Hayden Murphy isn’t looking for love. He’s still recovering from the death of his husband in a line of duty incident and romance is the last thing on his mind. But when Hayden meets Eric Connors at the scene of an accident and then again at a bar, he decides to follow through on his attraction to the man. After all, a friends with benefits relationship isn’t going to hurt anyone and Hayden doesn’t need to worry about falling in love.
Eric doesn’t want anything too deep and he knows Hayden is still healing. It should be simple enough, yet each man begins to realize their affections are deepening and neither are sure how to deal with it. Ultimately, Hayden and Eric have to decide if loving one another is worth the risk and if what they have can last.
Chance Encounters was a generally sweet story, but slow moving and lacking in originality. It’s one of those books that neither offends nor excites, but the strong writing was enough to carry it past the rougher aspects.
I appreciated that Eric and Hayden met through repeated circumstance and enjoyed a friendship aside from the physical aspects of their relationship. Neither character read as completely developed and I wanted to know about them, especially Hayden, whose biggest defining quality was his grief. That isn’t to say they were caricatures and there is enough definition to make them feel believable. I just wanted some more fleshing out because with it they would have been an epic couple. Still they work well together and the evolution of their romance seemed realistic.
My biggest complaint was the pacing of Chance Encounters. It tended meander and wind its way through events and there were times I felt it lost it’s focus. There were scenes that didn’t seem needed and, had the overall story been tighter, I think a lot of the pacing problems would have been resolved. Nothing fancy or spectacular happens here and there wasn’t much by way of rising action and while part of that is due to the pacing, I think the other issue is the story just doesn’t pack much of a punch. It’s not terrible by any stretch; I just always felt something was missing, almost like it needed another layer of depth, much like the main characters.
Chance Encounters is a perfectly acceptable romance and while it struggles in some areas, I think if you’re looking for a relaxing read then you’ll probably find this one enjoyable. I wanted a little bit more from the overall story and character development, but there is still a lot to like here.