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Take a Chance on Me Mass Market Paperback – August 18, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Donovan (Knock Me Off My Feet, etc.) returns with a frisky caper centered around a tiny hairless dog known as a Chinese Crested. Thomas Tobin-an undercover investigator of paid "hits"-discovers little Hairy trembling near the body of a key informant. Feeling responsible for the man's death, the usually cynical Thomas takes Hairy home, then consults animal behaviorist Emma Jenkins to help fix the dog's decidedly weird behavior. Emma responds immediately to Thomas's blinding sex appeal, but her recent divorce and her adoption of her best friend's orphaned daughter leave her with little energy for romance. Despite painful baggage of his own, Thomas is less ambivalent. The discovery that Hairy may hold a clue to the murder gives him an excuse to hire Emma again. Meanwhile, Emma's shady ex-husband Aaron-the murderer Thomas is seeking-re-enters their lives in a dramatic way. The early revelation of Aaron's guilt undercuts the suspense, but the book's comic sharpness picks up the slack. The humorous interactions among Thomas, Emma and Emma's quirky family give the book a golden warmth as earthy as its rural Maryland setting. But there are also enough explicit erotic interludes to please readers who like their romances spicy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“Donovan's blend of romance and mystery is thrilling.” ―Booklist

“Hilarious...full of sass and sizzle.” ―Julie Ortolon, USA Today bestselling author

“Fun, fast and sexy.” ―Lori Foster, USA Today bestselling author on Knock Me Off My Feet

“If ever there was a hysterically funny pairing, Thomas and Hairy are it. As in her previous book, author Susan Donovan laces sexy and sizzling fun with humor. A real treat!” ―RT Bookclub magazine (4 1/2 stars)

“Susan Donovan is an absolute riot. . .[The characters] literally pull your emotions into the story. . .Do NOT pass this one up.” ―Romance Junkie Review

“Ms. Donovan blends humor and compassion in this opposites attract story. . .Delightfully entertaining, TAKE A CHANCE ON ME is a guaranteed good time.” ―Old Book Barn Gazette

“Susan Donovan has created a vastly entertaining romance in her latest book. . .All the right ingredients are there, and Ms. Donovan has charmingly dished up an absolutely fast, fun and sexy read!” ―The Road to Romance


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; English Language edition (August 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312983751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312983758
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,192,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had so much fun reading this book! Susan Donovan is a new author for me and this is my first book by her (though it's actually her second - Knock Me Off My Feet is her first). She has a great sense of humour and a nice way with characters - I laughed out loud often reading this book!
Thomas Tobin works on a Maryland State Police task force and poses as a hitman for hire. Given his line of work (not to mention his personal experiences), he's got little faith in human nature and figures everyone has a dark side. He discovers his best informant dead and his weird little dog nearby. He takes the dog, "Hairy", home with him only to discover that he has some serious behavioral problems and soon finds himself in the office of vet/animal behaviorist Dr Emma Jenkins. He finds Emma very attractive in an open, fresh farm-girl way, but he fights it since he's vowed never to get involved with another woman after his last disastrous relationship. But he can't help his attraction and winds up sending out some serious mixed signals!
Emma has recently divorced a husband who was unfaithful, reckless with money and who never really appreciated her. She's working hard to keep her practice afloat and she's also become guardian to 12 year old Leelee, the daughter of her wild, reckless, and now deceased best friend. And now the most gorgeous man she's ever seen has waltzed into her life, but he leaves her so confused, she's not sure he's worth the effort (is he a moron, a nut or Mr Right?). But when he tells her he believes that Hairy may have witnessed the murder, and asks her to help him look for clues, she can't resist. And while working on the case, they fall for one another but will old patterns repeat or is this finally the real thing?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Last year I read Donovan's "Knock Me Off My Feet," and really enjoyed it a great deal. I didn't learn that it was her first book until afterwards, and then I was even more impressed! So it was with great anticipation that I greeted the arrival of "Take a Chance on Me" at the bookstore. And whoah, was my anticipation justified! "Take" is a great contemporary romance, with wonderful secondary characters, a dog you just want to take home yourself, and a well-paced romance between characters you can really love.
I must admit it took me a few minutes to get into "Take," but once I did, I enjoyed it thoroughly. That's not to say that it's a perfect book... Donovan still does a much better job with characters and relationship development than she does with the whole "suspense/mystery" element. Some of the book's "coincidences" are a bit too much to be believed, and the romantic development was so well-crafted that sometimes the whole suspense plot seemed tacked-on. Not only that, but Donovan moves between Thomas' and Emma's voices a great deal, which can be confusing. I wish the people laying out the book had put a bit of whitespace in whenever she switched, because it took my brain awhile to catch on.
Still, if you're into contemporary romances, especially ones with a sense of humor, you'll definitely want to "Take a Chance on Me." (Bad pun, but I couldn't resist!)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
You gotta love a book where the author makes a hairless dog one of the main characters (who has his own dialog and everything), and names him "Hairy."

When burly undercover investigator Thomas Tobin shows up at veterinarian Emma Jenkins animal behavior clinic, Emma is taken aback that such a hunky man would own a Chinese Crested (bald except for a striking fluff of white hair on his head). But she tries to help him with the skittish dog.

Turns out that Hairy was owned by a flamboyant informant who is found dead, and Hairy is the only witness.

Both Thomas and Emma were burned in previous relationships, and Emma is still paying for her disastrous marriage. She recently became the guardian of her best friend's daughter, and is not sure she has time for a man in her life. Of course, that soon changes.

Donovan cleverly names each chapter (and the title of the book) after disco tunes. As the story unfolds, the reason becomes clear. Part romance, part police procedural drama, and part animal planet fodder, it is a delightful read and will keep you hooked until the very last page.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Baltimore, Thomas Tobin inherited the six pound canine Hairy when the dog's owner was murdered. Feeling a bit of guilt, as the victim was his informant, Thomas takes in the furball, but has no idea how to care for the creature. However, he notices how Hairy becomes frightened whenever he sees a blender so he wonder is perhaps the dog has associated that kitchen gadget with the homicide.
Thomas takes his pooch to animal behaviorist Dr. Emma Jenkins who lectures him about how to take care of a tiny dog as Thomas treats Hairy as if he was a Doberman. As Emma and Thomas become better acquainted, they fall in love though neither wants those feelings and both struggled mightily to control their libido. She is still recovering from her ex plus is taking care of LeeLee, the daughter of a recently deceased friend. He has enough on his plate between an unwanted canine and a killer on the loose who just might be targeting those that matter to Thomas: Hairy, Emma, and LeeLee.
Fans who take a chance on this novel will feel rewarded as Susan Donovan deftly combines humor, suspense, and romance into a delightful tale. The story line is fast-paced and action-packed, but also insures the characters are fully developed including the frightened little Chinese Crested canine. Thus the audience receives a strong novel in which the stalking killer is often forgotten while the quartet of interrelationships form. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME is a fun, funny frolic.
Harriet Klausner
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