Give Love a (Second) Chance

Elizabeth Gilliland Rands
4 min readApr 28, 2024

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A list of some of the great second-chance romance novels

We are getting very close to the release date for Andrew Knott’s LOVE’S A DISASTER, a beautiful, heartwarming, and hilarious rom com releasing on May 21st through Bayou Rose Press. Since the book deals with a popular romance trope, second-chance romance (i.e. two lovers couldn’t make things work before, but are giving things a second go) I thought it would be fun to list some of my favorite novels that use the same trope.

In no particular order…

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Cover for People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Ugh, these two. Once best friends, maybe almost something more, but life has driven them apart. Can they reconnect on one last epically un-epic vacation together? I have always enjoyed Emily Henry’s books, but this was the novel that made her an insta-buy for me.

Beard Necessities by Penny Reid

Cover of Beard Necessities by Penny Reid

It only took us 8 books to get there, but finally Claire and Billy get their happy ending. Man, this one was a journey. To be clear, not all eight books were about their love story, but their angsty lost love cropped up in small doses along the way so that by the time we get to this book, readers would have probably been rioting on the street if things didn’t work out this time! Luckily, in the deft hands of Penny Reid, it was both a heartbreaking and a hilarious journey along the way.

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Cover for Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Mhairi McFarlane’s books are genuinely laugh out loud funny along with being romantic, but this one dives into some heavier themes. Georgina and Lucas loved each other secretly in high school but had a pretty intense falling out, and haven’t seen each other since then…until they do.

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

Cover for Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

Sarah and Eddie have an almost impossibly cute meet cute, but then…he disappears. Sarah’s friends try to persuade her that happens sometimes, guys lose interest, but Sarah can’t believe the connection between them wasn’t real and sets out to find answers. That’s all I can say without spoiling, but it’s quite a journey!

One Day by David Nicholls

Cover of One Day by David Nicholls

Dexter and Emma have had something going on for years and years, but will they ever be in love at the right place, at the right time, and at the same time? This one’s a classic (and is being rediscovered now with the latest Netflix series, yay!) but the original is definitely worth revisiting.

And last but certainly not least…

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I couldn’t put together a list of second-chance romance novels without including what is maybe the O.G. second chance romance novel. Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth were engaged to be married, but differences in wealth and station and advice from a close friend kept them apart…until Wentworth comes back into Anne’s life once again.

Did I leave any of your favorites out? Let us know!

And if you’d like to add a new favorite second-chance romance to your list, check out LOVE’S A DISASTER by Andrew Knott, available in ebook, Kindle Unlimited, and paperback on May 21st!

Cover of Love’s a Disaster by Andrew Knott

Twelve years after a disastrous, failed marriage proposal at a punk rock concert, Caleb and Sadie meet again. Sadie has left her fast-paced job in the music industry and moved home to Florida with her 11-year-old daughter, Scarlett. When Scarlett asks to try a sword fighting club she found online, her instructor is none other than Sadie’s armor-clad ex. The spark is still there, anyone can see it, but things are now… complicated.

Caleb and Sadie must figure out if a second chance at love is possible or if some obstacles are too big to overcome. After secrets from their past are revealed and a path to reconnection emerges, Caleb’s unexpected family drama threatens to upend everything again. Is love always a disaster? Or will Insta-famous peacocks, meddling babysitters, and homemade suits of armor be enough to prove to Sadie and Caleb that lightning can strike twice?

Pre-order here!

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Elizabeth Gilliland Rands

Writer, Mom, Wife, English Instructor, Dr., Chocoholic. Co-founder of Bayou Wolf Press and the Detours Ahead podcast: www.bayouwolfpress.com