Friday, February 14, 2014

THE CHANCE by Robyn Carr

Publisher:   Harlequin
Date published:   February 25, 2014
Genre:   Contemporary Romance
Book format: Paperback
Obtained via:  Publicist
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

Five Hearts
Not happy with the progress of her recovery from a bullet wound she received during a daring rescue from a cult compound, FBI agent Laine Carrington takes a leave of absence in Thunder Point.  Devon and Mercy, the woman and daughter Laine helped save have settled there and like so many before her, Devon has found the love of a lifetime.  But it isn’t love Laine is looking for. It’s a chance to heal from that wound, to get strong again and make some decisions about her future in the FBI.  She is also on the run from a toxic situation created by her father. 

After learning he has a teenaged daughter named Ashley, ex con Eric Gentry has moved to Thunder Point.  He sold his successful gas station/garage miles away and bought the Thunder Point station.  With business doing well, a good relationship with the mother of his child and her husband and a community that judges by who you are, not what you were, Eric’s life is pretty complete.  When he meets Laine though, he quickly finds that he wants more in his life.  Despite the fact he’s made his own peace with his past, he understands that given her job, Laine might have some issues with him.

As Nick’s business grows he finds he needs to add station attendants and gladly takes on 17 year old Justin.  Justin keeps to himself and works hard, but Nick can’t help but feel there is something wrong where Justin is concerned.  At the same time one of his former employees, Al Michel, arrives in town looking for work.  Nick is thrilled to have Al on board, especially with his relationship with Laine growing.  When Nick confides his concerns about Justin to Al, the older man steps in to do what he can.  But, like Justin, Al has his secrets.  Secrets that keep him moving from town to town, job to job, but always, always, returning to the farm he grew up on.

As Laine and Nick come closer and closer Laine is finally able to look at her real reasons for coming to Thunder Point.  Issues from her past need to be dealt with but she does her best to push them aside until one day, one of those issues she is running from, arrives on her doorstep.

Eric, Laine, Al, and Justin all have their secrets, their hurts and their worries.  What will happen if they take a chance on letting someone else in?

I have loved every one of Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point books and as I come to the end of each one I think that that book was the best one yet.  Then I read the next one and soon find Ms. Carr has outdone herself.  Each book gets better and better and THE CHANCE is truly the best yet.  While introducing new characters to Thunder Point we have the chance to catch up with those we’ve met in the earlier books.  They aren’t stagnant, but grow and develop as each new story unfolds.  You feel like these are people you know, they could be your neighbours and friends and maybe, just maybe they are a part of you.

Ms. Carr deals with life issues that we may all face realistically with care and compassion.  Having lived with a learning disability myself and all the prejudgment and misunderstanding that can go with that I applaud how she dealt with a character who has dyslexia in the book.  Taking a page from her title of THE CHANCE, she gives her readers a glimpse into the world of someone who struggles to read even the simplest thing and how people can step up to help that person.

When it is revealed that one of the characters develops Alzheimer’s, once again she treats the illness with compassion and understanding not only for the person suffering with the disease, but how the families can be affected.  How the disease robs not just the victim’s memory but so much from the family of that person.  But she doesn’t leave you dangling and feeling defeated—she gives a sense of hope in the midst of a painful reality.

I’ve said in prior reviews that the town of Thunder Point is portrayed realistically and the kind of place I’d like to live in.  The characters – the residents of the town have the same concerns, ups and downs, challenges and joys we all do.  They could be anyone you know.

Each book is more or less a stand-alone story since Ms. Carr weaves the backstories of the prior books into the current story.  That said, you don’t want to miss any of them and you definitely do not want to miss THE CHANCE.  It is a fantastic story that will keep you turning pages and rooting for each character as he or she takes their own chance at happiness.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

No comments: