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Publisher's Summary

Kyle McKallister has lived his life in the shadows. Younger brother to one of the world's most elusive and embattled celebrities, Kyle has carved out a comfortable existence touring with his famous brother and living in the lap of luxury with no commitments or plans of his own, only a deep, haunting loyalty to his brother. But his life is about to be shaken up when the opportunity comes to compete on a popular reality show.

Small town girl Kenzie Williams has come on the show for one thing only: to win. But when a disastrous start forces her to rely on an eclectic band of misfits, she finds herself immediately smitten with a handsome and mysterious cast mate. Life on the island is just a game. Can Kyle and Kenzie's fragile spark survive the pressures of the real world?

Warning! No alpha males were harmed in the making of this novel. While the laid-back, self-deprecating Kyle may someday discover his inner bad boy, he's clearly still in the baby stages of self-discovery. This is the story of an ordinary young man stumbling his way through life and the everyday girl who shows him a better way.

©2017 J. Bengtsson (P)2017 J. Bengtsson

What listeners say about The Theory of Second Best

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow I loved this book

Had a good laugh in parts at the crab nearly wet myself...! If you read book one and enjoyed it you will love book two Idid

1 person found this helpful

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Fits of laughter

Love love love Had me laughing out loud! Has every emotion possible. Just couldn’t stop listening

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unassuming hero and heroine...lovely suprise

J.bengtsson has a lovely way of bringing the everyday girl and/or boy to herione/hero status. it's refreshing and fun to read and watch as their personalities grew and eventually made them hero/heroine material. great writing and the feel I g of even the average person can get their dream

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A truly genius author!

Where does The Theory of Second Best rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I loved this book because it was so refreshing to see the main male character not so Alpha male and have everything figured out. It made him so much more real and you struggled along with his discovery of himself. I commend the author for doing an amazing job!!

What about Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt ’s performance did you like?

As always these two a so entertaining to listen to :)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!I couldn't wait to drive to or from work so I could start listening again.

Any additional comments?

Heartfelt gratitude to the author for such a refreshing and human characters that wasn't predictable! You've got a fan for life here :)

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Great series

I love this series the only wish I have for this one is there love took a long time to happen and because of this I didn't find there connection to be as convincing as story 1 and 3
But loved this anyway
Worth the credit

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  • jodiod
  • 01-05-2017

Great series!!

Loved it. Different than Cake and still great. Made me immediately reread Cake to stay in their world. Can't wait for the next one.

11 people found this helpful

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  • 🎧 Cyndi Marie 🎧
  • 14-10-2017

✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫

I loved Kyle and Kenzie's book! It was different and I loved that the timeline overlaps with Cake. In the beginning I wasn't sure about Kyle but man he really grew on me fast! This one had me laughing out loud a few times!

Kyle is the brother who lives in the shadow of the rock star but he is more than just Jake's brother, he just needed someone to show him that. His loyalty is my favorite quality! Kenzie has been carrying the weight for way too long and it's time she venture out on her own. The Reality TV game was a great way for them to meet and become friends. I also really enjoyed all the side characters and their originality.

My favorite part of this book was Kyle and Jake's relationship. They need to stop letting everything from the past keep them at a distance and their loyalty and protections of each other just melts my heart.

The narration was great! Both Andi and Zachary are amazing narrators no matter what book they are performing.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Smitten with Reading
  • 01-09-2017

A rating...

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.25
Story: 4.5

I don't watch much TV, but I do watch Survivor. As a result, I loved this book which takes place on the reality show Stranded.

Kyle is the hero of this book. He's the younger brother to Jake, the hero of the first book in the Cake series. Kyle has spent his life playing second fiddle to his brother...for the most part, happily. He doesn't think that he ever deserves more than second best. This time on the island is the first time he's really been able to be his own person, rather than Jake McCallister's brother...because he doesn't confess who he is for the first few weeks on the island.

Kenzie is a woman looking for more in her life. She's spent her young life caring for her triplet siblings after their mother died in childbirth. Now the triplets are 16 and fairly self-sufficient. Kenzie hopes to win the money and be able to leave and strike out on her own to explore living her own life.

The meet-cute for Kenzie and Kyle is AWESOME! One word...seasickness. Poor Kenzie. Her utter mortification and embarrassment for that first twenty-four hours is just classic. I was both cringing and laughing in embarrassment for her. But that's what makes Kyle such a great hero in this book. He really is just a great guy. He lets things roll off his back and doesn't leave anyone feeling bad about anything that happens. But honestly Kenzie is like that, too.

I loved both of them. They are great characters who have really drawn the short end of a lot in life. There were moments, especially toward the end of the book where my heart was completely broken. Kyle's speech with Jake...sob. OMG, the author rocked that whole scene.

The story was so good. I really adored the first book, and liked this one almost as much. It's official....J. Bengtsson is easily an auto-buy author for me now.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Marsha Lipps
  • 28-04-2017

The Theory of Second Best...

I loved the way this book continued the saga and helped fill in some details from CAKE. In terms of modern romance...I find this series to be very enjoyable, especially in Audible! I was so happy to see the growth of some of the side characters and get to see some interaction with Jake and Casey. I loved to watch the love story of Kyle and Kenzie develop and flourish in the realm of reality tv.
What I really enjoy about this saga is the way the main characters start moving on with their lives after suffering thru such horrible trauma. It really moves the bar up in terms of developing full characters instead of just romantic icons.
Can't wait for Book 3!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kelly
  • 28-04-2017

REFRESHING

If you could sum up The Theory of Second Best in three words, what would they be?

Fun - Heartwarming - Real

Have you listened to any of Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I love both of them. Andi is one of my favorites and she nails this one yet again.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If I could have, I would have listened all in one sitting. But since I have to have more than 4 hours of sleep, I had to shut it off.

