Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Café by Tilia Klebenov Jacobs

Standalone. Linden Tree Press (April 2015) NetGalley
What if the world didn’t want you to go straight? Out on parole after almost ten years in prison, Emet First is repairing his shattered life. He has friends, a job, and his first date in a decade. The young woman, Mercedes Finch, is lovely but wounded. When her deranged brother learns about Emet’s past, he will stop at nothing to destroy him—and suddenly Emet has everything to lose.


Emet seems just like a regular guy working his magic alongside Eden Rose, the owner of the Serve You Right Café. He just got a date with a beautiful woman who works as a physical therapist. The problem is he knows he has to reveal his criminal past at some point, but he just knows if he does she'll run away.

Mercey, has had to deal with her mother's harsh words and her brother's drug addiction for most of her life. Now when she finally has a great career, has a date with a cute guy, and is moving out of her mother's home she can't help but feel worried. What will happen when Emet finds out how screwed up her family is? In particular, her addict brother who will do anything to keep Mercey from leaving and stop her "caretaking" duties of him. He'll even go as far as trying to get Emet sent back to jail.

I really enjoyed where this was going two-fourths of the way in. I got a little lost there with the story centering around too many things, but still this was fairly enjoyable. This felt like it was too fake in a way with the brother acting crazy and Emet being the obvious hero. There were also a bunch of storylines like I said before which centered around a lot of people. There was no real need for that. I think the amount of pages in this book also contributed to the factor that I thought this was just alright. I would give Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Café a chance if you are looking for a feel-good story with a happy ending.

Do you think former criminals deserve a second chance?


  1. I really appreciated your honest review. The cover of this book made me curious about it, but I am not sure it is the book for me right now. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I know the cover is so enticing. There is nothing really wrong with it. It just wasn't the best it could be for me.

  2. Emet sounds like a character that really does deserve a second chance. I love the premise of this one, but too bad that it sounds like too many things were going on in the story. If they've served their time, have stayed out of trouble, and make good use out of their life after prison, I do think criminals deserve second chances.

    1. I can agree with you if the criminals totally reformed and as long as they didn't do something terribly heinous on purpose.


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