Title: Trust with a Chaser (Rainbow Cove #1)
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Page Count: 225
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks…
Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans.
Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for.
When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?
Trust with a Chaser is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, a hot law-enforcement hero, opposites attract, plenty of sexy times, and one hard-fought, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.
Blurb sums does a good job of summarizing the story so I won’t rehash.
This book was delightfully perfect for me. The main characters, supporting characters, changes in point of view, pacing, setting, situation, emotions…this was just well written and hit all my criteria for an ideal read.
The main characters/supporting characters: I greatly appreciated the pace of the romance; this was what I like to read in my romances. An exploration of feelings, starting with mutual attraction and desire, moving to friendship, and finally an acknowledgement that each person really needs the other. There were no “besties” demanding to know more, wanting the full blown sexual details, interfering because “they” know best. THIS was two very lonely guys, each battling their own mental (or real) demons, and needing a non-judging shoulder to unwind on.
The supporting characters were just that: supporting roles, providing subtle information about the town and, I assume, a glimpse at future parings.
I also felt the POV changes were well done – the author made sure to note when she changed from Nash to Mason, and the first couple of sentences included additional names to keep the reader tracking correctly. I can safely say, that’s not always the case so, Bravo! I also thought alternating between the two guys really added to the emotional depth of story.
When the climactic implosion happened, the event that both Nash and Mason knew in the backs of the minds “could” happen but never voiced out loud (purposely not saying what here), was very well played out and I thought, realistic. Nash knew as Chief he was walking a very, very thin line and no matter what he did, Mason would be angry. And Mason was angry, lashing out in frustration over everything: his family, the secret relationship, the uncertainty of what would happen to his niece, all of it. It felt real.
An interesting observation in the book: the perception that two guys can’t be friends without being perceived being “gay”. It is, unfortunately, the way people judge others. If two gals, say, go on a trip to Portland together to save gas, nobody thinks anything of it. Even if one is a Lesbian. But if two guys, one who is out, go to Portland together, then by gosh, they must both be gay. Granted in the book they were, but still, a very perceptive commentary on society.
And I love Oregon. What can I say? And I’m geeky enough that I Googled Coos Bay to give me an idea where the approximate location of Rainbow Cove might be. And that’s one very small, minor complaint – the town name Rainbow Cove just didn’t work for me and I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why, I have the same issue with other similarly named towns. ((shrug))
Ultimately, a very satisfying, engaging and enjoyable read. Recommended!