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Cheating Chance (Taking the Odds #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,160 Ratings  ·  162 Reviews
Vice Detective, Brandon Carr, despite his tattoos and bad-boy cool, lives in the closet with no intention of ever coming out. Then he meets Nevada Gaming Agent, Nick O'Malley, at a Goth convention and his perfectly constructed world starts to crack. Nick's passions for him, a restored hearse and rope bondage might drown Brandon's will. With the odds stacked against them th ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 18th 2008 by MLR Press (first published 2008)
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Written July 1, 2015

3 1/2 Stars - Not totally convinced but interesting enough

Book #1

A nearly forgotten planned buddyread that ended as a fun read with a big bunch of funny M/M readers. ~ Thanks lovely Ladies!


Cheating Chance is the first opening book-part in the three books series Taking the Odds. I've read some books from James Buchanan's other series, Deputy Joe and really liked them (highly recommended reads) so I started this one with high expectations.

...and I'm not disappointed.
Look at me, I'm in total agony!

So what triggered this latest bout of melodrama? Was it Goodreads’ censorship policy, that made me join the Great Migration to BookLikes? Or was it the fact that BookLikes reminds me a lot of Tumblr, which made me want to make comparisons?

So here’s what I decided to do: I boldly logged onto my Tumblr account at the office for the FIRST TIME IN MY FREAKING LIFE and my boss chose exactly THAT moment to walk in for a social call... And since I’m not only following Tum
Rosa, really

Title: Why I Hate That Fucker Brandon (the closeted cop love interest)
Subtitle: Okay, I don't really hate him, hate him, I'm actually trying--TRYING--to reserve judgement. He made some massive improvements by the end of the book and that's good.
Sub-subtitle: But let's just say I had to pretend he was Daryl from The Walking Dead for a good portion of the book so I wouldn't want to apply his fucking face to a fucking brick wall for longer than five minutes at a time.

*sigh* I love Daryl. Brand
Heather C
Dec 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heather C by: Susan65
I just loved Nicky...I even loved the asshole Brandon! These guys were hot and a lot kinky: balcony sex, hearse sex, table sex, cyber sex, bondage, sex toys...  

This was the first book in the series so it ends with a HFN. But it was a really sweet HFN and showed a lot of hope for these two guys. I really liked the ending and was even surprised by the few twists, too (view spoiler)
Aug 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The plot and the relationship between goth kid, Nick and his douchey closeted cop boyfriend, Brandon is what kept me interested in this story. Unfortunately, unlike the previous books I've read by this author, the writing didn't really work for me. The dialogue was often confusing and I wasn't always sure who was speaking. The book uses quite a bit of Spanish, since the plot involves the Mexican Mafia, almost all of it misspelled (not counting names, only 2 words were spelled correctly). The sex ...more
R * A Reader Obsessed *
Well this was a bit different.

As per the blurb, Nick and Brandon meet up at a goth convention and sparks fly immediately. However, being a cop, Brandon is deeply in the closet and makes no apologies. Nick is a Nevada Gaming Control Agent and has never hidden who he is. Such a set up is perfect for lots of drama and this did not disappoint.

So… there's some hard core man on man action - it is intense with some kink and bondage - but overall pretty darn hot. This was very low on the fluff and heart
Jenni Lea

Hey! Where did my review go? I know I did a review of this. WTF?


EDIT 6/28/15:

Found my review.

I was never able to get into this book and I found I had to force myself to read it. Maybe it was just the wrong time to read it for me. I never connected with the characters and I learned WAY more than I ever wanted to about the mechanics of electronic gambling devices.
Nichole (Dirrty H)
3.5 stars

This could have been more like a 4 to 4.5 star read, but this book got completely bogged down in irrelevant detail and gratuitous description. I truly appreciate the amount of time and effort that went into the research of this book. But sometimes when an author does research for a book, it's more to help them know where they're coming from and a lot (or most) of the stuff they learn won't ever make it to the book. Just because you researched it does not mean you must squeeze it in. Thi

Although the writing did not pull me into this one, the characters, the relationship, the complications, the plot does have possibilities which interest me. This is not an easy relationship. (view spoiler) There are difficulties and I forsee more. It all depends if the series gets better or not. I am willing to go the next one to see.

