Throwback Thursday meme is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as sharing books that you’re FINALLY getting around to reading that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on your TBR list while you continue to pile more titles on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board and connect back to Renee’s blog.

This is the fourth review of the Ten Books I Forgot I Had on My TBR.

Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Cafe by Tilia Kelbenov Jacobs

Published April 5th 2015 by Linden Tree Press

Synopsis: 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.

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Serve You Right Café is located in a small Massachusetts college town. It is staffed by Eden Rose, the owner/manager, Emet, a full-time baker, and one part-time server. Eden Rose is a recovering alcoholic, who is a confidante to all. She has a generous nature, huge heart and is like an amateur psychologist. Emet, is a parolee recently released from prison. He is a talented and highly skilled baker, learning his skill in a prison culinary course. He is a caring person, who does not want to go back to prison. He doesn’t drink, smoke, use drugs or do anything else that could cause his parole to be revoked. When Emet meets a woman named Mercedes, he cannot believe his luck when she agrees to go out with him. Where she is a doctor of physiotherapy; he only has a high school diploma and a prison record. He is worried that she will not want anything to do with him when she finds out about his recent and lengthy incarceration. Mercey has her own secrets and baggage that she is also worried about. How will anyone want to develop a relationship with her when they find out about her extremely dysfunctional family?

I enjoyed this story. Tilia Klebenov Jacobs packed in a lot of story in just over 200 pages. There were several characters besides the main three that added so much to this story. The various themes of homelessness, veterans, service dogs, alcoholism, drug addiction, parolees and more are all meshed together to make a very interesting story. The story is well-written in a beautiful way. It is written with warmth, humility, kindness and understanding. It doesn’t judge, and it shows humanity in its good and bad. The characters were so real to me that I wanted to crawl into the story and sit on that park bench with them. This is the first book I have read by this author, but I will be looking for more. I definitely recommend this one to those who enjoy second chances and stories about human nature.