Review: Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #4) by Lee Brazil

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Series Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Ghost of a Chance book coverChance Dumont thought he couldn’t survive when his first love, Cannon, left him.  It took Chances five years before he thought he could take a chance on another man and a relationship.  Then Rory, a young submissive cop came along and further complicated Chance’s already complicated life.  An attack on Rory made Chance understand that he loved Rory and could move forward again with a new relationship.  But the aftermath of that attack and the return of Cannon shattered Rory’s recovery.  If that wasn’t enough, a dead body in the men’s restroom of Chances Are bar completed the detonation of Chance’s and Rory’s fragile relationship due to trust issues.  At the time, Chance felt there was a fifty fifty chance that Rory had done the crime. So Rory left and Chance has not seen him since, though not for lack of trying.

No one has seen Rory.  The man has  vanished, taking with him all the hope and promise that Chance had just recovered.  Now  months have passed since Rory’s departure. Chance hasn’t left the sanctuary of his home, not once.  His constant companions are empty beer bottles and greasy pizza boxes and everyone is worried about him.  Chance hasn’t even been to his bar, a shocking situation that his friends and employees don’t know how to handle. If there is even a ghost of a chance of getting Rory back, Chance will take it.  But where to start?

Ghost of a Chance is the fourth book in the Chances Are series and in some ways it is a return to the emotional issues in first story in the series Chances Are.  Once again, Chance is recovering from a relationship gone wrong.  But this time, its his fault that the relationship didn’t succeed and the guilt eats at him constantly.  Chance knows that the issues he carried with him from the first failed relationship made him doubt himself and Rory from the beginning.  His ex boyfriend’s return didn’t help either.

Once again, Brazil paints a portrait of a man whose actions and self doubt triggered the events that demolished the beginnings of a new love.  It is a great on so many levels.  Chance’s inner turmoil, his guilt, and his downward spiral into pity and drunkenness is authentic and believable.   Told from Chance’s pov, we hear every inner argument and counter argument as Chance fights his way past the current events that have left him alone once more.  It’s a tough inner battle that Chance fights and the conclusions he draws are not always complimentary ones.  He knows where he failed but doesn’t know how to correct his mistakes.  How human and how understandable.

Chance must first fix himself and to help him do that are characters from the other Pulp Friction series.  From Wick Templeton to Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah from the Triple Threat series, all are present and accounted for as they help Chance recover once more and move forward with a plan to bring Rory home.   Here is a taste of Chance still hiding away in his house:

Even if I couldn’t explain what exactly I wanted, I could close my eyes and put a face to it. I wanted Rory. With us, it was not a game. It wasn’t a scene. It was how we were, and I should have fucking told him that. Maybe if I had, he wouldn’t have gotten tired of waiting and he’d have stayed and we’d be spending Friday night in the usual way, putting off gratification as long as possible while I sat in the bar and he knelt on the bed, and an invisible thread of arousal thrummed between us, ratcheting tension higher and higher until the whole bar seemed to snap with sexual tension.

Instead, I sat on my back patio watching a sexual disaster in the making cut his dad’s grass and giving one of my oldest friends the brush off while I concentrated on getting drunk as efficiently as possible in the vain hope that I’d be able to sleep tonight.

Brazil has created a wonderful character in Chance and then gave him the perfect voice for his character and personality.  I love Chance and everything about Chances Are.  In fact as Chance or his grandmother would say, chances are that everyone will find something to love about this series.  It’s short but seems so much larger in scope and characterization.  The characters and plot are terrific, the emotions realistic and its impact authentic and human. There’s more coming and i will be there for every new installment.  You will be too once you start on their adventure.  Go back to the beginning and Chances Are.  Meet Chance Dumont, Rory, Gerry and the rest.  You are going to love them as much as I do.

Note:  Series contains elements of bdsm and D/s.  It works perfectly within the series and for the characters involved.  Even though readers who prefer their sexual encounters to be on the vanilla side will enjoy the kink as explained by Lee Brazil and Chance.

