Taking Chase by Lauren Dane
Series: Chase Brothers #2, Petal Georgia
Also in this series: Giving Chase, Count on Me
Publisher: Carina Choice
Publication Date: May 29, 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Previously published; newly refreshed by author
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.
Taking Chase is book 2 in Lauren Dane’s Chase Brothers series. This book is hard for me to pin down. There were parts of it that I really enjoyed, but I think Dane took a difficult path with the heroine. I initially read this book back in March, about the same time Jessica at Racy Romance Reviews did. I’m taking my comment from her post and expanding on it here. I urge you to read Jessica’s review. She didn’t have the issues I did with the heroine and she’s spot on about the amazing sex scenes.
Cassie Gambol is an abuse victim. For years she lived with physical and mental abuse, until her ex-husband almost killed her and she managed to get away. While I think that the portrayal of her and her emotional healing as an abuse victim was well done, something about her started to bother me as the novel progressed. I think it was her selfishness when it came to her actions/reactions.
As an example: Shane catches her hugging her bother and jumps to the conclusion that she was exactly like his ex., who cheated on him with his best friend. He reacted badly and she had a panic attack because of it. Initially I sided with her, because I could only imagine what that took her back to. The problem is that she’d been comparing Shane to her ex for the entire book, almost completely unfairly 95% of the time. Yet she refused to acknowledge that she was partially in the wrong. Not in the above mentioned situation or in any other. She kept falling back on, “I need my independence, you have to cut me some slack.”
Throughout the entire book, Shane has to apologize and give in, without Cassie doing her share. While I understand – to a degree – the reason that was so, I still can’t help but feel she gave far less than she got in the end. I would have liked to see, as part of her recovery, her ability to admit when she was wrong and offer Shane the trust he deserved.
The other thing is this: Shane acted abominably in the first book. It is well documented that he’s a womanizer and not the type for a relationship. But this book is set a year or two after the first one (I can’t remember the exact timeline), so Shane had grown and changed. Not to mention he never treated Cassie badly.
Even so, it almost felt like Cassie’s treatment of him was considered okay or justified based on his past actions. I guess I was given the impression, as the reader, that he was just getting what he deserved after the way he acted previously.
Only that doesn’t work for me. Shane was a wonderful man who, though he made some bad mistakes, just wanted a relationship with Cassie. Why should he have been punished for his past misdeeds?
Having said that, I felt the way Dane addressed Cassie’s abuse and subsequent recovery was very well done. She didn’t shy away from the darker aspects that come with physical or emotional abuse, and I appreciated that. I also just plain liked Cassie. She was a strong woman who’d had her whole life ruined, and yet she picked herself up and moved forward.
I also really liked Shane on his own. He was an excellent example of how men can and do change. I especially liked that Dane didn’t make this entire book about Shane and the insecurities he suffered due to the way his ex treated him.
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the previous. The story itself was good and I liked visiting the town of Petal again, but I wasn’t able to get past the unfair way the hero was treated. Even so, I couldn’t put it down and immediately wanted to start the next.
3.75 out of 5
See my review of Giving Chase here.
This book was originally published by Samhain Publishing. It was recently refreshed and republished by Carina Press.