Title: Chasing the High
Author: Beth Michele
Release Date: 17th oct, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Broken/Damaged Heroes, Second chance romance
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Left at the altar. Dumped. Abandoned. Jilted.
That only happened in books. Fictional disasters like the kind I wrote. It wasn’t supposed to happen to me, Sam Stone. My life was supposed to be orderly. Organized. Perfect.
But I had no control over my fiancé’s decision to leave me.
What better place to be alone while nursing my broken heart than in paradise, right? Two weeks of sandy beaches and tranquil waters to quietly rethink my life.
That’s what I thought anyway—until Drew Mariano came along and shook everything up. He shook me up.
He made me forget myself. And that was good.
He made me want to take chances. And that was hard.
He made me feel high on life. And that was amazing.
But I was afraid…the higher I got…
I was going
“Chasing the High” by Beth Michele is a combination of a second chance romance and broken/damaged hero romance and I absolutely loved it. It is emotional, sweet and at times a little angsty and everything was blended together to perfection. The MCs really stole my heart. Their journey of finding true love was endearing, hot and sweet. Plus the setting of the story is in the gorgeous Maui islands and it was a fitting background to the tentative romance.
Sam Stone has been left at the altar and he is heartbroken to say the least. Without going home, Sam decides to go to his already booked honeymoon to clear his head. On the flight he meets his prickly but sinfully gorgeous seatmate, Drew Mariano. Their first conversation is a bust but when they coincidentally end up staying at the same hotel, they strike up an easy friendship. Sam is charmed quickly by Drew’s easy demeanor and devil may care attitude. Drew challenges him to push his limits and experience new things and while Sam is coaxed to get out of his comfort zone and try new things, he is also developing a serious case of attraction towards his larger than life companion. Also the rare flashes of vulnerability makes Sam want to wrap Drew in his arms and never let go. There’s just one problem: Sam has kept his sexuality a secret from Drew and he is sure Drew will not accept him as a friend if he knew.
“He was like this brilliant magnet of energy and light and I couldn’t seem to get enough. ~Sam”
Sam has been ridiculed and bullied by his peers growing up because of his sexuality and he is scared that a straight Drew will treat him the same. But Drew is hiding something from him too. Sam may get his wish granted and find love for the first time if he is ready to take a chance on love and fight for Drew with his whole heart.
The relationship between Sam and Drew develops within a span of less than two weeks but the entire thing has been described so beautifully, that you would never get the vibe of insta-love. Drew and Sam strikes the best kind of friendship and then steer it towards a vulnerable but sweet love in a short span of time and I loved every single moment of it. There was no feeling of rush in the romance. This read will convince you that love can happen in a week if you have the right person by your side. There is no such angst in the story other than a miscommunication that tears them apart for a short period but they resolve their problems beautifully at the end.
Both Drew and Sam had flaws but they were perfect for each other. Drew had a bad childhood. His father was physically abusive and he still carries the scars due to it. Drew is scared of love, he believes that he is damaged goods and not worthy to be loved. Under his sunny exterior, Drew had a lot of insecurities and hurt which made him vulnerable and in need of someone like Sam to cherish and love him for who he really is. Sam on the other hand is shy and not so great in handling stress or anxiety. Drew pulls him out of his shell and encourages him to experience life in its beautiful form.
“You have heart… and you shine so bright. In a sea of stars I’d know exactly which one you were. I’m drawn to that light in you, Drew. You give me hope. You make me want to take chances. To try new things-to live life in a different way. ~Sam”
The setting of the romance was just amazing. The various adventures that Sam and Drew engage while in Maui and then the food and the beaches brilliantly complimented the budding romance. The tropical weather portrayed the hot and intense feelings the couple had developing between them. Drew and Scott generated heat even with a subtle touch or a look and when they do get together physically, they scorched the pages.
The secondary characters come into play quite late in the story after Drew and Sam get back after vacation. They are not given much exposure but within a short amount of pages, we get a very detailed character development and they complimented the story beautifully. I loved Sam’s feisty sister, Mia as well as Drew’s friend Joe. Both were great and a very important part of the couple’s lives and they were always there to support the lovebirds throughout. Loved Sam’s parents too and that epilogue was amazingly sweet.
“Sam’s family was a trip, and somehow, Joe and I fit in here perfectly. For the first time in so fucking long, there were no storms brewing inside my chest. There was only calm- and love. Something this mouthy, troubled kid from the Bronx never expected to find. ~Drew”
Overall, I had a great time reading this romance. Sam and Drew’s journey to knowing each other to friendship to realizing that they are in love is beautifully written and I can guarantee all romance lovers will love it too.