The Chance by Robyn Carr ( web | tweet )
Part of the Thunder Point series.
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: father/daughters, romance, small towns
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley. (Thanks!)
Last book I reviewed by Carr: The Hero
Summary: After getting to know Thunder Point in a professional capacity, Laine decides to rehabilitate from her injury and make a temporary home there. When she meets Eric, another Thunder Point newbie, she finds yet another reason to make her new town a permanent fixture. But when her estranged father shows up on her front stoop and she’s antsy with her career, will she be heading back to the East Coast? And what about Eric? New character, Al, is introduced and begins romancing man-crazy real estate agent, Ray Anne, and one of Eric’s high school workers, Justin, has problems at home.
Thunder Point is a town of second chances. Even though Laine and Eric think they have nothing in common when they first get together, I do think this is what brings them together. Laine is coming off a huge assignment with the FBI and Eric just opened a car shop in Thunder Point to be closer to his teenage daughter. I loved how Laine took the lead because tough guy Eric was a little too shy, and how, together, they were the perfect balance of sexy and settled.
It’s true that Carr didn’t waste any time getting these two together. The Chance‘s storyline went beyond romance, and began to focus on the sudden appearance of Laine’s estranged father from Boston and the other guys in Eric’s car shop. (Of course, we did get to catch up with some past favorites from the Thunder Point series, too. Though, not as much as I thought.) This change in course was a little unexpected. I’ll be honest. I would have liked to see Laine bond with Eric’s daughter, and at some point, Eric to meet Laine’s family but instead the couple faced a lot of time apart as Laine saw to her dad and a subplot featuring a teenage boy in Eric’s shop took centerstage.
The second half of The Chance chugged along considerably slower than the first, partly because I didn’t think there would be such a heavy emphasis on Laine and her dad. I did like how Laine’s character made family so important, and appreciated her struggle with doing what was right for her parent and what was right for herself. It’s a tough position to be in (especially because her dad’s acceptance was so important to her), and I was curious to see what she was going to decide in the end. Would Thunder Point and Eric be her final destination? I really wasn’t too sure. (But I did have a hunch. Happily ever after, and all that good stuff.)
While Carr’s latest felt a a tad willy-nilly compared to the other installments, it was still comforting to be welcomed back into this town, visit with old friends (especially the man-crazy real estate agent, Ray Anne), and get to know some new ones (high schooler Justin and his determination to take care of his family). I’ve already marked my calendar for The Promise, book 5 in the series, out in July. I can’t wait to know a certain doctor a little bit better…
If you want to know more about the Thunder Point series and The Chance, keep reading below for a Q&A with series creator, Robyn Carr, provided by Little Bird Publicity.
Q: When you first created Thunder Point and started writing novels based there, did you have upcoming characters—like Laine and Eric from The Chance—in mind, or have they been developed since you created the town? How has the series evolved since the first three books came out last year?
A: The really fun part about a long running series like this as that the characters appear as they’re needed and they evolve. When I first introduced Eric in The Newcomer, I wasn’t sure he’d have more of a story coming. When I started to think he was memorable enough for his own story and romance, I wasn’t sure whom he’d meet that he’d fall for. When I introduced Laine in The Hero, I thought she might be just crossing the stage—but then I saw her meeting Eric and it all seemed to come together.
Other characters have been there since the beginning of the series and have been calling out to me for their own story, like Dr. Scott Grant. Bless his heart—he has been ready for a special woman for a long time now.
Q: Do you have a favorite place in Thunder Point? If it was a real town, where would you spend most of your time?
A: If I lived in Thunder Point, I think I’d be at the diner every day. That seems to be where most people run into each other. It’s a great place for a coffee break or breakfast—Stu, the owner and cook, doesn’t screw up breakfast too badly. And another great place to have a glass of wine or a nice dinner is the nicest restaurant in town, Cliffhanger’s in the marina. And finally Cooper’s beach bar is the best place to view a sunset—he has tables on the deck and when the sun sets over those big, black haystack rocks, it’s amazing.
Q: What is the underlying message you want women to take away from The Chance? Not to be too corny, but what does chance have to do with it? And do you really believe in second chances?
A: Eric and Laine are completely ill-suited for each other. Not only do they come from vastly different backgrounds, like completely different things, but he’s an ex-con and she’s an FBI agent! And yet when they’re together, the chemistry is overpowering. Even though all good sense says they should not pursue a romantic future, sometimes you have to go with your gut instinct and take a chance on the least likely match. Do I believe in second chances? Oh, yes. And third, fourth, fifth and so on. Things seem to work out just as they should. I love the quote from the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, “Everything will be all right in the end. If it is not yet all right, it is not yet the end.”
Q: What would you tell someone who is coming to Thunder Point for the first time? What do you want them to know about the town before they jump into The Chance? Because after all, even though this is a series, the brilliant thing is that you don’t have to read them in order. You really can just jump in and fall in love with any book.
A: Thunder Point is a small coastal town in Oregon. Many of the residents have been there all their lives, some have been there at least several years and some are finding new lives there. The things they all seem to have in common is they’re not afraid of hard work, they take pleasure in the most simple yet wonderful things life has to offer, they are committed to helping each other when help is needed and they value their friendships. Most of the town could use sprucing up but the landscape is breathtaking with the big rocks in the bay, long beach and protected bay. The storms that come in from the Pacific and gather in the bay provide as much entertainment as any action adventure movie. Thunder Point is almost crime free and has a safe, secure feeling to it. It’s a perfect place to raise children, recover from a broken heart or start over.