Thursday, February 20, 2020

ARC Review: Second Chance by Barbara Elsborg

Second Chance
From the blurb:

Ryder’s on the company bonding trip from hell, five days of competitive cycling with competitive colleagues and an even more competitive boss. Faced with yet another vertical climb, he ignores his uninvited, insistent inner cheerleader. No, he cannot keep up, and what’s more, he’s had enough. And the weather appears to agree he should stop, when sun turns in an instant to thick fog.

Callan’s at Whittaker’s Auction House to bid on fae land that his werewolf pack need as their new home, when an unsuspecting human stumbles through the door. Ryder is out of breath, out of luck, way out of his depth—and apparently the newest item on the auctioneer’s block. Unexpectedly tempting, if Callan had the money.

As the bidding heats up and Ryder proves dangerously irresistible to the assembled supernatural creatures, the situation grows more and more precarious. When Callan interferes, he puts his pack’s future in peril. Despite knowing how devious faeries can be, desperation makes Callan accept a deal, a chance to win the land for his pack and a future with Ryder. But it’s a risk. Possibly a deadly one.

This is not 'just another Valentine's story', it's a Barbara Elsborg Valentine's story (ish). So don't expect the usual sonnets and flowers and Cupids, but do expect the unexpected - vampires, weres, witches and warlocks. Oh, and a vengeful fae. Things are not quite as they may seem. You have been warned!

Heather's rating:

I love Barbara Elsborg, and I read almost everything she writes, so I was really excited for Second Chance. On the plus side, it has that quirky humor and witty banter that I always associate with Barbara's work. However, without getting into any spoilers, I thought that the relationship had too many cooks in the kitchen.

I love when Barbara writes paranormals, but I wish this one had a less convoluted plot. Parts were really predictable, but I thought it just got to be a little over complicated. I would have killed for just a funny, well-written "fish out of water" paranormal romance. Through in some werewolves, dead-panning twinks, and oodles of hot sex and I'm a happy camper. But I felt like Barbara just couldn't help herself and the plot kept getting layers thrown on.

I might have been okay with some of the twists had everything not resolved so quickly. Simply put: I didn't buy that the romance was fully there between Ryder and Callan. I found the story to be charming and an easy read, but I thought it needed a lot more for me to squee over the romance.

A nice story from the always great Barbara Elsborg, even if it doesn't come close to my favorite Elsborg books.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

Enjoy, my friends!

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