved her nieces as if they were her own daughters. Readers and probably Mrs Sommersby herself had no idea what Laurie Benson had in store for her in the devastatingly handsome Mr William Lane.
Clara is an independent widow who enjoys her independence too much to want to hand it over to another husband. And if she ever feels lonely, there are her numerous friends in the beautiful city of
What first drew me to this novel, quickly became tedious. Clara is older than Lane by 8 years. And while that may not seem like a lot to the average reader, the author made it a point to constantly bring it up to the point that Clara seemed to obsess not only over her "advanced age", but also on the fact that she was older than the man showing an interest in her.

I also feel like no matter how well guarded a secret Clara kept her ownership of the hotel, any businessman worth his salt would have
Lori D
Bath, England 1820 Sigh. What a wonderfully engaging story of the heart, that takes you on a journey of two unlikely people meeting by happenstance and forming an attraction. Laurie Benson's wonderful descriptions and charming characters makes it seem like you are there, and wouldn't that be amazing? Her stories are as close as you can get to feeling the atmosphere and even imagining the taste of the restorative waters.
Mrs. Clara Sommersby has made a place for herself in Bath, having been widowe
Rachel (Rae)
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Well we have come to the last book in The Sommersby Bride Series and I can’t believe that it’s over. This series has been perfect and I’ve loved every single moment in these books. Although I have to admit that when I heard we would be getting Clara’s story I may have done a little happy dance!

I loved Clara’s story from the setting of Bath to the characters everything just seemed to fall into place and I found myself not wanting to put this book down but also sad that I would finish it and that
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Laurie Benson is an award-winning historical romance author who writes books about men in boots and the women who fall for them. She began her writing career as an advertising copywriter, where she learned more than you could ever want to know about hot dogs and credit score reports. Her interest in history began when she was in elementary school, and that interest was fueled by many visits to man ...more

Other books in the series

The Sommersby Brides (3 books)
  • One Week to Wed (The Sommersby Brides #1)
  • His Three-Day Duchess (The Sommersby Brides #2)

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