barely-a-chanceTitle:  Bearly A Chance
Series:  Guardians of Espen #1
Author:  Alana Hart & Sophia Barron
Published:  September 20, 2016
My Rating:  4 stars
Source:  Kindle Unlimited
Cover Description:

His nature tore them apart. Could it be the key to a second chance at love? Benjamin Torben is in love, and he’s ready to get down on one knee.

Until fate gets in the way.

His inner beast is unleashed with iron claws and a will of iron. Struggling to control it, Ben bolts, leaving his dream girl stranded, not knowing he’s already given her something even more important.

Aria’s a single mom trying to carve out a good life for her daughter from the wreckage of her past, but Ben’s greatest gift becomes Aria’s curse when baby Faith turns out to be her daddy’s girl in more ways than one.

Aria panics and does the sensible thing – she runs home, only to learn it is not the safe haven it used to be. The sleepy town of Espen, Minnesota keeps it’s secrets a little too well. Aria’s discoveries and choices will affect not only her, but the whole town and the world beyond.

When Ben returns to Espen he must convince Aria to accept his hidden nature or lose her forever. Can they challenge fate and the gods themselves for a second chance at love?

Read on for my thoughts on Bearly A Chance.

Usually I would have considered Bearly A Chance to be a Shifter Romance… but there is so much magic and magical beings packed into this story that it really is more than a Shifter story.  Definitely a lot of magic going on here.

On a night that should have been perfect for Ben and Aria, fate steps in with a wake up call that leaves them both devastated.  Aria has a precious secret she wanted to share with Ben, he had a question that would seal their destiny.  Except when Aria returned to their table where they’d just been celebrating Ben’s twenty first birthday – he was no where in sight.  She was left alone, deserted by the man she’d loved who now would never know the precious secret that Aria took away with her that night.

Three years later, Aria has returned to Espen with her toddler daughter, Faith.  She is scared, and troubled about Faith’s abilities.  The only person she trusts for help, guidance and unconditional love is her Gran.  She needs answers… but she’s not going to like what she learns.

Ben’s dash away from Aria and his future that night was beyond necessary.  His sudden discovery of his own hidden nature took him totally by surprise and he would not risk harming the woman he loved to this new part of himself that he didn’t understand or trust.  Now she’s back and she’s brought someone with her.  Ben doesn’t understand what has happened, but he’s not going to let Aria go again.  She deserves answers and he’ll try to give them to her and hope for forgiveness.

Bearly A Chance is the first story in the Guardians of Espen series.  At first glance, this is an intriguing Shifter Romance – but wait, there is so much more to this small town and its inhabitants.  Unbeknownst to Aria, the little town of Espen is a place full of magic and danger.  Before she discovers those answers she desperately seeks, Aria will face witchcraft, magic, ghosts, guardians and even the gods themselves.  Her little Faith is much more than a Shifter.  And Aria is much more than she ever realized.  A mother’s love for her child is not something to be trifled with.  While danger surrounds them, Aria and Ben will do everything in their power to protect Faith – and meet their own destiny.

There is a lot of world building in this first story.  Of course, I expect that but I have to admit there is a lot tossed at the reader very quickly.  The delivery of one discovery after another builds the growing sense of danger to all of the characters.  There will be surprises along the way.  And while Ben and Aria get their happy ending, the story concludes with a touch of apprehension.  Which is a perfect hook for the next book in this series, His Ghost To Bear.

I enjoyed Bearly A Chance and will continue the series.  There is a lot of magic involved in this story, so don’t be fooled into thinking this is a typical Shifter Romance in spite of the cover and title… Magic abounds here so be on the lookout for the unexpected.

Available for the Kindle