Bait and Switch

Duets 77

The Misconception

One Hot Chance by Darlene Gardner
(Harl. Tempt. #926, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-69126-2
One Hot Chance is about two conservative residents of Washington, D.C. that find themselves in sexy Savannah during the yearly St. Patrick’s celebration. Tiffany Albright, a lobbyist, is sick of all the lawyers and politicians that she keeps meeting. She wants to meet a “free spirit” - and for Tiffany, the wilder the better! When she first sees Chance McMann playing the saxophone in the middle of the street, Tiffany realizes that this is her opportunity…she’s going to pick up this gorgeous street musician for a weekend fling.

While Tiffany is trying to convince and pump herself up for her first no-strings-attached sexual experience, it seems that Chance is having the worst weekend of his life. Having traveled to Savannah to do a favor for his father, Chance gets stuck in Savannah without clothes when the airport loses his luggage, a big dirt stain on his clothing smells mysteriously like dog poop, and the last t-shirt available in Savannah has “Kiss me, I’m Irish” written across the chest. But, when Tiffany tries to seduce him because she believes he is a free spirit, who is he to argue? Even if it means that Chance has to ride a motorcycle, crash a party, and help Tiffany realize that a once-conservative D.C. lawyer can be her forever good-time-guy.

Tiffany spends most of the book complaining about D.C. men and their lack of spontaneity, and she becomes somewhat annoying when she can’t seem to decide if she really wants to have a fling or not. Perhaps this is the author’s way of showing us that Tiffany is truly a moral human being, but come on Tiffany! I’d rather have a decisive character than one who is forever contemplating the morality of her sexual choices.

Chance, on the other hand, is a wonderful character and Darlene Gardner should be proud to have authored him. He’s strong, masculine, intelligent, and sweet all at the same time. Perhaps it’s the way I tend to generalize about the male gender and how they sometimes have the reputation of being single-minded when it comes to sex, once Tiffany propositions Chance at their first meeting, Chance’s brain turns to one thing and one thing only. But when Chance realizes that Tiffany may not be ready for the fling she’s been asking for, Chance is more than just a good-time guy, he’s a sensitive understanding “for all time” kind of guy. Chance shows her that there is more to letting her hair down than just having a weekend fling.

I’d suggest picking up a copy of Darlene Gardner’s One Hot Chance to anyone who loves a great male protagonist, then you can find out if Tiffany realizes that the man for her may not be the man of her dreams.

--Nadia Cornier

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