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Summary

After escaping to New York City, Issac Reynolds returns to his small Ozark hometown for his 20-year high school reunion. While there, old ghosts emerge and threaten the emotional safety distance provided. As fate would have it, his long lost love, Grant Atkins, attends the reunion as well and challenge Issac's emotions in an entirely different way....

This 23K word novella takes place in the setting of The Shattered Door and Then the Stars Fall, but is a stand-alone.

©2020 Brandon Witt, Wings of Ink Publications (P)2020 Brandon Witt, Wings of Ink Publications

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  • Karen Hardy
  • 05-10-20

This was a heartwarming second chance story...

'Second Helping' is the story of two men...best friends and more, who meet again at their high school reunion after 20 years. While growing up Grant Atkins and Isaac Reynolds were best friends...until they weren't. The day after their high school graduation Isaac left their little podunk town and headed for the bright lights of New York without so much as a good-bye for Grant, his constant companion. Grant was heart broken but life goes on and now after all the years and the mistakes that came with them, he's in a good place with his life. When Isaac shows up at their 20 year high school reunion it all changes because both men realize that 20 years apart has done little to douse the passion they once shared. Grant knows he's going to be in for more heartache but the chance to have even one more night with Isaac is more than he can resist. As Isaac and Grant revisit the past both men learn things that leaving them re-evaluating the choices they made and looking at each other with a new perspective as well as renewed feelings. 'Second Helpings' is a short but incredibly sweet second chance story. It takes place in the same town as 'The Shattered Door' and 'Then the Stars Fell', however, while the characters in each of these stories are mentioned in the other stories they are not directly connected to each other and the books can technically be read as standalones. Drew Bacca was the narrator for this story unlike the previous stories which were narrated by Andrew McFerrin and while I'm normally a fan of consistency when it comes to narrators in this case it was a non-issue since this is not actually a part of a series...the stories have a connection because of location...not because of recurring characters. This was only my second time listening to an audio book by this narrator and I found that he added both depth and personality to the characters through their voices. Certainly a narrator that I would not hesitate to listen to again. At 2 hours and 25 minutes, I was honestly impressed by how much story was contained in such a short amount of time. As the current events of Grant and Isaac's reunion unfold their memories of the past are seamlessly brought into conversations allowing the listener to simply absorb events and recounting of memories effortlessly. While this was the shortest of the stories set in the small Ozark town of El Dorado by this author that I've listened to, for me it was also the most enjoyable. ************************* An audio book of 'Second Helpings' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Kat E.
  • 28-09-20

Another Chance

Story 4.5 Stars  Audio 4.5 Stars The story is solid and I enjoyed it a great deal. The narrator’s voice was easy to listen to and I was pulled into the easy flow of the audiobook. Narrator Drew Bacca’s portrayal of Isaac was laid-back and expressive. He did justice to this bittersweet second chance romance of past regrets. Isaac left his hometown decades ago and never doubted his decision. On a dare from his friends in New York City, he is attending his class reunion. Even after all this time, being back home is still painful for multiple reasons. Mr. Bacca really made the voice of Isaac’s past love interest distinct and likable. Drew was the one he never forgot and seeing him once again floods Isaac with wonderful memories of the two of them. Isaac had a rough past and would have been homeless if not for his grandparents that raised him. Being biracial in a small town was not easy. One day Isaac is confronted with a hideous secret and leaves in a rush and unfortunately, he had to leave Drew behind. Isaac’s time in town may be brief but the years haven’t dulled the intense feelings of these two men. Can the hometown lovers find their way back to each other after so much distance and hurt? A sweet story that was wonderful to read and to listen to. I highly recommend this audiobook and hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy Listening!  

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  • OldLadyStauffer
  • 17-09-20

A second chance to get it right

High school reunions. Three of the most dreaded words ever. Yet, something brings Isaac back to his hometown. The hometown even his grandfather’s funeral couldn’t bring him home to. The hometown he stood out in. Being mixed race, he never felt like he belonged there. Except for one person he left behind; Grant. His best friend, and secret boyfriend...until the day he left for college, never looking back. This story is not all sunshine and roses. There are misunderstandings, hurts, pent up frustration, and love. Watching them take a walk down memory lane was both beautiful and painful at times. But that’s life. Because of that, I felt like I could relate to these characters. This was a well-written story, with an approachable plot. Being a novella, it was easy to sit down and read it in one sitting. The characters were easy to like, and root for, as they discovered what they wanted for their lives. This was the first time I’ve listened to Drew Bacca narrate, and I hope it’s not my last. He brought such emotion into telling the story that I could feel what the characters did. He was great at giving different voices to the characters. I really enjoyed the tone of his voice. It was soothing, like an old friend, which was PERFECT for this story.

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  • The Book Wench
  • 14-09-20

Fabulous!

For being so short, this story packs a powerful punch. A second chance, friends-to-lovers story with enough history provided to make the friends' eventual reunion and decision to stay together a delight I was happy to watch happen. The author even manages to include a second leaving, another breakup of a sort, which both Isaac Reynolds and his best friend Grant Atkins are able to overcome this time, since the first time, when Isaac left, he didn't return for twenty years. I also love that this is an interracial love story. There seem to be too few of those in MM romance, so this was refreshing.

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  • Karen
  • 06-09-20

Second chances, soul mates, and a great narrator!

Second Helpings is a heartwarming second-chance-at-love story, set in the same town as the amazing Then The Stars Fall. We only get to reconnect with a couple of the characters from that beautiful story, but it was lovely even so. The love that exists between Grant and Isaac is as overwhelmingly mesmerizing as it seems hauntingly hopeless. It is only novella-length book, but the author succeeds in painting a nuanced background story for the MC’s, and both Isaac and Grant are interesting, complex characters. The depth of their love for each other is immediately evident and very persuasive. I love that it is Grant, who seems so staid and (understandably) leery of taking risks or standing out, who in the end takes an impressive leap of faith. I love him for Isaac. Isaac’s past holds such pain and heartbreak, and he deserves all the love, acceptance, and happiness he finds with Grant. Narration: I was absolutely charmed by Drew Bacca’s narration of Second Helpings. He brings such nuanced emotion and warmth to his performance and has a very pleasant voice. I loved the voices he did for both the MC’s, Grant’s subtle accent was especially wonderful to listen to.