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A feisty, outspoken female telegrapher…A conservative, conflicted undertaker…During Colorado’s 1876 suffrage fight, they don’t see eye to eye. But despite Sarah’s determination to make her mark and Daniel’s dislike of public attention, they discover themselves and a smoldering passion that offers rewards far greater than they ever imagined. To claim it, they must stand together against violence and charges of prostitution and take a chance on love.
In 1876, rough and tumble Denver is full of challenges for outspoken female telegrapher Sarah Donovan. Determined to make her mark, she arrives in the male-dominated town and marches head-long into the fight for women’s suffrage and any other cause she can find. She doesn’t expect to face the fact that she hides behind causes to avoid her own vulnerability nor does she suspect she will find her strength by opening her heart and risking love.
When Sarah delivers a telegram to the wrong person, she must apologize to staunchly conservative undertaker Daniel Petterman. Despite his relief that Sarah has also rescued his young daughters from local hoodlums, Daniel can’t hide his distaste for the suffragist. His careful, pensive approach to life’s problems is at complete odds with Sarah’s radical assertiveness, and he fears she will corrupt his daughters with her progressive crusading.
Unexpectedly discovering themselves on the same side of local politics, they develop a grudging respect for one another. Sarah’s fiery disposition forces Daniel’s hidden passions to the surface as the smoldering attraction between them erupts. Amid political turmoil, they find time to experience the delights and complications of ice skating on a frozen creek, dancing at a noisy German beer hall, and impromptu kisses.
Their growing relationship of trust and love is blind-sided when Sarah’s resentful coworker maliciously accuses her of using the telegraph to solicit men. Rumors explode, threatening Sarah’s reputation, career, and her standing in the suffrage association. When the gossip spreads to include Daniel and his daughters, Sarah must confront the allegations head-on. A violent suffrage riot, prostitution charges, and runaway trains force Daniel and Sarah to make life and death decisions about the chances they are willing to take on love and on themselves.
Original hardcover published January 2008. Chances was a Denver Area Best Seller, was named as one of the Top Ten Romances of 2008 and Top 1010 Romances of the Decade by Booklist, was awarded the 2009 HOLT Medallion for Best First Book, and was a 2009 WILLA Literary Award Finalist.
“Nowak has come up with believable, non-stereotypical characters and a snappy plot to create a darned good book.” —Shelley Mosley, Booklist *Starred* review, December 15, 2007
“Simmering sensuality, captivating glimpses of Denver’s past and a thoughtful tale of self-discovery via the magic of love. An exciting debut!” –Denver best-selling historical romance author, Janet Lane
“…a fascinating time period, conflicted hero and feisty heroine. Readers will love the interesting details of Denver…I’m eager to see what Nowak will do in her next book!” —Maggie Osborne, author of Foxfire Bride.
“A fascinating historical romance with a spunky heroine and an intense hero, Chances is set against the rich backdrop of early Denver and the women’s suffrage movement. Don’t miss this book!” — Robin D. Owens, RITA(c) Award Author of HeartMate
“CHANCES is a fast-paced story that is nearly impossible to put down. Debut author Pamela Nowak is a bright new star of historical romance.” –Inspirational Suspense Author Sharon Mignerey
“Nowak’s charming historical romance debut…captures courtship in the Rocky Mountains with flair…” –Publishers Weekly
“It is with a deft hand that Ms. Nowak creates a…satisfying story that is rich in historical detail and drama, and peopled with realistic, likeable characters.” –Romance Reviews Today
“Debut author Nowak’s fascinating tale is a blend of historical facts and fiction that gives readers a view into the fight for a woman’s right to vote, the novelty of being one of the first female telegraph operators and how gossip, jealousy and lies can injure the guilty and the innocent.” —Romantic Times (Four Star review)
“This is an interesting look at Reconstruction Era Colorado mostly through the eyes of a woman trying to make it in a man’s world. The secondary cast is strong as they either behave with contempt, jealousy or admiration of Sarah… readers will appreciate Pamela Nowak’s entertaining historical.” —Genre Go Round Reviews
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“This satisfied reader highly recommends Chances as a thought-provoking tale about a spunky suffragette and a seemingly boring Denver undertaker who both have a lot to learn about taking Chances on love and life. This book is a lovely story peopled with well-drawn and interesting characters. The characters’ journeys to find their rightful places in a changing world will resonate with modern readers. And as the characters discover what really matters about themselves and each other beyond the outer trappings of life, readers will find themselves moved and inspired.” —WyoGirl