Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Chance Dumont, owner of Chances Are bar, is at a stalemate in his life. Years ago, an injury cost Chance his job as a cop but it is an emotional damage that has kept him from moving on. Chance’s grandmother always told him that “Chances are you’ll come to no good, just like your pa.” That’s how he got his name, nick name actually. His real name is Aaron, Aaron Dumont. But Chance is what he goes by.
Its time for a change in Chance’s life but how to go about moving on is the question. Chances are that nothing good is going to come of this too, but its more than past time for Chance to make a change. Now to make that happen.
Chances Are introduces us to another memorable character in the Pulp Friction stories being written by three different authors. This time its Lee Brazil and Chance Dumont, her damaged ex cop. Chance is one of those marvelous personalities you find behind the counter in their bars throughout noir fiction. A deeply damaged man, Chance is an ex cop who still operates from a vague set of morals he can barely remember. Chance’s life has been in stasis for some time, the result of past events that are never really defined for the reader. Brazil just offers us tantalizing bits here and there as to the source of all Chance’s pain and emotional scarring. It’s a great character made even more enticing and mysterious by not giving us too much of his past history. It dribbles out slowly, teasing the reader with glimpses of Chance’s past and imparting clues to the reasons behind Chance’s current state of mind and heart.
Another surprising twist to this character is Chance’s sex life. He likes his sex with a kink, and that kink being that Chance is a Dom in the BDSM lifestyle. In fact the story starts out with Chance and another young man in the middle of a sexual encounter. It’s white hot, and truthfully kind of sad at the same time, a great touch. Primarily because it is Chance that is unsatisfied, and not just with his current partner. Brazil leads us directly into Chance’s mindset even as the sexual goings on heats up. You can feel Chance’s frustration with his life even while he appreciates his partner’s attributes (which are many). It’s a great portrait and a complicated one. And I loved every second of it.
Those of you expecting a romance here, well, you aren’t going to get it. At least not yet. I expect the real romance has already happened in the past and that Chance is still reeling from its detonation. I also expect to see it or someone pop up sometime in the series to muck everything up again for Chance, a delicious element to keep our anticipation high and idling. How lovely and a great change from instant love.
For some of you, the BDSM element might make you hesitate when deciding on reading this series. Don’t. It is very well done and not extreme in description. While I am not a fan of this element in my stories, Brazil’s treatment of Chance’s sexual choices are matter of fact, an aspect of Chance’s character which works perfectly with the core of his character. It’s just one more need from this incredibly complex man.
Again, this is a short story, one of four in this series. And that’s my only quibble. We only just get into Chance’s mind when the story ends. We are beginning to see the possibilities ahead even as his past threatens to drag him back down. The tension is wonderful, the character mesmerizing, and the heat white hot. I can’t wait to see where Brazil will take Chance next. Luckily I will be there for the journey. Join us.
Cover art by Laura Harner. I liked this cover much better than the one she designed for the Wicked’s Ways series. The glass on the bar works for Chance and helps brand the series.
Books in the Chances Are series in the order they were written and should be read:
Chances Are (Chances Are #1)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #2)
Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #3)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #4)