FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours.
Series: Madison Square #3
Publisher: Limitless Publishing on May 23, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (NA)
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Gwen Stevens had a privileged life until her father spoke three little words that turned her world upside down. “You’re cut off.”
Broke and desperate, Gwen is forced to accept a waitressing job, but this glimmer of hope has a price. As if being a cocktail waitress isn’t bad enough, she has to do it in a dive bar called The Den, and her bad luck doesn’t stop there. She also needs to deal with the new owner, a blue-eyed, self-righteous ass determined to make her life miserable.
Liam Sinclair walked away from the entitlement and obligation his family planned for him, vowing to make his own way in the world…
Adjusting to life as a new business owner, Liam has experienced more than his fair share of setbacks. When his only waitress breaks her leg, his sister takes it upon herself to hire a replacement—a spoiled, self-indulgent hothead with too much makeup and more than enough attitude. Gwen represents the world he’s trying to escape, a world of excess and greed that he was never cut out for.
Appearances can be deceiving, and first impressions aren’t always right…
Despite their apparent differences, the tension between them turns to a fiery passion that neither of them can resist. Together they find balance and learn to appreciate the simpler things in life. But Gwen soon discovers that old habits die hard, and one mistake is all it takes to ruin everything.
Forgiveness must be earned, but even a villain deserves a chance at redemption…
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Chance at Redemption by Samantha Harris
The Hook: When Gwen’s father cuts her off, she’s completely out of her element. While she may have a degree that can take her places, she’s burned a lot of bridges, has no real friends to speak of, and is left to somehow fend for herself in a world where everything has always been handed to her. Liam’s out one waitress and desperately needs someone with experience to fill in until she’s back, but the spoiled brat who carries her attitude in the door with her is absolutely not what he had in mind. Still, she’s easy on the eyes, and he really loves pushing her buttons…
The Awesome: The character journey in Chance at Redemption is like nothing I’ve read before. Gwen is the very definition of spoiled rotten — emphasis on the “rotten.” She’s manipulative, condescending, and entitled, and she’s completely lost without her father’s money. She’s fortunate that Liam’s sister took pity on her and offered her a job at the bar, because she certainly wasn’t going to get any help from anyone else. And from page one, it’s impossible not to hate her, whether you’ve read the previous books in the series or not.
But what becomes evident early on is that Gwen’s awful personality is more than just heartlessness. It’s a lack of self-respect and absolute void of true self-confidence. She has no real faith in herself, holds onto petty jealousies, and seems to have been immersed in a social scene that thrives on manipulation and drama. Needless to say, she has a LOT to overcome. Fortunately, Liam sees small flashes of vulnerability in her, and when she really hits rock bottom, he’s there to see her through it.
The Verdict: This was a surprisingly fun love story. As the story began, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to like anything about Gwen, and it seemed to get worse the more pages I turned. But watching the verbal sparring that she and Liam were so good at, as well as getting little peeks at who Gwen truly was on the inside eventually had me rooting for her more than just about any other character I’ve read. Sure, she was a victim of her own bad choices, but even when she was doing her best to change, she kept getting knocked down. However, Liam was a different kind of challenge to her, the kind that built her up and pushed her to become a better person, and seeing that slowly happen made for some awesome reading.
And fortunately, Gwen’s bit of growing up didn’t lessen her sass or dampen her fiery nature. One of the very best scenes in the story was when Gwen had almost completely finished her internal transformation, when Liam showed his cards and then blew his top, and (unlike so many romance novel heroines) Gwen pulled no punches in setting him straight. Even the big, classic misunderstanding that always happens near the end of romances was nothing at all like I expected.
As much as I enjoyed the other two books in the Madison Square series, Chance at Redemption blows them both away. Here I was, convinced that I wasn’t going to be able to stand Gwen, and all of the sudden I was her biggest fan. Liam was somehow perfect and utterly realistic, his own vulnerabilities showing in the way he tried so hard not to fall for Gwen — a vain attempt, of course. And while there was certainly a fair amount of angst, it was tempered by the feisty but funny ways these two constantly challenged each other. In fact, the only thing I didn’t like about the story was how quickly it ended when everything finally came together for Liam and Gwen. Just one more chapter showing them moving forward would have made it perfect. In any case, the whole series is great, but Chance at Redemption is one hell of an entertaining and heartwarming read.
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