Books in the series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events within:

Chances Are (Chances Are #01)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #02)
Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #03)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #04)

Book Details:

ebook, 36 pages
Published May 1st 2013 by Lime Time Press
edition language English
series Chances Are

Review: Second Chances Are (Chances Are #02) by Lee Brazil

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Second Chances AreChance Dumont has decided to move forward wit his life.  Chance decides the best way to put the past behind him is a relationship with the young man, Rory, who idolizes him. At least it seemed like a good idea at the time.  But lately the relationship feels constricting, and Chance can see it deteriorating in the near future.  But how to tell Rory that its over?  Unfortunately, Rory saw it coming and made one of the worst decisions of his young life.  Now both men must deal with the tragic outcome.  Chance realizes that second chances are hard to come by and makes a hard decision.  Then his past walks through the doors of his bar after five years.  And Chance is face to face with the hardest decision he has ever made.  Who will get the second chance at love, his past or his present?

Second Chances Are picks up shortly after the end of the first book in the series, Chances Are.  Chance Dumont, that quintessential damaged ex cop is back and trying to move on with his life,  one that was destroyed both career wise and emotionally five years earlier.  Chance has decided to put his past behind him and give romance a try once more.  His choice of partner?  That would be Rory, a young gay cop who is clearly in love with the older man.  Lee Brazil brings us again into the weary, sarcastic personality that is Chance Dumont, a man who gained his  nickname from a grandmother he both loved and hated.  One who always said, “Chances are you will come to no good, just like your pa”, and the appellation stuck.

We reenter Chance’s life just as he has made a decision to try and move forward with his life.  New boyfriend, new attempt at a relationship (although on his terms).  But when the story opens, Chance is realizing that Rory will never be the one he wants and that’s a painful reality.  Chance is a difficult man.  He is complex, with his own set of rules and laws he goes by, not necessarily society’s ones.  He is a Dom and wants someone who not only has the same kink he has but something more.  Something he once had and lost.  Chance is not a bad man and he realizes the damage this is going to do to the young man who idolizes him.  It won’t be pretty, in fact, Chance is sure it is going to get ugly quick.   I love that Brazil’s characterization of Chance is realistically layered and contradictory in his thought processes.  He is human, not always likable but trying to be as honorable as possible.  Brazil’s Chance is a man who knows life is hard but is still surprised by the depths people will sink to.  I really like this man and can see why the author created Rory, his opposite in almost every way.  We need that to illuminate the truth of Chance and it works.

A traumatic event happens to Rory that changes the dynamic between the men.  Just when Chance had made one decision about their relationship, an attack on Rory changes everything. Soon Chance is dropping that hard won decision altogether in favor of a different path, one that is 180 degrees from the realistic one Chance thought was best for them both.  This is a hard choice for Chance and Brazil lets the reader into Chance’s inner thoughts and moral arguments as he works through his own culpability with respect to Rory and the attack.  This intimate look into Chance’s mindset is necessary for the reader to continue to be emotionally attached to a man who can be perceived as cold and removed.   Chance is a great character who continues to grow as more about his past is revealed and our attachment to the man grows with him.

In this case, his past walks through the door towards the end of the story.  The reader knew it was coming but the emotional implications and impact on Chance is still as disastrous as we expected.  It’s wonderful when an author can do that with an anticipated segment of their story, and Lee Brazil does a great job with it.

We get to see Wick Templeton or at least hear him mentioned as a possible course of action, so you know  things are dire when Wick is the weapon of choice.  I think it is wise that Wick is accounted for in these linked series by something as fleeting as a phone call.  I am  not sure that either series can hold both men together at the same time.  That’s a lot of testosterone and trouble for one series, let alone two.

The other aspect I need to bring up is that this is not truly a romance, at least not yet.  There are elements of BDSM, a D/s relationship, certainly affection as well as bitterness over a past love.  But romance? That would be no.  And it’s really not needed here.  This is a portrait of a man who is trying to move forward in his life, leaving his career and obviously love behind.  We don’t have the facts yet but they are coming.  Some of them just walked in the door. What Lee Brazil does give us is tension, the realities and hardships that life dumps at your feet, and taking responsibility for your actions.  This is a grown up story and I love it.

So start at the beginning and work your way through the series.  Then head on over to Wicked’s Way, Havan Fellows’s series and grab that one up too.  I have two more stories in this series to review so stay with us all the way to the end.  You won’t be sorry.

Cover art by Laura Harner is appropriate for the book and the series.  Works well to brand the series too.

Books in the series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events within:

Chances Are (Chances Are #01)
Second Chances Are (Chances Are #02)
Fifty Fifty Chances Are (Chances Are #03)
Ghost of a Chance (Chances Are #04)

Book Details:

ebook, short story
Published March 1st 2013 by Lime Time Press
ISBN LBRZL00000 (ISBN13: 2940016176192)
edition language English