Customer Reviews: Taking Chances (Taking Chances and Forgiving Lies Book 1)
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on September 14, 2012
I don't ever write reviews. I read hundreds of books, but for some reason I just never review them after I read them, even if I absolutely loved it. I have written one other review....after I read a book that I despised. I just felt it wasn't fair to not warn others of that book's awfulness. Well, that is how I feel now except times 10. I was enjoying this book. The main character, Harper, is not my favorite. She was pretty selfish and expected others to be what she could not and would not be. However, I did like the story enough that I overlooked that. Until 58% into the book. Yep, I was good and invested, when the author went and ruined the book. I mean RUINED!!! I am ok with things not being perfect in books. This goes for errors, as well as the actual meat of the book. I have read some really awesome self published authors, and sometimes that means there may be spelling errors, or a grammatical error here and there. I can overlook that. I also do not expect every book to be a light, fluffy read. Sometimes there is sadness, or even heartbreak. I like angst in a book. In fact, I prefer it. I like feeling what the characters are feeling, even if it is hurt or pain. Such is life, so if books are to resemble life, then there are going to be ups and downs. I just felt that the author used a cheap way out of a love triangle. One that shocked the heck out of the me, and not in a good way. It was like she wanted to make Harper's flip flopping, and indecisiveness justified by taking one option away. I just felt it was a crummy way to do things and jerk the reader around. I stopped at that point and most likely will not continue to read the book. I NEVER leave a book incomplete. Even if I am really not feeling it, I hold out hope that it will get better. But I will not give anymore time to a book that I feel the author copped out of giving readers what they deserve. I also do not usually like spoilers ( so I feel bad giving one )but do really appreciate it when reviewers warn you so you can choose whether you want to know or ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
******************************************************SPOILER ALERT**************************************************************************

If you do not like love triangles, you will not like this book. I don't mind them. If you do not like weak, spineless, selfish, female leads, you will not like this book. Not my favorite, but certainly not a dealbreaker for me. If you do not enjoy falling for one of the love interests, and liking him despite his flaws( actually maybe because of them) just to have the author abruptly, and I mean ABRUPTLY, kill him off 58% into the book, you will not like this book. This was where the book became a problem for me, and why I am writing this review. As I mentioned, I am ok, with hurt, pain, and heartbreak, being part of a story. I have cried many times while reading, and loved those books. But this "tragedy" was uneccessary, unneeded, and a truly cheap ploy to wrap the story up neatly, and cheat the readers from something real. So very disappointed in the way this story turned out.

UPDATE: Ok. I have calmed down a bit since having the floor drop out from under me while reading this book. I decided to go back and finish the book, and by finish, I mean skim through the remaining 40%. I was not surprised to find out that the author did not redeem herself with the rest of the book. I want to clarify, that I don't hate this author. I might give another book by her a try. Might. As I mentioned above in my review, I did like the book before the author killed Chase. I think the main thing I had issues with before that point was Harper. I just didn't like her, or her actions. I mean some of them were just plain ridiculous. I kept thinking that maybe as the story went on, she would grow, and then I too would grow to like her. In Thoughtless, I didn't love Keira at first. But through Kellen and their relationship, I ended up really liking her in the second half of that book as well as in Effortless. Since I was only little more than halfway through Taking Chances, and it seemed that things were headed in the right direction, I felt that Harper had the chance to mature, and gain qualities that she didn't have, but needed. Instead the author killed Chase, the one that I think most people felt like Harper really loved, not to mention he was the father of her unborn baby. The rest of the book was spent tying everything in a neat little bow. Brandon( the other love interest ) is still madly in love with Harper, despite that she cheated on him and got pregnant. He steps in and becomes the father, marries Harper, and they live happily ever after. The author tries for a little more angst in the last half of the book, but it feels forced and fake. Brandon hurts Harper by continuing to fight. Oh did I forget to mention that he fights just like Travis in Beautiful Disaster? Uh huh. She leaves him for 5 seconds, but don't worry they work it out. I guess I just felt let down by this book. It started off strong, had a few flaws, but had the chance to be great. Instead it just took a nosedive and went in the opposite direction.
Since I don't usually review books, I thought I would list some that I have read in the last couple of months. It's hard to know if someone's review is helpful if you don't know what they usually read and like. And this my friends is why I don't review books. I just go on and on and on....
Fallen Trilogy
Mortal Instruments(all)
Clockwork Prince
Clockwork Angel
Beautiful Disaster
Point of Retreat
On the Island
Last Summer
Finding Home
Chasing Nikki
Sweet Gum Tree
Barely Breathing
Reason to Breathe
The Opportunist
My Heart for Yours
The Archers of Avalon(both)
While it Lasts
The Vincent Boys
The Vincent Brothers
Because of Low
Such a Rush
Beautiful Beings
Going Under
Between the Lines(all)
Sweet Evil
Blood Like Poison(all)
The Wild Ones
Avoiding Commitment
The Mighty Storm
Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Mocking Jay
Double Clutch
Junk Miles
Hush Hush
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl That Kicked The Hornet's Nest
Destiny Binds
Time Mends
A Great and Terrible Beauty(all)
My Blood Approves
Cross My Heart
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on September 16, 2012

