Taking Chance, by Laura Harner
A fine example of the western genre from a M/M perspective.
Story blurb: Officer Chance Carter is pretty sure he’d still enjoy being on either end of a good ass reaming—just not the one from his supervisor that lands him on an involuntary extended vacation. Another holiday season with nothing to do except visit an old friend.
Former hospital corpsman Bryan Mitchell doesn’t feel less than honorable, but that’s what his discharge paperwork states. Now he’s down and out in Kingman, Arizona until the charity of a stranger lands him a temporary job for the holidays.
When two federal employees go missing during a highly controversial wild horse roundup, the two Willow Springs Ranch newcomers are drafted to help in the search, but if rumors of a local anti-government militia are true, Chance and Bryan may be in serious trouble—and from something far more dangerous than their mutual attraction.*
*Available as a free download on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16279824-taking-chance?ac=1)
Review by Gerry Burnie
Taking Chance (Willow Springs Ranch #3) by Laura Harner [Hot Corner Press; Second edition, June 2, 2013] is number three in a series, and I am obliged to admit it is the first I have read. Therefore, I have no background with character like Cass and Ty. However, I didn’t find this to be a disadvantage.
The story line is quite conventional. Bryan Mitchell has been given a dishonourable discharge from the navy, due to ‘conduct unbecoming,’ and because of this stigma he finds himself down and out. Fate leads him to Willow Springs Ranch, and since he and Ty both have navy backgrounds, he is hired on.
In the meantime, Chance Carter screws up on his sensitive job and is given an extended leave of absence; therefore, fate once again, leads him to Willow Springs Ranch.
Both are strong personalities. but from different perspectives, so their first meeting is rather feisty; however, when they are called upon to help find two government workers who have gone missing on a controversial horse roundup, they get to know one another both emotionally and physically.
[I don’t review sex scenes since I generally scan over them, (I mean, how many ways are there that haven’t been written about?) but for those who like a little spice with their story, there are plenty to satisfy.]
Things get dicey on this search, including one of them being kidnapped, but it provides a nice bit of drama as befits a good western.
I am somewhat of an aficionado of the western genre. I’ve read dozens of biographies and autobiographies, plus the same number of fictional adaptations, and this one can take a respectable position among them all.
It’s more of an adventure than a romance (which it should be), but being an M/M story it has to have some. I also liked the fact that the romance part didn’t stray into ‘Harlequin Romance’ territory.
That said, it didn’t break any new territory, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is the difference between a good novel and an outstanding one—in my opinion, anyway. Four and one-half bees.
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