BLOG TOUR: #EXCERPT & #REVIEW ✭ KYLIE SCOTT ✭ CHASER

Chaser (1)Given his well-earned bad boy reputation, Eric is having a tough time scoring.. When single Jean moves to town, she seems heaven sent by the sex gods. Only problem is, she not only wants nothing to do with him, but it turns out that she’s pregnant.

Starting over in a small town, Jean is determined to turn her wild lifestyle around and be the kind of mother she always wished she’d had. Since local bar owner and all round hottie, Eric Collins, is now determined to steer clear of her pregnant self, it should be easy. When she goes into labour during a snow storm and her car slides on some ice, it’s Eric who comes to the rescue.

There seems to be a bond between them now, but is it enough? And can Eric give up his manwhore ways to be the man Jean needs?

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I’d been tricked. Betrayed.

After Andre and Jean ate their lunch, we headed outside to deal with her stuff. The cold wind suited my mood to perfection.

Talk about disappointed.

“Don’t lift that, it looks heavy,” I snapped.

Jean blinked. “It’s a pillow.”

“The world’s largest pillow ever. You can’t be too careful.” My gaze roamed over her swollen middle. “You’re . . .”

“Pregnant?” she asked with a voice dripping poison and sugar.

“Are you having trouble with the concept?”

“Absolutely not. I was just going to say huge, that’s all.”

She blew out an exasperated breath. “Thanks, Eric. That makes me feel so much better.”

“I just . . .”

“Don’t bother.” The woman turned back to her sensible, medium-sized SUV and got busy riffling through the contents. I was surprised she’d been able to squeeze into the driver’s seat.

Boxes and stuff took up almost every inch inside the vehicle. Each and every box seemed to have been neatly labeled with the contents.

The woman took her organization seriously. She looked over her shoulder. “You know, I can’t help noticing that Eric-the-smooth-moving-flirt has been suddenly replaced by Eric-the-awkward-jerk.”

“Well, you said you were single.” I folded my arms defensively across my chest.

“I am.”

And then there was an awkward silence.

“Yeah, but . . . I mean, in your condition . . .” I fumbled to a halt.

She turned, face all scrunched up. Like I was the one with the problem.

“Just hop out of the way so I can grab some boxes,” I said, voice gruff.

Still nothing from her. “It’s a second-story walk-up and you have a lot of stuff to get up there. You should be taking it easy.” Hands on hips, I tapped my black leather boot against the sidewalk, waiting her out. “Jean, I’m not trying to insult you. It’s the truth.”

She swore quietly, going back to fussing with the contents in the vehicle. I don’t think any woman has ever given me the silent treatment quite this quickly. Usually I’m good for at least a couple of hours after seeing them naked.

Man, I still couldn’t believe this was happening. God hated me or something. Pregnant women and me were enema. Anathema. Whatever. Now that I’d seen her out in the autumn light, however, she looked younger than I’d first guessed. Despite her tired eyes, her skin was smooth, soft looking. She was likely closer to her early twenties than mid.

“How old are you?” I asked.

“Why do you care?”

I shrugged one shoulder. “Just curious.”

“How old are you?”

“Nearly thirty.”

She sniffed. “I’m twenty-two.”

Young, like I’d thought. She was probably too immature for me, anyway.

“Come on, Jean. Let me get some of the boxes.”

Boyd ambled out of the Dive Bar, turning his head this way and that, looking up and down the street. I raised my hand and he started over in our direction. The big cook would make short work out of moving all this stuff. Behind us, Andre and Nell came out of the tenants’ entrance to the Bird Building. The place was a big brick building about a hundred years old. Just past the door was an entryway with stairs leading up to the second floor, followed by two empty shops, their windows covered in flyers about local events. Concerts and parades and shit. They’d been vacant for a while, unfortunately. Andre’s Guitar Den came next, then Pat’s tattoo parlor Inkaho, and the Dive Bar on the corner.

“Everything’s good to go. Alex and I gave it a cleaning last week just to be sure,” said Nell, smacking a kiss on Jean’s cheek.

“You’ll meet Alex later. She’s probably busy working or something now. She’s sort of a shut-in.”

“You two didn’t have to do that,” said Jean. “Thank you.”

“Anytime.”

Andre leaned against the SUV. “Your furniture got delivered yesterday too, so it’s all good to go.”

“Excellent,” said Jean. “I can’t wait to sleep in a decent bed again. Road trips when you’re seven months’ pregnant kind of suck.”

“I bet.”

“Who’s minding the kitchen?” I asked.

“Lydia will text Boyd if they need something,” said Nell.

