Review: Chance Encounter by Alex Tempera

Charles “Chance” Endicott is a Police Chief of small town, Round River, who likes to also go on patrol with his officers. Though confident in his job, he lacks self-esteem when it comes to looking at himself in the mirror. A painful past broke him down and he doubts his worth as a man, as a person.

Evan Manetti is a lawyer who wants to get away from the big city life as a partner in a lucrative law firm to settle down and open his own practice in Round River. Oh, yeah, he’s also the town’s new Mayor. And he’s trying to keep his past as far away from him as possible.

One encounter paves the way for a formidable friendship that gives them the basis for what both men truly need – love and each other.

I feel like this really could have been good. All the pieces were there. 

Police Chief? CHECK
Damaged Hero(es)? CHECK
Hurt/Comfort theme? CHECK 

The potential was there. But, unfortunately, this really fell short for me.

The characters and dialogue were very stilted and unnatural. There was so much telling, telling, telling that I never really felt anything. Chance has some self esteem issues from his past. He brings this up constantly and is always calling himself a loser. Um, dude, you're a police chief. In what universe does that make you a loser? Anyway, he kept saying that he felt inadequate compared to Evan, but I never really felt that he felt that way. I get why he would have complexes based on the abuse from his past. But it was just words to me. Annoying words, to be honest.

Also, why did he feel like he wasn't good enough for Evan? What was so great about Evan? I'd like to know. He wasn't a bad guy, but nobody special. He pushed Chance to come clean about his past when he had secrets himself! Um, no. Not okay. He lost my vote then and there.

Then there was just drama at every turn. Someone (read: everyone) was gay, someone was a (kind-of) stalker, someone tried to murder someone, estranged family, past abuse... yadda.  It wasn't angst, just drama. Melodrama. 

Like I said, there was something there. The bare bones of the book were good. It fell short in the writing style. It felt unpolished and in need of... I don't know, just more practice, maybe? I'm no writer, by any stretch of the imagination, but I think I've read enough to be able to tell when the writing just isn't there. Yet! Isn't there yet. 


A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

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