Hey everyone! This ebook was kindly provided by the author/ publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
The Chase boys. Ridiculously hot and notoriously single.
Sheriff Shane Chase is drawn to the new girl in town from the moment he lays eyes on her. Not only is she gorgeous, but years on the job have taught him to know when someone is hiding something. And Cassie Gambol is hiding something big. He’s willing to take it slow to find out her secrets, no matter how much he burns to make her his.
Cassie Gambol needs a fresh start, and she gets it by reinventing herself in the small town of Petal, Georgia—a far cry from her life as a surgeon back in LA. A new romance is the last thing on Cassie’s mind, but the impossibly hot town sheriff has her reconsidering her priorities.
But when Cassie and Shane come face-to-face with the reason Cassie’s on the run, only her determination and his instincts can keep her safe from the past—and keep their future from ending before it can even begin.
Well, well, well, hello there cover model! He’s good-looking, isn’t he? I thought so. Anyway, I’ll do my best to look away from those hypnotizing abs for a few moments in order to get this review written! You don’t have to though, stare for a long as you want.
At its heart Taking Chase is a story about healing and resilience. There are few things I enjoy more than watching people overcome adversity and moving on from painful events in their past. If that’s not enough, this book is set in a small town, yay! The thing I most enjoy when I read small-town romances is the opportunity to get to know the entire community, not just the main characters.
I had two problems with the book. The first is the lack of cowboy! But don’t worry, I’m not going to hold this against the author. I came prepared and brought my own cowboys to this review. You’re welcome!
You might have noticed how they’re all wearing shirts. I picked them on purpose. First, because I think we’ve all probably overdosed from the abs on the cover. Second, because it gave me a chance to scroll through pages of Google Image results for “sexy cowboy.” I hope you believe me when I say it was a real hardship having to look through so many images to find these.
The first person we meet in this book is Cassie. She has some big, tragic, secrets, and she’s determined to keep them at all costs. Having endured several miserable years with an ex-husband who put her through unspeakable trauma, she takes the first step to regaining control of her life by moving to the small town of Petal, Georgia. Her plan is to keep her head down and fit in forming no connections. But, that plan is quickly thrown out of the window. She’s in town for mere minutes before she’s rear-ended by the sheriff’s mother who is a social butterfly and can’t take no for an answer. It’s the connections Cassie makes in this tight-knit community that give her the strength she needs to live again.
As we get to know Cassie, we see her deal with panic attacks, self-imposed isolation, the lingering effects of domestic violence and stalking. It made me so happy to see her overcome all of those things. I thought Cassie’s past was handled in a very honest and compassionate manner. It was enlightening to see the world as she did. As a reader, I was allowed glimpses of the insecurities and baggage she carried with her. Overall, this book wasn’t about the injustices of Cassie’s past, it was about all the ways she overcame them.
Shane is the other character we get to talk about. He’s the town sheriff, and he takes his job seriously. He knows Cassie is hiding something, and he is determined to find out what. It’s through his quest to discover her secrets that they fall in love.
I’ll be honest, Shane was a great book-boyfriend and I think you’ll all like him, a lot! He was super patient and understanding when dealing with Cassie. It’s always lovely to see people who get it. Shane gets it. He takes no time at all to realize how important personal space and security are to her. Seeing him take the time and put in the effort to gain her trust was beautiful. Especially because as the Sheriff, he’s accustomed to people trusting him and allowing him to take control in most situations. He has to do things differently and be more careful with Cassie. This is one of those rare books where the hero is without a doubt an alpha-male but isn’t an overbearing jerk.
All right, time to talk about the steamy scenes because I know some people, obviously not me, read books just for the sexy bits. I’m just going to come right out and say it consent is sexy. That was one of my favorite parts of the book, consent was always explicit. I loved how even after everything she had been through; the author allowed Cassie to have sex and enjoy it.
If you think back to before the cowboy pictures, I know it’s hard. You can scroll back up if you want to, the cowboys are still there; I said I had two complaints about this book. I’m going to talk about the second complaint now, and it had to do with the sexy bits.
The sex wasn’t bad, but the word choice was. Throughout the book, the author uses the word slice to describe penetration. To be honest, slice is one of the least sexy words I can think of. I think it would be beneficial to go back to the thesaurus and find a different word. “He sliced into her body with his cock”, the first time I read a sentence like this I shrugged it off. But things like this were littered throughout the pages.
Aside from my discomfort at using the verb slice in any sort of sexy way, I have an even bigger issue. We learn early in the book that Cassie has several scars as a result of being stabbed by her ex-husband. It seems like an inappropriately poetic word choice.
Overall, Taking Chase was an engaging read with well-developed characters and a story that had me hooked from the first page. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes small towns, alpha males, and resiliency.