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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday Reviews: Take a Chance on Me by Jennifer Dawson

Throwback Thursday Reviews on the blog is dedicated to those oldies but goodies that you just can't help but talk about, in a review of course! Shed some light on some of your older favorites and hopefully you'll get someone hooked on a new book, series and/or author! If you've got an oldie but goodie, share it with me! There's no such thing as "Too Many Books!"

Format: .mobi (Purchased)
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: February 14, 2014

Gorgeous runaway brides. . .

When Maddie Donovan runs out on her high school sweetheart moments before walking down the aisle, she ends up at a bar in the small town of Revival, Illinois, with only the wedding dress on her back, fifty dollars to her name, and her "good girl" reputation in tatters. Not ready to return to Chicago and face the music, she accepts hot bartender Mitch Riley's offer to stay at his place. But sharing such close quarters is driving Maddie insane with desire.

Always drink for free. . .

Mitch thinks he's seen it all--until Maddie strides into his bar in full wedding attire and downs three shots of whiskey. Though the gorgeous knockout seems tough as nails, he also senses her vulnerability. With a troubled past of his own, Mitch has no interest in ties of any kind--yet he can't help falling for Maddie. Now he's got to find a way to convince her to give love a second chance.

Maddie Donovan ran out of her own wedding to her high school sweetheart and is now in a small town called Revival. Low on cash, tired and dirty, she decides to abandon her “good girl” reputation and get drunk in a bar. With nowhere to go, Maddie reluctantly accepts the bartender’s completely platonic offer to stay at his place. Good idea in theory, bad idea in reality.

Jaded bartender Mitch Riley has seen and heard just about everything but is surprised by Maddie’s sudden appearance in the bar. With enough troubles of his own, the last thing Mitch should be doing is taking on someone else’s troubles but Maddie’s combination of tough girl attitude and vulnerable woman is irresistible. Against his better judgment, Mitch invites her to stay at his place until she gets back on her feet. Living in such close quarters, Mitch can’t help but fall for Maddie and try and convince her to give him a chance.

I totally read this series out of order. I started with book three which is out soon but it was so good that I just had to back track and snag Take a Chance on Me when it was on sale.

So Maddie is a runaway bride but she isn’t a fickle woman. She’s a character who suffers from an extreme case of guilt and has tried for years to curb her naturally outgoing, passionate and daring personality in favor of what she thinks her family wants: A docile, eager to please, malleable, married woman. Poor woman, I felt for her. Guilt can make you do the stupidest things. She’s the only girl in a family of alpha males but instead of that family being tyrants, they’re wonderful!

I’m so tired of reading about awful families who are selfish and cruel yet are still “family” that the Donovans were a breath of fresh air. They were supportive of Maddie once she came clean about why she ran out of her wedding. Her brothers weren’t meat heads who had their brains in their biceps; they actually listened to Maddie and didn’t try to take control of her life, even when they knew she was struggling to figure things out. I envied Maddie her brothers!

Now, Mitch wasn’t so lucky with his family. Talk about cold and dysfunctional! And Mitch was well on his way to being the same kind of user and all around selfish so and so until his reputation was abruptly smashed and he was forced to leave Chicago in order to restart his life. The author did a great job in painting a picture of Mitch before he came to Revival and emphasizing that while he was a different person than before, that part of him that was selfish and cold wasn’t completely gone. He wasn’t a wholesome guy, and there were unlikable parts of him but for me that’s what made him a good character. He had a past where he wasn’t a good guy at all. He may have done a lot of changing when he came to Revival but I don’t think he was truly humbled until he almost lost Maddie. That’s when Mitch became a solid good guy.

Mitch’s one trait that had me swooning over him was his understanding that Maddie had to find her way back to her old self on her own. He was respectful of the fact that she didn’t want or need to be saved, much less told what to do. Maddie made her decisions, right or wrong and Mitch was there to love her regardless. Even when Maddie did to Mitch what she didn’t want him to do to her, these two were still a positive match.

Take a Chance on Me introduces an entire hoard it seems of supporting characters, each one likable, each one with memorable personalities. Maddie’s brothers Shane, Evan and James couldn’t be more different from each other, Maddie’s friends Penelope and Sophie are so supportive and caring of Maddie in their separate ways, Penelope is the calm one and Sophie is the ball buster. Then there’s Mitch’s best friend Gracie and her brother Sam, two siblings who are opposites in every way. They’re a fun crowd and I want all of them to have their own books!

Final Verdict: I need to get the second book in this series and I can't wait for future books!

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