Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 1-59998-505-5
Contemporary Romance, 2007
Making Chase is the fourth book in Lauren Dane’s series revolving around – who else? – the hunky Chase brothers. This is my first time reading a book in that series though. Set in the town of Petal, this story now zooms in on the sole bachelor Chase hunk, Matt. The lucky woman is Tate Murphy, the woman who runs the local salon Murphy’s Cuts and Curls with her sisters. Tate has been admiring Matt for a while now – he’s her “morning visual donut” – but poor Tate, Matt only realizes that she exists when she gets involved in an accident and he happens to be nearby to come rushing to the rescue like a triumphant hero.
No freaking way did Matt Chase rub up all over her while she lay sprawled in the street like a drunken hobo! Tate couldn’t believe her luck. The closest she’d ever been to the man and of course she had to have a torn shirt, bleeding face and her back-of-the-drawer panties. Special. Well okay, so he didn’t see her panties or anything but she’d known they were on. And she’d noticed, as Tim had insisted on driving her home, she’d spilled something or other on her shirt.
She sends him some cookies as a thank-you gift and… well, let’s just say that he falls in love with her cookies first and, later, her. However, trouble is brewing when Matt’s ex-girlfriend sweeps into town spoiling for a fight.
Apart from the nasty ex-girlfriend, there is not much else here in terms of conflict apart from Tate’s own insecurities about her looks and white trash background. Making Chase suffers from a problem commonly found in books at the back end of a series: there are so many lovey-dovey secondary characters in this book who coddle, shelter, and support the main characters to the point that Tate and Matt come off as invulnerable to any problem thrown their way. As a result, this book doesn’t feel as if it has much of a story and it often feels padded by scenes involving secondary characters who already have their own stories previously. In fact, the way mean evil Melanie is allowed to go about plotting against Tate for that long is puzzling given how Tate and Matt have such strong support network from their friends and families who won’t dare behave out of order as they want me to buy their stories too. I’d expect the Chase+Murphy=4eva brigade to at least tar and feather Melanie out of town at the slightest provocation she makes against the golden couple.
Nonetheless, Matt and Tate make a most likable couple, especially if one enjoy reading stories where the former young girl who never fit in finally growing up and winning the affections of the handsome hunk around town. Tate is generally a likable level-headed heroine and Matt can really be swooningly romantic if he puts his mind to it.
I have a pleasant time reading Making Chase. It reminds me a little of something Lori Foster would put out on a good day. However, with its thin plot, I suspect that Ms Dane could have probably come up with a much better story than this. It just doesn’t have that extra sizzle to move beyond an adequate read where I am concerned.