By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general.
I love Shannon Stacey because her stories are so familiar (because they're set where I live, in northern New England), and so low-drama. Real people working through real conflicts, in a way that is refreshingly, well, real.
However, "A Fighting Chance" is not Stacey's best. I didn't connect with this one at all, probably because it's novella-length and just too short to feel invested in the characters. Del goes to a casino for a bachelorette weekend with her girlfriends, and meets up with The One Who Got Away... or rather, the guy who dumped her and broke her heart for no good reason. Brendan moonlights as an MMA fighter, and he's got a fight at the casino that same weekend. They see each other in the lobby, meet for coffee and cookies, and basically fall into bed together, old flame rekindled.
The story was just too short to have any nuanced character or plot development. Del works, but who knows what she does. She's from an upper middle class background and Brendan's blue collar, and we're told that is the source of the conflict that ruined their first relationship, but the story doesn't really give us any sense of how class issues impacted their relationship in the past, so as to get a sense of whether anything much has changed now. Del and Brendan both have families and friends, but they don't really contribute anything to the storyline except the occasional mention to move the plot along.
If you want to check out Shannon Stacey (and you should), try Exclusively Yours, instead.