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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Another Addicting Hockey Romance: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

THE CHASE

by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult, New Adult
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 6th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Trigger warnings (highlight to see): sexual assault, attempted rape, abuse of power by a professor

After a short break from her hockey romance world, Elle Kennedy is back with The Chase. This is possibly one of the whole romance community's most anticipated books. As I devoured all of her previous stories, I was pumped to read The Chase, a new companion series to the popular Off-Campus series. With her signature charm, the author delivered another fun and sexy sports romance novel that will have you swooning and sighing in happiness.

Elle Kennedy always characters who are well-developed, lovable and easy to relate to. The characters in The Chase were no different. I already was completely entertained by Summer and her outgoing personality in Dean's book. She gave off this no-care attitude in that book, but here we see that there was much more to Summer. At the start of the book, Summer has transferred to Briar after being expelled from Brown for an arson-related incident. We learn that Summer has ADHD and resulting learning difficulties. It was a source of vulnerability for her, and it made me sad that she was so self-conscious about it, especially because some people in her life had been jerks to her about it. I thought Elle did such a lovely job with making Summer's feelings about the matter feel real and tangible throughout The Chase. Besides that, Summer was a genuinely sweet girl who seemed to love life and tried to live it to the fullest.

Fitzy could not have been more different from Summer. He may have been a sexy athlete, but he was closed-off and introverted. An aspiring video game designer, Fitzy impressed me with his well-rounded personality. He was athletic, nerdy and artistic - talk about the full package! I also thought it was refreshing to see a college hockey player who didn't want to make hockey a full-time career. Though he frustrated me with his unwillingness to open up about his feelings, I wound up really loving his character. The guy needed to be pushed in the right direction when it came to his romantic feelings for Summer, but when he finally gave in, he turned into swoony goodness! Though they were different, I thought Summer and Fitzy balanced each other really well.  It didn't entirely start off on the right foot with Summer overhearing a hurtful (and unintentional) comment that Fitzy makes to Garrett about her. This further turned awkward when they become roommates! It took them longer than I would have liked for them to give in to their attraction to each other, but when they did, the chemistry and banter were just everything. Elle Kennedy just knows how to write some of the best romances. I only wish that so much of the focus was not taken away from their budding romance.

Another aspect that Elle Kennedy is just fabulous at is writing amazing friendships. Both Summer and Fitzy had such great friends. The newfound friendship between Summer and Brenna was the highlight of the book for me. Brenna was just the kind of friend that every girl needs in her life. She was honestly a riot with her outspokenness. The girl had no filter, but boy was she entertaining. Her book is next and I CANNOT WAIT. The Briar hockey boys and their bromance and shenanigans also had me in hysterics. They were such a fun and absolutely ridiculous bunch, but I grew to care for them so much. Can I also just say how happy I was about seeing some of the previous couples? They were just as adorable as ever and it pleased my shippy little heart!

What I didn't particularly care for, however, was the love triangle that was in the book. I generally tend to find love triangles unbearable, and here I thought it was plain unnecessary. I think it was perhaps because I grew to care for Hunter, the other guy, but I was unhappy with how Summer seemed to lead him on. It was very obvious that Summer and Fitzy would wind up together, and The Chase had lots of other sources of drama which could have been relied upon on over this triangle. There was also a scene at the end (highlight for detail: an attempted rape), that occurred too late in the story to be handled with enough care.

Besides those two minor issues, I found The Chase to be an addicting read. Fans of the Off-Campus series will no doubt love being back in this world. By the end, The Chase will have you more than a little impatient for Brenna's book.

Are you a fan of Elle Kennedy's NA romances?
Let me know in the comments below!

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