Cover Image: A Shot in the Dark

A Shot in the Dark

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Member Reviews

The aspect of recovery and addiction in this novel was just done in such a poignant and beautiful way it leaves you in all the feels and it is done so beautifully.  The family estrangement could be a trigger for some but was done in my opinion perfectly. The religion representation was done so well I am not Jewish myself, but I learned so much about it myself.  The trans/queer identity representation was also done so well. I loved all the representation this book had.  It also used New York city as another character which is always a plus for me when an author uses a city as another character. 

This book is magnificent, and I encourage everyone to go ahead and read a copy.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC in exchange for an honest review as always, all words are my own.
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I loved Lee's last book, A Lesson in Vengence, and was super excited to see a romance from her. Lee is an incredible writer but some of the writing in ASITD felt a little YA-ish. I think this is her first adult book so I'm okay with letting that slide a little bit. 

There were some really insightful and poignant things said about addiction and recovery. As a recovering addict myself, I found it very well done and I highlighted a ton of passages that really spoke to me. I had to put this book aside for now because the content was a little bit triggering but I think it's a really great book and I do hope to finish it one day.
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Great except for the last 50 pages or so.  Some of the plot points seems convoluted and unnecessary to the story.  The book served up some topics that weren't super familiar to me like religious trauma and addiction, but made those topics feel accessible enough for me to follow those parts of the book.
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"A Shot in the Dark" by Victoria Lee is a captivating romance that skillfully weaves together themes of identity, redemption, and the complexities of love. Set against the backdrop of the art world in Brooklyn, the story introduces us to Elisheva Cohen, a resilient character returning to her roots after a tumultuous past. The narrative takes an unexpected turn when Ely discovers that her one-night stand from the vibrant queer club Revel is none other than Wyatt Cole, the enigmatic art legend who becomes her photography mentor.

The chemistry between Ely and Wyatt is electric, and their shared struggles create a deeper connection. The chemistry between the characters is undeniable, but equally compelling is the story's investment in their personal journeys. I found myself not only cheering for Ely and Wyatt as a couple but also genuinely caring about them as individuals—an uncommon and delightful experience in contemporary romance. Ely's voice especially resonates with authenticity as she reflects on her journey and the intersections of her identity.

While the pace is a bit slower, the emotional journey and character depth make it a must-read. I cannot wait to pick up this book again and again!
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i found this book really interesting. i was intrigued by how victoria lee would discuss addiction and recovery, and i think the way she did it was very artistic and well done. i enjoyed learning about ely and wyatt’s personal stories and also loved watching their paths intertwine. i haven’t read many books with queer relationships before so this was also eye opening and definitely offered me new insight. while this book is marketed as a romance, i think it is much more about the growth of the characters and how they overcome the parts of their past weighing them down. this book is emotional and thought-provoking, a strong piece of contemporary fiction.
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i read this a while ago and am only writing a review now so i might not be remembering everything correctly!

*a shot in the dark* follows ely & wyatt, and their (quite confusing) relationship. ely comes back to ny after spending years in another city after getting kicked out of her family home as a young adult. she’s attending an exciting summer photography program by wyatt cole, who is a well-known and loved photographer. ely goes to a night club the night before her first class and hooks up with a guy, only realising the next day in class that it’s her professor, wyatt.

i was super excited to pick this up, and i have to say i actually quite enjoyed my time reading it, but reflecting on it later, i don’t think i’d say i liked it as much. the two main characters share some important common points (being recovering addicts, both being disowned by their families) that were used to connect them with each other but i didn’t really get the chemistry between them, which is probably a me problem! i liked the writing style, and it was interesting to read people in recovery and their struggles, i also liked learning about judaism through ely’s experiences, and absolutely loved ophelia & diego, wish we got more scenes with the two :( i thought we would get more about photography and i feel like i would’ve enjoyed that a lot. i loved seeing wyatt reconnect with his mother and brother, i feel like the emotions in those parts of the book were portrayed well. although i liked seeing ely & wyatt take care of each other, like i said, i didn’t really feel the romance between them. wyatt was so back & forth and just confused the hell out of ely with his “boundaries” that he kept breaking and then putting back up. even though ely brought it up and they argued about it, it felt like it didn’t really lead to a concrete resolution in the end. overall, *a shot in the dark* felt like it wasn’t something special, at least to me. i do think a lot of people will actually love and enjoy this a ton though!
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I love my romances to be a bit heavy hitting and deep, and boy did this do it for me. Putting aside how lovely the romance was, I really enjoyed all this book handled throughout it. I feel like I personally know Ely and Wyatt, and hearing their story and how they came together was amazing!
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This book takes on some very heavy themes. I was warned in the beginning about substance abuse, and that’s not usually something I read about. I appreciate how it was handled, even if I didn’t really like that aspect. 

Overall I really did like the love story. I thought both Ely and Wyatt were likeable and relatable characters, and their story felt very genuine. 

I would recommend reading this, but do check out the content warnings.
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Thank you to the publisher for my arc! 