Let me start by saying, I'm in a really bad mood right now and I finished the book 2 hours ago. I'm an avid reader, and I ALWAYS finish my books, even if they suck, I have to finish. This book however, after the 'big incident' I lost all interest. So Harper has 3 guys in love with her, her best friend, Chase and Brandon. Here's the thing, the author shoves her best friend out of the picture, so it turns into a love triangle with Chase and Brandon. I was rooting for Chase since the beginning of the book. He was the first guy introduced to us and he found a place in my sappy ol' heart. Harper being in love with both guys- which I must say, I don't think people can be in love with two guys, I think they can love two persons but not IN love. With that said, the author needed a way to remove one of the lovers, so she shoved him out as well. She pronounced Chase dead. By this point, with my mouth hitting the floor, I felt .... Anger... Frustration. I was pissed. I lost interest so I stopped reading. But then I thought well, she is pregnant with Chase's child, maybe she'll do something in remberance of him like name him after Chase or something. Nope, she names him after Brandon's dad,which was cool, no complaining. So I skimmed the rest of the book, which was about

The book needed more depth. And there was way toooo much going on, i read some of the comments to check if anyone was as pissed as me and some say the book could have been three different books, i totally agree. Secondly, the author should find a way to remove the characters without murdering them.

******Note to author: Usually when reading a romance, the first love interest, the hero of the book meets, is the one that usually sticks with the readers. He's the one we root for if another love interests happens to intervene. So when you allow us to fall in love with him ,Chase and then you kill him, we will be distraught, we will be unsatisfied . There are ways around this, I know, some authors have ways of mastering the love triangle fiasco, allowing us to fall in love with whosoever whenever, however, I wish I hadn't read this book. It broke my heart, especially the fact that I mourned longer than Harper did. I was still mourning as I finished the book or skimmed it. I'm mourning now as I write this review.

I felt like after Chase's death, the author tried to tie up all loose ends by fixing everything up to be a happy ending. Yea, no happy endings for me. I'm going now, to grab some Ben and Jerrys and mourn the death of Chase.
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on September 9, 2012
The cover drew me in and I didn't even read the synopsis before I bought it. For a $1.99, what did I have to lose? I have to say, I enjoyed the original ideas for this book better; Beautiful Disaster & Thoughtless. I had a really, really hard time making myself finish, and not only because the book is extremely long, but because of all the nonsense and complete unbelievability. I love books that consume me and that I can get lost in; this story consumed my thoughts for totally different reasons. There were some beautiful parts to read and also some parts that caused watery eyes but in no way did I want to sob and cry. A bunch of the "I love you so much, you're my entire life, what did I do to deserve you" was a bit over the top and caused more eye rolling that heart swooning. I felt the situation with Sir should have been explored more deeply. For such an important scene, it felt rushed and thrown to the side for all of the crying from the main character and cavity inducing sugary declarations of love. I'm torn because I wanted to like this book, and some parts I really did enjoy, but If I'm being honest, I'll probably not read it again.
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on September 11, 2012
Harper grew up an only child living with her father who is a Marine. He's a stoic man who never shows his love to his daughter, barely talks to her, and has asked her to call him "Sir." She can't wait to go off to college to live her life. She chooses a college in San Diego, CA where she will be living with Breanna, her dorm roommate and immediate best friend. The very first night, Breanna takes Harper to a party where she meets Chase, Breanna's brother. Harper is immediately attracted to his surfer boy good looks and tattoos. But she finds out right away that he's got a bad reputation for being a player. She then decides it would be best to stay away from him. Then, she meets Brandon, Chase's roommate, at lunch one day. Brandon is good looking with a shaved head, tattoos, and fights in underground MMA matches. There is instant attraction between these two. Brandon and Chase are total opposites. Brandon is sweet and a gentleman to Harper from the moment they meet. Chase on the other hand, is stand-offish and gives Harper a hard time by nicknaming her PG and Princess. He knows he's not good for her so he stays away from her which made it easier for Harper to decide to date Brandon instead of Chase. But, even though she is dating Brandon, she can't stop thinking about Chase and her attraction towards him continues to grow. AND THE DRAMA BEGINS.


