As a blogger with a handful of blogger friends, I adored reading this fun and quirky novel about four women who blog. They become friends, and then much more than friends – emotional supporters, caretakers, heirs, protégés, mentors.
I took special interest in the romantic relationships the women had. One lost her spouse in a tragedy and was lost as to how to relate to her surviving daughter. Another suffered a break-up with a longtime boyfriend – I never thought she’d get over him! But Barbara O’Neal surprised me and put together a perfect, authentic goodbye. What strength Ruby had! A third woman tried to make inroads in her bad marriage, but her husband just sabotaged every effort. After some wishy-washy-ness and some unexpected magic, it all works out for Ginny, much to the chagrin of her arrogant husband.
O’Neal wrote characters I admire. All four of them had flaws, but they each took their dealt hand and played the game with honesty, vulnerability, and heart. Most importantly they stayed true to themselves, stood up for themselves, and made themselves paths for personal and professional success.
I’m not much one for magic, but the wonders of The All You Can Dream Buffet touched my soul and gave me a hankering for something, oh, lavender maybe.
This continuation of life in Thunder Point, Oregon, isn’t as good as the others. Though I love Robyn Carr and her pacific coast characters, the Chance seemed to be rushed — with more telling than showing.
What I did like was that I got to know Ray Ann a little better, and she finally found her soul mate. I also liked the three-teenagers-taking-care-of-their-sick-mom subplot, and the focus on Eric’s garage.
Eric and Laine weren’t really believable as a couple. She’s type-A FBI, he’s a mellow mechanic with a criminal record. I don’t know, it just didn’t jibe for me. I liked their individual stories – he’s the boss of some new Thunder Point characters, she’s the daughter of a demanding surgeon who is showing signs of Alzheimer’s. But together? I couldn’t see their attraction to each other.
One technical thing that bothered me was that there were a lot of typos and misspellings. I realize I read an Advance Review Copy, but a handful of erroneous phrases like “towed the line” instead of “toed the line” cropped up repeatedly.
I enjoyed The Chance. It just didn’t wow me like I expected a Robyn Carr novel to. I will absolutely read Carr’s next novel, Four Friends, because I believe when you write more than one novel each year, there is bound to be one that doesn’t impress me like the rest. I know Robyn Carr excellence is up next.
If you’re a Thunder Point fan and want to read Eric’s story:
Buy The Chance