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Chance Mass Market Paperback – 31 Aug 2001

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (31 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061014346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061014345
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,722,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Raphael Dalton, a painfully shy and honest aristocrat, finds himself torn between Annabelle, the toast of London society, and Brenna, the lovely sister of a close friend, whose reputation is being threatened by scandal.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 17 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
The Chance 7 Nov 2000
By tregatt - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel makes for a very good, fun light reading. Edith Layton gives us a very well matched pair in Rafe Dalton and Brenna Ford. Forced to marry because of the malicious rumours that seemed to have swept London and Shropshire, Rafe and Brenna nonetheless step up to meet their future together with courage and good humour. A refreshing change from most plots that would have either the hero or heroine sulking for half the book while one hapless spouse soldiers on with patience! Both Rafe and Brenna are sensitive and gallant and bring out the best in each other. And reading along and seeing Rafe come realise what a gem he has in Brenna makes for very satisfying reading.
Ms Layton's greatest accomplishment in this novel however is the wonderous manner in which she has fleshed out Annabelle's character. Is she the villainess of the piece or just another misguided spoilt beauty who will no doubt find redemption in a later book? Annabelle swings between vulnerability and manipulativeness that keeps you debating this point right up till the very end of the book. Once before she felt exposed to the ton because she showed her singleminded fixation for Damon Ryder. The degree of humiliation and chagrin she felt was deep when Damon married someone else. Now she not about to become the object of pity again just because she has 'lost' Rafe to Brenna. Never mind that she was the root of all the rumours that brought their marriage about! And even though much of the humiliating scrutiny she undergoes comes about chiefly because of her manipulative and very spoilt and unpleasant behaviour, I still came away feeling a little sorry for her and hoping that there may be a book somewhere down the road where she undergoes some kind of epihany and becomes a much nicer person.
A satisfying read.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Rafe's story: touching and romantic 21 May 2001
By Dr W. Richards - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fourth in Layton's series which began with The Cad, The Chance is Rafe's story. At the end of The Challenge, we saw that Lord Rafe Dalton was again struck by the beauty of Lady Annabelle Wythe, just as he had been in The Choice. He also feels very sorry for Annabelle, since she'd been in love with her childhood friend Damon Ryder (The Choice) for years, only to see him marry Gilly.
So Rafe decides that he will try to court Annabelle, though he doesn't have much hope that she will return his interest - after all, he tells himself, he's a very plain-looking man, with ugly red hair and a complete inability to make pretty speeches. However, Annabelle seems to show some interest, although largely playing Rafe off against several other suitors.
Then Rafe's old friend Eric returns wounded from India, needing somewhere to stay for a few days; his beautiful sister Brenna is with him. And circumstances contrive to compromise Rafe and Brenna, so that Rafe is obliged to offer Brenna marriage in order to retrieve her reputation. He likes Brenna, and is attracted to her, so it isn't such a hardship; his only problem (and hers) is that he is in love with Annabelle.
This is where the book becomes really interesting. Rafe is a very insecure, under-confident man when it comes to personal relationships; he can never quite understand why his close friends, such as Drum and Ewen Sinclair, seem to like him. And we discover that his insecurity comes from always having been second-best in his family relationships, being made to feel the outsider - which is, of course, what makes him sympathise with Annabelle.
In this respect, Rafe has more in common with Brenna than he realises, since she has also suffered more than her fair share of disappointments: one fiance was killed in the war, and another rejected her for another woman. So the really beautiful part of this book is how these two damaged individuals manage to heal each other and repair each other's self-esteem.
The reason I give this book four stars instead of the five I've given every other book in Layton's series is that I found Annabelle's behaviour profoundly annoying, and I couldn't understand why Rafe took so long to see through it. He kept finding excuses for her, long after all his friends were seeing her as the selfish dog-in-the-manger she was.
Now, I want Drum's story!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining regency romance 3 Oct 2000
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lord Raphael Dalton successfully fought against Napoleon's elite soldiers. However, his campaign on English soil to gain the regard of Lady Annabelle Wylde seems hopeless, as she loves another, the now married Damon Ryder. Worse yet, Rafe knows he acts like a puppy panting for a minor sign of affection from Annabelle, but he is only one of several suitors.

