Ethan Moore has just graduated from college. He’s an artist and he wants to work in advertising. Getting away from the small town in Iowa is his goal, and he’s applied for jobs at companies far away from home. When Ethan gets a chance to go to San Francisco to interview for a small advertising company, he considers this to be a real possibility. While he’s there, he goes to his first gay bar and meets a gorgeous man named Chance who seduces him, and the two of them wind up in Ethan’s hotel room having a passionate hookup. Ethan is a bit disappointed when he wakes up to an empty bed, but he’s got to concentrate on the interview, so he puts Chance out of his mind…sort of.
Ethan gets the job and makes the move to San Francisco. On his first day, he’s being shown around by his direct supervisor, Brad, when Brad suggests he take Ethan to meet the senior executive in charge of their department. A man named Chance Harlow. Imagine Ethan’s shock when Chance Harlow is his Chance.
Chance has been hurt before, so he is only interested in random hookups. He even has a regular restaurant where he goes to get crab cakes and a quickie in the restroom. Even though he had a fantastic time with Ethan, he didn’t stick around. Only this time, Chance did something he usually doesn’t do. He left his phone number on the desk next to a sleeping Ethan. When Brad brings Ethan into his office to introduce him, Chance doesn’t even remember him right away, even though Ethan remembers him. Once Chance does remember, he decides to keep Ethan because he’s talented.
Ethan decides he wants to remain professional no matter how Chance flirts. However, a trip to Bali to try to land an account tests Ethan’s resolution, especially because Chance wants to have some fun…with or without Ethan.
Taking a Chance was ok. I wanted to love it, and it had a lot of potential, but it fell a little short with me.
The boss/employee trope is a favorite of mine, but what isn’t a favorite is the whole manwhore thing. I think it’s been a little overdone. It also leaves me with an uncomfortable feeling while reading about the character. I mean, of course he’s going to change, and there will be a happily ever after or it wouldn’t be a romance. I just had a difficult time relating to/liking Chance…even though there was an underlying reason for why he is the way he is. I’m not saying he was a total ass, but there was a time or two where I though he needed a good bitchslap.
I liked Ethan. He didn’t want to be in a small town, but coming to San Francisco was a culture shock, from his first trip to a gay bar to adapting to working in an office around a bunch of people. His feelings for Chance are obvious, but he want to be professional and work his way up without people think he’s being helped by sleeping with the boss. He did well for awhile, but Chance was convincing and he finally gave in one night in Bali. (I feel like I could go on for a long time about that night, but I don’t want to give anything away. Also, it kind of pissed me off before I got happy, so…) Chance and Ethan had a lot of chemistry. Their relationship was kind of a slow burn, and there was a lot of sexual tension. When they do come together it’s HOT. The sex was amazing! Emjay Haze certainly knows how to write a delicious sex scene. Steam was pouring out of my Kindle.
There aren’t a lot of background characters. At the beginning of the book, Ethan has a best friend called Mark who encourages him to go to San Fran, but he’s never really heard from again. I loved Brad. He and Chance dated for about 20 minutes, and they were occasional fuck buddies. They have a friendship and an excellent working relationship. Brad is not afraid to call Chance on his stupidity, and Chance actually takes his advice…most of the time.
The trip to Bali was written nicely. It’s obvious the author did some research and the descriptions were lovely. I actually want to take a vacation there sometime simply based on this book. Also, during the trip, we got to see how well Chance and Ethan actually work together. Not only are they awesome in bed, they’re an awesome team for selling advertising. I was impressed.
I found the ending to be satisfying. When they returned from their trip, things were a bit chaotic at the office, but it was tied up neatly and all was well. All in all, while I didn’t love Taking a Chance, I enjoyed it, and I have no problem recommending it. I would also be happy to read another other books Haze may release in the future.