Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Review for Chance of a Lifetime by Marissa Clarke

Sometimes the biggest risk is playing it safe.....
Gen Richards is tired of living down to her family’s expectation of the helpless blind girl. Resurrecting her high-school bucket list that begins with “kiss a total stranger” seems just the thing until she finds herself in a panty-melting lip lock with her big brother’s best friend.
Chance Anderson thrives on adrenaline, but Genny’s the one risk he’s not willing to take. His recklessness a decade ago landed her in the hospital and ejected him from her life. He’s bad for her and everyone knows it—especially her big brother.
Chance reluctantly helps Gen complete her bucket list in order to keep her out of trouble. Running through a freezing fountain, playing Spin the Bottle while fending off a mad horde of stinging insects, and skinny dipping with homicidal attack swans don’t hold a candle to the real danger: falling for the one person he can never have.


As a disabled person I'm always drawn to stories featuring this theme to see how authentic they're depicted.  With this third installment in the Anderson Brothers series I'm happy to say that for the most part the aspects of living a life of blindness and all the ensuing emotions are well depicted.  From the frustration of the heroine being treated with kid's gloves by her family to the hero's guilt over a moment of carelessness, the emotions are intense, jumping off the page to make this a story full of angst and sexual tension.

Gen has been blind since birth and always felt separate from the world, until the day she met and was defended by Chance Anderson.  She fell in love with him that day and over the years that little girl adoration morphed into something much deeper now that she's an adult.  As kids it was Chance who helped her experience life, taking her with him everywhere and describing everything.  He never treated her as weak or disabled, as opposed to her family who merely let her exist while wrapping her up in an over-protective blanket.  One incident though leads to a severing of their close connection and twenty years of doubts and a life of being smothered even more by her family out of their fears.  With the death of a co-worker she's more determined than ever to live and embarks on a mission to fulfill her bucket list which unexpectedly reunites her with the man she's never forgotten but who hurt her more than anyone else ever has. Spending time with him has the truth of that night coming out, the truth of his feelings for her, in a tale that's full of sexual tension as they have all sorts of new experiences they're sharing.  For too long Gen's let her family control her life, saying she's independent but not acting like it as they control her money and feed her one rule after another.  Reuniting with Chance invigorates her and lets her see a life full of possibilities through his eyes.  To truly be independent, and be worthy of Chance though, she'll need to undo years of being meek and her brother acting more like her keeper than her sibling.  For the most part Gen's likable with realistic frustrations regarding her limitations.  Letting her family control her for so long frustrated me though, especially as she was proclaiming her independence.  She's a bit naive at times, a bit whiny too, but very open to trying things which made me smile at her wonder over new experiences.  Ultimately, if she wants her HEA she'll have to fight for it, knowing that she'll always have her best friend and lover supporting her wholeheartedly.

Chance was drawn to Gen from the moment he first saw her crying as a child over other kid's nastiness.  Early on she and her brother would go everywhere with him, experiencing all sorts of memorable moments.  He always wanted to be there for Gen, helping her see the world through his eyes as opposed to her family wanting to keep her in darkness.  One night though he left her alone for too long which led her into danger and him into an abyss of guilt and darkness. His guilt over letting her down led to alcoholism and an addiction to adrenaline which made him feel even less worthy of her as he embraced danger.  A promise led to his separation from the only girl he's ever loved though he always watched her from afar.  When she unexpectedly kisses him he knows he can't live without her anymore, but he'll have to put his guilt and feelings of unworthiness behind him if he hopes to claim her.  Chance is a fun-loving guy with a kind heart and a strong sense of honor, honor that's kept him from his HEA.  He might seem overly carefree but he clearly cares about Gen and treats her as the woman she is, letting her live her life wholeheartedly.  He keeps her safe but never smothers her which had me liking him all the more.

From start to finish this was an emotionally engaging story.  The relationship between Gen and Chance was full of animosity at the start due to years of lies and promises but as they reignited their bond their connection became sweet and sensual.  The sexual tension permeating their relationship was palpable with lots of sensual touches as they take their time getting to know each other as adults.  This led to lots of steamy foreplay and subtly erotic encounters in exotic locales.  Chance charmed me with his fun and flirty nature, his desire to see the world as Gen sees it, and it made him the perfect hero.  Gen's an admirable heroine trying to be the woman she is but not taking the necessary steps until it's almost too late.  Her bowing down to her family's coddling frustrated me and I didn't think she'd ever gain independence, but with Chance's love she showed strength I never thought her capable of which made for a satisfying story overall despite my frustrations with her.  Though I've not read the previous books in this series I enjoyed seeing Chance's brothers from the other books as their brotherly bond is a delight to see.  They bully each other and bicker but support one another completely and their love of family put a smile on my face.  This was a story that vividly depicted the trials and tribulations of being blind.  It showed all the technology to aid in gaining independence as well as how well-meaning people can sometimes go overboard with protecting in the name of love and I recommend it for its no-nonsense realism with heart.

My rating for this is a B.

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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