Title: Taking A Chance
Series/Universe: The Restoration Series, Restoration #3
Author: A.M. Arthur
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: September 14th 2015
Page Count: 259 pages
Age Rating: Adult (language and explicit sexual scenes)
How I got my hot little hands on it: Received an ARC to review
Publisher’s page: Taking A Chance
The last time Elliott fell in love, his fiancé cheated on him. Now fresh out of rehab, Elliott’s confidence lags behind his libido, not that that stops him from lusting after the sexy carpenter working on his kitchen—from a distance. He won’t risk his sobriety on another potential broken heart.
As half of an experienced home renovation duo, Augustus expects this job will be easy. Until he sees the house’s tenant, a man he never thought he’d meet—his ex’s other man. Augustus knows he should say something about their secret, shared past, but he’s tongue-tied by their intense, unwanted attraction.
Despite attempts to keep things professional, the two men give in to temptation and forge a genuine connection—and his developing feelings for Elliott leave Augustus in an impossible situation. If he stays, his secret will always hang over the relationship. But telling the truth might send Elliott spiraling to a new rock bottom and cost Augustus the only man he’s ever really loved.
The Restoration Series follows three best friends – James, Boxer, and Elliott – all finding love after experiencing some major setbacks in their lives. Each book features one of the three finding love, with the other two friends playing their own important roles in their friend’s story. Taking A Chance is Elliott’s story and, oh my goodness, does Elliott experience some heartbreaking setbacks!
Although Taking A Chance can probably stand on its own, to really experience Elliott’s full journey I really recommend starting from book one. Elliott Quinn was first introduced in Getting It Right (Restoration #1 – James’s story), when his fiancé Doug was in a coma after being in a horrible car accident. This is when Elliott first confesses finding out about his fiancé’s cheating ways shortly before the accident and where he deals with the immediate aftermath of his fiancé death – this is also when Elliott first starts self-medicating his pain with sex, drugs, and alcohol. In book two, Finding Their Way (Restoration #2), even though it is primarily Boxer’s story, glimpses are given of Elliott in the background as he begins spiraling to rock bottom – eventually leading to his suicide attempt and then entrance into rehab to get the help he needs.
All this backstory brings us to the beginning of Taking A Chance (Don’t worry too much if you haven’t read the other books, the author does a good job of catching the reader up on what’s already gone down). Elliott is fresh out of rehab and trying to get his life back on track while dealing with the aftermath of the havoc his heavy partying has had on his health. His confidence is at an all-time low and all his focus is on getting back on his feet – that is until he lays eyes on Augustus Rhinehart, the gorgeous contractor working on his friend’s kitchen renovation. The attraction goes both ways, but Augustus knows something that Elliott doesn’t – he was the other man that Elliott’s late fiancé was cheating with. It’s pretty much a recipe for disaster from the beginning – and I couldn’t look away!
After having read the other books in this series, I knew there was going to be angst from the beginning, but oh, did it get heavy. Poor Elliott. Poor Augustus. Doug really did a number on both of them, the jerk. Elliott is gun shy about making himself vulnerable to someone again, while Augustus has the terrible secret of the part he played in Doug’s betrayal of Elliott weighing heavy on his soul (which, really, wasn’t his fault at all, he had no idea that he was the “other man”). It was kind of hard watching them fall in love, knowing there was this axe hanging over their relationship – luckily I had complete faith in the author that everything would work out in the end (which it does… eventually). A.M. Arthur may liberally apply the angst, but she also writes fantastic HEA endings wrapped in big red bows – I appreciated having that assurance to fall back on, especially when it got pretty worrying there for awhile.
This book was a highly anticipated read for me – Elliott has been my favorite character in this series from the beginning – and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint. I really enjoyed this whole series, and Elliot finally finding his Happily Ever After with a really great guy who treats him like the prince he is was the perfect way to bring it all full circle. A.M. Arthur is my go-to author for angsty romances with sweet endings and I can’t wait to read whatever she comes out with next.
CoffeeAM Orange Coconut Flavored Coffee – a great combination of sweet creamy coconut and bright citrus orange, this coffee is bright and fun and unique and sweet – a description that fits Elliott Quinn to a T. Elliott had been my favorite character ever since he was first introduced in Getting It Right (Restoration #1). He’s such a great combination of sweet and sassy and sunshine. Watching him spiral wasn’t pleasant, but even though he’s been going through such a difficult time, Elliott’s personality always shone through, even if the dark clouds dimmed it for awhile. I was so happy he finally got his own happy ending in Taking A Chance, no one deserved it more. Shine on, Elliot. Shine On.