Fred's Reviews > Chance Encounters

Chance Encounters by J. Sterling
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May 05, 2012

it was amazing

Super sigh of sweet satisfaction!

Remember this song, by Bryan Adams?

"When you love someone, you'll sacrifice
You'll give everything you got, and you won't think twice
You'll risk it all, no matter what may come
When you love someone.
You'll shoot the moon, put out the sun
When you love someone"

Those words sound so vanilla, just sitting there on the page, but with the smoky, smouldering intensity of Bryan Adams' voice and the moody dreamlike flute and piano accompaniment, they convey a powerful sense of an almost desperate yearning to be with the object of your desire. So, it's kind of awkward, to say the least, when that kind of powerful emotion hits you when you've already committed to be with someone else. And that's what happens to MC Caroline as our story opens. She's in a lovely, settled relationship with her lawyer boyfriend Clay when she gets word of the death of a friend. On her return from the funeral, she's seated, by chance, next to Jackson Parks. Maybe we should move the "s" to the front of his last name, because whoa! crazy sparks fly, and they set Caroline and Jackson's lives on fire. Like Bryan's song suggests, a love so intense and consuming has risks, and requires everything you've got. But can careful Care, the sensible girl with a plan, take a chance based on just that kind of random encounter? Especially when it's more than just her own heart at stake.

This is an emotional rollercoaster of a ride. It's not enough that Caroline and Jackson have to contend with their overwhelming mutual attraction (hey, it could be worse, I guess, if it were one sided) while stuck at absolute opposite ends of the U.S., the disapproval of their well-meaning friends, and other peoples' claims to their hearts. Events won't stand still either, and require a leap of faith that might well end in disaster for one or both of them.

Personally I couldn't help but fall in love with Caroline. I know that cheating is kind of a gray area at best in romance novels, and it's not clear if what Caroline does would be considered that (this is kind of a chaste romance, btw, by today's standards, although emotionally flagrant). But she's so torn between what's expected of her and what her heart can't resist that her struggles will def tug at your heartstrings. She doesn't want to be the kind of person she'd hate, who can argue with that? Fortunately she has an awesome lifeline friend, Bailey, to provide perspective, help the plot along and just generally be funny and charming. There really aren't any good guys or bad guys (although some of them pull some extremely maddening stunts), just a crew of realistically drawn characters with the flaws, foibles and occasional strengths that real folk would display.

This is a charming, poignant, tender and exhilarating read. I love the way the author conveys that giddy sense of besotted, bewilderingly
beautiful emotional attraction that is one of life's greatest gifts. Don't hesitate to give that gift to yourself, by reading this sweet and affecting novel asap!



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Reading Progress

May 5, 2012 – Shelved
May 6, 2012 – Started Reading
May 14, 2012 –
75.0% "Don't trust Sally, just sayin'"
May 14, 2012 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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message 1: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Hey Fred! How do you read 3 books at a time?? I am impressed!!


Fred Haha, busted! I usually am only reading one, but I put stuff up there and leave it till I write my review so I don't forget. Also I'll sometimes put a book there to remind myself of what I want to read next. So it is a little misleading, I'm afraid. I finished My Heart For Yours, yesterday, for example, and just have to write a review now (it was lovely, btw!). Hope you have an awesome Mothers Day, Leslie!


message 3: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Hey, whatever works for you, right?? Oh, and thank you for my Mother's Day wishes!! I just got a new iPad, so I told my hubby not to get me anything else, but he said, "yeah, right...like I'm not going to get you anything!". Wow, I'm going to be spoiled!! Ha, ha!!


Fred Hey, you deserve it (at least that what's my wife says!), so revel in it and enjoy the adulation!


message 5: by Racquel (new)

Racquel fred, your my resource to indie books, seriously!! how is this one?


message 6: by Leslie (new)

Leslie Fred wrote: "Hey, you deserve it (at least that what's my wife says!), so revel in it and enjoy the adulation!"

You're a sweetheart, Fred...thanks again!! :)


Fred Racquel wrote: "fred, your my resource to indie books, seriously!! how is this one?"

Hey there Raquel - I'm starting it on the train on the way home tonight, so I'll have to fill you in later. I have heard really good things about it though! You should friend request the author, she's really cool and very funny!


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

*chimes in* this one is REALLY sweet!!


Fred See, Raquel, told you so! And that Chrystle knows her stuff, believe you me!


message 10: by J. (new) - added it

J. Sterling i am LOL at "don't trust sally." HAHAHAHAHAH fred, i love you!


message 11: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred J. wrote: "i am LOL at "don't trust sally." HAHAHAHAHAH fred, i love you!"

What a lovely book, J., will review tomorrow (can't wrest laptop from beloved son). For tonight will have to leave at "super sigh of sweet satisfaction!"


message 12: by J. (new) - added it

J. Sterling Fred wrote: "J. wrote: "i am LOL at "don't trust sally." HAHAHAHAHAH fred, i love you!"

What a lovely book, J., will review tomorrow (can't wrest laptop from beloved son). For tonight will have to leave at "s..."


you are the cutest! i'm SO happy to hear that a boy liked it. LOL yes, you're a boy! :) THANK YOU! xo


message 13: by Racquel (new)

Racquel y'all have convinced me! haha


message 14: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Racquel wrote: "y'all have convinced me! haha"

You won't be sorry, trust me!


message 15: by J. (new) - added it

J. Sterling holy. holy smokes. I am BLOWN away by this review, fred. You are amazing. Truly. Thank you SO MUCH for putting that much thought, time and effort into writing such a beautiful review. :)
And i love that BA song! <3


message 16: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred J. wrote: "holy. holy smokes. I am BLOWN away by this review, fred. You are amazing. Truly. Thank you SO MUCH for putting that much thought, time and effort into writing such a beautiful review. :)
And i lo..."


Thank you so much, J.! I hope I conveyed how sweet your book is, besides being all fraught with conflict and all. And funny, too! ... sigh, have to write a whole new review, now, I guess. Seriously though, I feel so lucky to have "met" you and found your book, you are both something else!


message 17: by Karen (new) - added it

Karen That is such a beautiful review Fred. Do you write yourself because WOW, you should.


message 18: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Karen wrote: "That is such a beautiful review Fred. Do you write yourself because WOW, you should."

Thanks, Karen, that is so nice of you! Your encouragement is making me think about it!


message 19: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda Garibay Pretty sure you totally should write a book, Fred!


Janna Mashburn Fred! I just started this book, hope I enjoy it as much as you!!!


message 21: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Janna wrote: "Fred! I just started this book, hope I enjoy it as much as you!!!"

I hope so too, Janna, I thought it was really cute, with some real emotional depth, too. Look forward to hearing your thoughts!


message 22: by Kay (new)

Kay I love Bryan Adams! His songs got me through some times when I was growing up. I'm adding this to my TBR list. Thanks for this great review!!


message 23: by Fred (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fred Kay wrote: "I love Bryan Adams! His songs got me through some times when I was growing up. I'm adding this to my TBR list. Thanks for this great review!!"

Thanks so much, Kay, that's nice of you to stop by! Hope you enjoy this, it's a good read!


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