Title: Captured by Chocolate
Author: Steena Holmes
Series: Love at the Chocolate Shop #11
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 2nd August
Radio DJ Dylan Morgan enjoys small town life in Marietta. Unlike his longtime girlfriend and globetrotting photojournalist Casey Michaels, he’s never been tempted to spread his wings. Until an east coast job offer at a major radio station catches his eye. He considers taking the position, but then Casey calls… She’s coming home.
After years of wandering the globe, Casey Michaels is tired and needs a break and while she didn’t plan on coming home for good, the idea is starting to grow on her. All she wants to do is spend time with her forever boyfriend, Dylan. But all she meets is suspicion as everyone waits for her to pack up her suitcase once again. To convince Dylan she’s home for good, she plans a grand gesture–a photography show celebrating Marietta life. And then, the phone rings. She’s needed in London…
Source: ARC provided by Tule Publishing via NetGalley
This book frustrated me beyond belief. Because on the one hand there’s Dylan, who is a pretty decent guy. He loves his family, he’s good with kids, he purposefully gets the weather wrong so people can win money betting on his incompetence. He’s great, really, and a massive part of Marietta.
Then there’s Casey. Dream-chasing, photo journalist Casey, who loves her job and travelling the world and obviously does good work for charitable causes. In fact she’s a complete paragon who everyone loves because she’s so amazing and caring and giving… Except she’s not. Yeah, her job’s great and all, but when it comes to Dylan and her family she is unbelievably selfish. The way she treats Dylan is appalling and all those people who say she’s good for him need to get their eyes, hearts and minds checked. She uses him because he’s safe, he’s always going to be there and he loves her. She walks all over him and gets angry at anyone who points out the truth because they just don’t understand how it really is.
Well, the way I understand it is she gets everything she wants because only her wants and needs matter. Dylan doesn’t. She claims to love him, but there isn’t a single point in this book where she genuinely cares about what Dylan wants. It’s all about her. Even when he has a chance at something else, she’s far from supportive, because it doesn’t fit in with what she wants. She’s awful and I spent the whole book wanting to get Dylan as far away from her as possible.
She treats her family in a similar blasé fashion, yet they all still love her. WHY?! The only one who questions her is her sister-in-law, but Casey just ignores her anyway.
Then there’s the conflict at the end, when somehow Dylan’s the one in the wrong. Are you kidding me? That man deserves a life far beyond the reach of anyone who thinks Casey is good for him. As for the big gesture thing at the end, nope, that proves nothing. Casey should be apologising for the rest of her life for the way she treated Dylan – either that or letting him go. There’s nothing wrong with chasing dreams, but trampling all over other people’s hearts to get there so you can still provide yourself with a home to return to is not cool.
In all, I wasn’t convinced by this romance and couldn’t believe that any change would truly last. Dylan deserves better. Sorry, but this was one HEA I really couldn’t get behind.
Charmed by Chocolate is out August 2nd.
Visit Steena Holmes for more details.