Taking Chase by Lauren Dane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Taking Chase is the second book in Lauren Dane's Chase Brothers series and it's older brother Shane's story.
Shane was introduced in Giving Chase, where he pretty much acted like a jerk and failed to endear himself to me, but I knew he would have to change in this book if Ms. Dane had any intention of making him a likable hero. What I didn't expect to see was how abrupt his change was, so it was hard to believe it at first. Right from the start of this book, previously callous and relationship-shy Shane was turned into a gentle and caring man who never hesitated to pursue a serious relationship with Cassie. Huh? Where was the guy who was so afraid of being cheated again that he avoided getting emotionally involved with any woman who might endanger his heart? I know that romantic heroes are supposed to reform when they meet "the one", but there's usually some degree of inner struggle before they take the fall. This didn't happen with Shane, and I was disappointed because I had been wondering how the mighty would fall since I finished Giving Chase. Anyway, once I decided to "accept" Shane's new demeanor without trying to understand it, it was easy to fall in love with him and wish him the best luck in his pursuit of Cassie's love.
Cassie was a difficult heroine to me. I really liked her at first and I completely understood where she was coming from, but she grated on my nerves with her OTT attitude when it came to refusing any help, which she saw as "managing", in her life. Come on, Shane was not only her boyfriend but he was also a cop, and only a stupid woman would refuse his help! She also annoyed me with the way she kept comparing Shane's actions with her ex's. Yes, she did that all the time, and no matter how many times she said she wasn't doing it, her actions said otherwise. Okay, Shane had issues too and dumped them on her now and then, so their relationship was bound to have some bumps along the way. But why was he the one who always made the effort to patch it up? He took the blame for everything, and I didn't think that was right.
As for the plot, the romance was slow paced - as it should be, considering Cassie's history - and sweet, but there were some jarring "holes" in Cassie's plan to build herself a completely new identity and escape her ex-husband's pursuit. Her being in constant contact with her brother was an extremely easy way for her ex to track her down, and I was actually surprised to see how long it took until her crazy ex finally caught up with her. Maybe I've read too many romantic suspense novels and I've become too jaded to believe that "normal" people on the run do make mistakes like that, but Cassie and her brother weren't acting on their own and had the assistance of people who were - or should have been - experts on the subject.
As it happened before, Ms. Dane's writing wasn't exactly to my liking. I still can't put my finger on it, but I found myself skimming through some scenes involving a secondary character, as I felt that they didn't add much to the story. Regardless, reading this book wasn't a hardship at all, as Shane and Cassie were engaging characters and I was really rooting for their HEA.
All things considered, this was a nice and sweet read, but I still haven't joined the "Chase Brothers's wagon". Oh, I love all the hunkalicious Chase men and I want to marry them all, but there was something lacking in the 2 books I've read so far. Anyway, I intend to read the next 2 books in this series - not because I'm particularly hooked on it, but because I'm curious about Marc and Matt, the remaining Chase brothers who haven't found their HEA yet. Plus, I enjoy reading "feel good" stories now and then, even though the Chase family can be a bit too sweet sometimes.
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