by Barbara Bretton

September 2004
ISBN: 0-425-19796-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

For those of you who watched the quick but powerful relationship that developed between Maddy Bainbridge (also known as jerseygirl) and Aidan O’Malley (also known as fireguy) in Ms. Bretton’s book Shore Lights, you’ll be sure to love this book just as much. This time around a wedding is in the works!

Bretton starts us off with a very humorous scene in the dressing room of a fancy bridal shop with poor Maddy in her old department store undies and her and Aidan’s family all around her. Of course poor Maddy wasn’t even told when she left home that this was her destination. After trying on just one of the very expensive and so not her gowns and having more than one comment made about her weight, sparks are ready to fly.

In the days and weeks to come, things only get tenser as the big day approaches. It seems that maybe Claire, Aidan’s sister-in-law and partner in the restaurant/bar business is allowing her memories of her own marriage haunt her days which makes it seem to Maddy that she is not so thrilled about having a new sister-in-law. Then there is cousin Gina who has hid an awful secret about Claire’s deceased husband Billy for all these years.

Although little Hannah seems excited about the prospects of having a new daddy, Aidan’s seventeen-year-old daughter Kelly is having some major issues of her own. It is only when Maddy finds out the truth about the family’s perfect Kelly and tries to help, that she puts her own relationship with Aidan at risk.

You’ll be sure to hang onto every wonderful scene in this book as the wedding day draws nearer and nearer. You’ll also not want to miss the much awaited first weekend away that Maddy and Aidan are able to arrange amidst their busy schedules.

I think the only drawback I found in Chances Are is sometimes I felt the book had so much going on that it somehow took away from the relationship that was developing between Aidan and Maddy in the first book. I would have loved to have seen a few more email conversations between the two as I loved that part of Shore Lights. I found this to be much more a women’s fiction novel rather than a romance. Ms. Bretton does a wonderful job of dealing with the complicated issues that are always arising in women’s lives. Fans of her work won’t be disappointed as she takes us back to the Jersey shore once again.

Reviewed in October 2004 by Shelby.

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