April 23, 2010

A Rare Chance by Carla Neggers

Gabriella Starr has silk suits, champagne tastes, and a great new career. She also has a strange man following her around Boston. Two of them, actually. When she tries to chase down the first, she encounters the second -- ex-cop and new D.A. Cam Yaeger. He's sure she's in trouble, but Gabriella bristles when he offers to help. She's way too attracted to him, and it's not like her to go for law-enforcement types anyway. She''s far too independent, too naturally defiant. And she's spent too many nights in jail....

Cam Yeager likes cold beer, his Bruins sweatshirt, and shaving every other day. He knows all about Gabriella Starr, her eccentric father, and their years rescuing rare, endangered orchids no matter the stakes. Now something shady is going on in Boston. And something explosive is hovering on the horizon as well: the wild fireworks of two intense opposites falling in love....

Gabriella is a woman who will not settle for any less in a man then the one who understand both sides of her personality...the adventurer and the straightlaced businesswoman. After leaving her father to his orchid adventures for stability in Boston, she unwittingly becomes a target of animosity from her employer's brother, Joshua Reading. Having noticed she is being followed by not one by two ex-cops she confronts cop-turned-lawyer Cam Yeager and demands answers. When he refuses to give them, Gaby determines to investigate for herself exactly what is going on with the people she works for.

Complicating events further, her nomadic father and her long-time friend Lizzie show up at her apartment after having not seen each other for more than a year. In a so-called whirlwind romance, Lizzie and Joshua become involved, making Gabriella's decisions murky and actions weighty with consequence.

A Rare Chance has some great characters and an interesting story.  The book cover does not really fit the storyline...I hate that! An orchid greenhouse attached to Garbriella's apartment happens to be a setting where a lot of the character interactions takes place. I thought all the details about orchids and their care provided an additional element of interest.  A few plots elements were unnecessary or contrived and detracted from the story.

I appreciated how Neggers dealt with and provided a comparison of different types intimate and familial relationships and the types of people who get involved in each. Those that are healthy where the individual keeps their identity and those that are unhealthy, obsessive, dominating, and emotionally damaging.

I think I like romantic suspense so much because I am a problem-solver. Regular romance stories are mainly about the character's issues and how the characters find resolution together for the HEA. But romantic suspense provides more dimension, threatening situations, hopefully thrilling plot and an added layer of tension. Originally published in 1996, A Rare Chance is a solid romantic suspense novel that fans of Carla Neggers will enjoy. The romantic side of the story is not very involved but this is typical of Negger's novels...more of a sideline really with suspense front and center.

Recently released in paperback by Carla Neggers is The Mist. The Whisper will be released June 29, 2010 in hardcover. Cold Dawn November 1, 2010 in paperback.

My Rating: 3.5


Related Posts:
Cold River by Carla Neggers
Cold Pursuit by Carla Neggers
The Angel by Carla Neggers

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