Title: Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys Book #1)
Author: M.E. Parker
Release Date: March 17, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Sports
Page Count: 175
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
There are moments in your life that become part of you. They become so ingrained in your memory that you can’t let them go, no matter how hard you try. Some may seem small and insignificant when they happen. Others are so big and important that you know, even while you’re in the moment, that your life will be forever changed. For me, almost all those moments—both the small and insignificant as well as the big and important—were moments I shared with Chance Wyrick.
If I were in a support group for hopelessly pathetic gays, I’d have to introduce myself by saying, “Hi, I’m Andy Michaelson and I can’t stop myself from thinking about Chance Wyrick.”
From the time we met, when we were only six years old, and for the next twelve years, he was my best friend. I fell in love with him along the way. I couldn’t say exactly when it happened, only that it happened.
Words of advice:
Never fall in love with your best friend, especially if he’s one of the most popular kids at school, the best high school quarterback in the state, or if he happens to be your next-door neighbor.
But most of all…
Never, I repeat never, fall in love with your best friend if he’s straight. Nothing good can come of it. Trust me.
Our friendship was over before we finished our last year of high school. My best friend became my ex-best friend. I hoped to forget about him when I went off to college. But Chance followed me there. So did all the memories.
I tried to forget him. I did. But he was more beautiful than ever. He was the starting quarterback for Gilcrest University. He was larger than life. He was impossible to ignore. We hadn’t spoken in years, but the memories still hit me out of nowhere, and they still hurt.
By the time I started my third year at Gilcrest, I was beginning to think I’d never be over him.
As it turns out, I was right…
THE MORE YOU KNOW (shooting star… RAINBOW): The author notes: “Chasing Chance” is the first book in the Gilcrest University Guys series. It’s a full-length, “friends to lovers” romance novel. It has “coming out” and “first-time gay” themes, is stocked full of STEAM, heartache, and laughter, and it has a guaranteed happy ending. The series will follow the love stories of four college friends. “Chasing Chance” is the first of two books that will tell Andy and Chance’s love story. Look for book two, “Catching Chance,” to come out next month!” Be aware that we aren’t getting Andy and Chance’s complete story in “Chasing Chance” and the ending is up-in-the-air and incomplete.
I must admit that I love the best-friends-to-lovers trope and the first part of this book is sweet as 6-year-old Chance and Andy become best friends and have a great childhood that includes camping together and building a great tree house that Chance designs (he’s always been interested in becoming an architect). We get alternating POVs here and through a series of flashbacks see how good things are between the two boys … until they aren’t.
Chance’s father is a minister who preaches that homosexuality is a perversion and Chances takes the easier road by denying his sexuality and playing the role of the perfect son / starting quarterback while dating a sweet girl who plays on giving him her virginity the night of their prom. Chance is more than a bit of an asshat when he completely ghosts Andy for their last year of high school, and even though they both end up at Gilcrest University, they don’t run in the same circles. Until they meet again in an incredibly improbably scene and they discover their friendship is still as strong as ever, plus a sizzling sexual component.
While I found the plot entertaining, so much of THIS book is just setting the stage for the NEXT book in the series by introducing characters and setting. For example, we meet Andy’s roommate Cameron and their friends Ben and Jory who I assume will be the MCs in upcoming books, and it appears that Cameron’s story is happening concurrently with “Chasing Chance” as he is mysteriously taking calls in another room and seems to be up to something. But my pet peeve is that nothing is really resolved between Chance and Andy as the book ends suddenly (in mid-sentence) as they are headed home for Christmas break. The first chapter of the next book serves as an epilogue of sorts, but I really dislike the way the author choose to conclude this book.
I’ve giving “Chasing Chance” 3.5 stars because I like the plot, find the characters interesting, want to learn more about Chance and Andy’s romance and relationship, and I look forward to getting Cameron, Ben and Jory’s stories in future books. The “ending” did not work for me, and I would have liked more focus on Chance and Andy and advancing their relationship. But, as always, I realize other readers may not feel the same way, so give this one a read and let me know what you think!