OMGoodness. Yum. First things first - check out this great cover. I think I love it so much because he reminds me of my son's karate instructor. Yes, he was barely legal when my oldest first started taking karate, but he's all grown up now *g*... and he teaches my quarterly women's self-defense classes, too. *mommy* Hands on classes. I get to take him down. *sigh* Ahem... what was I talking about? Oh, yes... Giving Chase, that's right. This is the first in a new series about 4 dee-licious brothers, and I could not have been more happy with this book.
Giving Chase has everything. Romance, suspense, character growth, family, hot beautiful sex, good friendships. Watching the love bloom out of friendship between Kyle and Maggie was lovely. Maggie's inner strength grew and her character blossomed under Kyle's love and caring. She learned how to stand up for herself - not only to stand up to her stalker, but to her family as well. Maggie was truly emotionally abused by her family, but doesn't realize it until the meat and potatoes of the book. Kyle does realize it. His reaction? "He had to launch Operation Make Margaret Wright Know What A Goddess She Was, and he had to do it right away." Wouldn't you just kill for someone to feel that way about you? I really enjoyed the natural progression of their relationship from friendship to love to engagement. It just seemed right.
Kyle's family was terrific - warm, giving, accepting. They pulled Maggie into their circle and made her feel welcome and wanted - something she had never experienced before within a family environment. I enjoyed the Chase family dynamics. The unconditional love, the teasing among the siblings, the sheer joy of being together, a child's unabashed love for his parents and a parent's true pride in their children. The entire family could chastise Shane for his shabby treatment of Maggie, yet they understood it, and never showed him anything but love. It reminds me of what I tell my own kids sometimes - I always love you. Right now, I don't like what you did, but I love you no matter what. That describes the Chase family's feelings toward Shane's treatment of Maggie. Unconditional love, with recognition of faults. And a true desire to see Shane happy. I cannot wait to see the woman who brings this man down *g*
I liked how Lauren Dane introduced Alex, the stalker. In the same way that so many women are stalked. He was just a really nice guy that Maggie dated. Bit by bit, we saw his irrational jealousy. It was this that spurred Maggie to begin standing up for herself. First, by stepping back and deciding not to see him any more. Then by immediately calling the police.
I loved that Kyle wasn't afraid to show his feelings when Maggie was kidnapped by Alex - he was terrified, he cried, he was angry. He never felt that he couldn't be himself in front of his family, that he had to be the 'strong' one. What an amazing man. *sigh*
Maggie is a strong, moral (do not infer uptight here, by any means) woman who wants to do what's right. She feels concern over the possibility of coming between two brothers who love each other. She doesn't want to make waves in her own family dynamic - the peacemaker (I can relate *g*). She stands up to her stalker in court, yet we see her unable to touch her things once they are returned to her. She has terrific girlfriends who love and support her and vice-versa. As she discovers more of her own strength and independence, she becomes more aware of her own self-worth. This makes her more and more irresistable to Kyle, and he falls more deeply in love with her.
What more is there to say? Oh, I know. Duh. It's a Lauren Dane book. Did I mention the hot, amazing sex? Holy cow! Go out and get this book now. It is available from Samhain Publishing. And keep your eyes peeled for the next installment, Taking Chase, Shane's story.