Jul 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Talk about an intense relationship. Brandon and Nicky are two of the hottest main characters I've read about in a while. They are both my idea of the perfect man: black hair, tattoos, Nicky (hair to his waist) grrrrrrr, I am not usually into anything goth or bondage related but damn does it ever work for these two. The interaction and dialogue between them was great, my only issue was trying follow along with the gaming regulations and acronyms...that was hard for me. But still, it was a great r
Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
Honestly, I don't even know what to say about this book. It was interesting and my emotions ranged throughout it. I loved and hated the characters and I loved and hated parts of the story but overall it really is a great book to the point that it kept me captivated through the whole story.

I absolutely loved Nicky. He's sweet and passionate and funny and a goth, which I surprisingly liked. And I loved the fact that he drove a hearse. That was just plan awesome. I realized while I was reading that
Lilia Ford
Mild Spoilers. Loved it. Nicky is such a sweetheart--What a great hero, lovable, vulnerable, smart. His relationship with Brandon was one of the more believable I've come across. How they meet, the travails of their long-distance affair, their arguments, Nick's insecurity, Brandon's paranoia about phone calls: they felt like a real couple with real problems--who just so happen to have the hottest sex imaginable.

Usually in crime/mystery books like this the procedural is dull or unrealistic, but
4.0 Stars

Nick O'Mallley is an agent for the Nevada Gaming Commission. He's out, a Goth, and eccentric (read: he's restoring his ride, a hearse ... that's right, a hearse, he's named Quierda). Brandon Carr is a vice cop with the Riverside PD, which suits him fine given his plethora of tats, piercings and the biker boy look he sports. The two meet at a Goth convention in San Diego and the sparks fly. As their tryst turns into a weekend fling and then slowly develops into more, the problems abound,
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
Loved it. Nick is funny, quirky and hot as hell, and while Brandon's in the closetedness got on my nerves at times, he came through when it counted. The two of them together are scorching.

I was a little bored with the technical casino machine talk, but still I could not put this down. A solid 4.5 for me. I'm looking forward to reading more of these two.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nomance
I'm afraid I'm not convinced about Nick and Brandon's relationship, even though so many have named them Most [Positive Adjective] Couple in their reviews. Right from the start you can tell this relationship isn't going to work out.


Date #1: Subject stole food from N's plate without asking. Sign of criminality, irresponsibility, and running roughshod over partner's sensibilities.

Date #2: Subject flirted and pawed woman in public avenue, i.e. club. When N confronted subject about flirti
Jan 01, 2012 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay, abusive-mc, nope
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, kinky, mine-mine-mine
This was a surprise! And what a good one!

Having just read the first three Adrien English books and Kaje Harper's Life Lessons, I felt so so lucky to stumble over this series.

The set up was fairly similar: in the one corner, ladies and gentlemen, meet the amateur sleuth, your out and proud sensitive gay guy with strong "boy next door" tendencies. In the other corner, we have our usual taciturn muscle-packed cop, preferably divorced with kids.
But, the cop/ amateur sleuth theme worked so much bet
Smith Barney
Nick the Nevada gaming commission leather goth dude with his black flowing waist-length hair. All I saw was Man=Afghan.

I couldn't help it. I know. I irritate myself too.

Also, idiot-speak mismatch. The hot-tatooed-eyebrow-pierced-street-smart-vice-cop Brandon somehow swiped Mormon brother Deputy Joe's idiot-speak slang of 'nekkid' from the Deputy Joe series. Now normally I dislike idiot-speak in fiction but in Deputy Joe it fit and worked well for the character and storyline. It doesn't fit B
Stacey Jo
This book was great! Hot guys, great sex, suspence and great music (love Rob Zombie). I thought it was interesting to read about how the slot machines worked and to learn a little about the policing of the gaming industry but i can see where some say it gets a little too technical for their taste. Liked how the romance built between the two. And LOVE the car!! Can't wait to start the next book.
Aug 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The setting at the start of the book is one of the most unusual I've ever read: A Goth Convention. I don't really know much about goths, especially that they hold an annual convention. However, it doesn't take long to get into the sense of fun and companionship that the convention brings. Our two heroes, Nick and Brandon meet at the convention and have an instant attraction, which they are both happy to act upon. What started as a weekend fling deepens into a relationship when they swap numbers, ...more
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I got a little sidetracked when I was reading this. I liked it, but it didn't pull me in till after page 30, then it's started to roll. I loved the dynamics of Brandon and Nick's relationship. They fall into sex, but then discover each other through the rest of the story. Both are very likable characters. It was joy to watch them grow, since they knew little about each other, except that sex was great. Nick is a Nevada gaming agent and Brandon a detective. Both love their jobs, but Brandon u ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had only read one story by James Buchanan before. I like this one too. I think it combines very good part of romance and action. Though I'm a bit lost with the technicalities of the Gaming Commission matter but it proves that it is thoroughly researched. I enjoy the complicated relationship between the Dracula Goth slash Gaming Commission Agent Nicky and the closeted gay cop slash biker Brandon.

