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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Stevie's Chase (Holt #1) [Stevie & Chase] by Justine Davis ~~~ ★ ★ ★ ~~~

I was wondering about this book, or rather this series and how different it will be considering it was written in the 90s. I AM a child (or rather teenager) of the 90s and even though I didn't really read romance back then I thought it might have a different vibe - and it did! Both characters felt in a way more naive, their relationship was somewhat more tender than I'm used to reading. The relationships in general between all side characters were sweet and caring. But honestly I don't know if it's the 90s or the author and how she decided to write the characters and surrounding. I don't recall the 90s being THAT euphoric but maybe the books were more innocent in a way as we might have been back then. 


It started out quite good. Stevie is a sweet heart. She works in advertising, loves and successful at her job and generally life is quite good. She has friends mostly as it seems the neighbors around her and she is also in good terms with her landlord and bosses. All around her there are nice warm people who care about her and one another - euphoric, remember? Yet her next door neighbor is a total mystery to her and the other neighbors. She doesn't even know his first name. On the mailbox outside it says C. Sullivan. They exchange hellos but not more than that yet the haunted look in his green eyes interest and calls to her. 

As Chase Sullivan literally falls into an illness he is surprised to wake up to his gorgeous neighbor Stevie taking care of him with the help of their other neighbor who is a doctor. Chase has done his best to ignore the humans around him for a couple of years because his only way to survive is to stay hidden and unnoticed. Yet Stevie, the sweet and caring and sexy neighbor who nurses him into health is going to be HARD to put aside when he gets back on his feet. 

The relationship build up was slow and sweet with both Chase and Stevie keeping a lot of heart ache from one another. Stevie opens up somewhere in the middle of the book telling Chase of her current situation and the misery she had to deal with a few years back. Chase gives glimpses into his past but none give her the full picture. Yet what unravels everything in the end is exactly that - a picture. I didn't guess any of it, honestly, because all we got is Chase shutting down whenever anything from his past somehow appeared and we only got his full story right near the end. 

While it started out nice and sweet, me liking both Stevie and Chase I got tired somewhere along the way and continued reading mostly of interest to find out about Chase's past. Everything about this book was OTT. Firstly their relationship and how much they appreciated and cared about one another was excessively Over The Top. The sex scenes were more than annoying with how much they were about pleasing one another. I can't really explain it but the tone of the narration felt like we are reading of this euphoric (again..) moment that is life altering. Really, it's just sex, you know? 

The fact that ALL the people around them were UNBELIEVABLY nice and helpful. There was ONE bad person which was also the main villain in the book and that's it all the rest were simply perfection. Even when Chase was an asshole he apologized literally right away and when he didn't he tried making amends as best as he could afterwards. Stevie was sweet and understanding in a way that almost felt like she is someone you can step on because she accepts everything from everyone. Not to mention that the relationship between Stevie and Chase when finally it was formed changed him in a way that was - again! - Over The Top - day after they got together he rescues the elderly neighbor's cat from a tree then continue on with doing minor labor for the rest of the neighbors becoming the most friendly neighbor EVER, even if he still doesn't talk about his past.. 

One more thing that I found utterly annoying was the repetition of people's thoughts about a situation or one another. Mostly what Stevie and Chase thought about one another and how much they wanted to help one another and change the situation they were in. I got it the first time, was okay with a second but it felt as though their inner dialogue was on a (broken) record. 

The story WAS nice and the relationship between Stevie and Chase DID built nicely. I liked the affect their both had on one another yet as I said, since it was overly done it felt unrealistic. Well, it IS a novel, yet I wanted MORE from this novel. A lot more than I got even though the story itself, the idea behind the pains of each character were nicely done (and you SHOULD expect heart ache galore!).

I'm still contemplating if I should give the other two books in the series a chance (like this one they too are stand alones). The next "Left At The Alter" is of Stevie's brother Sean and the third and last one "The Morning Side of Dawn" is of Chase's sister Cassie (like this one all three are stand alone novels). Yet from reading the reviews I have a feeling I'm going to have the same problems I had with this one so at the moment I'll continue with other books on my list and we'll see if I find myself interested enough to give it a go. What I DO find interesting in both those novels is the fact that both Sean and Cassie's love interests are somewhat physically impaired but I don't think it would be as well written as Sarina Bowen's less than (physically) perfect characters so I'm rather reluctant to try is especially after ADORING Sarina's recent book "Falling from the Sky".

Note - I gave the third installment - "The Morning Side of Dawn" a go yet I didn't finish it. Decided not to read the second installment. 



Additional Details: Paperback, 256 pages, 5-6 February 2015 / On GoodReads

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