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TAKE A CHANCE ON ME is a novella & it's Book 1 in Marilyn Brant’s Mirabelle Harbor series. This book and ALL of the contemporary romances in this series can be enjoyed as stand-alone stories.

Welcome to Mirabelle Harbor! In this scenic suburb on Chicago’s North Shore, overlooking the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan, the Michaelsen family has made their home for generations. Although their parents and grandparents are now gone, siblings Derek, Blake, Sharlene, and the twins—Chandler and Chance—all have fond memories of growing up in town, and most still live there.

Chance Michaelsen, the youngest member of the family (by two minutes) and the quietest (by far), is a dedicated twenty-eight-year-old personal trainer at the local gym. While he might not say much, Chance has made it clear that he’s not a fan of toxic people, unhealthy habits, or sharing too many of his emotions. With anybody.

Enter Antonia “Nia” Pappayiannis—the prettiest member of the loudest and most overly demonstrative family in town. They’re also the owners of The Gala, a Greek restaurant and bakery known for its decadent pastries and located just a few steps from Chance’s gym. He considers their entire family business to be the enemy of good health, but he can’t quite shake his attraction to Nia, who doesn’t seem nearly as impressed with him or his sculpted physique as most of the women around Mirabelle Harbor.

Unfortunately, between her doctor’s orders and the interfering ways of Chance’s crazy-making ex-girlfriend, who just happens to be one of Nia’s long-time friends, Chance gets assigned to be Nia’s fitness coach for the month. Pure torture. And if his ex weren’t already causing enough problems, he also has to deal with Nia’s current boyfriend—some hotshot Chicago CEO who talks big but, in Chance’s opinion, is as fake as a Styrofoam barbell.

The road to romance is going to be a rocky one, and though Nia has her doubts about moving forward, Chance has a well-developed competitive streak and might just be willing to give it a shot...if he can convince her to do the same.

In matters of the heart, would you risk it all? TAKE A CHANCE ON ME, a Mirabelle Harbor story.

Books in the Series:

Story Excerpt:
“Nia?” I extended my hand to her because I was a professional and that was what we did when we met a new client. It didn’t have anything to do with my desire to touch her. Much.
She looked at me oddly. Hesitant. Like she was afraid I’d try to out muscle her or something. So I added a slight smile.
If anything, she looked even more worried then, but she finally took my hand and shook it.
God, her skin was so soft.
“Chance.” She stated my name rather than asked. How insane was it that I was proud of this? That she knew who I was already? Then I looked down and realized I was wearing my trainer nametag.
“Yes,” I said. “Nice to meet you.” This was such a freakin’ understatement it was almost a lie. I was usually only attracted to very athletic women, but Nia Pappayiannis had a different style and body type than the typical crowd of single twenty-something ladies I ran into at the gym. She was all softness and curves, dressed in her very conservative white t-shirt and blue yoga pants. Other women wouldn’t look hot in such a plain outfit. Nia rocked the look.
“Likewise,” she said.
A long, awkward silence followed. I wasn’t used to that either. Most of my clients talked my ear off from the second of introduction on. Not her.
"Let's do a quick warm up," I said. I helped her set the treadmill to a moderate walking speed of 3.3 miles/hour. It looked as though she’d never stepped on one of these pieces of equipment in her life.
“Have you belonged to a gym before?” I asked.
She shook her head. “It’s not really my scene.”
I was suddenly very interested to know what *was* her scene...

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    A memorable trip to Mirabelle Harbor!

    It's not often I find a story where the romance is carried out mostly through interactions with other people. That usually leaves a lot of room for speculation and disaster when others interfere, but in Chance and Nia's case it works wonderfully. The story is hot yet sweet and fun to read. Chance and Nia are opposites personality wise. Chance is reserved, observant, and kind hearted. He's also a professional trailer who eschews sweets and prefer to eat healthy all the time. He doesn't take huge risks and he knows what he wants. Nia on the other hand has a bubbly personality. She's not a chatterbox but she's not introverted either. Nia loves food, loves spending time with her large boisterous family, and dislikes working out because of fear of being judged. You wouldn't expect these two to have amazing chemistry together but they do. It's funny because most of their courtship/interactions take place in the gym while they train together. They don't really exchange lots of hot looks, lingering touches, or long conversations. It's just not who they are. What they had in common was belonging to large families who were important to them. I really liked how much their families were involved in the story. I loved seeing them tease each other as much as they listened and offered advice when needed. Both Chance and Nia were extremely likable and easy to relate to. I understood Nia's uncertainty about who was right for her as much as I felt Chance's pain at knowing the one he desired was with someone else. It was fun to watch Chance try to balance his attraction to Nia with trying to find away to express his interest while being himself. I wasn't a huge fan of how and when he and Nia got together, but you're going to have to read the story to find out why. I wish this story had been longer; I read it fairly quickly. I loved this glimpse into Mirabelle Harbor. Marilyn Brant did a great job at making her characters real and the story fun. I realized I'd made a mistake reading this book so late at night because all the mentions and descriptions of the scrumptious Greek pastries and sumptuous savory dishes made my mouth water. In fact I feel the need to visit my favorite Greek pastry shop for a treat or two. I'm sure you will too once you've finished reading this book!


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