on 22 March 2014
FBI Agent Laine Carrington has been out of action for months, following an injury sustained in the line of duty. Desk work just isn’t cutting it for her, and although the town of Thunder Point is close to the area where she was wounded, it sounds like the perfect place to recuperate and figure out where to go next with her life. Her friend, Devon, has settled into the coastal town and is planning to get married soon, and Laine relishes in the opportunity to catch up with her. Plus, Oregon is about as far away as Laine can get from her father without leaving the country, and she’s had enough of his patronising comments about her work.
Eric Gentry has entirely different reasons for settling into Thunder Point. He’s just found out that he has a teenage daughter, and he’s determined to have an active role in her life, before she heads off to college. He’s just opened a garage in Thunder Point, and although he isn’t making an effort to get involved in the local life, he can’t help but be concerned about one of his teenage part-timers, a boy who seems to have far too much responsibility on his shoulders.
Given that Thunder Point is a small town, it isn’t long before Laine and Eric cross paths. They come from entirely different worlds—Laine’s career in the FBI never lived up to the expectations of her surgeon father, while Eric earned a stint in prison and fathered a child far too young. Laine has never had a long-term relationship, thanks to her demanding job and undercover work, but she’s willing to take a chance on Eric. But when Laine’s father falls ill and requires her attention, Eric begins to doubt if Laine can settle in Thunder Point permanently. Eric isn’t leaving his daughter now that he’s found her, but is Laine willing to make similar compromises?
The Chance is the fourth instalment in Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series, and while I haven’t fallen in love with these books as quickly as I did with her Virgin River series, I do enjoy revisiting the coastal Oregon town whenever a new volume releases. I was intrigued when I realised that the fourth book was going to focus on Laine and Eric, who were briefly introduced in the previous book in the series. Eric’s ex-girlfriend hunted him down to find out his family history when his daughter—who he’d never known about—fell ill, while Laine was working undercover at a local religious camp that was secretly growing marijuana. While I imagined that Eric would become a regular in Thunder Point, I was pleasantly surprised that Laine was going to get a story of her own.
While I enjoyed reading about Laine and Eric’s romance, and I won’t deny that it was a sweet story, I never really fell in love with them as a couple. I don’t mind romances that aren’t full of action and complications, but maybe this one was just a little bit too simple and relaxing. Aside from a few incidents where Laine and Eric neglected to communicate details about their lives to each other (Laine’s job and Eric’s daughter) there was a distinct lack of conflict in the first half of the book. Even the few miscommunication issues were dealt with before their third date. I don't need the hero and heroine to hate each other at first sight, but their relationship was practically perfect from the beginning, and it didn't make for the most riveting read. There was some conflict towards the end of the novel when Laine’s father fell ill, but most of that was in the characters’ heads and focused on them worrying that the other wouldn’t want to be together any more. There wasn’t enough to make me concerned that they wouldn’t be able to make their relationship work.
At times, I actually found the side-story about Al, an employee from Eric’s garage, more interesting than the main romance. Al has worked for Eric on and off for years, and when he moves to Thunder Point he ends up mentoring a teenage boy who is caring for his ailing mother and younger siblings. This storyline shed a lot of light on the stresses of teenagers who are also caregivers, and what happens when the one parent has to move into a nursing facility. As always, Robyn's portrayal of teenagers is encouraging and not at all patronising. This is something other authors fail to master, and I'm always impressed with Robyn's realism in this area.
Al's story linked into Ray Anne's, a regular in the Thunder Point series, and this reminded me of what I love so much about Robyn Carr's stories--she gives people second chances to fall in love and have families, even if they've made huge mistakes in their pasts or are beyond the typical romance novel age for finding love. I was glad to see Ray Anne finally get her happy ending.
Aside from Ray Anne, we only saw a few glimpses of other characters in the town in this book, and I would have actually liked more updates on how characters from previous books were getting on. I know some reviewers complain about how Robyn hops from one storyline to the next in her novels, but I actually enjoy the continuity of her books and seeing how the families in Thunder Point evolve over time.
