CALIFORNIA CHANCES
by Tracey Bateman, Cathy Marie Hake, Kelly Eileen Hake

March 2006
ISBN: 1-59789-110-x
Reviewer Graphic Button Barbour Publishing Inc.
Trade Paperback
Rating:



One Chance in a Million by Cathy Marie Hake - San Francisco, 1871. Miriam Hancock has traveled an ocean to help raise her nieces. Her sister, Hannah, has died and her nieces need a womanís touch. When she arrives at the Chance brotherís ranch, she is met with hostilely from Dan, Hannahís husband. Miriam looks just like Hannah, Dan canít handle this.


One of the brothers, Gideon, is trying to convince Miriam women just donít survive in this harsh land. Itís hard work but she refuses to give in; after all, Danís children are her family. She more or less takes over the cooking, cleaning, and the two little girlís care, which in turn causes all sorts of feeling for Gideon.


Miriam and Gideon try not to be attracted to each other, but of course events keep pushing them to spend time together. Will Miriam ever be a wife, like she has dreamed of? Will Gideon be able to realize Miriam is strong enough to handle this harsh land?


Second Chance by Tracey Bateman - San Francisco, 1871. Alisa could not believe her ears, she just learned she is the granddaughter of Mrs. Worthington, Alisa has been this woman's companion and servant. Mrs. Worthington's son is furious his mother has put Alisa in her will, he had one little indiscretion and Alisa was the result of it. When Mrs. Worthington suddenly dies in front of them, he right away accuses Alisa of murder, she knows she has to leave town before the police show up and arrest her, she knows she did not cause the death, but who will believe her over the son?


She winds up in Reliable, California. She meets Titus Chance, and like the other Chance brothers, Titus helps a woman in distress. She moves to the Chance ranch to be a paid employee, she starts having feelings for Titus, but as he is engaged to another woman, Alisa does not stand a chance or does she? Also as she believes her father will stop at nothing to find her and make sure she is charged with his mother's death, she knows she must not tell the truth of why she came to Reliable in the first place.


Titus is smitten with Alisa, so is every man in town, there isn't a lot of women in this small town, he knows he should start courting her, but he isn't sure how. Alisa does not want to get involved with Titus or any other man, not until she can clear her name. Will she come clean to the Chance family? Can Titus convince her to stay and marry him? Will Alisa's father demand she come back to face the music? Or will he change his mind?


Taking A Chance by Kelly Eileen Hake - Reliable, California, early spring 1872. Delilah Chadwick had just buried her father. All she had to her name were her clothes and sketchpads. She came to the Chance ranch to ask her cousin, Miriam, if she could stay and help out. Miriam was married to Gideon Chance. When the Chance men were in the huddle to determine if she could stay, she thought straight down to her toes they would tell her to leave the ranch.


Paul Chance thought Delilah was a stunning woman. But when she looked at him, her eyes kept him glued to where he stood, those eyes of hers were incredible. He was somewhat disappointed her faith was not as strong as his. Maybe with time, her faith could grow and they could have a future together. In the meantime, he would help in any way he could to make her feel welcomed on Chance land.


Paul and Delilah do feel attracted to each other; Delilah however does not feel she is worth the time and effort, as she has no skills to be a wife or mother. She does not know who to cook, clean, or milk cows. All she has is her talent at sketches. Paul is patiently teaching her how to do chores on the ranch. He is also trying to teach her about faith and to give her life over to God. Can these two sweet people find a future together?


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters in all three stories were strong, dependable, they were willing to learn, they were willing, after a fashion, to put their faith in the hands of someone who truly cared about them. You will not be disappointed in this anthology.


Reviewed in July 2006 by Pat.