Title: Giving Chase
Author: Lauren Dane
Genre: contemporary romance (with some suspense)
Series: 1st book in the Chase brothers series
Synopsis: Maggie is fed up with the guys in town. Small town life just doesn't give a girl many options for romance. The men are all either married, gay, an ex, or not worth the time. Well, with the exception of the Chase brothers. Those boys are hot, but so far out of her league that Maggie doesn't give them more than a panting... Er, passing thought.
Then Shane Chase dumps cheese fries all over her.
Shane acted like a complete ass after bumping into Maggie. He knew is was an accident, and all his fault, but something about that woman got under his skin. Whatever it is, she caught his attention. She caught his brother, Kyle's, attention, as well.
Two Chase boys chasing after her? What is a girl to do? When Shane suddenly turns skittish and Kyle steps in with serious intentions, Maggie knows there is no choice.
But danger is lurking in town. Maggie has captured the attention of another man. One who won't take no for an answer and takes exception to Maggie's growing love with Kyle.
This was my first time reading Lauren Dane's work so going into it I really had no expectations. I was in the mood for a contemporary, and a series about gorgeous brothers? Perfect! Shane, Kyle, Matt, and Marc are skirt chasers. Lovers of women who are enjoying variety. Hey, a reformed rake is always a great hero, so I' m not complaining. I liked the brothers. I loved their mother. Strong, loving, meddlesome. She is your typical Southern momma. Almost too typical, but the stereotype worked for the story. Maggie is the history teacher at the local high school. Being a teacher myself, I am a sucker for heroines in my field of employ. She is sweet, but has the worst inferiority complex. You find out that her mother is Evil Mom. The character is so awful that I had a difficult time buying it. She is a former beauty queen who is obsessed with beauty and image. Someone so focused on how she appears would never say and do some of the things Maggie's mother did in public. Particularly in front of one of the most important families in town. I understand, though, that this character's actions are such so that the reader can see why Maggie so strongly doubts her self worth.
I liked the characters and the small town life. I liked the overall idea of the book. Unfortunately, there were elements that kept me from becoming full immersed in the story. Some of them were things that would not bother all readers. There are certain words that will immediately pull me out of a story if they are overused. Pussy can be cute for a cat. It can be sexy when used occasionally in an extra hot scene. When it is the only word used to describe a woman's anatomy, and it is used multiple times in a paragraph, I start to cringe. Like I said, my issue. Many readers won't care.
There was also the whole aspect of her being involved with one brother and immediately jumping into a relationship with the other. It bothered me at first. I had a hard time with her going from crying over Shane to getting physical with Kyle. I think if there had been some time between the two relationships (although she barely started dating Shane) I would have been ok with it.
The overall pacing pulled me from the story. It felt a bit as though there was this great story full of so much potential, but it was packed into a format that was far too short. Often there were times I stopped and thought, "wait, I want more here!" Important events were mentioned almost in passing. I think if the story had been given a longer format it would have had room to breath and grow. You could have seen Maggoe and Kyle fall in love in a gradual, real way. It would have brought the story from average to quite good. Instead of feeling rushed (wait, the bad guy is obsessed to the point of stalking her after only two dates?) you could have gotten a story with not just great characters, but great suspense.
I didn't hate this book, I promise! It was a nice, quick read. There was enough in it that I enjoyed that I am curious to read book two. Enough that I will give the series a second chance. I mean, those Chase brothers are pretty yummy.