Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

Harper has grown up with a distant (and in my opinion, emotionally neglectful) Marine father, surrounded by the jarheads of her father's unit. Having finally turned 18, Harper escapes across country to San Diego State University determined to start a new life for herself. Her new roommate, Bree, quickly takes her under her wing and introduces her the college life and her family.

Harper quickly finds herself falling for two guys and smack in the middle of a love triangle. Brandon is tattooed, ridiculously muscled and handsome, a fighter in the Underground, and incredibly sweet and gentle with Harper. Chase, Bree's brother, is a hot, tattooed artist with a reputation for going through girls like socks. Even though she knows he's wrong for her, Chase gets under her skin like no one else can and is determined to become a better man in order to be worthy of Harper. Harper finds herself torn - she knows she loves Brandon and wants to spend the rest of her life with him, but she just can't seem to forget about Chase. One weekend of wild passion will have far reaching consequences for both Harper and the men she loves.

There is a sequel to this book, Stealing Harper, scheduled for release in the Spring/Summer of 2013. It appears to be the same story told from Chase's point of view, and as I am a firm proponent of Team Chase I will definitely be picking it up when it is finally released.

I wanted to love this book so much! I desperately wanted to love this book. To finish it and sigh with utter contentment that everything worked out how I wanted it to. This did not happen and it kind of pissed me off. I did enjoy the book and my own prejudices are probably preventing me from giving it a 4 star rating as opposed to a 3 star rating, but I can't get past how the book ended. It was totally not what I had pictured happening. I'm sure there will be readers out there that will disagree with me, but to each her own!

Okay, the real ranting will begin now. Fair warning...there will be spoilers. Stop reading now if you don't want to spoil anything. Don't say I didn't warn you!!
SHE KILLED CHASE!!! I don't understand how she could do that!! I was totally rooting for Chase and got so emotionally invested in him and then she just kills him! GGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! Don't get me wrong, Brandon is just as hot and wonderful, but there was just something about Chase. He was the redeemable bad boy. The one who strove to be better, to become worthy of love. Brandon was always a good guy, but to me he was the safe choice.

Harper also got on my nerves a couple to times. She was a little too Bella Swan for me - flitting back and forth between Chase and Brandon, selfishly refusing to give either of them up (without the excuse of imprinting). I also felt like after Chase died he all but disappeared from the story and it bothered me that Harper didn't seem to be a little more wistful that Chase didn't get to see their son born. Brandon just seemed to step in and replace Chase completely, which I get...sort of.

It just felt like she got to have her cake and eat it too. I felt like there should have been more comments about how she wished Chase could see this or be here for that. I get that she had to move on, but her happy ending was just a little too perfect for me. In the end she got to have both Chase AND Brandon. She never seemed to recognize how Chase impacted her life outside of the pregnancy. Chase transformed himself for Harper and other than the baby, I felt like Harper should have been more touched by Chase. If anyone was getting the short end of the stick in this triangle, it was Chase. Although Harper did love him, if it hadn't been for the baby she would never have chosen him and he would have stepped back and let her be happy with Brandon. It especially ticked me off when Liam, Chase's son, refers to Chase as Uncle Chase after visiting his grave. Granted he was only 4 and having never met him probably didn't understand the whole situation, but UNCLE?? REALLY?? He was the boy's father!

I am probably a little resentful and bitter that the story did not turn out how I wanted it to, so you will have to take this rant with a grain of salt. I'm sure there will be plenty out there who are just thrilled with how the story ends, I just wasn't one of them. Having said that, the book is well written and is still worth the read.

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