February 3, 2014

REVIEW: Take a Chance (Chances #1, Rosemary Beach #6)

Take a Chance (Chances #1, Rosemary Beach #6), by Abbi Glines
To Be Published February 25, 2014
Publisher: Atria
Format: ARC, obtained from the publisher
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) When Harlow Manning's rocker father goes on tour, he sends her to Rosemary Beach, Florida, to live with her half-sister, Nan. The problem: Nan despises her. Harlow has to keep her head down if she wants to get through the next nine months, which seems easy enough. Until gorgeous Grant Carter walks out of Nan's room in nothing but his boxer briefs.

Grant made a huge mistake getting involved with a girl with venom in her veins. He'd known about Nan's reputation, but still he couldn't resist her. Nothing makes him regret the fling more than meeting Harlow, who sends his pulse racing. Yet Harlow wants nothing to do with a guy who could fall for her wicked half-sister, even if there are no strings between Grant and Nan. Grant is desperate to redeem himself in Harlow's eyes, but did he ruin his chances before he even met her?

It's no secret that Abbi Glines is my favorite new adult author. I love her characters, I love the deep south setting for her books, and I love the sexiness that practically drips from the pages. Her books are what I compare all others to.

Take a Chance did not disappoint. I have been jonesing for Grant's story ever since Blaire stuck a gun in his face in the beginning of Fallen Too Far. His completely disfunctional relationship with Nan always had me confused and intrigued. I was just itching to get inside his head and figure out what makes him tick.

As it turns out, Grant is much more complex than I ever thought. His desire to be needed is what drove him into Nan's arms time and time again. It was kind of heartbreaking that this strong, beautiful man thought so little of himself that he put up with someone treating him so badly. I would've liked to find out more about Grant's family, but you get the impression that his parents left him to his own devices most of the time. He is just a guy who wants to be wanted. And that drives him to do some things and act in ways that are anathema to that end goal.

If you hated Nan before, just wait. I think it's literally impossible to like her. There doesn't appear to be one redeeming quality there, so loathing her is quite easy. Even when bad things happen to her, you're hard pressed to find any sympathy for her. Abbi Glines really knows how to do a good villain.

And then there's Harlow. Honestly, she was the one that I had the biggest problem with, and that really surprised me. The glimpses we've had of her in other Rosemary Beach books have painted her as sweet and painfully shy. I got a different impression of her in Take a Chance.

I found Harlow to be cold and detatched. She's inexperienced with men, which could've been cute and endearing, but instead, she just seemed clueless and ridiculous. She has a big problem with Nan, and constantly uses that as an excuse to push Grant away, throwing his previous relationship with Nan in his face whenever she was feeling insecure (which was ALL THE TIME) - almost like she knew that was a button she could push to get him to comliment and reasure her.

Yes, Harlow is still also shy and has been sheltered her whole life. She has a big secret, which serves to be the biggest reason why she was practically cut off from the rest of the world her whole life. There's another reason why she's always been shielded more from the public more than any of Kiro's other two children, and Harlow's reaction when she finds out what that thing was was my favorite part. For those moments, she was vulnerable and likeable, and it was very easy for me to shed tears along with her.

Take a Chance has a bit of a cliffhangery ending, which will only make waiting for the sequel that much harder. Despite my feelings for Harlow, I do look forward to Grant breaking down her walls and making her into someone I can love as much as Abbi Glines' other girls.

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