However, Rafe's efforts to win Annabelle's heart abruptly end when he finds himself forced to marry his friend's sister Brenna Ford to save her reputation. Brenna loves Rafe and he enjoys being with her as she brings him happiness and a reason to live. Brenna hopes that one day she can eventually win his heart from Annabelle although she believes that feat is an impossible task especially since Annabelle has plans for Rafe.

Romance readers know that Edith Layton's "C" novels (see THE CHALLENGE, THE CAD, and THE CHOICE) are A rated tales. Her latest "C" book, THE CHANCE is an entertaining Regency romance that brings alive the lifestyle of the rich and famous in post-Napoleonic England. The story line is fun and well written, but it is the cleverly designed triangle that will leave the audience wanting more of Ms. Layton's emotionally packed novels.

Harriet Klausner
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The series continues ..... 14 Dec 2002
By Susan Smith - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
So much rubbish and dross is on the romantic fiction market that I can't help myself in sticking to certain authors who nearly always please. Layton, in The Chance, once again provides a well written read with believeable characters with whom the reader becomes closely involved.
This is, I suppose, in some ways meant to be a Beauty and the Beast story but it is more than that. Rafe, amongst the five rogues, is a man whose deeply troubled past moulds him into a stronger man than circumstances would indicate. The second son of a somewehat emotionally imbalanced marquess and his simply awful wife, Rafe has learnt to be self reliant. He has no high opinion of himself yet he has sterling character traits which many have overlooked though his male friends value him highly.
Brenna, the lady with whom he becomes involved by default, suffers from a damaged reputation through no fault of her own. These two less than happy people come together through circumstances which are massaged by Anabelle - the lady who lost Damon Ryder. Is she malevolent, misguided or mischievious? The jury is still out and I await Layton's denoument next year!
What I particularly liked about this book was the slow development of liking, love, passion and completion that Rafe and Brenna undergo. Each is unsure about their own merits yet each have such wonderful qualities to offer each other. A slightly bumpy path to happiness makes their journey that much more poignant. Dear red-headed Rafe, truly a product of his genes, certainly deserves the happiness that the passionate yet dutiful Brenna gives him. Well done and a good read to be savoured.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Another great book by Layton! 2 Nov 2000
By sciekza - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Chance is the fourth book in Edith Layton's newest series (which is untitled). This book is an exploration of changing feelings, with an occasional light-hearted moment. All of the characters from the previous books make an appearance, most notably, Gilly Ryder and the Earl of Drummond. Viscount Hazelton from Surrender to Love also puts in a surprise appearance.
The hero of the book is Raphael Dalton, a second son who is used to not getting what he wants. It seems all of apiece then, when he must give up all thought of winning the hand of the beauteous Annabelle after he accidentally compromises his friend's sister. Rafe stoically accepts his fate and offers to marry the exotic Brenna, while Annabelle decides she is not quite ready to give him up.
The plot of the story takes a back seat to the characterizations of the hero and heroine. Both are victims of their appearance, though for differing reasons. Both have a hard time believing the other would want their humble selves. Eventually, of course, they see the error of their ways and realize they are just perfect for each other.
While the story and the characters introduced nothing new to the world of romance, The Chance was well written, in Layton's usual lyrical style. There were many amusing moments and a few heart-wrenching ones as well. Rafe was well drawn and was one of the most endearing heroes I've had the pleasure to read about. Rafe's low self-esteem could have been a problem in the novel, but Layton expertly treads the fine line between empathy and annoyance.
The one gripe I had with the book was Annabelle's selfishness. It was hard to feel sympathy for her when she systematically stomped on the feelings of those around her without a thought or care. I found myself annoyed with Rafe for his blindness to her faults. She was the one bump in the otherwise smooth story.
The Chance fits in well with its ancestors in this series. I liked it better than The Challenge and almost as much as The Choice. It is a fast-paced, entertaining read, definitely worth the time and money spent on it.
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