Taking A Chance

by Emjay Haze

Taking a Chance - Emjay Haze
Editions:Paperback - Second Edition: $ 10.99
ISBN: 978-1947139220
Pages: 237
Kindle - Second Edition
ISBN: 978-1-947139-21-3
Pages: 237

Recent college graduate, Ethan Moore, flies to San Francisco for a job interview with an advertising firm. That evening, he goes to a gay club where meets a gorgeous man who seduces him, but leaves his hotel room in the morning with only a note. A few weeks later, Ethan begins his new job and discovers that the man he slept with is his boss, Chance Harlow. He's fallen for the playboy, but wants to keep their relationship strictly professional. His efforts fail miserably as Ethan keeps succumbing to Chance’s advances.

Ethan is selected to accompany Chance to Bali for a huge account. He will be spending ten days at a luxurious resort with the man he's fallen in love with. Chance has made his intentions known, and he won't pressure him, but if Ethan doesn't want him, there are plenty of men who will. Ethan struggles with this until one evening they are in the hot tub with two hot swingers who want to play. He flees after watching Chance make out with one of the men. Will Ethan finally give in to the playboy, or did his actions lose him the man he loves?

Excerpt:

The taxi driver stopped in front of a plain brick building. A large gold plate that read
Club Cruze in bold, plain lettering adorned the tall, wooden door. Ethan wouldn’t have
known this was a club at all except for the flamboyant boys and girls dressed like
Hollywood starlets waiting in line for the doors to open. He glanced down at his own
clothing and felt inadequate. Maybe this is a bad idea.
“That’ll be twelve fifty,” said the driver.
“Oh, yeah.” Ethan reached for his wallet, pulled out his credit card, and slid it
through the machine in the front of his seat. It even calculated the tip. He finished the
transaction and put his wallet back in his pocket. “Thank you.”
The man grunted good-bye as Ethan opened the door and slipped out of the
backseat. As he shut the door, he looked over the sea of bodies again and changed his
mind. I can’t do this.

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He turned around, intending to climb back into the cab, but caught it speeding off,
leaving him stranded. He looked back at the daunting line and sighed as he walked to
the end. He seemed to be the only person alone. Most were in groups of two or three.
Some were kissing, others chattering, but everyone seemed excited to get inside. Ethan
thought he might puke. He pulled out his phone to text Mark but stopped himself. He
could do this. Mark would tell him to do it.
The line moved quickly, and before long he was inside the doors and immediately
blasted by the pounding of the music. His eyes widened as rainbow strobes danced over
his head to the beat, giving the room an eerie glow. It both excited and terrified. He
spotted a long bar to the left, with strings of twinkling lights hanging across the top, a
huge dance floor in the center, and another bar to his right.
The bouncer stopped him at the entrance, checked his ID, and gave him a thumbsup
and a wink. Ethan smiled as he brushed past the large, intimidating bear. He had no
idea what gay bars were like at home, but this one was incredibly flashy. He thought
back to what the front desk clerk had said to him. They’re going to pounce on you. No
one paid any attention to him at all. Was he relieved or disappointed?
Ethan spotted an empty stool at the end of the bar closest to the dance floor and
headed straight for it. He sat and released a deep sigh. Now what? He was sure he
looked as uncomfortable as he felt. He came here to have some fun after a long day, but
now that he was here, he’d lost the small amount of confidence he’d had earlier. What if
no one talked to him? God, what if someone did?
The bartender acknowledged him with a nod. He was tall, muscular, and rudely
handsome in an intimidating sort of way, not unlike the bouncer. After serving another
customer, the Herculean man made his way over to Ethan and set a napkin in front of
him. “What can I get you?” he shouted over the booming sound system.
“Vodka tonic with a twist,” Ethan replied. That sounded better than a beer. He’d
drunk a few at a frat party last year and they went down pretty smooth. “Thank you.”
The bartender nodded. “Never seen you here before. You new in town?” he asked,
setting a tall glass with ice on the bar. He turned around, reached for a bottle of vodka,
poured it into a small metal cup and then drizzled it over the ice. Ethan watched him
take what looked like a hose and squeeze what was probably the tonic into the glass.
“I’m just visiting for a couple days—from Iowa.” Why did he just tell him that?
The guy picked up a long, curled lemon peel and swirled it into in the drink. Then he
placed a drink stirrer inside the glass and set it on the napkin. Ethan was impressed. The
frat guys just threw in sliced lemons, letting them float in the pitcher.
“I’m Ethan,” he added.
“Nice to meet you,” the bartender grunted. “Let me know if I can get you anything
else.” He walked away to serve another customer.
Ethan picked up his glass and downed the liquid courage in a few gulps before
flagging the bartender for another. Feeling a little more relaxed, he swiveled his stool
toward the packed dance floor and watched the sweaty bodies grinding to the music. His
gaze settled on a couple with their limbs intertwined, moving as one. Their eyes focused
on one another as they touched. Ethan watched the explicit moves, getting a little turned
on. So, this is what a gay bar is like.
While the couple gyrated on the floor, practically humping each other, Ethan
wondered why he sat in a bar in a strange city a long way from home with a semi-hard
boner, drinking alone. Pathetic. Taking his eyes off the public display, Ethan shifted his
gaze to the entrance of the club.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Maria Siopis on Maria Siopis wrote:

Chance and Ethan’s one time sexual adventure becomes the defining moment that has the potential to keep them together if they only let their hearts decide. Chance is a pleasure seeker, and sexually promiscuous while Ethan is a shy man who values ethnics. Two dissimilar characters meet by chance and the rest becomes history. Are they going to survive their cosmic differences? Are they going to overcome their personal morals about working relationships and cross the line? I certainly hoped that their catastrophic mix endured. I would not reveal the outcome. Read it but keep in mind that most of the sexual scenes are graphic and plenty. Ninestar Press provided this ARC, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to review it

Freya on Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews wrote:

Recently graduated Ethan looks for a job and finds one in San Francisco. Unknown to him, when he visits for his interview, he sleeps with his future boss. Chance goes to clubs to pick ‘em up, do ‘em and leave ‘em. BUT, there’s something different about Ethan, and for the first time, he snuggles and leaves the guy his number. It’s not until Ethan turns up for his first day of work that Chance realises who he’s hired.

Ethan is a small-town boy, exceptional at his job, but innocent inside and out.

Chance is a man who likes what he likes, knows what he wants, and goes after it. Having been hurt years before, he’s become a player and a master of persuasion, with no intention of changing. Although, his exterior appearance belies what’s going on underneath. He seduces Ethan. He can’t leave him alone, which puts him at war with his player ways.

Ethan is in a world where he finds everything incredible. Regardless of his burning attraction to Chance, being the new boy, Ethan backs off wanting to keep their relationship more professional. So, it isn’t much of a surprise that Chance goes elsewhere. Then again, Ethan’s reasoning is sound, too. Both men make a good case for their actions.

Taking A Chance is a romp of a story, with an emotional journey. Chance isn’t as callous as the blurb makes out. If anything, I connected to his character more than Ethan’s. He’s the player with a heart.

Told in the third person from two POV’s, the small cast makes it an easy story to follow. The early chapters are littered with conflicting feelings between our two main characters which made riveting reading. When these boys get together, air conditioning wouldn’t have made much of a difference to the temperature in the room.

There is emotion, drama, and conflicts are short lived, which I’m sure will appeal to many. Personally, I prefer my drama/angst to have more of a punch and be drawn out a bit more. There’s a few whiplash 180’s on some actions and thoughts. Several phrases, too, were on repeat, which made some scenes have a Brady Bunch feeling. I also found the later chapters didn’t hold my attention the same as the earlier ones, mainly because they were a clean-up of issues, dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. After leaving home, I wondered about Ethan’s family and best friend as all seemed amicable. Though I suspect including them in later chapters would add a side distraction to the main story. To this end, I congratulate the author on keeping the focus on Ethan and Chance.

Having said all that, I was entertained. Taking A Chance has some truly sweet and incredibly hot moments. It also leaves no questions unanswered between the two and no secrets hidden.


About the Author

Emjay Haze is a Pennsylvania girl living in a Virginia world, growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs and moving to Northern Virginia to follow her now husband of twenty-plus years. She has two kids in college, a year-old puppy named Max, a black-and-white cat named Tux, a gecko named Rex, a yellow tang called Reggie, and we hear the eels are coming this week.

The family pastime is baseball, specifically the Nationals. She’s also a huge Redskins fans and loves classic rock. Emjay graduated with a degree in Creative Writing in 2015 after realizing it was the only thing she really wanted to do.

She has a wide and diverse work history in the fields of travel, hotel management, high-tech communications, web development, real estate, and the nonprofit health care industry where she has held positions such as travel agent, hotel concierge, web programmer, Realtor, account manager, and many, many others, giving her a varied and unique set of experiences that she draws upon in her stories and characters.

Emjay fell in love with the m/m romance genre after discovering the world of fanfiction several years ago and hasn’t looked back. Her family keeps asking when she’ll write something they can read, but she’s still having too much fun with her boys. Her goal is to broaden the minds of those who might not normally pick up a gay romance because it’s more about the person than the sexuality. She’ll take you on a roller-coaster journey, but you’ll always get a happy ending.


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