Any additional comments?

It was so wonderful to read a HEA story with normal people. Kyle is a wonderful man. To be able to watch his self discovery and growth was just fun. Kenzie is a great girl with a heart of gold. This book was every bit a great as Cake. I think I have a new favorite author.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy Smith
  • 26-04-2017

Excellent!

If you could sum up The Theory of Second Best in three words, what would they be?

Very good story

What other book might you compare The Theory of Second Best to and why?

Cake

What does Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Andi Arndt is the best no matter what part she reads and I really liked Zachary Webber. Perfect for Kyle.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Annie The Audible Addict!!!
  • 26-06-2017

I LOVED IT!! EVEN BETTER THAN THE FIRST!!!

What made the experience of listening to The Theory of Second Best the most enjoyable?

All of it...the writing, the story, the narration it was great...really sweet. touching and sexy!!!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Theory of Second Best?

When Kyle begs Jake to wake up...oh my heart!!!

Which character – as performed by Zachary Webber and Andi Arndt – was your favorite?

Kenzie then Kyle....both were perfect!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Oh yes...Kyle and Jake....there heart to heart when he wakes up....oh I cried a little!!

Any additional comments?

THIS WAS PERFECT!! I loved everything about this 2nd book...it was sweet, funny, sexy...and I could not stop listening!! If you loved book 1 you will totally love book 2...this is Kyle's story and Kenzie...they meet on a reality show, similar to survivor, become fast friends...and it is so much fun!! I RECOMMEND!!!!!

13 people found this helpful

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  • runsonblackcoffee
  • 13-04-2018

Sorry no... but I’m not a quitter

I loved cake and maybe it’s personal bias because I freakin hate reality tv... I couldn’t get into it. About halfway through, it got me for a while but I fell back off again until the end. Her writing is great but there just wasn’t enough of a pull or excitement to keep me interested. They were a little boring for a while. Then near the end, these time jumps had me a little confused and I honestly had no idea what was going on at the end. I am, however, very invested in all the characters and still want to continue the series. Maybe my hatred of reality tv just ruined my experience - idk. I loved the scene between brothers when he was talking to Jake in his coma - very emotional. I think she did a lot better with the sex this time, it was a bit more exciting and less awkward wording in my opinion.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chinicki
  • 26-09-2017

Deserves more than 5 stars

I really loved this book. If you want a feel good book that will make you laugh this is it

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bex
  • 10-05-2018

I think I just became a Zachary Webber fan

I swear I should have found this narrator before - I actually discovered this book while searching for titles Andi Arndt has narrated because she and Sebastian York seem to be the power couple of the audiobook world. Now there's a love triangle because Webber totally rocks my socks. He's got this inflection that reminds me of Ryan Reynolds/Deadpool and I just ADORE it. Of course, this book series is wonderful so it's even better to listen to. So you can read this alone and I almost did, not realizing until I downloaded it that it was a second book in a series. You'd think the title would clue me in, but this book is not second best, if anything it's better. Kyle's brother is a famous rock star from book 1 and Kyle has pretty much been piggybacking on his brother's career his whole life - and he's starting to notice that others are noticing. So he signs himself up for a Survivor-style reality show. Bengtsson is quickly showing she's got a knack for writing for the real woman - as she adds another lovely addition to her pool of characters in the form of Kenzie, a small town girl ready for something different after stepping in for her mother when she passed away during the birth of triplets. I think the most surprising thing is that neither Kyle nor Kenzie bothered to Google survival skills and pretty much just showed up to wing it on the show - that's the one thing that bugged me. If I could win a million you know I'd be learning how to capture/make fresh water, built tents, stay warm, and learn how to fish with what I was given. Heck, at least I know how to make rope because Tom Hanks spent quite a lot of movie time during Castaway doing just that - but neither of these survivalists attempted anything like that during filming and relied primarily on what was given. But then again, maybe that's how some people play those games (I never really watched the shows). Other than that it's fun to watch them flounder together. Kenzie is a bit adorkable and Kyle is the young anti-commitment guy you'd expect in a romance novel - the kind that doesn't realize what he's missed until she's gone. But while that might be predictable, we get so much after the reconciliation that it's worth it. And we even get an extension of the first novel since this book begins before the first and stretches past it giving us a glimpse of the drama in Jake's life from a different perspective. We also learn a bit more of what went down a decade ago. Good fun. 5 stars.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Garden girl
  • 27-12-2017

Nothing Second Best here.

Another wonderful story by J Bengtsson, brilliantly narrated by Andi Arndt and Zackary Webber. The story is told with richness and humour, providing a totally satisfying listening experience. Fabulous xx

1 person found this helpful

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  • Leanne
  • 08-06-2017

Amazing

I got a free copy of this audio book but to be honest was going to buy it already after reading the book! Amazing couldn't recommend this audio book enough. Only disappointing thing about this author is she only has 2 books out I need more and I can't wait for more! I have both Kindle books and both audio books! One click this bad boy!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • L Hayes
  • 21-05-2017

One Great Writer!!

I cant believe that this is only the second novel from J. Bengtsson. The style of writing and story telling far exceeds this. True skill and long may it continue. Excellent performance from both Andi Arndt and Zachary Webber. I would definitely recommend both J. Bengtsson and the Cake series. I thoroughly enjoyed both stories and look forward to future novels from this Author.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 22-07-2018

Good Read/ listen

i liked the book it took a bit of getting in to but once the story got going it was good. got to Admit i like the first book better but this book had more good going for it than bad. the characters were good i found the story line a little bit weak it was nice to finally find out about the kidnap from Jake the lead in tbe first book. audible narratikn was excellent ..

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