2 stars

Historical Romance Review: Chance the Winds of Fortune by Laurie McBain

Chance the Winds of Fortune, Laurie McBain, Avon, 1980, Tom Hall cover art

SPOILER ALERT ⚠

2 stars

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Chance the Winds of Fortune A Disappointing Sequel

Chance the Winds of Fortune is the sequel to Laurie McBain‘s Moonstruck Madness, a romance about a gender-bending highwayman (girl) who falls for an arrogant, scarred Duke, notorious for his dueling skills. I LOVED Moonstruck Madness… The follow-ups to that wonderful book about their daughter, Rhea Claire, Chance the Winds of Fortune & Dark Before the Rising Sun, though…uggh.

Please forgive my bluntness. They’re too long, boring, and stink. Even McBain’s tepid first outing, Devil’s Desire, was better than these.

The two sequels books combine to over 1000 pages, telling the tale of a vanilla-bland daughter of the protagonists of a much more compelling story. Perhaps if McBain had combined both novels into one 700 page epic, I would have found more enjoyment out of the romance.

If you take Chance the Wind of Fortune as a historical adventure, this read might not be so bad. Perspective matters. However, this was not marketed as Historical Fiction, but a Historical Romance, which made all the difference to me.

The Plot

Dante Leighton is titled lord turned pirate. Nefarious deeds have resulted in his having to leave behind his life in England as the Marquis of Jacobi. Now Dante and his crew are after lost gold that’s said to be found in a sunken Spanish ship.

Rhea Claire Dominick is the daughter of Lucien and Sabrina, the hero and heroine of Moonstruck Madness. Returning to this saga is Lucien’s cousin, who vows revenge upon Lucien and his family for killing her brother. Her machinations result in Rhea getting kidnapped.

After a long series of tedious events, Rhea ends up on Dante’s ship, and that’s when the adventure begins.

Oh, did I forget to mention that in this 500+ page tome, Rhea and Dante don’t meet until well over halfway through it! 100 pages, I could have tolerated, but that was way too much exposition to get to the meaty parts. Their romance is maybe 1/5 max of this book.

Chance the Winds of Fortune is one of those pirate books where the entire crew is filled with softies who adore the baby-ish, innocent violet-eyed heroine, Rhea, who farts potpourri. Just as in Moonstruck Madness, there’s a treasure hunt for gold, but the real treasure is true love. *Sigh*

Things do get better at the end with Rhea and Dante’s romance, but at that point, I barely cared. It did bump my rating up from 1 1/2 stars to 2, so bully for that.

Final Analysis of Chance the Winds of Fortune

I have read  Dark Before the Rising Sun, the final book in the series, although it will be a while before a review comes out. Life’s too short to dwell on things you don’t enjoy.

My apologies for sounding like a grouch. It’s that I was so enamored by Moonstruck Madness, I wanted to experience another thrill like it. Perhaps Moonstruck Madness was an aberration for Laurie McBain. Or maybe her novels are fine, and it’s just me. I do have weirdly perverse tastes in books.

The Tom Hall covers lured me in. They often did, as my bookshelves can attest. Avon knew what they were doing, having him illustrate so many covers. That man’s art could sell a pamphlet, or convince readers that anything featuring his dazzling work had to be just as wonderful.

I seem to be a rare dissenter when it comes to negative reviews for Chance the Winds of Fortune, therefore, as always, take my opinion for what it’s worth. (Apparently less than .01 cent a review, so click on more ads, please.😁)

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

2 replies »

  1. Thanks, Introvert Reader. Currently I’m reading “Moonstruck Madness”. It was your review on this blog that persuaded me. And I’m loving it!

    But as for its sequels, well, I’ll take your word for it! I don’t have to find out for myself whether they’re duds.

    IMHO, a story can have many weaknesses, but I’ll enjoy it as long as it does what it’s supposed to do. In the case of romance fiction, this means it should present the reader with an emotionally-engaging romantic relationship. If it doesn’t, it fails. At least with me. No matter what else the story has going for it.

    It sounds like “Chance the Winds of Fortune” contains little romance. And about as much “what else”!

    • I will say for what little romance there was in CtWoF, it was well-done. It simply took too much time to get there.

      You write that you can enjoy as story as long as it does what it’s supposed to do. Well, this book failed on that count, as there were many loose threads that remained at the end of this epic doorstopper. It was a story that left me hanging, not unlike the modern cliffhanger romance series published today. If anyone has the time and patience to read a 1,000 pages of a love story, more power to them, but 500 pages is roughly
      my limit.

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