BACK TO BEFORE - Tracy Solheim
Second Chances , Book 1
Chances Inlet, North Carolina - Present Day
After an injury ended her ballet career, Ginger Walsh had a short-lived run on a soap opera, but is now hoping that working on a reality home restoration television show will lead to a career as a choreographer. She's working as a personal assistant to her best friend, who is producing the show, and if he is successful, he's promised Ginger the chance to work with him on his next project. Her nomadic childhood has always made Ginger a bit envious of small town life, but she quickly learns that it's not what it's cracked up to be. It seems that nobody in town can understand that her role as a soap opera diva/villainess was a character, and everyone expects her to be Destiny. The truth is that Ginger is pretty much the polar opposite of Destiny, but nobody is willing to give her a chance. Except the hot contractor who is starring in the restoration show, but Gavin McAlister is someone it would be wise for Ginger to stay away from.
Gavin has spent the two years since his father's unexpected death trying to save the family business without ruining his father's reputation and tarnishing the family's image of him. Restoring the Dresden House for the show will be followed by selling it to the production company, and will enable Gavin to return to his career as an architect in New York City. Since his fiancée left almost two years earlier, people in town have tried setting Gavin up with a variety of women, but it's not until he meets Ginger that he's actually interested in seeing where things could go.
Two people who have had their lives and careers completely derailed are trying to get things back on track in BACK TO BEFORE. One mistake meant the end of dancing for Ginger, but if she can work as a choreographer, she won't have to go back to working with her mother, who was just as devastated by Ginger's accident as Ginger herself. She doesn't know anything about restoring houses, but she's willing to run errands for the producer and apply makeup to the stars of the show if it means the possibility of forging a new career path. Gavin had only planned on sticking around long enough to sell his father's construction business after his death, but learning that his dad had taken out a huge mortgage on his mother's inn and used some creative accounting practices to hide the debt changed Gavin's plans. To avoid tarnishing his father's reputation, both with the family and the town, Gavin has been doing everything he can to avoid his mom losing her inn, and the end is finally within sight. A fling with Ginger will be a nice distraction during his last months in Chances Inlet, but he doesn't expect it to be more.
The town itself is full of interesting characters, many of whom don't care to differentiate between the evil character of Destiny, and the good-hearted, optimistic Ginger, much to her dismay. Their dislike of her only adds to her reluctance to get involved with Gavin, as he is treated as both hometown hero and prodigal son, loved by one and all. Among the many townspeople involved in their lives are Gavin's best friend, Will Connelly, and his wife, Julianne, first introduced in FOOLISH GAMES. While it's always fun to catch up with characters from previous books, BACK TO BEFORE also introduces a few new ones and leaves readers curious as to what will happen with Gavin's brothers. Both fun and emotional, BACK TO BEFORE is a treat.