Review: Giving Chase by Lauren Dane
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Book: Giving Chase
Author: Lauren Dane
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release date: September 1, 2006
Source: Free Kindle ebook purchased via Amazon.com
Summary: (from Goodreads) Some small towns grow really good looking men! This is the case with the four Chase brothers. The home grown hotties are on the wishlist of every single woman in town and Maggie Wright is no exception.
Maggie has finally had it with the men she’s been dating but a spilled plate of chili cheese fries drops Shane Chase right into her lap. The sheriff is hot stuff but was burned by a former fiancée and is quite happy to play the field.
After Shane’s skittishness sends him out the door, Maggie realizes that Kyle Chase has had his eye on her from the start. Now that Shane has messed up, Kyle has no intention of letting anything stop him from wooing her right into his bed.
Despite Maggie’s happiness and growing love with Kyle, a dark shadow threatens everything—she’s got a stalker and he’s not happy at all. In the end, Maggie will need her wits, strength and the love of her man to get her out alive.
First impressions: From the beginning, I liked Maggie and found her interesting enough to follow and see where her story went. Her crushingly low self-esteem was a bit eyeroll inducing at times, but in the first few scenes she is spunky, fun, and an all-around great gal living in a sweet, small town in Georgia.
Lasting impressions: It's a fluff read, and it's designed to be, so I can't say that this one is going to linger on in my memory for all eternity. I will say, though, that the suspense element in the story is well-developed and I thought that part was executed on a higher level than I anticipated from a romance novel. Nice surprise!
Negative impressions: Though I did like the suspense through-line, the author left it behind for a big chunk in the middle there, and I found myself wondering if that was just a device to get Maggie involved with the hunky Chase brothers or if it was going to come back. Just when I had lost hope in seeing that plot element again, it popped up and helped me plow through to the end of the book.
I was also bothered by the fact that Maggie gets involved with more than one of the Chase brothers. Her first relationship is with Shane, then switches to Kyle, which ordinarily is not a problem, but here, the relationship with Shane serves no purpose other than to say that Shane is damaged. But this is not Shane's story. It's Maggie's. So why spend all of that time getting Maggie involved with Shane? This book is part of a tetralogy focusing on each of the four Chase brothers, so it's possible that Dane anticipated resurrecting that story line when she wrote about Shane. For this novel, it just confused me.
Overall impressions: This is a fun, quick read. It's not overflowing with sex scenes, the characters are interesting, and the suspense element gives it a nice edge. If this book were a TV show, it would be a cross between a primetime soap opera and Law & Order: SVU. Girl meets boy, girl dates boy, boy rejects girl, girl dates boy's brother instead, girl gains stalker, girl gets in over her head, all is resolved. The end.
While I did enjoy the characters, they were underdeveloped. Most of the supporting characters were nothing but caricatures with over-the-top reactions and unbelievable actions. Often plot twists and turns stemmed from odd character choices that didn't necessarily fit with the story. I didn't buy that Maggie's mother could be that awful, particularly when balanced against the fact that Maggie is made out to be a successful and beautiful woman. The brothers are womanizers, yet Shane is chastened by his father for mistreating Maggie. Either they were brought up to treat women well or they weren't.
Still, this novel surprised me, and overall I really enjoyed it. If you're looking for a quick read with some lusty bits and some suspenseful bits, it's a good choice.
Rating: 3/5 stars
Want a different perspective? Check out this five star review by I Just Finished Reading.