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Chances [Kindle Edition]

Pamela Nowak
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Book Description

In 1876, rough and tumble Denver is full of challenges for outspoken female telegrapher Sarah Donovan. Determined to make her mark, she arrives in the male-dominated town and marches head-long into the fight for women's suffrage and any other cause she can find. She doesn’t expect to face the fact that she hides behind causes to avoid her own vulnerability nor does she suspect she will find her strength by opening her heart and risking love.

When Sarah delivers a telegram to the wrong person, she must apologize to staunchly conservative undertaker Daniel Petterman. Despite his relief that Sarah has also rescued his young daughters from local hoodlums, Daniel can't hide his distaste for the suffragist. His careful, pensive approach to life's problems is at complete odds with Sarah's radical assertiveness, and he fears she will corrupt his daughters with her progressive crusading.

Unexpectedly discovering themselves on the same side of local politics, they develop a grudging respect for one another. Sarah's fiery disposition forces Daniel's hidden passions to the surface as the smoldering attraction between them erupts. Amid political turmoil, they find time to experience the delights and complications of ice skating on a frozen creek, dancing at a noisy German beer hall, and impromptu kisses.

Their growing relationship of trust and love is blind-sided when Sarah's resentful coworker maliciously accuses her of using the telegraph to solicit men. Rumors explode, threatening Sarah's reputation, career, and her standing in the suffrage association. When the gossip spreads to include Daniel and his daughters, Sarah must confront the allegations head-on. A violent suffrage riot, prostitution charges, and runaway trains force Daniel and Sarah to make life and death decisions about the chances they are willing to take on love and on themselves.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A pretty pioneering suffragette meets a stodgy undertaker in Nowak's charming historical romance debut. Thirtyish spinster and women's rights activist Sarah Donovan moves to 1876 Denver to be a Kansas Pacific telegrapher. After greedy kids shoot the pet dog of two young girls (there's a bounty on strays), Sarah comes to the girls' aid, and meets their father: prim widower Daniel Petterman, an undertaker. While a possible relationship begins between Sarah and Daniel , Sarah's rookie mistake regarding notice of an arriving body—along with Daniel's puritanical attitude—slow things down at work and on the romance front. Then there are Sarah's difficulties with Frank, a jealous male co-worker, and with Lavinia, an equally jealous member of the Colorado Suffrage Association. Nowak captures courtship in the Rocky Mountains outpost with flair, but the resolution doesn't live up to Sarah's pioneering spirit. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Nowak's careful attention to historical detail and inclusion of historical figures who were part of the Colorado suffrage movement enhance the realism of the book. And she has successfully captured the essence of 1876 Denver, depicting it as more than just a shoot-'em-up Old West town. Most important, Nowak has come up with believable, non-stereotypical characters and a snappy plot to create a darned good book." -- Shelley Mosley, Booklist *Starred* review, December 15, 2007

Product Details

  • File Size: 481 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0989757838
  • Publisher: In the Moment Historicals; 1 edition (August 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,832 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Taking a Chance on this Book February 20, 2008
By WyoGrl
More than just a love story, Chances is not a typical romance novel. This satisfied reader highly recommends Chances as a thought-provoking tale about a spunky suffragette and a seemingly boring Denver undertaker who both have a lot to learn about taking Chances on love and life.

Obviously meticulously researched, Chances is set in Denver during the suffragist movement. Nowak skillfully brings to life the busy downtown historical Denver and weaves a fair and balanced view of the issues of the times without sounding preachy. Women readers will be inspired by the spunky heroine, Sarah, and male readers will likely be impressed as they are reminded of the strides women have made in gaining the right to vote.

But what readers will come away with most about this book is a lovely story peopled with well-drawn and interesting characters. The characters' journeys to find their rightful places in a changing world will resonate with modern readers. And as the characters discover what really matters about themselves and each other beyond the outer trappings of life, readers will find themselves moved and inspired.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chances February 20, 2008
Author's knowlege of history comes through. The characters are rich and believeable. The use of a undertaker as the hero was interesting and unigue, I would recomend this book to anyone who love's the history of the west.

