Take a Chance on Me Mass Market Paperback – Aug 18 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Donovan (Knock Me Off My Feet, etc.) returns with a frisky caper centered around a tiny hairless dog known as a Chinese Crested. Thomas Tobin-an undercover investigator of paid "hits"-discovers little Hairy trembling near the body of a key informant. Feeling responsible for the man's death, the usually cynical Thomas takes Hairy home, then consults animal behaviorist Emma Jenkins to help fix the dog's decidedly weird behavior. Emma responds immediately to Thomas's blinding sex appeal, but her recent divorce and her adoption of her best friend's orphaned daughter leave her with little energy for romance. Despite painful baggage of his own, Thomas is less ambivalent. The discovery that Hairy may hold a clue to the murder gives him an excuse to hire Emma again. Meanwhile, Emma's shady ex-husband Aaron-the murderer Thomas is seeking-re-enters their lives in a dramatic way. The early revelation of Aaron's guilt undercuts the suspense, but the book's comic sharpness picks up the slack. The humorous interactions among Thomas, Emma and Emma's quirky family give the book a golden warmth as earthy as its rural Maryland setting. But there are also enough explicit erotic interludes to please readers who like their romances spicy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“Donovan's blend of romance and mystery is thrilling.” ―Booklist
“Hilarious...full of sass and sizzle.” ―Julie Ortolon, USA Today bestselling author
“Fun, fast and sexy.” ―Lori Foster, USA Today bestselling author on Knock Me Off My Feet
“If ever there was a hysterically funny pairing, Thomas and Hairy are it. As in her previous book, author Susan Donovan laces sexy and sizzling fun with humor. A real treat!” ―RT Bookclub magazine (4 1/2 stars)
“Susan Donovan is an absolute riot. . .[The characters] literally pull your emotions into the story. . .Do NOT pass this one up.” ―Romance Junkie Review
“Ms. Donovan blends humor and compassion in this opposites attract story. . .Delightfully entertaining, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME is a guaranteed good time.” ―Old Book Barn Gazette
“Susan Donovan has created a vastly entertaining romance in her latest book. . .All the right ingredients are there, and Ms. Donovan has charmingly dished up an absolutely fast, fun and sexy read!” ―The Road to RomanceSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
When a bookie, who is one of Thomas's main informants, is bashed in with a blender, Thomas adopts his murdered snitch's dog "Hairy." He is a Chinese Crested (thank goodness they show his picture on the back cover!) and he is terrified. And yes, Hairy DOES steal the show in this book!
Likewise, Emma has adopted her best friend's daughter - LeeLee since her mother died in a car accident the previous year. LeeLee and Hairy are brilliant and in many ways - this is their story as well. For LeeLee and Hairy must learn to let go of their past lives and trust others enough to love them too.
Although I agree that it would have been wiser to not reveal the murderer so soon; this was still a very good book. There were perhaps a few too many steamy scenes and "RobotBoy" started to get on my nerves toward the end - but the ending really was pretty neat...especially the last sentence.
I truly believe that Susan Donovan will only get better....
The rest of the book is kind of strange, but it makes for easy reading. There are too many coincidences--no, it wouldn't be fair to give them away in a review--and the whole romance is too quick and too facile, even for a fairytale.
Still, Ms. Donovan writes well. The background detail that she provides on her hero and heroine is nicely done. The heroine is an animal behaviorist and the hero is an...well, mentioning his career would reveal too much, too soon, and doing this might spoil the story for other readers. It is obvious, however, that Ms. Donovan has done her homework on the two rather unique careers into which she's placed her main characters.
From the plot, it is equally obvious that Susan Donovan has a fertile imagination. Again, the Hairy subplot is fresh, funny and, yes, weird.
The sex scenes sizzle as well, putting this author in the same category as many better-known romance writers.
Ms. Donovan is an author to be watched.
On the positive side, it looks like Ms. Donovan is a new author and I do see potential for improvement in future works. Hairy the dog, a 6 1/2 pound, hairless, Chinese Crested was quite funny. Plus, she did a good job of giving him "a voice" periodically. My actual rating would be 2 1/2 stars if this were possible, because of Hairy.
Despite the funny moments surrounding Hairy, the remainder of the book was way too unrealistic and events too coincidental. I don't expect a whole lot of realism in a romance novel, but this romance was just too cheesy. I found myself groaning aloud at phrases like "...great arcs of heat lightning shooting from the guy right into her ovaries", "He wanted to open her up like a new Wal-mart", and the term "whoop-ass" which is used more than once! Ugh!! By halfway through, I had to force myself to finish it. By the last few pages, I could care less what happened. I cannot recommend this book. Instead, for a great contemporary read, try Rachel Gibson, Jennifer Crusie or Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
Donovan writes her characters with depth, compassion, and humor, from Hairy to Thomas, Emma, Leelee, Beck, and even Aaron. The misunderstandings are comical yet poignant, with well-written resolutions.
I was so drawn to Thomas and Emma, the protagonists, who had been 'damaged' by those who were supposed to love them, with the result that it made them reluctant to trust that they could love or be loved. However, their mutual attraction was so magnetic that they kept getting closer and closer. When Thomas and Emma finally get together, Donovan writes scenes that are lusty, bawdily humorous, and, yet, very tender.
This book is delicious, funny, and heart-tugging. I recommend it to anyone who loves spicy, funny romance.
Another reviewer compared this novelist to Jennifer Crusie. I would strongly DISagree. Jennifer Crusie's novels are original and witty; she really makes you believe in the relationship she's writing about. This novel was corny, sappy, and unrealistic. I wouldn't recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
i really enjoyed this one! yes there were a few too many cliches in the way things and people were described at times, but the sexy, fast paced style really made up for it. Read morePublished on June 17 2004
WOW! WOW! WOW! This is one of the BEST books I've ever read. I am simply speechless, I don't know what to say. Read morePublished on May 15 2004 by Elaine C McTyer
This is the first book I've read from this author, and I have to say I found it to be a mixed bag. I really enjoyed Thomas and especially Hairy (who I think, stole the show). Read morePublished on April 21 2004 by Katrina
I read an awful lot of romance novels and I can't believe I actually finished this one. Granted, it didn't take very long. Read morePublished on April 8 2004
What can I say? The author of "Knock Me Off My Feet" has done it again. If I could rate it six stars, I would. Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2003 by Y. Collins
This was my first Susan Donovan novel and will not be the last.
This is the story of Emma...an animal behaviorist who has had a run of bad luck lately. Read more
I tend to stay away from books where a pet is featured as a main character (or even worse, a co-detective! Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2003 by mayfayre