Book Review: One More Chance by Abbi Glines

One More Chance CoverBook: One More Chance by Abbi Glines

Published September 2014 by Atria Books|272 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Chance #2, Rosemary Beach #8

Genre: NA/Contemporary Romance

Blog Graphic-What It's About

The unforgettable story of Grant and Harlow from Take a Chance continues in this brand-new novel in the Rosemary Beach series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines.

She was it. His one. His only. Then he made the mistake of letting her go.

After fighting his way into Harlow Manning’s heart—and revealing a side of himself no one had ever seen before—Grant Carter destroyed his own heart by giving in to his greatest fears and doubts. Months later, he’s stuck in a miserable routine. Work relentlessly. Beg his best friend Rush for news about Harlow. Avoid all other friends. Leave nightly voicemails for Harlow, pleading with her to come back to Rosemary Beach. Fall asleep alone. Repeat.

Miles away, on her brother’s Texas ranch, Harlow can’t bring herself to listen to Grant’s voicemails. Though she wants to be with him, and knows he regrets letting her go, she doesn’t know if she can trust him. When he discovered the truth behind her sheltered upbringing, it shattered their relationship, but the secret she carries now has far greater consequences. Can she risk giving Grant one more chance, or will the gamble ultimately destroy her?

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

Even though I didn’t like the first Harlow/Grant book, I still wanted to see what would happen.  I think I hated this book more than I did the first one.

It’s mostly because Harlow is a selfish idiot.  Even though she has a heart condition AND HAVING A BABY CAN LITERALLY KILL HER, she insists on going through with her pregnancy, even though everyone around her wants her to have an abortion.  I did hate that people were trying to force her to change her mind and get an abortion, because it is her decision, and if she wants to keep a baby that could kill her, it’s her decision, as much as everyone doesn’t like her decision.  I felt like Mase’s mom was the only one who seemed supportive of Harlow’s decision. Grant seemed to come around a little bit but not completely.  At the same time, though, I felt like it was incredibly selfish for Harlow to insist on going through with the pregnancy.

I know it’s Grant’s baby, and she wants the baby, and he made her want things she could never have, but I felt like she cared more about the baby and sacrificing herself for the baby than living.  I felt like she was either too stupid to realize SHE was more important to people than her baby, or she realized it but didn’t care that SHE was important to people and that they didn’t want to lose her.  I don’t understand her decision, and I’ve never had to make that decision, but I also feel like it’s her decision to make…and Grant’s too, being the father.  We never see her talk with Mase or his family about it, and we’re just told what her decision is.  Grant’s opinion doesn’t seem to matter either, and I feel like she doesn’t want to take into account what other people think, because all that matters is what she wants.  Which is true to a point, but…it just bothered me that she didn’t care if she lived or died.

I also hated that Mase called Rush, knowing that he’d tell Grant, who’d go running to find her.  His voice mails were pretty pathetic, and I am utterly clueless as to why Harlow is in love with him, and why she’d give him a chance after everything he did.  And after the way he treated her after finding out about her heart condition. She really should have made him work to get her back.

I did like that Nan donated blood, and I felt like I understood Nan a lot better.  I still don’t completely get why people dislike Nan and why the other characters treat her the way they do, but what she did for Harlow did was really nice. I didn’t like how everyone suspected she was up to something, and unable to do anything nice for anyone.  And that she was trying to manipulate someone or something by donating blood.

The letters Harlow wrote to her unborn child were really morbid, and I didn’t like them at all.  And Harlow thinking she live just based off wanting to be there for her child…hope can go a long way, but again, her pregnancy could very will kill her, and hope can’t overcome that.  Plus, it’s something that she can pass on to her child, so I am having a hard time understanding why she’d want to keep this baby.

Something I thought was weird was her grandma.  Early on in the book, Harlow’s thinking about her grandma (who didn’t believe in abortion), and what her grandma what think if it were Harlow getting an abortion.  And then Kiro mentions her grandma, and wants to know if it’s a religious thing and if it’s something her grandma taught her. I am confused about what religion has to do with it, because someone not wanting an abortion doesn’t necessarily have to be because of religious beliefs.

I get Kiro is trying to understand why she’s not getting an abortion, but that, combined with Harlow’s earlier thoughts of her grandma made me think that her grandma was religious and didn’t believe in abortions.  I don’t understand the emphasis on her grandma’s beliefs when one, grandma isn’t with us anymore. and two, it doesn’t actually go anywhere.  Given it comes up a couple of times, I thought it would have more of a role, and it doesn’t, so I don’t get why it’s brought up.

After giving birth, it takes her a while to open up her eyes, but, of course, she ends up being fine…it seemed like a major cop-out that she ended up being fine.  Other than people freaking out because she insists on having a child, she ends up fine, with nothing other than a coma.  Why have her have this serious heart condition in which having a child could kill her if she’s going to be fine?  It felt manipulative in the last book, like it was there for drama, but it felt extremely, intensely manipulative for her to be fine.  Because Harlow just can’t be pregnant, she has to be pregnant with a serious, life-threatening heart condition and somehow end up okay. Granted, she was in pretty good health, which probably was a factor, and she was high-risk but at the lower end of high-risk, but I wanted more complications with it.

Blog Graphic- My Rating

1 star.  The only thing I liked was Nan donating blood to Harlow, but overall, this was a frustrating book to read.

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Book Review: Take A Chance by Abbi Glines

Take A Chance CoverBook: Take A Chance by Abbi Glines

Published February 2014 by Atria Books|228 pages

Where I Got It: I own the e-book

Series: Chance #1, Rosemary Beach #7

Genre: NA/Contemporary RomanceBlog Graphic-What It's About

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the story of Grant, the sexy playboy who first captured readers hearts in Fallen Too Far.

When Harlow Manning’s rocker father goes on tour, he sends her to Rosemary Beach, Florida, to live with her half-sister, Nan. The problem: Nan despises her. Harlow has to keep her head down if she wants to get through the next nine months, which seems easy enough. Until gorgeous Grant Carter walks out of Nan’s room in nothing but his boxer briefs.

Grant made a huge mistake getting involved with a girl with venom in her veins. He’d known about Nan’s reputation, but still he couldn’t resist her. Nothing makes him regret the fling more than meeting Harlow, who sends his pulse racing. Yet Harlow wants nothing to do with a guy who could fall for her wicked half-sister; even if there are no strings between Grant and Nan. Grant is desperate to redeem himself in Harlow’s eyes, but did he ruin his chances before he even met her?

Blog Graphic- What I Thought

Of the Abbi Glines books I’ve read so far (just 2!), Take A Chance was my least favorite.  I wanted to like it more, but there were so many things that frustrated me.  It’s going to be long, because I’m feeling quite rant-y about this book.

Grant:

I didn’t like him at all!  He claimed that Harlow was really important to them, but I felt like his actions said otherwise.  She lost her virginity to him, and then he goes and sleeps with her half-sister a couple of months later, and continues to do so, even though he says he called her so many times and she never picked up.  She says she never got those calls, so either he’s lying, she is, or someone grabbed her phone and deleted her voice mails and texts and call history (which would be a really shitty thing for someone to do), but who knows what happened there.

Not only that but when she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him because he never called, and she goes out with someone…he has a threesome with two strangers who like pretending they’re twins.  JUST BECAUSE SHE GOES OUT WITH SOMEONE.  And yet, the next morning, he’s a changed man and wants to be with her.

However, his friend dies, and his friend’s girlfriend is, understandably, grieving over the loss of her boyfriend, and he doesn’t want to lose Harlow the way Bethy lost Jace.  I really felt like he was using that as an excuse to not get close to her.  He wants her and she supposedly means everything to him, but he doesn’t want to fight for her or their relationship.  When you add in the fact that he seems like how insecure she is, and how jealous she gets whenever Nan comes up in any capacity…I just don’t get why people like Grant, because in this book, he seems like a horrible person, especially with something that happens to Nan.

First, we have this quote, which irritated the hell out of me:

“If she’s lying, it might be me beating the shit out of her,” I warned him.

And this one:

“She better be telling the truth.”

Are you kidding me?  That made me hate Grant.  I was willing to give him a chance, but after that, no way in hell was he getting one.  He is not a good guy, and the fact he talks about beating Nan if she’s lying makes me hate him so much it’s not even funny.  Yeah, Nan doesn’t seem like the most pleasant person and she’s portrayed as a character that pretty much everyone hates because she’s supposedly this bitter, angry bitch.  But it was frustrating that Granted said/thought the things he did because no one deserves what happened to Nan.  No one.  Really, I felt bad for Nan, because people seem to treat her like crap for no apparent reason.  Whatever she may have done, she doesn’t deserve the things Grant said and might have done.  There is absolutely nothing good about a guy who’s willing to beat someone if she’s lying.

Harlow:

I know we’re supposed to like her, and think she’s this sweet, innocent, fragile girl who needs protecting (especially from Nan), but I didn’t like her either.  In the one scene we see her stand up to/confront Nan, she seemed to handle herself pretty well, so the fact that everyone seemed to think she needed protecting was frustrating.

One, she forgave Grant way too easily and way too much, especially for someone who doesn’t seem to trust people easily because of her father.  Also, do you really want to be with someone who likes your insecurity and thinks it’s hot?  Because if that’s what he likes/is into, he’s a guy you should stay far away from.

Two, this frustrating to read quote, from the beginning of the book:

“I was twenty years old.  It was time I became a real woman and had sex.  I was holding on to my virginity like some grand prize, and I wanted to experience a total connection with another human being.”

Here are my problems with this.  One, I think you’re a real woman regardless of whether you’ve had sex or not. You’re not lesser just because you’re twenty and a virgin.  Two, it sort of sounds like you’re having sex because you’re old enough, and not because you’re actually read, which…it sort of sounds like what’s going on here.  And also having read the entire book, it seems like maybe she wasn’t completely ready.  And three…actually, let’s forget about three, because I tried writing it out, and it sounds completely horrible no matter how I phrase it, so let’s just stick with two.

Three, this other quote:

“I was a slut.  Or trauma made me a slut.  I wasn’t sure…I knew about blowjobs.  I knew women must like it to do it. So I was curious.  But now that I had made him come in my hands and tasted him, I was embarrassed.  I didn’t do things like that.  It wasn’t me.”

There’s a lot more to that quote, but I wanted to highlight the things that really frustrated me.  I did feel bad that she just found out that the mom she thought was dead for years turned out to be alive the entire time.  And finding out about it had to have been hard- and that people handle finding out about stuff like that in all kinds of ways.  But it doesn’t make her a slut, and that she was so hard on herself wasn’t endearing, it was irritating.

And wanting and liking sex doesn’t make you a slut, which is what I got from her thoughts.  Or maybe it was referring to the timing, but still…my thoughts still stand.  Not only that…but…she only starting having sex in the last few months, how she supposed to know if she’s the kind of person who likes blowjobs?  Really, I kind of felt like there’s this underlying thing of good girls do it, but they don’t like it, and you’re not supposed to be the kind of person that does it and likes it.

And her congenital heart defect came out of fucking nowhere.  There was mention of a faint scar on her chest but other than that, I felt like there were no hints that something was up until the last couple chapters.  It felt really manipulative, like it was there just for the drama it would cause.  I get she doesn’t like people knowing because they treat her differently- like she’s sick, which she insists she isn’t because she’s been sick before, and she knows when she’s sick.

Two last things about Harlow: her reaction to what happened to Nan was horrible.  A guy beat Nan, and all she can think about is how she’s going to lose Grant, just because he went with Rush?  That’s insanely selfish, and highlights her insecurities.  Two, I thought she was too insecure about the people Grant’s slept with.  I knows it’s all new for her, and there’s nothing wrong with waiting to have sex at all, but if it’s that big of a problem for her, and it’s something she can’t seem to move past and if she’s going to be jealous and insecure, maybe she shouldn’t be Grant at this point.  In  general, she seems like she has a lot of growing up to do, and a relationship with anybody (but especially Grant) seems like a bad idea right now.

Random Thoughts:

  1. The memorial service for Jace.  His own friends seem to hate that they have to be there, and two of them randomly leave before anything happens.  Only one of them stays, and it’s basically because he has to stay, as the owner of the country club.
  2. Also, the fact that Bethy has to work the event.  Apparently, it occurred to no one to give her the night off so she could attend (which makes me wonder: did she ask to attend and get shot down, or did it not occur to her either?), and apparently no one could be bothered to check up on her to make sure she was okay at any point. Harlow and Blaire seemed to be the only people who remotely cared about Bethy.
  3. Also Grant seems way more concerned about the fact that Bethy lost Jace, and not at all concerned his friend died.  Yet, he doesn’t seem to care about what happens to her.
  4. I assumed it was more of a stand-alone series set within a larger series, but I was wrong.  I wish I had at least finished the Rush/Blaire series because I was confused as hell.  There’s a lot in terms of relationships between the characters and their history together that would have made more sense had I read at least the first few books.  Especially with the Nan stuff that happens…it makes no sense why people treat her the way they do, so the other books would probably explain that.  Thankfully, I don’t care about spoilers, but still, I don’t understand the point of focusing on different couples if I have to read the other books in order to understand what’s going on with the current one.
  5. The weird time jump at the beginning of the book.  We’re randomly jumping around in the first chapter or two and it made the beginning of the book super-confusing and hard to understand.  It wasn’t done well at all.
  6. There was no build-up to a relationship between Harlow and Grant.  Not only that, but it felt like it was more lust than love, and they didn’t do much except have sex or sit quietly next to each other.  There was no substance to their relationship, and the one time we see them go out, Grant is talking to other people (sort of understandable, but why does he abandon Harlow once they get there), and then he just leaves without telling her why he’s leaving.  Naturally, it’s left to someone else to explain, but he stills wants her to trust him. Relationship is a gross overstatement, considering they don’t actually talk to each other or go out to do things together.  Even if they try to talk, it’s usually one-sided, with one of them trying to explain, and the other one not wanting to talk or freaking out about the conversation, which seems like a horrible basis for a relationship. I have no doubt they’ll get their happily ever after even though they are two people who should not be together. At least in this book

Blog Graphic- My Rating

2 stars.  As much as this book frustrated me, I still went through it pretty fast, and for some bizarre reason, I still want to read the previous books in the series, and the next book in the series.  I don’t know that I have any interest in reading the series beyond the next book, but…there is something compelling about the series.