Terry Roush
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read February 20, 2008
I don't usually read romance novels, but this was written by a Wyoming author so I thought I'd give it a chance. My first impression was how well the characters were developed - easy to identify with. My second impression was how clearly the author defined what is now known as LoDo in Denver. From what little I know of Denver history, it seems to be very accurate. Ms. Nowak has done a fine job with a first novel. It's easy to follow, introduces the reader to some well-developed characters, and teaches the reader about Denver history. Well done!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting look at Reconstruction Era Colorado January 26, 2008
In 1876 thirty something women's suffragette activist Sarah Donovan is elated as she obtains a position as a telegrapher for the Kansas Pacific line. She joins the local chapter of the Colorado Suffrage Association. When some children wanting to collect the bounty on stray dogs, shoot the pet of two little girls Kate and Molly, Sarah intercedes too late as Biscuit is shot dead. Making matters worse, her Good Samaritan deed took her away from her job for a moment leading to a telegram she was to deliver to Daniel Petterman the undertaker being gone and so is the body he is to bury.

The two kids introduce their hero Sarah to their widower father Daniel Petterman the undertaker. Sarah and Daniel are attracted to one another, but he is a prim and proper person so will not act on his desires. Meanwhile at work Sarah suffers from male chauvinism accentuated by a peer Frank, who wants her albeit in the kitchen. She also has problems with several CSA females who do frown on her relationship with the undertaker and his children.

This is an interesting look at Reconstruction Era Colorado mostly through the eyes of a woman trying to make it in a man's world. The secondary cast is strong as they either behave with contempt, jealousy or admiration of Sarah. While Daniel's courtship is entertaining as he is as stiff as those he buries. Although the ending seems off kilter, readers will appreciate Pamela Nowak's entertaining historical

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and Fiesty February 20, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent romance set to the backdrop of early Denver, the railroad, and the women's rights movement. Spicy telegrapher and suffragist Sarah is an excellent foil to the widower Daniel's starchy principals as a town leader and undertaker. Although their first meeting has the sparks flying, mistakes and viewpoints keep the two pitted against each other. Well drawn characters, excellent history, and a beautiful love story combine to keep the reader cheering in time to the train chugging on the tracks.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Debut novel by Pamela Nowak February 20, 2008
Virginia Sellner, a reader, February 20, 2008,4 - Recommended
Chances, Pamela Nowak a success
Pamela Nowak's historical romance that takes place in the 1870s in Denver, Colorado is a well written novel that grabs one's attention and keeps it until the very last page. Her attention to the times of a changing society, the unique characters, the details of Denver at that time show her through research of Denver in the 1870's. the people, the clothing, the changing society -- it makes for a book that keeps one's attention, and makes one think about the inter-actions of people then and now. It's a great read.
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More About the Author

Pamela Nowak writes award-winning historical romance set in the American West. Her debut novel, CHANCES, was awarded the HOLT Medallion for Best First Book, was a WILLA Finalist, and was named one of the "Top Ten Romance Novels of 2008" by Booklist. Her second novel, CHOICES, was released in 2009 to glowing reviews and received a HOLT Finalist Award in Historical Romance. Her third novel, CHANGES, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. A fourth book, set in 1905 Denver, is being shopped to publishers.

Pam has been in love with history and rich characters for most of her life. She has a B.A. in history, has taught history to prison inmates, served as project manager for the Fort Yuma National Historic Site and run a homeless shelter. She was named the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Writer of the Year in 2010 and served three years as the Colorado Gold Conference Chair. Pam and her life partner Ken live in Denver. Their combined families include six daughters and several grand-children. Together, they parent two dogs (Kiowa and Sadie) and a cat (Coco).

Pam loves hearing from readers and invites them to visit her website ( to send a message or read more about her.

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