Take a Chance on Me by Susan Donovan, is in my opinion a romantic comedy with a bit of suspense thrown in. It’s the story of pet behaviorist, Emma Jenkins, and new and unwilling pet owner Thomas Tobin.
Thomas has acquired Hairy, a dog. Hairy is a Chinese Crested who is anything but hairy. Hairy had at one time belonged to Scott Slick, a bookie and an informant for Thomas. Thomas is an undercover officer with the Maryland police. He works murder for hire cases. He has saved Hairy from Slick’s house after Slick’s murder. Hairy and Thomas are not adjusting to life together at all. As a last resort Thomas takes Hairy to see Dr. Jenkins. The attraction between not only Hairy, and Emma, but Emma and Thomas is instant and unmistakable.
Emma, coming out of a recent divorce is not looking for a relationship. Thomas having come out of a committed relationship believes that no woman can be trusted. The two have several issues that need to be worked out before they can move forward in a loving committed relationship. The most important of which is Emma’s adopted daughter Leelee, who’s own mother didn’t win any prizes in the mothering department, and is now deceased. Leelee’s relationship with her mother has left her with her own jaded view of the world, and Thomas and Emma must help her see that their relationship is of a totally different nature than any her mother had.
The suspense element of the book is very subdued, and only comes out strongly when Thomas is working. With the help of Hairy and Emma’s interpretations of Hairy’s actions Thomas’ job is much easier. It however does not come about in time to save Emma and Leelee from some peril.
This is Ms. Donovan’s second book. She has an entertaining voice, and I, as a reader look forward to reading more by her. Take a Chance on Me is a page turner and does keep the reader interested. Should you be looking for one last summer read, I suggest you try Take a Chance on Me.