Time for Once by Jes Smyth – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Jes Smyth who is celebrating the recent release of Time for Once.

For Jolie and Jace, timing is everything. It’s also complicated, and they can’t seem to get it right. They enter a decade-long cycle of passion, heartbreak, bad timing, and, ultimately, self-discovery. Will time, for once, ever be on their side? Fans of Josie Silver and David Nicholls will fall in love with Time for Once by Jes Smyth, an adult, coming-of-age, second chance, love triangle, Women’s Fiction novel.

Have you ever wondered …

If I had met this person as who I am now, instead of who I was then, would it have changed anything?

For fans of Rebecca Serle and Josie Silver.

Two people. Ten years. One winding love story.

Time, for Jolie, is the worst. It moves too slowly when she needs it to speed up; too fast when she wishes she could just bring everything to a halt. But for her and Jace, timing is everything. And they can’t seem to get it right.

Time, for Jace, is simple. The plan is obvious and the outcome is inevitable: earn a degree, get a job, make a life. All in due time. But for him and Jolie, timing is complicated. And they have a habit of falling out of sync.

As they navigate the tides of their relationship amid the uncertainties of life after graduation, Jolie and Jace enter a decade-long cycle of passion, heartbreak, bad timing, and, ultimately, self-discovery. All in pursuit of an answer to the inescapable question: Will time, for once, ever be on their side?

Time for Once is an adult coming-of-age story about love, acceptance, and the mistakes we all make in the messy but crucial process of growth.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“How about we give him two more minutes?” Alix said. “If he’s not out by then, we can assume he left through the front and you won’t—” Alix stopped talking as the lecture door swung open.

Jolie’s back straightened. He was done. And walking. Right past the bench. His messenger bag was slung over one shoulder, and his stride purposeful—like he couldn’t wait to get out of the building.

Jolie stood up, trance-like. Her heart beating a sprinter’s pace. Go catch up, it would say if hearts had mouths. But her feet had turned to puddles, followed by her calves and then her knees. All she could do was stand still as her body dripped into a puddle across the tile.

Alix glanced at her. “Jolie, what are you doing?”

“I… I can’t.” Jolie’s voice shook.

Alix remained quiet. The significance of what Jolie had set out to do, and that she couldn’t see it through, didn’t need highlighting. “You never know,” Alix whispered while Jolie’s eyes tracked his legs moving him further away. “He might come through the Union again and I can give him your number or something.”

“That happened once. In three months. Those odds are not favorable.” Jolie watched him stop in front of the exit. Inevitably, he would walk out those doors and the “Where’s Waldo?” of her college years would continue. It seemed where she was frequent on this campus, he was elusive. Not a single random, or even not-so-random, run-in outside of class. Yet, there he stood, mere steps away. The end of the beginning was within her grasp. All she had to do was go up to him and say what she’d lost so much sleep rehearsing.


Time was running out.

“You’ve put way too much pressure on yourself, and on this person you don’t even know. And—Why is he just standing there?” Alix’s voice sounded far away.
The loud, rhythmic ticking from the lobby clock directly over his head had replaced the sound of his retreating footsteps now that he’d come to a stop.


Jace was staring out the window. She noticed his headphones were pulled down around his neck.


Jolie was standing only a few paces away from him.


She could do this. She had to do this.

Go catch up.

Jolie clutched onto Alix’s arm. Her expression, she imagined, was wild. Her face was an oven.

Alix rolled her eyes. “I’m going to use the bathroom,” she said and mouthed, Go.

Reason took over emotion and Jolie launched herself forward.

About the Author: Jes Smyth is a writer at heart, a poet by accident, and the author of contemporary women’s fiction. With a background in psychology, and a lifetime stuck in her own head, Jes uniquely explores the often misunderstood emotions of change and growth in her debut Time for Once.

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