The Chance (Thunder Point, #4) by Robyn Carr

The Chance (Thunder Point, #4)  by Robyn CarrSeries: Thunder Point #4
on 2014-03-01
Pages: 400
AmazonNarrator: Therese Plummer
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.

There is something so endearing about this series and it starts with the narrator Therese Plummer. Her voice feels smooth and velvety. When I am listening to this book, I feel relaxed and chilled out– like I am sitting on a hammock with a glass of wine. Her various voices fit the personalities so well, her pace is excellent, her cadence is soothing and her chuckles make me chuckle. The narrator makes the story come to life!

The Chance picked up right after the raid on the compound from Book 3, The Hero. FBI Agent Laine Carrington was still recovering from the gunshot wound she sustained while being held hostage by the cult leader. She was successful in rescuing Devyn and the other members and as a result, she was getting a commendation from the FBI. She wasn’t sure what direction her career would take after that, so she decided to come Thunder Point to recuperate and also get closure. There, Laine met ex-con and local garage owner Eric Gentry (also the father of Gina’s daughter Ashley) and she was instantly attracted to him. They were both trying to find solid ground and they had fun together.

Laine was hilarious as she was such a cavewoman. Me see, me want, me take. Good for her. It was really cool to see a woman not playing games or pretend coyness. Instead, Laine was aggressive, vocal and upfront about what she wanted from Eric. I also loved her devotion to the father who inadvertently hurt her so much over the years. She got a chance to bond with him as well as closure while starting a new life with Eric. Eric was redeemed in this book because we finally see the dependable man he has become. He paid his debt to society and now cherishes his responsibilities to his loved ones.

I really enjoyed the side story with Al, Ray Anne & Justin. Ray Anne has been a permanent fixture in all the prior stories as she is the local relator extraordinaire. She’s had some epic battle with Lou Anne but we finally see the softer side of Ray Anne. I loved the “make up” regime and Al being nonplussed about it. I also loved Justin’s unwavering devotion to his family and how his tenacity made the runaway Al finally put down some roots.

This series is becoming one of my favorites. It’s everything I enjoy in Contemporary Romances. It has a great plot, great writing, and such likable characters. It has been a fun ride so far. I look forward to the next one.

Fly Away (Firefly Lane #2) by Kristin Hannah

Fly Away (Firefly Lane #2) by Kristin HannahSeries: Firefly Lane #2
on 2013-04-23
Pages: 400
AmazonNarrator: Susan Ericksen
Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. Tully and Kate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . . Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate---to be there for Kate’s children---but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people. Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother’s death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.Dorothy Hart---the woman who once called herself Cloud---is at the center of Tully’s tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter’s side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs.A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need each one another---and maybe a miracle---to transform their lives.An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness. Told with her trademark powerful storytelling and illuminating prose, Kristin Hannah reveals why she is one of the most beloved writers of our day. 

This was an excellent sequel. I initially decided I wouldn’t read it because I thought the author was going to try to “fix” things from book 1. For instance, I thought she would put two of the main characters together to help the cope their loss, and then a romance would blossom.

Thank goodness the author wasn’t so cliché. Instead she took us on the journey of how loss can break you down and eventually you can climb that mountain of depression until you get to the other side. I am glad we saw how traumatic a loss can be and showed us how each character could get lost in grief. What I loved was the foundation of family gave everyone something to come back to. It was like the centerpiece they all rallied around as they started accepting life without their loved one.

I have to tell you. I couldn’t stand Tully much in book 1 and most of this book. But Mara, though she was sixteen is the one who really grated my nerves. I tried to make allowances for her age, but she was a brat in book 1 as well so her behavior was par for the course. The second half is when Tully and Mara hit rock bottom and then the narrative of their life started changing. I appreciate characters that evolve as the story develops and I was able to end this book liking both characters a little bit. Tully’s rock bottom was a doozy. I was feeling uncomfortable for her. It was actually heart-rending.

Mara’s father, Johnny, was the character I related to the most with because he had a lot to balance. He also stayed true to his wife and I respected him so much for that. His mother Margery and Dorothy’s friendship was almost like a Kate and Tully, the Senior citizen’s edition. I liked it because this friendship formed between women who had been through some things and the support they gave each other was phenomenal. Dorothy (Cloud) was victimized repeatedly and couldn’t be there for her daughter. Dorothy got her second chance and she took it. Bravo!

The writing in this book was remarkable. I couldn’t stop listening to this audiobook. Kristin Hannah is one of the best writers I have ever read. This book played like a movie in head. I love her work. I didn’t cry in this book, but I definitely experienced more emotion in this book. I am glad I did read this sequel because it really highlighted the need for a good support system or family.