Harper. I never understood what was so special with this girl. Was it her virgin status? Or the fact that she is naive and inexperienced? She never came across as strong or independent. More than anything, I thought she was self-absorbed and stupid. Her inner monologue over her feelings for both these guys was ridiculous. How can you say you love someone and want to spend the rest of your life with him and then turn around and cheat on him? For an inexperienced virgin, she sure did play these guys like a pro. It drove me crazy the way everyone coddled this girl and was so forgiven for all her many mistakes. Poor Harper and all her daddy issues! Ugh, what a load of crap.

Chase. I feel like I missed something in the story. I never understood what he saw in Harper. She was snippy with him right from the beginning. Was it the "hard to get syndrome" that he was so attracted to? She did play the victim quite often. Was that it? But, whether I understood this attraction towards her or not, he wanted her and he reformed his bad boy ways for her. With their growing attraction towards one another, they could no longer resist each other and end up sleeping together. Because of this one night together, they must both face the consequences. This part of the story really bothered me. Chase asks her to choose who she wants to be with. In her head, the obvious person would be with Brandon because he is the good guy who would never leave her. Lies, lies, and more lies. But when something unexpected happens and Harper can no longer keep her cheating ways a secret from Brandon, Harper breaks up with Brandon and is suddenly in a relationship with Chase. By this time, my head hurt.

Brandon. I liked Brandon right away. I thought the tattoos, the fighting, the sexy dimple were all extremely hot. I was also very attracted to his sweet and generous personality. I liked that he didn't play games. Unfortunately, his kind ways and honesty were all taken advantage of by Harper. I loathed the fact that he would've done anything for this girl! Once again, I don't understand the attraction towards Harper. There was nothing and I mean NOTHING special about her! What baffled me the most is why would Brandon still want to be with Harper after she cheats on him with Chase especially since she gave her virginity to Chase AFTER she tells Brandon she's not ready? And all this time she keeps saying she can see herself spending the rest of her life with Brandon. My head not only hurts at this point but I have whiplash from the back and forth ridiculousness. When Harper finally gets the chance to explain to Brandon why she cheated on him, her reasons made me laugh - they were so annoyingly stupid. Just admit it sister, YOU ARE SELFISH. I rooted for Brandon the whole time. But, by the second half of the book, I couldn't but help but think of him as Harper's door mat.

I had issues with Breanna and Chase's family. How they reacted to the unforeseen incident felt extremely unrealistic. Two months after the incident, they were pushing Harper into someone else's arms. The incident felt down-played and unimportant. I know what it feels like for something like that to happen and that's NOT how people act! It just felt like the author didn't know what to do with the story, so she threw that in there.

The last 60% of the book was boring and lagged quite a bit. It felt like one great big epilogue. Did the author really have to wrap up everyone's life into a nice and tidy bow? Every character got closure and it lasted way too long. It was so uninteresting that at least a 100 pages could've been cut out. I ended up skipping some chapters to get to the end and still didn't feel like I missed anything because there actually was an epilogue that pretty much explained everything all over again. *headdesk*

I really enjoy mature young adult stories and that's why I chose to read this book. I liked the description and thought that if it was anything like Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless that I would like it. As you can tell, this story did not work for me. I get it. People cheat and it's possible to fall in love with two people at the same time. I actually really like emotional and complex love triangles. But, this story felt so far-fetched and completely unrealistic that I could not connect with the characters on any level. Not to mention, the heroine was completely shallow and unlikeable.

My final thought when I finished this book...if I had to hear "I love you so much" one more time, I was going put my Kindle through a wall!
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on April 18, 2015
Oh.Mi.Gawd! Get your tissues ready and brace yourself for an emotional roller coaster ride with lots of twists, turns, and whiplash! This book has it all! Happy, sad, angry, depressed. I don't think I have ever read a book as emotionally touching as this! I mean, I don't cry easily, and I had huge crocodile tears pouring out of my eyes MULTIPLE times during this book! There were also many times I physically yelled at Harper for her decisions. I wanted to scream, throw my kindle at the wall, then scoop it back up and keep reading. I couldn't put it down!
Harper is very easy to relate to as a woman. Bandon and Chase are both lovable men. When the choice comes down to Which Man Do I Choose? I would have just as hard a time as Harper!
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on September 4, 2012
Reviewed by Taryn for My Secret Romance Book Reviews

I'm an emotional wreck right now. I think I'm going to need therapy after reading this book. I am devastated and distraught with too many emotions that I can hardly think straight.

