Series: Dive Bar #3
Published by St. Martin's Press on April 19th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Netgalley, Inkslinger
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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?
by Kylie Scott
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.