Honestly, at first, I thought Brandon was an ass; the way he got pissed at Nicky, I thought he woul
This was a 3.5 star read for me but I'm giving it a 4 because much of the enjoyment was lost because of my being unfamiliar with casinos and slot machines. I couldn't follow the parts about the EPROMS and skipped much of it after trying to understand and giving up.

I'd like to read Inland Empire now but decided in favor of Clare London's Diplomacy just in case IE continues with the casino storyline and more EPROMS.

That aside, I felt Nicky got a raw deal with Brandon much of the time and even when
This is my first Buchanan book. It was well written, attention grabbing, and *hamina hamina* the D/s scenes were SCORCHING! But I have to agree with the other reviewers; the descriptive detail regarding gaming elements read like a deluge of insidious details at times (I skimmed some...shhh snitches get stitches!). I enjoyed reading about Nicky and Brandon as a couple but seriously wanted to smack them upside their heads as individual characters. :P I'll definitely read the rest of the series.
Emanuela ~plastic duck~
These guys are incandescent together, very intense. Once I closed the book, what remains is them them them. I wouldn't tag this book as BDSM even if it's their kink, because it's not what defines their relationship. When I think of them, I see two guys who enjoy each other. Their relationship is complicated. They are both law enforcement, Nick is an agent with the Nevada Gaming Commission; Brandon is becoming a detective for the Californian Riverside PD. When they meet, it's at a Goth convention ...more
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-novels, bdsm, cops
I was somehow expecting more from this story.

After reading The Good Thief and Hard Fall, I wasn't sure whether I was going to get only one or both sides of the story. This time, both Brandon and Nick were introduced. But it didn't help with the story. There seemed to many elements introduced and not enough time to develop them properly into the story.

Other than highlight his eccentric nature, I didn't see much point to the hearse. I was surprised and disappointed when Nick let Jake fuck him aga
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loaned
I really liked this book! Brandon is a closeted gay cop. Nick is a geeky Gaming type cop. They meet at a Goth convention in San Diego. Nick totally lives the Goth lifetsyle.

Things I loved:
Rope play!
The Hearse! Named Querida!!
The super duper hot sex!
Nick's Gparents house turned Goth house

Things I didn't like:
Nicks ex boyfriend
that closet of Brandon's
the over information of casinos/gaming laws/inner workings of slot machines

I give it 4 stars!
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m
4.75 stars. No, not quite 5 stars. This book flowed so well, and if this is what the author was writing in 2006 then I look forward to more recent offerings, particularly the two sequels. And yes, I am planning on reading Inland Empire this coming weekend, which I guess says more than anything how much I enjoyed this book.
Rissa (an M/M kinda Girl!!)
I'm definitely somewhere in the middle on this one. Had there been less descriptive/details I might have loved it! But once things start being overly described...ya lose me. Will I read book #2...maybe. D

Don't let my thoughts stop you tho. This story was unique for sure and it had some super awesome stuff going on along the way too. :)
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BR Cheating Chance - 26 Jun 15 RA, Rosa, Otila, Sheri, Ingela & Sofia 161 22 Jul 03, 2015 01:06AM  
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James Buchanan, the author of over ten gay novels and single author anthologies, lives in a 100 year old Craftsman in California with SexyGuy, two demon spawn and a heard of adopted dogs, cats, rats and fish. Between managing a law practice with SG, raising kids and writing books, James volunteers with the Erotic Author's Association, Liminal Ink, the EPIC Awards Committee as well as coordinates t ...more
More about James Buchanan...

Other Books in the Series

Taking the Odds (3 books)
  • Inland Empire (Taking the Odds, #2)
  • All or Nothing (Taking the Odds, #3)

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“Fuck, he couldn’t. But Brandon knew that he’d never forgive himself if he didn’t do everything in his power. Even if it failed, he had to try. It had to be worth it. “Jeff.” He swallowed his fear. “You asked me today if this relationship I’m in was the one…well it is. And the chick I’ve been seeing, the one from San Diego, she ain’t no gal. I can’t lose Nicky. I’m going to lose him. I got nothing if you don’t help.” 3 likes
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