By Chance by Cat Grant

By Chance by Cat Grant
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (104 pgs)
Other: M/M, M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by: Cactus

For Eric and Nick, it’s irritation at first sight.

Wealthy, arrogant Eric Courtland is an island unto himself…and content to stay that way until chance brings quarterback Nick Thompson into his life. Nick’s warm and easy nature pierce straight through Eric’s well-fortified defenses and coax him out of his shell.

It doesn’t take long for their friendship to deepen into love. Eric’s fear of commitment and Nick’s inability to come to terms with his own sexuality threaten to tear them apart.

By Chance is the third installment in Cat Grants bestselling Courtland Chronicles Series.

When an incredibly hot and almost naked man comes out of the bathroom dripping wet wearing only a towel, a smart man does not throw that sexy man out. Thankfully Eric agrees to make the best of the situation when Nick unexpectedly is thrust upon him as his new roommate. Neither Nick nor Eric are as they seem, both having unexpected depth as their past and present are not as easy as it may seem in this moving and well written story about love and having the courage to take risks.

Eric is prickly and standoffish as a result of his past and is anything but the spoiled rich kid he appears to be. Eric chooses to isolate himself not only from friends but also from lovers, preferring to have anonymous encounters in bathrooms or darkened halls to actual relationships. His parents’ relationship and his mother’s repeated suicide attempts have caused Eric to build an icy shell around himself that he uses to protect his fragile emotions. For all of Eric’s remoteness, he has a hidden warmth and large heart that is just waiting to be protected and cherished by a partner who truly understands him.

For his part, Nick is the boy next-door football player who is using his athletics to finance his education. He initially falls for Eric very sweetly and innocently and their relationship moves rather quickly–but almost too quickly. When Eric retreats back into his prickly shell of fear and detached emotion, Nick is easily scared off and unfortunately makes poor decisions. The character of Ally was annoying for me with her first very strident personality and then way too easy-going manner. She felt two-dimensional and unbelievable.

While both men were well characterized, their eventual resolution also was problematic. Nick’s choices while they were apart were confusing and not explained, nor was Eric’s acceptance believable. Deciding to ignore the past as a way of resolving conflicts because you realize you still love someone is not exactly the best way to progress in a relationship. Furthermore, there was no real resolution to their problems. Nothing changed except Nick and Eric got back together with all the previous issues still remaining like the proverbial elephant in the room.

As this is the first prequel to a series of books (written out of order) about these two men and the woman with them, there is a nice back-story that is sure to please followers of the series. The author has a wonderful hand with prose and the ability to illicit true emotion with her writing. Although I had definite problems with the ending, which felt rushed, the majority of the book was truly satisfying and well done.

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