I don't even know where to begin. This book was a bittersweet find for me. It has everything I love in my angsty reads- and the one thing I hate.

Raised by her strict Military single father, Harper grew up around jar heads her entire life. She doesn't have a normal relationship with her father, she never dated, never had girlfriends and surely did not wear make up. Wanting to experience a normal life outside of the Military base, she heads to a college hundreds of miles away.

Harper quickly finds herself in a relationship with college student Brandon, an attractive underground fighter. Much to her demise, she is fighting her growing attraction to her roommates brother, Chase. Chase is...well he's Chase. He's got that come hither look about him and every girl wants him. He's a bad boy to say the least and you can't help but find yourself drawn to him and every page his name is on.

Life for Harper is seemingly going great for her. She's doing well in school, has a wonderful best friend and a boyfriend who is head over heels in love with her. She even became an honorary member of Bree's family. A family who opened their opens to her with unconditional love which is something she never had as a child.

But one night an unforeseen event will change everything. Their lives will be irrevocably turned upside down with something no one saw coming. Nothing will ever be normal for Harper again.

This book really did a number on me. I haven't been this hurt since reading The Reluctant Dom or as mad as I was when I read The Opportunist. It was like a mixture of both and I find myself stuck in between. I wanted to cry and curse every name in the book at the same time! I love this book yet I hate it so much. I guess when a book leaves this much of an impression on your you know it's good. I know I had a few issues with the rocky beginning but that all went out the window once this book picked up. I could think of nothing else but what was happening in the story. It rocked my world in so many ways!

There were a few parts of this book that came as a shock to me- they will for anyone, but the biggest one is one I never saw coming. I don't think I will ever be able to get over it. I can understand why the author did it, but damn it hurt like hell! I cried and then I felt like screaming on the top of my lungs. I shed tears up until the very end with the beautiful lily scene. It broke my heart.

In case you're wondering, there is a happily every after with this book. It just may not be the one you want.

I'm not sure how I could possibly rate this book. Some thoughts while I'm reading:
*Only 8% in? How big is this book? I feel like I've read so much already.
*Could use some editing.
*This feels like a mixture of Beautiful Disaster and Thoughtless with a slight twist. Very closely related storyline though.
*Love the tattoo Chase gave Harper
*Well, I didn't see that little bump in the road coming! But I'm loving all the drama it will bring! Yay!
*O.M.G....oh dear god...
*This is not the twist I was talking about. This is a heart shattering twist! I think I'm going to be sick.
*How...what? HOW! What just happened? Did I just read that correctly? Oh I must have since I feel like I am dying inside now!
*Why! WHY! WHY!
*I don't want to finish this book now...I'm too scared!
*How can there be a happily ever after? Oy. I need to finish this book. I don't care if I'm up all night. I will finish it!
*It's so hard to be happy when I feeling I am dying inside. I want to be happy for Harper...but I'm struggling to find that happy place for her.
*I don't know what to say about the last's difficult to read. Every little thing reminds me of what could have been or what they had. His smile, his snarky comments, his undying love, the expressions on his makes me want to cry again. I'm trying to move on, and I have, but I can't find the right happy place. It's a melancholy sort of ending for me.

Favorite line-

Will post later when I can think straight again.
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on September 4, 2012
If you like books like Avoiding Commitment, Beautiful Disaster, and Thoughtless... this is a great read!

This book started out as a love triangle. Harper meets Chase and Brandon within the first week of college. She is attracted to both and actually starts dating Brandon. But Chase and her have this undeniable chemistry! Did I mention that Chase is her roomates brother and also roomates with BRANDON? So their paths are constantly crossing. Brandon is an underground fighter and is an amazing boyfriend to Harper. But Harper keeps developing feelings for Chase(bad boy, tats, womanizer) as her relationship progresses with Brandon... yes it is a pretty crazy love triangle!

It gets even better, one night she finally gives into temptation with Chase and that is where the real drama begins! She was with Brandon for 4 months, never giving herself completely to him but then in one night gives herself to Chase!

