Gentleman Takes a Chance
by Sarah A. Hoyt
Cover Artist: Tom Kidd
Review by Gayle Surrette
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781416555933
Date: 07 October 2008 List Price $23.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
A sequel to Draw One in the Dark, Sarah Hoyt continues her tale of shape-shifters living among us and running a restaurant in Gold Port, Colorado. Kyrie Smith and Tom Ormson are making The George, into a place for locals to get good food at affordable prices in a great atmosphere. However, their actions in the previous book have not gone unnoticed and it seems that there is a council for shape shifters and Kyrie, Tom, and Rafiel Trall have broken quite a few rules. Now an ancient killer has been set to make them pay for their misdeeds.
I really enjoyed the first book and looked forward to a sequel. I wasn't disappointed with the story. The characters are just as well drawn and the plot was twisted and with enough misdirection to keep a reader guessing what would happen next. If they can convince the Council representative that what they did was necessary, they might be let off. However, since the council seems to see humans as food and beneath their care and notice -- there's little chance that anything they say can help.
Kyrie, Tom, and Rafiel will each have to come to grips with their natures. Rafiel has always had his family supporting him but Kyrie and Tom have mostly been on their own. They all have roots in the town and leaving, while an option, doesn't sit with any of them. So, during a major blizzard, they have to decide where their loyalties lie and what kind of people they want to be. Because their decisions on these question will drive the rest of the story.
My only problem with this book was the number of times that incidents from the previous books got rehashed for new readers. This book can definitely stand alone as much of the key information from Draw One in the Dark is given to the reader. However, I found myself skimming over some of the same territory because I'd already known about it. New readers to this series will probably not even notice. Series always have the problem of how much past information needs to be shared and sometimes finding that balance can take a while.
These are good people, doing the best they can, in extraordinary circumstances. And, they are also trying to learn to trust each other -- and trust never comes easy. I'm really hoping there will be more books with these characters.