Taking A Chance by Judi Phillips

Taking A Chance by Judi Phillips
Publisher: Foothills Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Can Aerial Bonné, a free-spirit psychic, and Frank O’Malley, a skeptical cop, work together to solve an abduction that happened over thirty years ago?

She’s all about feelings and wants a fling with no commitments. He’s all about protection, strength and being in control.

The bad guy kidnapped a little girl, who’s now his “daughter”. Over the years, he’s become increasingly paranoid and believes every conspiracy he’s heard about. Now he believes Aerial is plotting against him.
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Even though they’re falling for each other sparks fly when things go wrong, will his job, her temporary visit in Minnesota and the bad guy keep them apart?

Aerial had been having a series of strange, disturbing dreams and much as she wanted to she knew she couldn’t ignore them. Aerial had worked a few times with Frank when the policeman had been working certain cases, but this time Aerial and Frank might both be ready to finally take a chance on each other.

I really enjoyed this paranormal story. Aerial is not a young woman – her grown-up daughter gets married in the opening scenes of the book – and I loved how the story was completely outside the box of what might traditionally be classified as a romantic story. I was really pleased that Frank didn’t automatically ignore or down-play Aerial’s visions or instincts. I could totally understand how a character that needed to be as pragmatic and linear-thinking as a police officer could brush aside things like psychic dreams or seeing aura’s, but Frank was open minded and willing to listen. I felt this openness really helped progress the story and really highlight the ways in which Frank and Aerial were compatible.

Readers looking for a thriller-style of story should, I feel, find this totally suits their tastes. The snippets of Aerial’s dreams were equal parts creepy and enlightening to my mind. I felt they added a lot of tension and conflict to the story without being too over the top or unrealistic. I also really liked that about a quarter of the way through the story the author began to show us things from the perspective of the protagonist. I can appreciate how some mystery/thriller readers wouldn’t like having the “bad guy” unmasked so early on in the story, but personally I felt this really added depth and perspective to the entire plot. I often feel the “why” aspect of any storyline is equally important to the “who” part. By seeing the situation from the protagonists eyes it gave me a lot deeper understanding of what was occurring from his side of the story and I felt this really added complexity and depth to the whole book.

While there were a few coincidences that I feel might have been better smoothed over or explained in more depth, but overall I thought this story was complex, well paced and very well written. The romance between Aerial and Frank had a deliciously slow pace to it. I enjoyed that the two characters got to know each other first and then had a few chaste dates and kisses before moving things into more intimate areas. While the sex between Aerial and Frank was explicit I don’t feel it should be offensive or too over the top for most readers. Also, I felt strongly that the romance in the story was secondary – the focus far more strongly upon the paranormal themes and the mystery of Aerial’s dreams and the cold case of the missing girl.

With an interesting set of characters, a lot of ambiance and a wonderful, convoluted plot this was a great mystery that I really enjoyed reading. I’d definitely read more by this author.

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