Review: A Fighting Chance by Annie Stone (Free at Last #1)


Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Ardent PRose in exchange for an honest review.

Annie Stone is a new-to-me author and she certainly got my attention with A Fighting Chance, the first in her Free at Last series. When Mackenzie Hall fell in love with Carter Tilman, she was all in. At twenty-five, the eighteen-year age difference between them isn't enough for them to not want to be together. For a year, all's well between the couple. Then the true test to their relationship comes in the form of Carter's two teenage sons--seventeen-year-old Hunter and fifteen-year-old Carey. There's no doubting exactly what the boys think of Mac, what more how they feel about her. They make it clear they don't want her around, doubting her motives for being with someone nearly two decades older than her. But Hunter's dislike of Mac border on the extreme and could belie feelings of another kind--the kind of feelings that a teen shouldn't be having, not when they're for the girlfriend of his father.

This book was a pleasant surprise in terms of the story not going in the direction that I was expecting it to. Getting involved with someone who has children from a previous relationship isn't an easy thing, but neither is it easy to meet someone one of your parents is in a new relationship with, so I could empathize with both Mac and Carter's sons, though maybe more the latter than the former since I've had personal experience with that. The basic story line was a very interesting one and I did enjoy reading the book. My main criticism would probably be the lack of depth in terms of delving into the interpersonal relationships the characters had with one another--Mac with Carter, Carter with his sons, Mac with the boys, etc. Yes, we're told that this person feels this way about the other person, but I want to be able to "see" it with my own eyes and experience the development alongside all of them.

Me being the suspicious person I am, I went ahead and imagined where the rest of this series was going to take us, or at the very least, where book two would lead to, because yes, people, this first book ends in a cliffhanger. Is it an evil kind of cliffhanger? Well, aren't they all? However, I didn't feel the urge to tear out my hair due to frustration here, so maybe it isn't totally evil. I do want to know what comes next for Mac and Carter as well as Mac and Hunter, but I have no idea when book two will be released. With how everything was left in the air, I wonder if it'll go in the direction I think it's headed in, especially since I have my doubts with regards to Mac and her true feelings for Hunter. Fingers crossed that the second book also allows readers to get to know this newly blended family of sorts and their relationships with one another on a deeper level. A Fighting Chance get 3.5 stars from me. ♥

Date Read: 09 June 2017

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