Title: Taking a Chance
Author: Emjay Haze
Publisher: NineStar Press
Length: 222 Pages
At a Glance: The potential was there and I had high hopes, but this one didn’t work out for me like I’d anticipated.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Recent college graduate, Ethan Moore, flies to San Francisco for a job interview with an advertising firm. That evening, he goes to a gay club where meets a gorgeous man who seduces him, but leaves his hotel room in the morning with only a note. A few weeks later, Ethan begins his new job and discovers that the man he slept with is his boss, Chance Harlow. He’s fallen for the playboy, but wants to keep their relationship strictly professional. His efforts fail miserably as Ethan keeps succumbing to Chance’s advances.
Ethan is selected to accompany Chance to Bali for a huge account. He will be spending ten days at a luxurious resort with the man he’s fallen in love with. Chance has made his intentions known, and he won’t pressure him, but if Ethan doesn’t want him, there are plenty of men who will. Ethan struggles with this until one evening they are in the hot tub with two hot swingers who want to play. He flees after watching Chance make out with one of the men. Will Ethan finally give in to the playboy, or did his actions lose him the man he loves?
Review: The plot of Taking a Chance had a lot of potential, and after reading the blurb, I was really excited to immerse myself in Ethan and Chance’s story. Unfortunately, a few factors compiled that make it impossible for me to become invested and engaged. In fact, by midway through, I was having a hard time sticking with it at all.
These are my least favorite reviews, because I truly believe there is a readership for every kind of story/book, and my reading preferences definitely aren’t a lot of people’s cup of tea. But it’s my honest review, and I can only give my experience, so here we are. That being said, I have pet peeves and mine happened to be this book’s main focus during the first two-thirds. What is it? Wishy-washy behavior.
This is one of those cases where I think the story could have had quite a bit cut out of it to shorten it substantially, and I would have enjoyed it more than I did. Which is really weird for me, because I generally feel the complete opposite. Why, in this case? Well, for the majority of the book the plot was on repeat. It was the same internal thoughts, over and over again, by both characters, just different locations. My main frustration though—Ethan was wishy-washy with his thoughts and actions. He seriously was one of the most indecisive characters I have ever read—the “I want him, but I can’t have him because he’s my boss and I want to prove myself,” only to turn around and become a pile of goo and allow intimate contact, and then turn around and push Chance away, again, for the same reason. Every. Time. His thoughts were in line with his actions, as in they were back and forth, push and pull. He’d say one thing and then completely go against it with his actions in the next paragraph, sometimes within the next sentence, no follow through or real decisions happening. I’m down for a bit of emotional turmoil and conflict in what to do and what is right, and then doing the opposite. And, I am even okay if it pops up in different scenarios because the character tends to overthink/analyze situations, and it is in line with their personality. However, this particular set of conflicting emotions didn’t change, it was pretty much the same scenario for the first two-thirds of the story, and it just became tiresome.
Chance wasn’t quite as bad, but here and there he had his own contradictory emotions and behaviors that were the same activities over and over again. Same thing, same thoughts, just varying locations with little to no growth.
The other issue was that every guy seemed to flirt, leer, or glare out of jealousy at one—or both—of them. I mean everywhere they went, seriously: every restaurant, every hotel, and every club. Every single time, there was someone there to cause jealousy to fire up. It would have been cool for them to just grow together, ya know? I mean, jealousy and tension are all good, but it got to a point where, as soon as soon as they left on some sort of dinner or to hang out somewhere, I knew there would eventually be someone there creating drama, and I wasn’t disappointed in that expectation. I sort of wish I was.
What did work? I love the whole one-night stand and no names exchanged, turned into boss and subordinate angle. I connected to Chance more than Ethan and liked the whole “player with a soft side” thing going on. Speaking of characters, pretty much my favorite in the book was Brad, as he managed, periodically, to call Chance and Ethan on their BS, and he added a bit of flair.
The last third of the book was the most entertaining for me, and shook things up a bit. They finally stopped the cycle and decided to be together, and additional plot points were introduced which had potential to be pretty cool, adding dimension and improving the overall story for me. Unfortunately, since I never really felt connected to the characters or their relationship by that time (which, in a contemporary romance, is sort of a must for me), it just wasn’t enough.
The potential was there and I had high hopes, but this one didn’t work out for me like I’d anticipated.
You can buy Taking a Chance here: