Reviewed by Helyce
Laine Carrington has decided to return to the beautiful coastal town of Thunder Point to finish up her R/R after being shot in the line of duty. An FBI agent, she was instrumental in taking down a Prophet wannabe who had used his commune-like group known as The Fellowship as a front for a huge marijuana growing/selling business. When she is put on “desk duty”, during her recovery, she decides to take some time to focus on her rehab. It’s the perfect opportunity to think about her future and if staying with the FBI is really what she wants to do.
Eric Gentry has recently returned to Thunder Point. He moved back to be closer to and to get to know his 16 year old daughter whom he’d only recently met. His priorities are very simple: spend time with his daughter and get his garage up and running. He’s not looking for romance or any complications that might bring.
But when he first sees Laine at the diner he likes what he sees. They continue to run into each other around town and while there is a definite attraction, Eric does not pursue Laine at all. So Laine takes matters into her own hands.
I’d met both Laine and Eric in prior books, so I’d gotten to know both of them pretty well and I was happy to get their story. I liked Laine a lot. She is strong, she knows who she is and she is not afraid to go after what she wants. After getting shot, she begins to question her life, or more specifically, the lack of a “personal” life. Long hours and undercover assignments that take her away for months at a time are not conducive to finding or maintaining a relationship. She also really missed her family, especially her brother, his wife and their two little girls. Her decision to drop everything and head to Thunder Point is a bit out of character for her, but she goes with it. This is her time and she has some very important decisions to make.
After Eric and Laine run into each other a few times, Laine takes it upon herself to make the first move and asks him out. I loved this. Eric is a bit gun shy, and as I mentioned above, at this moment in time, dating just wasn’t a priority. He’d been in a long term relationship that had recently ended. Though his girlfriend had dumped him, it was a mutual end; it had kind of run it’s course and wasn’t going anywhere. I loved seeing Eric’s vulnerability as he kind of stammers and doesn’t know what to say. It really endeared him to me. Things do move a bit fast for this couple and it’s not long before Eric has moved in with Laine.
As always with a Robyn Carr series, there is a lot going on in the way of side stories. Laine and Eric’s time together is interrupted when Laine is forced to head home to deal with her father’s illness. She takes on his care personally and that keeps her away from Eric much longer than she’d originally expected. They keep in touch, but their time apart is difficult and Eric has a lot of trouble adjusting. He goes back to what he knows, focusing on the garage, working long hours. He also becomes very involved in the life of a young man he’d hired to work at the shop. A high school student, Eric realizes that Justin has not been going to school. He stays home with is mother, who is ill, during the day and when his younger brothers come home from school, they take over while Justin goes to work. This side story spins over into another one involving Al, a good friend of Eric’s who pops into town to work with him for a bit. Al is a wanderer, he never stays long in one place. But he meets a woman while in Thunder Point and I hope that this couple might be featured in a future book. We don’t get to know Al too much, but he makes some important changes that tell me we’ll be seeing more of him.
So, a lot of stuff is going on. Laine’s character growth is huge. She’d already begun to “find herself” once she’d settled in Thunder Point. Her father’s illness puts a big kink in that and she reverts a bit to her old self-but in the end, she makes the right choice for her and it works for everyone concerned.
As I’ve stated on this blog before, I am a huge fan of Robyn Carr. Her contemporaries are always enjoyable. The strong community aspect and the importance of family in her novels make me wish these places were real because I’d love to visit. The first three books in this series, however, felt very “been there, done that” and the similarities to Virgin River were too blatant to ignore. While I still enjoyed the story, the sense of deja vu would not leave me. This was not the case with this book. The Chance, for me, was completely different, while at the same time being classic Robyn Carr in feeling. Though the characters from the first three books are well represented in here, the main couple did not feel like a do-over. The conflicts and side stories were intriguing without dragging down or deferring from our main couple. My favorite of the series so far.
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