I'm about halfway through Robyn Carr's Virgin River series right now, and while I don't adore every volume, there have been several couples that I've fallen in love with in that series. I've really connected with their stories and cared about whether they solved their problems and managed to get together. So far, I haven’t had a couple like that in Robyn’s Thunder Point series. I was glad that Laine and Eric found each other and were happy, but they didn't seem to have a whole lot to overcome in order to get there. I’m still waiting for the couple that makes me fall in love with Thunder Point. Perhaps that will happen in the fifth book, where Scott is slated to finally get his own happily ever after?
Although this definitely isn’t my favourite Thunder Point or Robyn Carr novel, I know I can rely on her to provide me with a nice, relaxing read that indulges my love of small-town stories. If you’re looking for a sweet romance without a lot of conflict, this is definitely the book for you.
Review title provided by Harlequin MIRA.
The Oregon coast setting forms a majestic backdrop to Robyn Carr's characters in the popular 'Thunder Point' series. Laine Carrington featured in 'The Hero'. This undercover FBI agent was injured in a shooting and has come to Thunder Point incognito while her shoulder mends. Life is a lot more peaceful here, and she thinks it's time to explore her work options.
THE CHANCE of happiness for this brave lady comes when she meets a garage owner and mechanic, Eric Gentry. He's still settling in to Thunder Point, working hard, and she has to ask him if he'd like to have dinner somewhere. They get on well but Eric isn't sharing his whole history. Laine discovers that he has a daughter from a teenaged romance with Gina, a recently married lady who runs the diner. Is there anything else Eric's not telling her?
This is an adult romance novel so the relationship swiftly takes off in the bedroom. I liked Eric; he's practical, helpful, not egotistical, and he has an evident respect for ladies. He went through a troubled patch in his youth but hopes to keep his past quiet long enough for townsfolk to get to know the mature man. We see some restored classic cars as well as the aftermath of mountain road crashes. Laine is bossy, with her law-enforcement background. She's also estranged from her father, who was disappointed when she didn't follow him into medicine, and who develops Alzheimer's. Amusingly, Eric's teen daughter Ashley thinks Laine is a really cool girlfriend for her dad.
Followers of Robyn Carr will want to continue this soap-opera story and catch up with Cooper and Sarah at the beach bar, Devon and her daughter. The earlier books had more interwoven tales, while this one focuses on Laine and Eric who find that life isn't simple, with a later side look at a young mechanic in the garage. It depends on what you are looking for in your reading; here is no great drama but many readers will identify with the issues raised. A newcomer could easily get into the story.
on 13 March 2014
I have so far enjoyed Robyn Carr's books. They have this specific touch of a small town life which make you feel like coming home and so does The Chance. It's well written and the writing flows smoothly and it is easy to read. The scenery is beautifully set and you can easily relate to and like the characters.
You meet FBI agent Laine Carrington who after being shot at leaves Washington and stays in Thunder Point to recover and to plan her future. Laine discovers that she likes the place and she meets with Eric Gentry, a man with criminal past. Eric has also recently moved to the town to be closer to his daughter whose existence he wasn't aware of.
There is an undeniable attraction between Laine and Eric and as they become closer, Laine's father is showing up. Laine's relationship with her dad has been intense, because of Laine's choice of career and now Laine besides the blossoming love, needs to find a way how to deal with her father's Alzheimer's.
I was glad that there were supportive characters whose stories were added to the novel. There are Al who is working for Eric and the realtor Rae Anne who also come from very different backgrounds and it is interesting to read how their paths collide.
The Chance is a story about family and love, about overcoming the shadows of the past and about looking towards the hopeful future.
on 4 March 2014
Read via local elibrary. Wow. Fantastic. Absolutely loved it. One of authors best. Didnt think would like so much because of who main characters are ie eric who abandoned gina years ago and was an ex con. Laine, fbi agent.
All I can say is this is a powerful book, story and characters. Good sub characters. Was so thought provoking and emotional. Was teary many times. Highly recommend. Would be 10* if could give that score.
22.2.16. Re-read via local elibrary. Looking at my previous review, I'm a bit stumped. This time I find it good but slow. Many typos. Car breaks and break shoes?! Should be brakes. Laines injury. To shoulder. No brachial artery there, it's in the arm. I just wasn't so enamoured. I kept putting it down.