Thursday, December 27, 2012

Taking Chances by Molly McAdams + Featured Freebie

Taking Chances
Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing.

She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy.

Her first year away is turning out to be near perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

My Rating: 4/5

Wow. There is so much to say about this book that I don't even know where to begin. But, to keep it simple, Taking Chances was an excellent coming of age story...
But, there were parts of this book that I loved and parts that I didn't, so I'm a little conflicted about Taking Chances. 

Harper was an okay heroine. She was likable for the most part. But, there is one part of the book where she does something that REALLY got on my nerves. Since it's hinted at in the summary, I'll explain. She was with Brandon and they were all happy together. And, though she knows being around Chase is a temptation, she still hangs out with him every weekend. Alone. But that stupid decision isn't the bad part. One of those weekends, she consciously, knowingly cheats on Brandon with Chase. Not a moment of passion. Chase tries to stop, but she tells him to continue. That really made me mad. And no one ever told her that she was in the wrong for what she did. Everyone said that it was okay, that she could fix everything and everything would turn out fine. No one told her that what she did was awful. Not even Brandon. I thought that was ridiculous. If I found out my friend had that knowingly cheated on her boyfriend, I would yell at her and tell her she sure as hell better be feeling guilty. But, not to Harper. Everyone was telling her it was fine, not a problem. Can you see why I'm not happy with that?

Otherwise, she was fine. She wasn't my favorite heroine, but I didn't hate her. She kind of redeems herself later, so that lessened by irritation, but I still wasn't happy with her. This is, of course, her coming of age story. And I though that aspect of her character was really well done. It's what allowed me to get over the incident. She begins as an insecure girl, to a confused girl not sure of her own identity and what she wants, to a confident woman. The transitions of those were excellent. Her growth throughout the book was palpable and realistic. After seeing her grow through the story, I was still happy for her when she got her happy ending, despite my issues with her. So, in the end, I kind of liked her. 

Both of the love interests were wonderful. I adored both of them. Both were so sweet. Brandon was more likable to me, however. He was kind and wonderful the entire way through. Sometimes too kind, but that's what made him such a lovely character. Chase didn't make the best first impression, but I still liked him. I know a lot of people will be comparing him to Travis, from Beautiful Disaster. So, let me assure the people who didn't like him, that Chase has none of the negative qualities that were complained about in Travis. Though he was definitely a player in the first couple of chapters, as soon as he realized that he liked Harper, that was over with. He wasn't controlling, possessive, psycho-obsessed, or any other of the traits that people didn't like in Travis. He was sweet and adorable. 
The only complaint I have about them is that I don't understand why they let Harper flit between them. Why didn't one of them say that she needed to pick a guy and stop leading both of them on?

BTW, believe it or not, there's a third guy who claims to be in love with Harper, though he wasn't an actual love interest. I won't say who, but I though that it was a little excessive. We didn't need to make a love-square. I love-triangle is enough. Just though I'd throw that out there.

The plot of the book...
So many things happen. This book was definitely a roller coaster. There are definitely surprises, some of which I think will cause some dissent within the readers. They are already a little controversial, from some of the reviews I've been seeing. I can't give away any of them without spoiling the entire book, but let me tell you, they are very shocking and will absolutely blow you away. 

That was the best part of the book. Though it did hang on to a handful of cliches, it wasn't predictable. For that reason, I truly liked the book, despite the issues I had with it. It managed to surprise me. 

The pace of the book was fast. It didn't drag at any point. The plot actually arcs over about a year, with an epilogue 2 years later, so we see the entire span of Harper going from an insecure girl to a confident woman. 

Overall, despite the trouble I had with some aspects of the books, I did really enjoy it. I know that what I said makes it seemed like I'm flipping between loving it and hating it, but I'm in the middle of those two-I liked the book.

So, to readers, you should definitely give this book a try, but approach with caution. There are some parts of the book that I think will be controversial and a deal-breaker for some-they already are for a few of those who got an advanced copy. It seems like most people either really love it or really hate it. But, you should still take a chance (get my pun?) and give Taking Chances a try.

Thanks to Edelweiss for a copy!
Featured Freebie:
Today, I have a historical romance that I read before and really liked: Captured by Victoria Lynne. This book is excellent. Go forth and get it for free!
CapturedDevon Blake's quick wits and good luck helped her survive on the streets of Liverpool. But in America, she finds herself in serious trouble. Accused of spying, she seems destined for the gallows. And it is handsome, dynamic Captain Cole McRae who must lead her to prison. Treachery destroyed Cole's ship and most of his crew. Now he's determined to see the dark-haired beauty responsible jailed for her heinous crime- and Devon's wild attempts at escape only fire his fury. But Cole and Devon's daring race through enemy territory ignites a passion stronger than vengeance.


  1. I guess this fits nicely in that New Adult category that most authors are pushing for. That coming of age after High School story. Thanks for giving a rounded review of it.

    1. Yeah, it is within the New Adult genre.
      You're welcome! Thanks for reading my review :)