SECOND TO NONE
Billionaire chemist Max Varela is selling his company and leaving New York for good when Emily Wade bursts into his office, desperate for his help in funding her program for disadvantaged kids and shelter dogs. Seven years ago, he fell in love with her when she was married to another man. To fight the unbidden attraction, he cut off all contact but he’s never forgotten her.
Ever since her husband died, Emily has poured her heart and soul into the after-school care center. Seeing Max reawakens the pain of her loss, but it also brings unexpected hope for the future. As emotions thought long gone resurface, they begin a passionate affair that seems destined for a fairytale ending.
Until Max reveals that he’s moving to Chicago in a matter of weeks and wants Emily to uproot her daughter and her life to come with him. If a second chance at love is possible, someone’s got to give.
Nancy Herkness is a magician of words when it comes to writing in the genre of Romance. She provides her novels with the titillating zing that readers long for, that long drawn sigh that leaves your toes curled and you reaching for that favored drink.
But personally, it is because of something far deeper that I have found myself falling in love with the stories that drip from Nancy’s pen. Her stories take the time to develop characters, to delve into the psyche of why and what makes them tick. You feel like you have fallen beneath their skin and are looking at the world from each character’s eyeballs.
Suddenly, it is you who are catching your breath and feeling the throes of anguish and pain, or ecstasy and joy, as you follow along. Wait! You have felt that very pain before, you have longed that deeply before. Such is the magic that Nancy brings us. She covertly lets us realize that the heroines and heroes of her tales feel the same pain and joy we do, in doing so we become the hero/heroine and experience the joy of the story.
Looking back to my favorite books over the years, be they childhood classics, eternal classics, or modern novels that I have reviewed, it is the works that transcended and allowed the reader to identify with the characters to the point that they could feel the very beats of their hearts that have stayed with me. These are also the ones that I have consistently seen at the tops of the charts and sales. Nancy’s stories consistently reach this height. This is why I love her work and why we consistently see award after award on her works.
Nancy’s newest novella, SECOND TO NONE, will not disappoint. As an introductory novella to her new SECOND CHANCE series, it came out batting 1000. Only so much character development and story line can be pursued in the word limit of a novella, but what Nancy accomplished was masterful. She had the reader eating out of her hand in short order as she introduced us to a widow and her daughter, along with a rag-tag board of directors from a local neighborhood, a feisty group of neighborhood school kids (with a few standouts), and a couple of adorable mutts.
By the end of the novella, the stage was set and this reader is ready and waiting to see who will be entering stage-left to join the fray as Nancy’s heroine and crew work to get a shoestring afterschool program and pet rescue off and running in East Harlem in the new series. My hats off and a definite FIVE STAR rating to this new book and the upcoming series. Congrats, Nancy.
ABOUT NANCY HERKNESS
Nancy Herkness is the author of the award-winning Whisper Horse series, published by Montlake Romance, as well as several other contemporary romance novels. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America RITA® award. Her new series, Wager of Hearts, follows the romantic adventures of three very wealthy men who make a life-changing bet.
A member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, and Novelists, Inc., Nancy has received many honors for her work, including the Golden Leaf Award, the Maggie Award in Contemporary Romance, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
Nancy graduated from Princeton University where she majored in English. In addition to her academic work in literature, she was accepted into Princeton’s creative writing program, and her senior thesis was a volume of original poetry.
After graduating, Nancy had a varied career which included retail management and buying, COBOL programming, computer systems sales and marketing, and a brief stint as a receptionist at a dental office. Once her children were in school full-time, she sat down and wrote A Bridge to Love, her first romance novel to be published.
Nancy finds nothing odd about writing in the genre she calls “the “Rodney Dangerfield of the literary world. It gets no respect.” She explains: “I was trained as a poet, but from the day my grandmother gave me my first Georgette Heyer novel I wanted to write romance. Romance is the genre of optimism, and that’s why I like it.”
A native of West Virginia, Nancy now lives in suburban New Jersey with her husband, two mismatched dogs, and an elderly cat. She cheers loudly for the New Jersey Devils hockey team.