Title: The Sweetest Chase
Author: Sharla Lovelace
Series: Heart of the Storm #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: Feb 23rd
Photographer Quinn Parker is getting married in a month, and she’s almost happy about it. Even though her mother is planning the whole wedding. Even though she’s secretly had the hots for Simon Chase forever. But he’s her best friend’s brother and her coworker…off-limits even if she were single. So she’s marrying the man who should be her perfect match—and that’s that.
Simon Chase’s life revolves around his family’s storm-chasing business. The meteorologist of the bunch, he’d rather be out in the weather than reporting it—especially if Quinn Parker is along to photograph the run. He’s been hiding his crush on her for a long time, and it’s only intensified. But she’s marrying someone else—and that’s that.
Or is it? When a Chase family wedding sets the stage for body temperatures to rise and the pressure of Quinn’s impending wedding to build, a new reality breaks. Quinn and Simon discover their unrequited affections have been mutual all along. When the gathering storm of their attraction finally reaches its peak, will it leave their lives in shambles? Or will they find shelter in each other?
Source: ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley
There’s a lot of self-delusion going on in this book. It’s clear from very early on that Quinn’s forthcoming marriage would be a disastrous mistake and that Simon is a much better choice. Likewise it’s obvious that Simon cares a whole lot more for Quinn than he lets himself believe. It’s also made fairly clear that a lot of people know how these two feel about each other. Which means that the rest of the book is spent in frustration wondering why they aren’t together, why they never got together before and why on Earth everything has to be so dramatic. They’ve known each other for ten years, most of which they’ve had a crush on each other so sort it out, you idiots!
It’s possible I’m being a little hard on all involved, but on reflection I don’t think I am. It’s so obvious that Quinn and Simon are made for each other that everything else feels like unnecessary dragging out of the plot, which doesn’t put Quinn in a very good light and often reflects badly on Simon too. Eric doesn’t really do anything wrong except prove himself to be exactly the sort of man I would expect him to be, so Quinn comes across as spineless and weak-willed, with plenty of emotional cheating. The idea that it’s fine to marry a guy you kind of love while being totally in love with another one – who wants you back – really got on my nerves. She treats both men really badly and it makes it tricky to like her.
Which is a shame, because away from the relationship drama, I liked almost everything else about this book. The storm chasing was what made me pick it up in the first place, and did not disappoint at all. The reality TV stuff provided a nice antagonistic side to all the close family love, and the homeless shelter made sure that Simon was a good guy, even when he’s acting like an idiot elsewhere.
So for me the romance is what let this book down, because it was never believable to me that Quinn would even fall in love with Eric let alone marry him. Which in turn made the drawn-out angst over her feelings for Simon feel ridiculously overblown. Away from that it’s fun and exciting, and probably important if you’re reading the series. This is my first taste of the Chases, and while it definitely piqued my interest for book one, it’s not one I’d read again on its own. Your own mileage may vary depending on how much patience you have for spineless heroines who stubbornly follow the path that makes them miserable while stringing everyone else along. If you like storms, though, they might just pull you through.
The Sweetest Chase is out February 23rd!
Visit Sharla Lovelace for more details.