Author Sue Brown is a sure bet when it comes to sweet romance and her latest, Chance To Be King, is no disappointment! A whirlwind romance between an actor and a writer, a mysterious arson, and a past tragedy all combine to make this novel an exciting story that moves rapidly along keeping the reader interested to the last page.
Eric has left his action hero persona behind to take a much-needed vacation in the small town of Grafton where he has rented a small lakeside cottage. His first encounter with Thomas is nearly his last as he overshoots his turn and barrels into the man with his truck. Thankfully no injuries occur but the scene is set for these two men to meet again. With each subsequent encounter, the small spark each feels grows until it is apparent that both men are sexually drawn to each other. Then the cottage Eric has rented is set ablaze and he finds himself bunking in with Thomas and those sparks are fanned into flames. However, the police have some bad news regarding a tragic incident from Thomas’ past. Will he let Eric help him overcome that dark moment in his past? Or will Thomas shut himself off and possibly lose whatever it is that is building between the two of them?
While one could say this was a near insta-love relationship, I found that the way in which author Sue Brown treated the growing attraction between Eric and Thomas gave their romance a more slow burning feel. Not once did I feel their affair was too contrived; instead I felt a genuine restraint on both their parts, but a fierce attraction all the same. In fact, much of the story was relegated to the introduction of the mystery element and the two men getting to know each other. The story’s pacing was just right for there to be continual added tension over the mysterious arson and the slow burning attraction between Eric and Thomas.
I enjoyed getting to know these two men. They both had secrets. Eric was definitely closeted and worried that the townsfolk may out him due to everyone knowing his business and Thomas hides a dark secret that has left him severely affected and had altered his life in dramatic ways. An integral part of their relationship is the building of trust and the author returns us to this theme over and over by allowing the two men to fumble their way to laying the foundation for just that type of faith in each other to begin to grow.
All in all, Chance to be King was a lovely novel about letting go and trusting in another to catch you as you did so. Both Eric and Thomas needed each other after many years of closing themselves off from the possibility of a long-term commitment to another person. This was their chance, their love story and it is sweet and tender.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.