Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1)
Title: Chasing Chance: Gilcrest University Guys Book One
Author: M.E. Parker
Release Date: March 17, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Sports
Page Count: 175
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Read book blurb here
THE MORE YOU KNOW (shooting star... RAINBOW): The author notes: "Chasing Chance" is the first book in the Gilcrest University Guys series. It’s a full-length, “friends to lovers” romance novel. It has “coming out” and “first-time gay” themes, is stocked full of STEAM, heartache, and laughter, and it has a guaranteed happy ending. The series will follow the love stories of four college friends. "Chasing Chance" is the first of two books that will tell Andy and Chance’s love story. Look for book two, "Catching Chance," to come out next month!" Be aware that we aren't getting Andy and Chance's complete story in "Chasing Chance" and the ending is up-in-the-air and incomplete.
I must admit that I love the best-friends-to-lovers trope and the first part of this book is sweet as 6-year-old Chance and Andy become best friends and have a great childhood that includes camping together and building a great tree house that Chance designs (he's always been interested in becoming an architect). We get alternating POVs here and through a series of flashbacks see how good things are between the two boys ... until they aren't.
Chance's father is a minister who preaches that homosexuality is a perversion and Chances takes the easier road by denying his sexuality and playing the role of the perfect son / starting quarterback while dating a sweet girl who plays on giving him her virginity the night of their prom. Chance is more than a bit of an asshat when he completely ghosts Andy for their last year of high school, and even though they both end up at Gilcrest University, they don't run in the same circles. Until they meet again in an incredibly improbably scene and they discover their friendship is still as strong as ever, plus a sizzling sexual component.
While I found the plot entertaining, so much of THIS book is just setting the stage for the NEXT book in the series by introducing characters and setting. For example, we meet Andy's roommate Cameron and their friends Ben and Jory who I assume will be the MCs in upcoming books, and it appears that Cameron's story is happening concurrently with "Chasing Chance" as he is mysteriously taking calls in another room and seems to be up to something. But my pet peeve is that nothing is really resolved between Chance and Andy as the book ends suddenly (in mid-sentence) as they are headed home for Christmas break. The first chapter of the next book serves as an epilogue of sorts, but I really dislike the way the author choose to conclude this book.
I've giving "Chasing Chance" 3.5 stars because I like the plot, find the characters interesting, want to learn more about Chance and Andy's romance and relationship, and I look forward to getting Cameron, Ben and Jory's stories in future books. The "ending" did not work for me, and I would have liked more focus on Chance and Andy and advancing their relationship. But, as always, I realize other readers may not feel the same way, so give this one a read and let me know what you think!