I absolutely loved this, I related a lot to the main character and adored the romance.
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Title: A Shot In The Dark
Author: Victoria Lee
Summary: Elisheva Cohen has just returned to New York after almost a decade away. The wounds of her past haven’t fully healed, but four years of sobriety and a scholarship to study photography with art legend Wyatt Cole are signs of good things to come, right? They could be, as long as Ely resists self-sabotage. She’s lucky enough to hit it off with a handsome himbo her first night out in the city. But the morning after their mind-blowing hookup, reality comes knocking. When Wyatt Cole walks into the classroom, Ely realizes the man she just spent the night with, the man whose name she couldn’t hear over the loud club music, is her teacher.
Everyone in the art world is obsessed with Wyatt Cole. He’s immensely talented and his notoriously reclusive personal life makes him even more compelling. But behind closed doors, Wyatt’s past is a painful memory. After coming out as transgender, Wyatt was dishonorably discharged from the military and disowned by his family. Since these traumatic experiences, Wyatt has worked hard for his sobriety and his flourishing art career. He can’t risk it all for Ely, no matter how attracted to her he is or how bad he feels about insisting she drop his class in exchange for a strictly professional mentorship. Wyatt can help with her capstone photography project, but he cannot, under any circumstances, fall in love with her in the process.
Through the lens of her camera, Ely must confront the reason she left New York in the first place: the Orthodox community that raised her, then shunned her because of her substance abuse. Along the way, Wyatt’s walls begin to break down, and each artist fights for what’s right in front of them—a person who sees them for all that they are and a love that could mean more than they ever imagined possible.
Copy provided by @netgalley in exchange for honest review.
Likes: A beautiful exploration of religion, addiction, mental health, and loss of community.
#randomhousepublishing #AShotInTheDark #LGBTQIA #LGBTQ #queerromance #booksbooksbooks #NetGalley #LGBT  #queerbookstagram #romance #fiction #recovery #religioustrauma
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Lee’s latest novel takes us on a journey of two souls on a healing from their traumatic pasts. What starts off as a typical rom-com scenario quickly delves into a sadder, more emotional story. Ely and Wyatt, who want to be together but can’t, given their student-teacher relationship. Each one is a recovering addict that is still fighting their demons while also trying to heal from their traumatic pasts. Throughout the story, they are still pulled into each other’s orbits, ultimately forced or choosing to face their past. I appreciated the nuances in which Lee handled Ely's Jewish background and Wyatt’s childhood abuse. Readers may be expecting this to be a romance on the lighter side but despite the tough topics, Lee weaves a beautiful story.
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This was such a cute book! I definitely enjoyed the story but the plot itself was a bit generic. It's definitely not a complaint as I like to be able to dive into a comfortable read that's easy and heart warming, but I don't think I was quite in the right mood for this. Did I love it? Absolutely! I just wished I had read it when I was in the mindset for a cheesy romance.
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This story has layers! Good layers, but there’s a lot to unpack.  The unexpected twist of Ely and Wyatt's connection adds a delightful element of suspense to the novel and kept me eagerly turning the pages to see how their relationship unfolds. Ultimately, this is a story of redemption, self acceptance, and human connection. 

Sincere thanks to Random House Publishing - Ballantine & NetGalley for an advanced reader copy, in exchange for an honest review.
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A Shot in the Dark is a gripping and intense story about love and also a love story. We meet Eliot and Wyatt Cole, two people who are at the same University for two very different reasons. The book explores addiction, trust, vulnerability, religion and belonging. It’s impressive and thought provoking. I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend! 

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine, Dell for the ARC - A Shot in the Dark is out now!
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I have loved every one of Victoria Lee's books and this adult romance debut had me screaming. With queer representation, I adored the way Lee balances emotional depth and development, topics of addiction and religion, as well as a tender romance. All in all, it feels deeply raw and honest. The moments we feel so close to breaking, question everything, and wonder what we need. Also what a phenomenal meet cute!
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Thank you to Random House Ballantine, Netgalley, and Victoria Lee for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Ely is returning to New York City from LA to pursue a summer course in photography where one of her favorite artists, Wyatt Cole, will be teaching. On her first night back she goes to a local queer nightclub and hooks up with a very hot stranger. However, when she gets to class the next morning the hot stranger ends up being her teacher Wyatt Cole. 

Victoria Lee does a fantastic job at navigating substance abuse, death, lgbtqia+, Jewish-voices, one night stand turned forced proximity, forbidden romance. I really enjoyed reading this book and was rooting for Ely and Wyatt throughout the entire novel.
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This one surprised me!

A Shot in the Dark is an emotionally powerful romance novel about two people, a transgender man and an ex-Orthodox woman, finding love after struggling with addiction--ultimately discovering what it means to be completely and unapologetically themselves.

Their love of art brings them together but life wants to keep them apart. This book delves into moral and emotional complexities -- how different people's journeys can look like and how those lives can intertwin and either make us better or hurt us. I was all in on Wyatt and Ely's journey and the fact that this all takes place in New York City made for a fun, emotional, and hopeful book. 

I think fans of books like Talking at Night by Claire Daverley will enjoy this book. Thank you @netgalley for this free copy for review and thank you to @prhaudio for a complimentary listening copy. I listened and read and both formats worked for me.
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This was such a unique premise and I really enjoyed this read. I want sure what to expect but I found that I really liked the dynamics.
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I appreciated a lot about this romance, that it didn't shy away from difficult topics like addiction and conflict around one's religious upbringing. These journeys did overshadow the romance itself a little bit, which I wouldn't mind if I wasn't expecting more of a romance-y romance novel. Still, I would happily read another romance from this author, because I appreciate romances that are more about difficult people like Elisheva discovering they deserve love instead of romances that are more escapist and fantastical
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This is not a book I'd normally pick up but the synopsis and the trans and Jewish rep had me wanting to give it a try. This one is a lot and not a light and fluffy read- both characters are recovering addicts, trauma and lots of emotion. In the end, it was a good story but it just wasn't for me.
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