Title: Chasing Shadows
Author: Annabelle Jacobs
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: March 24, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Mystery
Page Count: 162
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.3 stars out of 5
Jamie Matthews goes to Cornwall to find his missing brother. The police are convinced Michael drowned, but Jamie knows better. No way would Michael swim to his death, especially on a beach with a wicked rip tide. Finding a stranger in his brother’s cottage only deepens his misgivings.
Felix Bergstrom is recently discharged from the British Army. Unable to put the past behind him, he takes an unhealthy interest in old acquaintance and millionaire businessman Karl Weston, hoping to catch him up to no good. Michael’s disappearance adds fuel to Felix’s suspicions. Weston’s clifftop home overlooks the beach where Michael supposedly walked into the sea, but Weston has an alibi for that day.
When Jamie and Felix meet, the physical attraction is instant. Mistrust keeps them from acting on it until finally all their secrets are laid bare. But time isn’t on their side. Before they’re able to work out whether they have a future, danger catches up with them and threatens to put an end to everything.
I always enjoy Annabelle’s writing style and storytelling. From the start of this thrilling read, her main characters pull you in and you want to find out what happened to Michael. You feel Jamie’s grief (along with his parents) for the missing younger brother and you sympathize with his determination not to accept that Michael is dead as he clings to the hope of finding out what really happened to him. Through Jamie, Annabelle draws you into the Cornish countryside and seascape. You visualise the cottage with ease and the surrounding locations that Michael enjoyed sketching.
Jamie’s search for clues to his brother’s mysterious disappearance leads him directly to Felix, who is also on a mission to discover facts concerning the recent death of an army friend. Despite a shaky start to their acquaintance, Jamie and Felix gradually fall for each other, despite the guilt they feel over the reason they met in the first place. The arrival of Felix’s buddies helps to lighten the tension between them and the tongue-in-cheek comments about their would-be relationship provide some amusing moments.
I particularly enjoyed the sizzling sexual chemistry as it develops throughout the romance arc of this story and the eventual hot smexing scenes. I also enjoyed the ‘angsty’ moments, too, as any possibility of a future relationship undergoes some doubt.
The mystery plot has its tense and suspense-filled moments and culminates in an exciting scene with the ‘baddie’. Although the conclusion to the overall mystery is not fully explained in enough detail, the ending of the romance story is very enjoyable and the epilogue is lovely and definitely HFN.
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