Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Since Corinne Michaels’s story, The One for Me, Oliver has been a character sitting at the back of my mind. This good guy needed a story. When we meet him in Michaels’s most recent series, Willow Creek Valley, the promise of his story had been set on the horizon. With A Chance for Us settled on my Kindle, I dug in. What you find is a story that, at first glance, is a marriage of convenience for the jocular, beloved Parkerson. What you actually receive is a story about being someone’s first choice.
I would love to say that Oliver and Maren’s story bowled me over. There are distinct moments of sentimentality and emotion. There is clearly a connection between Oliver and Maren. Their marriage of convenience is done as a self-sacrifice to provide solace for Maren’s father. It’s well-meaning, and it isn’t trivial as some marriage of convenience romances can be. However, I struggled with the depth of chemistry between Oliver and Maren. With the first three books of this series, the pain left in the wake of the problems of those relationships slices you to your soul. You feel the depth of their love for each other with those couples, but I never felt this with Oliver and Maren. There is a definite evolution into friendship, but I kept waiting for a moment between the two that left me yearning for them to be together. And that moment was a blip instead of a volcano of emotion. I know Michaels struggled during this book, and I can’t help but wonder if this affected the development of her characters. This isn’t usually the case with her. It’s also possible that I had such high hopes for Oliver’s story as he was a person of interest for me after his broken engagement to Devney. For whatever reason, instead of A Chance for Us ending the Willow Creek Valley series strong, it leaves you wanting a bit more, I think. Even after reading the epilogue and bonus epilogue, the emotion wrought in the first three books simply didn’t match the emotional travails of the final book.
What I love, though, is the promise of more Corinne Michaels’s romances. This is an author who writes small-town romances that stick to your ribs, that tug at your heartstrings, and that whisper promises of a love bigger than your imagination. A Chance for Us has the shadows of this; it simply needed a bit more.
In love and romance,