If you could have a second chance at true love, would you take it?
Jayden is offered the opportunity to journey back in time when she loses her soulmate, Callahan, on their twentieth anniversary. Enticed by the idea of meeting Callahan ten years earlier, she takes the leap.
From 2015 back to 1985, Jayden restarts her college experience at Florida State University. Her best friend Patrick from the first time around is at her side, supporting her attempts to win over young Cal.
Professor Travis Stratford has his eyes set on Jayden and throws his hat into the ring. Could he be a good distraction while she waits for Callahan to give her a second first chance?
Young Cal, still suffering from a recent loss of his own, is a different man than her Cally of the future. Will Jayden have the patience necessary to win him over? Will Cal believe her crazy tale?
Immerse yourself in this poignant, sexy, hilarious romance, which will have you laughing—and crying— your heart out.
I lay in bed wondering if I had crossed over into coo-cooville. I desperately needed to talk to Callahan. (If he were still alive,) he would know what to make of it all. If Toly was real, could I walk away from the life we built and start over? There was so much I could and would do differently.
I could go back to the age of eighteen and hunt down Callahan, and we could start ten years earlier. I wouldn’t drop out of college after my first year, throwing away my parents gift of four years paid tuition, room, and board. I could pursue creative writing from the start instead of waiting tables for years as I paid my way to earn my teaching degree.
If I couldn’t convince Cally to love me straight away, I would have the opportunity to have more sexual experiences. He had so many more lovers than I did when we met that he felt like I had somehow missed out. However, having sex with another while still so deeply in love with Callahan might prove challenging.
I wondered if I could change my appearance, or if I would have to look the same as I did at eighteen. I was attractive enough, but if I could change a few things here and there... On the other hand, it would be amazing if Toly could hold off cellulite until I was, at least, sixty or make me one of those women who bounce back from pregnancy in a week and never look like they had a baby in the first place.
The only stumbling block—well two of them really—which stopped me from outright considering it: (my daughter) Ash lightly snoring beside me and whether or not my mind had fractured over the loss of Callahan and had decided to play trick or treat with me.
I slipped quietly out of bed and went downstairs to find some alcohol to help lull me into sleep. My racing mind would not shut up.
In the cabinet above the refrigerator, I found a bottle of Stolichnaya vodka. At the table, I poured an inch into a tumbler and knocked it back. The smell of cinnamon wafted over me just before Toly reappeared. “Back again, I see.” I poured another shot into the glass.
“We had not completed our conversation.” He bowed slightly. “My apologies for the abrupt departure.”
“Understood. Shannon would have swift kicked you had she met you on the street. Of course, my sanity is still in question. Whether I believe you or not is simply beside the point.”
“To answer your question, the only change I can make for you would be to retain your memory if you decide to go back. In addition, as soon as you make your choice, I will be gone. If you choose to remain here and now, I can wipe your memory of me.”
“So you can’t make me enjoy cleaning or have less of a sweet tooth?”
“Wait a minute,” I bristled. “Do the collective of watchers or whatever you called them see everything I do? Even in my private alone time? Pick my nose? Touch my... Okay now, I’m an open-minded woman, but that’s just—” I was about to say fucked up but instead said, “Creepy.”
“Their purpose is not to judge or gawk, but to guide when necessary. The more closed off the occupier is, the less influence they have. You are considering eighteen for your insertion time,” he stated, taking a seat at the table.
“Would you care for a drink?” I asked, my southern politeness overriding the fear of my apparent lunacy.
“I have no requirement of sustenance and prefer you refrain until our conversation has concluded.”
“Fine,” I said, pushing the glass away from me. “Yes, eighteen makes the most sense to me or really is the most appealing. I’m not sure I have any sense left. I would love an extra ten years with Callahan, and retracing the same steps I’ve already covered seems like a dreadfully boring prospect. I was always the dreamer and the risk taker of the two of us. I know, knew, know Callahan so well and yet, in this crazy scenario, I have no idea what he’d advise. I do know he would take any opportunity for a longer life together. But I feel like I’m abandoning Ashley when she needs me the most. I get that she wouldn’t have been born yet, but she will still be real to me.”
He watched me intently and waited for me to continue.
“If I’m going to go full-blown into this delusion, let’s get down to business. Can I tell Callahan about all of this if I go?”
“Yes, but there are no guarantees he will believe you.”
“I’m certain he won’t initially, but I think I can get past that. And other people?”
“It would be ill-advised to share it with others, but there is no rule against it.”
“Can you send me back with a lot of money?”
“No. You’re financial situation will remain the same given the particular time you select. However, once in, you can manifest any changes you would like within the confines of natural law.”
“Can I go back to the very day I arrived at Florida State University after my folks drive away?”
“That can be done.”
“I know I already asked this, but please tell me again that I will definitely have Ashley if I go back.”
“If and/or when you get pregnant, she will be your first child.”
I forced out a breath and said, “Let’s do it, but first I want to kiss her goodbye.”
Blakely Bennett grew up in Southeast Florida and has been residing in the great Northwest for over ten years. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a degree in psychology, which accounts for her particular interest in crafting the personalities, struggles, and motivations of her characters. She is an avid reader of many genres of fiction but especially enjoys erotica and romance. Writing has always been her bliss.
Blakely is married to a wonderful, loving, and supportive husband, who is also a writer, and who helps to keep her grounded. She is a mother, a communitarian, a lover of music (it is always on while she is writing thanks to Pandora), and a good friend. An advocate of love and female empowerment, she is also a facilitator for a women’s group. She loves to walk and hike for exercise, and finds that, since moving to Seattle, Washington, she is now one of those crazy people who walk in the rain.
The Second First Chance is her eighth novel. Her other novels include the Bound by Your Love Series (Stuck in Between, Bittersweet Deceit, & Blue Persuasion), the dark erotic suspense My Body Trilogy (My Body-His, My Body-His (Marcello) and My Body-Mine) and the contemporary romance, The Demarcation of Jack, which she co-wrote with her husband, Dana Bennett.