A Chance On Lovin' You
by Eboni Snoe, contemporary (1999)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-79563-9

On a scale of 1 to 10, Sasha Townsend rates her fellow humankind a generous 3. A small time schoolteacher who has spent her life caring for her now late mother and closeting herself from love and affection, this woman is as tough as nails. So when she inherits a piece of land from a distant part of her estranged family, she wastes no time packing and taking off to Magic Keys. And when she finds springwater on her land, my, isn't she elated. She's going to start a springwater manufacturing enterprise!

Only that the Ellises who practically rule the Magic key area aren't too happy. They declare that while Ms Townsend may have inherited the house, the land is actually theirs. So no, no manufacturing springwater for you, Ms Townsend. Sasha is not happy and refuses to go down fighting. But she's also getting the hots for Cay Ellis The Third.

This book has a little paranormal aspects in the old Ellis curse and the possibility that the springwater comes from Atlantis or the Fountain of Youth and is hence magical. But all these are superficial - the focus of the story is Cay and Sasha and the Ellis clan. Sasha is a distant, cranky woman who refuses to trust anyone easily. Cay is suffering from guilt over his wife's death. Someone is out to ruin Sasha and maybe even kill her. Can Sasha trust Cay?

Well, to be honest, the first half of the book is good, but the second half degenerates into a melodramatic TV Movie Of The Week story, complete with breathless heroine fleeing dark lonely highways and hiding in isolated motels only to have some ominous figure knocking on her door *gasp* The Ellis clan is stock Cluedo material - the absent-minded patriach, the scheming Sis-in-law, the housekeeper who knows Deep Dark Family Secrets, and of course, the handsome hunk our heroine is attracted to but can't trust. Really, it feels a lot like a soap opera thing after a while.

This book is not too bad, actually. It's oftimes almost gothic in nature, and the plot's not something you find everyday in romances. Sasha and Cay are pretty good together. It's only that the other characters, probably borrowed from Dallas, sort of come together and clutter things up a bit. Okay, quite more than a bit. Reading A Chance On Lovin' You isn't too bad a way to spend a boring evening, however.

Rating: 61

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