“We’re only going to be a few feet away from the place.”

I frowned.

“I own the kitchen, Eric. Not you,” she said. “You’re in charge of the bar, that’s all.”

One of Jean’s eyebrows inched up slightly. So I might have implied that I was the sole owner. Shit happened.

I crossed my arms. “Fine. No need to bite my head off.”

“My best online friend just moved to town. We’ve been texting and skyping for months. She’s been an absolute rock for me through all the nerves of being pregnant again,” said Nell. “Stop messing with my happy.”

And then there was an awkward silence. Great. If only there was some way to get out of helping without looking like a raging asshole. The possibility of anything happening between me and Jean had been buried six feet deep, never to be spoken of again.

kyliescottimageKylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet. You can learn more about Kylie from http://www.kylie-scott.com/

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I have a love affair with Kylie Scott’s writing. Her characters have this humorous, self-deprecating voice that just chimes with me. In Chaser we finally get Eric’s story, who is Joe’s brother, male main character of Twist. Back when I read Joe’s book I was curious how the author will make me love the immature, self-absorbed man-ho Eric was portrayed as. I’m happy to report that Kylie Scott passed with flying colors.

Eric’s friends have been really hard on him lately, telling him that he is irresponsible, unreliable and doesn’t have anything else but women on his mind. The one person who harps on about his devil-may-care attitude is Nell, the woman he almost had a baby with. Not being taken seriously gets to him and he starts to look for ways to change the image his closest friends seem to have of him and it doesn’t only have to do with the young single and very pregnant woman who just moved to Coer d’Alene. Although Jean is really sweet he needs to take it slow.

In the beginning he goes about it the wrong way and his attempt at a serious relationship with his fuckbuddy was hilarious. He realizes fast that you can’t force a connection which seems so effortless with Jean. When Jean goes into labor and nobody else but Eric is available to be her birth partner a deeper connection builds between him and Jean but also, completely unexpectedly, with her newborn daughter, Ada.

Eric’s growth throughout the story is phenomenal and completely believable. He has a couple of hickups along the way and sometimes needs to backtrack and readjust but it is obvious that he wants to change to become a better man. When Ada enters his life he falls head over heels in love with her. The way he was with her was adorable, funny and heartwarming. His love for his baby girl was so palpable. I fell in love with Eric, with his humor, his loyalty, his mellow, good-natured attitude and the way he stopped thinking about himself and started being considerate and thoughtful. His transformation from bad boy to dream man was beautiful.

Hell, I loved being the person she asked for help. Being the person she relied on, someone she trusted, felt damn good.

Jean was a likable heroine but – and this is my only quibble – we didn’t get her thought process. I never could get a proper read on her so up to the end I didn’t know Jean really well. I commend the author for doing a single male POV story but I had troubles warming up to Jean in a way that I wanted her as a friend. She just stayed a stranger to me. Maybe it was the author’s intention that decisions Jean made were just as much a surprise for the reader as they were for Eric. I think it excludes the reader from Jean’s own development and stopped me from falling in love with her along with Eric.

The person who really rubbed me the wrong way was Nell. Granted, she had a reason the way she was with Eric but, come on, give him a break! She said she loved her friend yet she never gave him a chance to prove that he meant that he wanted to change. When she insulted him for the umpteenth time I felt my head swell and get hot.

“You’ll screw up eventually, Eric. You can’t help it.” The venom in her voice . . . hell. I rocked back on my heels.
“You actually hate me, don’t you?”
“No, of course not,” she said. “But I’m wary of you. I know you too well to be anything else. And I don’t want you hanging around my friend who is young, alone, and vulnerable.”

This isn’t the way somebody talks to a friend and as much as I felt sad for Nell in Twist I really hated her in Chaser.

This installment is pretty low in the angst department. I loved Eric’s and Jean’s friendship – trust had to be established first before it could lead to more so it’s a slow burn. But I didn’t mind at all – I loved their friendship so much! Eric’s wise-cracks and quips are what make this story so incredibly enjoyable. He and Ada are the stars in Chaser. I loved to reconnect with Joe and Alex and we also get cameos from the Stage Dive series. Kylie Scott remains one of my favorites, I can’t see that changing anytime soon.

“You look great as Morticia, babe. Just one question,” he said. “How am I supposed to drink anything with all this hair in my face?”
“I’ll put a straw in your drink and lead you around all night so you don’t bump into things. Don’t worry. I’ve thought this all out.”
I chuckled. “Beer through a straw. Way to go, Cousin Itt.”
“Shut up, Wednesday,” Joe growled. Or, at least, I think he did.

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