Title: Chase (American Extreme Bull Riders Tour, #2)
Author: Barbara Dunlop
Publisher: Montana Born, Tule Publishing
Expected Publishing Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Western Romance
Rating: 3- Stars
Betrayed by his fiancée and his best friend, Chase Garrett heads out on the road with the American Extreme Bull Riders Association, determined to ride hard and keep a wall around his heart. But during a competition, three-year-old Riley Barrett bursts through that barrier when he throws himself into Chase’s arms, insisting Chase is his daddy. And Chase’s walls collapse further when he meets Riley’s mother–beautiful, vulnerable, sexy Maddy.
A widow for only a year, Maddy Barrett is stunned by her son Riley’s outlandish assertion that Chase is his father. She tries desperately to convince Riley that his father has not come home to them. When Chase and Maddy join forces to help her son, she finds herself falling fast for the sexy, hard-working bull rider—wishing he truly could be the man for Riley, and the man for her.
♦ Personal Thought ♦
This book had me divided; some parts of it were too adorable and sweet while the other was just seethe-inducing. Of course, the blurb clued in what to expect in the story but the manner of which said betrayal occurred? Let me tell you, skinned-alive slooowly was too good for the supposed best friend and fiancée. Then, being thwarted a grovelling scene got me batshit crazy! I mean, really!?!
But let’s talk the good points: Chase had some of them besides the hero, keen to be independent heroine, and cute almost-four-year-old Riley who’s adamant Chase was his daddy (same first name, similar last name, almost look-alike appearance). Chase and Riley’s endearing yet heartbreaking interactions aside, I really enjoyed the author’s writing here: the easy pace, the adult (Chase and Maddy) acting their age instead of fed on pure lust and didn’t rush their attraction.
The last one third pages was very busy though, with lots hint on stuff but not quite delivering the whole story. I referred to the appearance of Maddy’s brothers and her friend, who seem itching to tell stories of their own – which I predict would be a whole other series of its own.
As for the MCs, this part was also where I felt Chase decision swing was such a let down. And story-wise, from a leisure walk it suddenly escalated into sprinting without warming-up. Understandably the author wanted to end the story on the positive notes; but the approach just didn’t feel satisfactory for me, especially those of the former best friend appearance. I definitely wish for more than just “forgiven, bygone, we should catch-up” they dished up here.
But overall, I think the Chase/Riley combo just turned me to mush. I’m a sucker for a lad adoring his (supposedly) father and man dotted on a tyke; which was why despite all the grumblings I gave this story a moderate rating. 🙂
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.