Ruthie Midona, a 25 year old introvert, is left in charge of Providence Luxury Retirement Villa while her boss Sylvia goes on a cruise. Providence is made up of 40 condo units for the elderly who are wealthy enough to afford the luxurious accommodations. Providence is also home to a large amount of endangered gold tortoises, and Ruthie does her best to take care of them when they are hurt, appointing herself their personal protector and guardian.
Ruthie hires a temp employee named Melanie to help out in the office while she tries to fulfill Sylvia’s role. Ruthie lives a lonely life, keeping to herself and almost never leaving Providence. Though she once dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, she has become comfortable with her familiar routine in her humble, yet tastefully decorated cottage on the Providence property. Because she lives on site, Ruthie is able to help residents at any hour, even if they have a wild whim that she can solve for them. Case in point, Renata and Aggie, a pair of very wealthy 90 year old gals who are looking for an assistant to be at their every beck and call. More specifically, they want a boy toy who is easy on the eyes and will do whatever they say. Despite Ruthie’s trepidation of leaving the property, Renata and Aggie ask her to gas up their vehicle, leaving her feeling like a fish out of water at the local gas station.
It is at the gas station where Ruthie is approached by a gorgeous, tattooed hulk of a man on a motorcycle who mistakes her for a person in a Golden Girls cosplay outfit. Completely humiliated and flustered, Ruthie decides she needs to start acting her age. The majority of her adult life has been spent at Providence, and its no surprise that she has been dressing like a retired person. Melanie enthusiastically offers to help Ruthie learn how to live and dress like she is 25 years old. Ruthie begrudgingly accepts, and enjoys her new budding friendship with Melanie.
But then the property developer shows up, and it turns out that the gorgeous man with the hair from the gas station who she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about is his son, Teddy. Teddy is a tattoo artist, but his father wants him to get a “real job”. Ruthie sets him up with Renata and Aggie, and he turns out to be kind-hearted, loveable, funny, and caring, despite her first impression of him. He fits in with the residents like he has always meant to be at Providence, and he makes it look so easy. It turns out Teddy’s first impression of Ruthie was way off base, as well. Thankfully, they have a chance at a second first impression and happiness, if they play their cards right.
This is a sweet, tame romance with a lot of humor and witty banter between characters. The plot is unique and the writing is whip smart. I laughed out loud at the interactions between the 90 somethings and the 20 somethings caring for them. Second First Impressions is a lovely story and just what the world needs at the moment for a pick-me-up, feel-good novel. I highly recommend it!
Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with an early review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.