I became a fan of Christy Reece when I discovered her first trilogy last year featuring the men and women of The Last Chance Rescue organization.
I had high hopes for Reece's latest entry, but have to admit to being disappointed.
No Chance is billed as a romantic suspense, but the suspense portion never had me thinking Oh My God I can't put this book down; or anxious to turn to the next page or make me want to stay up all night reading. As for the romance, the relationship between Skylar and Gabe left me feeling probably as frustrated as the two of them. Finally the villain never felt truly evil, but more like a dirty, sick pervert.
The story begins 8 years in the past where an innocent, 20 year old, wealthy socialite and famous model, Skylar James chances to meet Gabe Maddox on a South Pacific island get-a-way. Gabe is recovering from a horrific ordeal during which he was held captive for a year in Africa where he was treated little better than a dog. He's emancipated, weak and has developed a raging case of claustrophobia.
The attraction between the two is evident from the start and within a few days, they fall madly in love and get married. Skylar makes a conscious decision to keep her true identity from Gabe and this action signals the beginning of the end for the two lovebirds. Skylar's father the wealthy, powerful Jeremiah Jones who is unimpressed with the news of his daughter's marriage then perpetrates a series of lies that shatters the course of true love for Gabe and Skylar (no spoilers here, if you want to know what he does, you are going to have to read the book).
Fast forward eight years where we find out Gabe is a recluse, working as an elite undercover operative for LCR (which is still being run by Noah McCall, from Reece's previous books) and Skylar has been kidnapped by unsavory characters who plan to sell her into sex slavery until they realize who she is and decide to ransom her for 10 million dollars instead. Enter the Last Chance Rescue team hired by Jeremiah James and the hero to the rescue is none other than Gabe Maddox. As in another of Reece's previous books, white slavery and sexual exploitation plays a major role in No Chance.
So the Gabe/Skylar reunion is not one big happy family gathering; both are bitter and harboring feelings of betrayal toward each other. Even though they haven't seen each other for the past eight years (each for their own specific reasons - cue Daddy's lies), neither has forgotten the other (nor apparently had sex with anyone else either o_O).
I wanted to feel for these two but something was missing. Maybe I wanted some playful sexual banter instead of the: I love you, but I don't want to love you, but I've always loved you, but you lied to me and betrayed me ad nauseum. Skylar cries and tears up repeatedly and is just an emotional mess. Gabe is busy casting furtive, longing glances in her direction and on no less than four occasions, Gabe catches Skylar in a skimpy towel after she has exited from the shower...and nothing happens. Just get it on already!! You both know you want to. They tortured not only themselves, but each other and then me in the process.
I really really wanted to love this book, but now I see I had No Chance of getting my wish. I already have book 2, Second Chance on pre-order which is Cole's story and I am hoping it lives up to its expectations (the excerpt certainly intrigued me).