Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Series Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Chance Dumont, owner of Chances Are bar and his lover, Rory, are still trying to deal with the aftermath of Rory’s attack and the return of Cannon, Chances’s former boyfriend. It’s not going well. Rory, a cop, has still not been declared fit for duty. But truthfully the trauma of the attack has left Rory fearful and he may never heal enough to be a cop again. And Chance? He’s trying hard to be the lover Rory needs but their relationship is strained and fragile, just like Rory.
When a man is found naked and dead in the bathroom stall in the men’s room, his identity points to Chance and Rory as suspects. Chance knows he didn’t do it but did Rory? That’s the question and no one likes that the answer might be that its a fifty fifty chance that Rory did.
This series is just amazing. It continues to get better with each new story. It deepens in intensity and in emotional layering and I can’t get enough. We left Chance and Rory trying to pick up the pieces of their relationship after Rory has been attacked in Second Chances Are, and it’s not going very well. And it can’t because the relationship started on tenuous terms and has never found a firm foundation. The men aren’t communicating, primarily because one is traumatized and the other doesn’t want to upset him further. It’s a realistic portrait of two men at the very first stages of recovery and they are still trying to find their way past the pain.
Lee Brazil packs a lot into 34 pages. Great characterization, wonderful plot, and tremendous dialog and with each new story it gets better, more layered, more authentic. Chance was a complicated man in the first two books but not always likable, something the character himself acknowledges. But here as Chance struggles to put Rory first instead of giving into his impulses for revenge, he becomes more human, more understandable. He is so frustrated, as is the reader that we instantly relate to him.
Trust is the issue and focus here. So many areas where trust is lacking. There is the trust missing between Chance and Rory. Plus Chance still doesn’t trust Gerry, his bartender who stole from him and both men are struggling with that fact. Rory can’t trust himself or anyone other than Chance, maybe. Then Brazil shatters the tentative trust established between Chance and Rory with a murder that either man might have done. The emotional detonation that occurs reveals to all involved just how fragile the binding was that held them all together. It’s angry, it’s hurtful, and it’s damaging on many levels, but is it permanent? That’s the question that Brazil gives us to answer and the answer remains elusive by the end of the story.
Again there is an element of bdsm and D/s but it absolutely works for the characters and story. Don’t let it put you off. And for you romance lovers, well, it’s coming. Romance and love is not an easy thing for Chance Dumont. Its hurt him deeply in the past and he hasn’t been able to get past that emotional trauma. Now he is finally ready but is the man he loves? Brazil is stringing that aspect of the series out for us and it is making it even more enjoyable to anticipate the outcome.
It’s hard for me to believe that Fifty Fifty Chances Are is only 34 pages in length. It has the breadth and scope of a larger book. So does the series. Really, the author’s work here is immaculate. Pick it up but start at the beginning and work your way through. There are four stories so far and I know that more are coming. Lucky us.
Books in the series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events within: