Take a Chance on Me by Jennifer Dawson
Description: 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.
Review:This is 3rd book I’ve read this month with the heroine named Maddie or Madeline. And the hero’s name is Mitch. Hmm… I wonder how many romance couples have names starting with the same first letter… That would be an interesting study. Anyway, barely two chapters into Dawson’s The Name of the Game, I knew I was going to read this book. Grace and James’ story was so good that I wanted to continue with the characters. Plus, it was obvious that their dislike, cough, attraction, had stemmed from earlier books. Take A Chance on Me is the first book in the series. It follows Maddie Donavon as she runs away from her wedding and into Mitch’s dive bar. Honestly, runaway bride stories aren’t my favorite trope. Despite being a devout romance reader, I have priced feelings about the price of weddings and while Maddie is climbing out the window, I’m calculating how much money was wasted on that wedding. Although, this book did remind me of Rachel Gibson’s first Chinooks book, Simply Irresistible and Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ The Great Escape, with the runaway bride and the guy she hooks up with. Okay, enough cynicism, let’s get down to the bones of the story.
What I liked most about this story is that is it about discovering yourself. Maddie’s entire adult life had been shaped by a horrible car accident she had been in as teenage. She lost her sense of self under the guilt and the pressure of a caring family and an overbearing boyfriend. Growing up she had been a rebel, a troublemaker but she stripped herself of that freedom after the accident. When she runs out on the wedding, she decided to become her own person, whoever that may be. This conflicted with her budding relationship with Mitch. She knows she needs to stand on her own two feet but she also wants Mitch and he wants her to need him.
While Maddie was embarking on her path to self-discovery, the hero, Mitch, was as well. He had been a big-time Chicago lawyer who, through bad choices and worse family ties, was in disgrace. He left everything in Chicago and was running a dive bar in Revival. Through his relationship with Maddie, and a little behind his back, Mitch was forced to face his demons and determine what he wanted to do with his life. There was classic romance novel miscommunication as both tried to solve each other’s problems. And wow, Jennifer Dawson is now on the top of my list for steamy sex scenes. The chemistry between Mitch and Maddie was sizzling. There’s were some intense scenes and really drove home the relationship between the couple.
Rating: 4 out of 5.