I don't want to write too much more about this book because it will give away SO much. Be prepared to cry. This book is great, but I could not believe how it turned out. Not what I expected at all.
Great story and the author did such a wonderful job with character development! Look forward to more books from you Molly!!
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on September 13, 2012
This had such high ratings I gave it a chance and I'm sorry I did. I absolutely despised the main character Harper after the first few chapters. While the author wanted us to believe she was this fabulous girl that all guys wanted she never developed the character to make that even remotely believable. I thought Harper was selfish and self centered with no redeeming qualities. This certainly was a rollercoaster of emotions but was not an enjoyable ride. The relationships between the characters was poorly developed and not even remotely believable.
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on March 19, 2015
Normally I wait until after the tears have stopped flowing before I write a review, it kind of helps with the whole seeing the screen thing but I am almost compelled to do this right now. I just previously read another of Molly McAdams’ series when my self-proclaimed book bestie Gabrielle (although she really is) almost bullied me into reading Taking Chances saying that this will shred me but I have to read it. So I gave in pretty quickly and said okay let’s see what all the fuss is about. I wish I could share my text messages that I sent her during my reading of Taking Chances, but I will spare you my sometime curse word creative b!$#&ing while at the same time couldn’t put it down messages about my feelings while reading.

We have Harper, Chase and Brandon in a love triangle that has your emotions on high alert from almost the start. Chase is this a$$hole who can get under Harper’s skin like no other but she is falling in love with the bad boy while she is in a relationship with Brandon, the good guy who even though I tried to hate him because I was team Chase from the get go I just couldn’t. (Bite me Gabrielle I know when you read this you will say some smart a$$ comment.) We watch both relationships begin and end because of feelings that can’t be denied aren’t and hearts are broken. I am warning you right here and now you will need boxes (yes boxes damn it) of tissues because something happens that not only makes you violently throw your kindle one minute but has you so broken down the next that you have to re-read what you just read to make sure it actually says what it does. He!! here come the tears again just thinking about it.

Now, am I conflicted about events that happen later in the book? Yes I am. Did it make me hate the book? No it didn’t and do you know why? Because it still made me feel all those heart wrenching feelings I had felt from the start, but just for another reason this time. I want to read Stealing Harper right now to get Chase’s POV but I am waiting because I am so emotionally distraught and drained from Taking Chances that I need to go into it with fresh emotions.

I want to say thank you Gabrielle for making me read this book and I still love you despite what I said to you in my texts when my emotions were so high from what I was reading. I also want to say that Molly McAdams, d@mn women you know how to totally destroy your readers and have the talented ability to make us feel so many different emotions that we just don’t know how to turn off those emotions when we are finished with the book.
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on September 9, 2012
I really don't want to spoil this book for anyone, so I'll only refer to the two guys as Guy 1 and Guy 2. I really wanted to give this book 4 or even 5 stars but I just couldn't.

I would have given this book another star, but I feel like Harper ended up with the wrong man (Guy 2). It's clear to me who had Harper's heart, who she couldn't live without. From the very first moment. Reading the book, you can just feel the chemistry and passion between Harper and Guy 1. It was like a force of nature, magnetic and irresistible. Sparks just flew when they were in the room with each other, and they were both helpless to deny what they felt for each other. It was like love at first sight, soul mates meeting kind of thing. On the other hand, with Guy 2, while Harper does have an attraction and love for him, it's not quite the same soul-mate vibe I was getting from Harper and Guy 1. It was more of a steady and safe love for Harper to be with Guy 2 because Guy 1 was the complete opposite and she could never completely trust her heart and love to him. I never was quite able to believe Harper truly loved Guy 2 like she did Guy 1. Her behavior and actions also confirm this, in the way she treats Guy 2 (horribly I might add, so horrible and he still is steady strong, her rock never leaving her, forgiving and loving her despite how she hurts him!). It was almost like she was afraid to completely trust her heart and love to Guy 1, when she really really wanted to. If she had, there was no way Guy 2 would even be in the picture.

And the way the author made this happen, who Harper ended up with, was just a little bit too convenient (Harper never did get to make any difficult decision between the two of them), not to mention it just blew me away and made me bawl my eyes out. Yeah, a very bittersweet ending, and despite enjoying her story (it's told from Harper's POV), I couldn't stop thinking to myself that Harper ended up with the WRONG man. And the author made it final in a way that was impossible for Harper to do anything about it. From the way Harper's relationship with the other guy (Guy 1) ended, there was no closure of her feelings for him. If he were still around in her life, there would be no HEA with Guy 2 that's for sure.

In my mind, if certain events hadn't ever happened, I'm sure Harper would be with Guy 1 for her almost HEA. I really don't know what to think of this book. The fact I'm still thinking about this book even after reading it, leaving a lasting impression, it's still a good book. Just disappointed and sad about the "what if" that you, the reader, will always have about the ending. "What if..."

Anyways, despite my misgivings about the ending and who Harper eventually ended up with, I would still recommend this book. Just make sure you have a box of tissues handy.
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