Thursday, September 15, 2022

Book Review: A Chance in a Million

By Sara Steven

Having left the army to recover from a traumatic experience, Captain Jane Reed is on her way to Venice to assist Lady Veronica Cooper, a world-famous writer who has lost her mojo. Plagued by grief and sleepless nights, Jane soon finds a kindred spirit in Veronica, coping with her own loss after the death of her husband.

When the two relocate to Veronica’s villa in the countryside to escape the summer tourists, Jane meets the rest of the Cooper family – including Veronica’s brooding son, David. With his own tragic past, David has resigned himself to a life of solitude. Jane finds herself determined to bring joy back into his life, even if it means finally spilling her secrets.

Can Jane and David help each other heal, and find love in the process, or are some scars too deep to treat? (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

I think A Chance in a Million is one of T.A. Williams’s most engaging reads! A large part of that for me involved the characters. It’s true that every single one of Williams’s books always includes fantastic nature scenes and backdrops that feel like a secondary character, which I always appreciate, but this time I felt closer to Jane and David. It was interesting how they mirror one another with similar pasts and tragedies, creating a protective barrier that strives to keep potential relationships at bay. Given the traumas, it was hard to blame either one of them for that. They were perfectly flawed in a way that was endearing.

I also enjoyed the fact that Jane becomes an assistant to Lady Veronica Cooper, yet another character who has suffered great loss and is working through that. I wonder if other readers found themselves living vicariously through Jane–she gets to live in an exotic location, assisting someone she looks up to, while also potentially branching out and finding new avenues of creativity for herself in the process. I kept thinking, “I’d love to live a life like that!” I appreciated the friendship that begins to grow between the two characters, too. Lady Veronica starts out a bit like a surly character, and it was nice to see the changes that are brought out through Jane’s affection. 

Even though Jane begins to heal, the one thing she has a tough time with is opening her heart to love. There is the fear of letting anyone get close to her again, along with layers of guilt that don’t really belong there, but that emotion is there all the same. It very much humanized who she is. And while Jane wasn’t really feeling David’s bushy beard that he wears as armor, and I know the beard symbolized a means of distancing himself even more from the man he feels he used to be, I like beards, so I totally dug it. And I totally got it. 

A Chance in a Million is a classic T.A. Williams experience, but it felt elevated for me. There were the classic telltale signs–gorgeous backdrops, an adorable Labrador that at times stole the show, with two characters who try hard to find their way to one another, but it was so much more. It was inspiring, and an obvious five-star experience!

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Link:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Author Bio (in his own words):

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing escapist romance is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

Visit T.A. Williams online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter

More by T.A. Williams:

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