The Chance (Thunder Point), by Robyn Carr (early review)

February 20, 2014 Book Reviews 10 ★★★½

The Chance (Thunder Point), by Robyn Carr (early review)The Chance by Robyn Carr
Series: Thunder Point #4
Published by Harlequin MIRA on Feb. 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also in this series: The Wanderer, The Newcomer, The Hero, The Promise, The Homecoming, One Wish, A New Hope, Wildest Dreams
Also by this author: My Kind of Christmas, The Wanderer, The Newcomer, The Hero, The Promise, The Homecoming, 'Tis the Season, One Wish, Never Too Late, A New Hope, Wildest Dreams, What We Find, The Life She Wants, Any Day Now

With its breathtaking vistas and down-to-earth people, Thunder Point is the perfect place for FBI agent Laine Carrington to recuperate from a gunshot wound and contemplate her future. The locals embraced Laine as one of their own after she risked her life to save a young girl from a dangerous cult. Knowing her wounds go beyond the physical, Laine hopes she'll fit in for a while and find her true self in a town that feels safe. She may even learn to open her heart to others, something an undercover agent has little time to indulge.

Eric Gentry is also new to Thunder Point. Although he's a man with a dark past, he's determined to put down roots and get to know the daughter he only recently discovered. When Laine and Eric meet, their attraction is obvious to everyone. But while the law enforcement agent and the reformed criminal want to make things work, their differences may run too deep…unless they take a chance on each other and find that deep and mysterious bond that belongs to those who choose love over fear.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

Review:

The Chance is a more typical romance than the previous Thunder Point books, because it focuses more closely on the two main characters and spends less time with other residents of the town. Not that town residents like Coop and Sarah are missing entirely, but they don’t appear as often as in the three previous novels. While the increased page time for Laine and Eric works well for this novel, I did miss spending time with the other characters I’ve come to see as friends.

We last saw Laine in The Hero. She is the undercover FBI agent who was shot trying to get Devon’s daughter out of the cult compound. Laine is tough, but getting shot has left scars, both visible and invisible. Now she’s on leave, spending a year in Thunder Point while she heals in body and spirit. I really admire Laine’s spunk, determination, loyalty, and decisiveness  — though I suspect the last could be a little intimidating in real life!

On the surface, Laine and Eric are as unlikely a couple as you’ll come across. He’s an ex-con who runs a garage and car restoration shop in town, a guy with no college degree who works with his hands — not the sort of person you’d expect a college-educated doctor’s daughter and law enforcement officer to fall in love with, and vice versa. But there’s a lot more to Eric than a mechanic with a shady past. He’s also the father of Gina’s teenage daughter Ashley (The Newcomer), and he moved back to Thunder Point in part to build a relationship his daughter. Eric is one of life’s good guys, a decent, caring man who has both paid for his mistakes and learned from them. He’s dependable, honest, and a good friend.

That’s something Laine really needs, especially as it becomes evident that something is wrong with her father, with whom she has a difficult relationship. It was obvious to me just what was wrong a lot sooner than Laine figures it out, which strained my belief a little. (Frankly, I thought someone capable of being a federal agent should have been a little more on the ball.) Once the truth is out, Laine has to deal with the situation, which puts a lot of stress on her relationship with Eric. Without giving anything away, I’ll say that the problem is a common one faced by many families, and that Carr handles it with sensitivity and a clear understanding for the challenges it poses.

Although the main focus remains on Laine and Eric, it wouldn’t be a Robyn Carr novel without at least one sublot, or in this case two: a teenager struggling with a tough family situation, and a new man for realtor Ray Anne. But Laine and Eric are definitely center stage, along with Laine’s family drama. The focus on one main couple should please those readers who thought book two, The Newcomer, didn’t focus enough on its ostensible hero and heroine, Mac and Gina.

Overall, I enjoyed The Chance, but a tad less than the first three books. That’s due in part to my frustration with Laine’s initial blindness when it came to her father, and in part due to the long enforced separation between the lovers — long in both time and number of pages. The distance adds needed tension but also puts the central relationship on hold, which I also found a bit frustrating. (Not as frustrating as Laine and Eric do, of course!) Nonetheless, Laine and Eric are a wonderful couple, and I look forward to their ongoing story as the Thunder Point series continues. The town’s new doctor, Scott Grant, finally gets his happy ending in the next book, The Promise (June 24, 2014.)

*   *   *

 

The Thunder Point series in order:   

  1. The Wanderer  (review)
  2. The Newcomer  (review)
  3. The Hero  (review)
  4. The Chance  (review)
  5. The Promise  (review)
  6. The Homecoming  (review)
  7. One Wish  (review)
  8. A New Hope  (forthcoming)
  9. Wildest Dreams (forthcoming)

 

three-half-stars

About Robyn Carr

Robyn Carr is the RITA award-winning author of over 40 books. Set in small towns, her Virgin River, Grace Valley and Thunder Point series blend romance and women’s fiction, and often deal sensitively with issues including war-related injuries, PTSD, alcoholism, bullying, rape, and single parenthood. In 2010, she won RT’s Career Achievement Best Author Award for Contemporary Romance.

10 Responses to “The Chance (Thunder Point), by Robyn Carr (early review)”

  1. Pamela D

    I hate it when the love interests are kept separate from each other for too long too! I want everyone to be happy. 🙂

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Yes and no. It really helps to have an idea who people are, but with the major forcus on Laine & Eric, you’d probably be alright — though you might get annoyed at occasional ‘side trips’ with characters you don’t know, since they’re not always introduced that well. However, the primary subplot involves mostly new characters, so the majority of the book should be OK.

  2. Herding Cats - Burning Soup

    Oh this sounds like one of hers I’d like. I really enjoy the ones where she keeps the main couple as the focus and doesn’t add all the other sub stories in. I have such a hard time with those (one I read had 12 substories happening in one book eek!) so good to know that’s not the case with this one.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Be forewarned that the problem with Liane’s dad takes up a fair bit of time and doesn’t advance the romance at all. That said, it was certainly more focused than most of her other books — one main relationship, and two subplots which are linked by a single character.

  3. Susan

    Interesting. I usually like it best when Carr’s focus shifts between all the characters. I’ll have to see if this one works for me or not!

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      It’s funny that some of the responses have been the complete opposite. I think Carr is usually good whatever she writes. Though a few of her books have fallen flat for me, it’s usually not because of too many subplots/characters or too few, but because the main couple didn’t really engage me. But those books are few and far between; usually I rate her books a 4 with occasional 3s (and 4 is pretty good from me, since I save 5s for really-blew-me-away.)