While I normally dislike books where there is dishonesty and cheating, Chance Encounters by J. Sterling was different. What do you do when, even though you love your boyfriend so much, and he is the perfect mate for you, but you bump into a handsome stranger and have an instant connection like one you’ve never had before? Can you forget that sizzle and get on with your life? Or will you always wonder if perhaps you missed your soulmate?
I can TOTALLY relate to this book! I met my now husband of over 20 years when I was on vacation. I had a perfect (on paper) boyfriend in college who I loved. But when I met my husband, BAM!!!! Sparks flew! (I had no idea what I was missing out on!) Still, it is hard to give up a certain, perfect sounding future for the unknown. Especially an unknown that others don’t understand.
Caroline has a great life, a great boyfriend, and had no questions about her future. She loves her boyfriend and he is a great guy. Then on a cross-country plane ride, Caroline meets Jackson. Immediately they connect, in a way that neither has ever felt before. Caroline tries to go back to her life with Clay, but can’t help but stay in touch with Jackson, who lives on the other coast. They keep in touch via text, calls and e-mail; though Caroline doesn’t technically cheat on Clay, cheating of the heart isn’t much different.
Caroline is scared. Her life is mapped out. She saw her future, knew what she wanted and everything was great. All of her family and friends loved Clay and would never understand why she would ever leave him. Caroline is also really nice, with a good heart. The last thing she wants to do is hurt anyone, but in being like this, she only hurts herself.
“Sometimes other hearts have to break in order to keep yours intact”
I read this book in one sitting. Though it sounds like a messy, dark, emotional book, it wasn’t at all. It was a light, enjoyable read that often had me smiling, despite the subject matter. I loved all the characters, and Jackson was totally swoon-worthy.
I loved that the author never felt the need to vilify Clay in order to make Caroline look better. Sometimes, no matter how great the guy is, he isn’t “the one”. Yes, sometimes I got mad that she was still going on talking to one while living with the other, but I understood. How do you leave your perfect future, and a guy you truly love for the unknown?
- Loved the initial meeting on the plane.
- Couldn’t put it down.
- I loved every character.
- Bailey, Caroline’s BFF was truly a great friend.
- The story was respectfully told without making anyone the bad guy.
- A happy read despite being emotional (does that even make sense?)
- Good epilogue.
- The book is classified as YA. Why? The characters are way beyond college aged.
Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars for story, 1 H for heat. There was no sex in this, but lots of chemistry.
Definitely recommended for a summer beach read, and it’s another great indie author find.
*Thank you, J. Sterling for sending me an ARC of this book to review. I was not compensated in any way for this review, and do not know Ms. Sterling personally.