Monday, August 22, 2011

Chance by Grace Lennox (Jennifer Fulton)

Publisher:         Bold Strokes Books

Should a writer only write about things that she knows or has experienced?  That is a question that is frequently discussed, with varying opinions.  The answer is not necessarily, but, if a writer is going to venture into an area that is unknown, the reader might have to expect a book that is thin in some places.  Such is the case with Chance by Grace Lennox.  What is confusing is to read other reviews and wonder if the reviewers are really discussing this book or if they are writing about the author because they know that Lennox is really an alter ego for Jennifer Fulton.  Even the synopsis on the Bold Strokes Books web site doesn't really indicate the direction that this book takes.  The blurb on the back of the book does get closer to the story.

Chantelle (Chance) Delaney is a young lady with issues in her life.  Her job in a lesbian bookstore is a dead end, her romantic life is dormant and she's the adopted daughter of hippies who have doted on her, but she has questions about her birth mother.  Her life doesn't seem to be heading anywhere and she needs to change that.  Everything seems to spring into Chance's life as a surprise.  She leaves the bookstore to go into dog grooming, for which she has no training, but no one seems to mind.  Through that she stumbles into a job in the all woman rock band Virgin Blessing where she becomes the lead singer despite the fact that she really can't sing.  And, of course, they end up with a No. 1 song thanks to a woman Chance met in another very strange situation.  She agreed to help a gay friend fool his family into thinking that they were getting married, only to have the friend and his cousin use her for a different agenda.  Chance has a night of exhilarating sex with the cousin Layla, convinced that she has found The One, only to be betrayed the next morning and dumped by Layla, who later turns out to be a major song writer.  If there aren't enough threads in this to perplex you yet, Chance then plunges into the world of a rock star with access to easy women, easy drugs and a startling romance at the end.  And the discovery of Chance's natural mother and the situation involving her birth tops everything off.

Chance is not a badly written book.  Jennifer Fulton doesn't write badly.  There do seem to be gaps in the story though.  It's as if there was a framework and the story needed to be gone through one more time and more details added, with story lines tied together better.  The story is a readable one, but not one that draws you back to the book with an intense interest to find out what is going to happen next.  Whether or not this is because Lennox (Fulton) wrote about a lifestyle and industry she is not very familiar with would make an interesting conversation.

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