Chase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.
Nobody knows the real Chase.
Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.
Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.
I've had the first 4 books of this series on my Kindle for 2 years, now. Yep, I bought them in February of 2015 and they have sat there taunting me all this time. They've had a little help, in the name of my friends who have also been prodding me to finally read the series. So, when I couldn't settle on a book for two days and I was starting to get agitated from the lack of reading, I thought "why not?" I knew it would be angsty AF and I knew that it would hit me right in the feels, and I hoped that it would fit the bill.
And did it ever!
Folks, Chase in Shadow is not an easy ride. At all. Chase is pretty messed up and he takes the long way around to figuring out his shit. But I was hooked by the end of the Prologue and knew that the journey getting there was going to squeeze tight.
That prologue is present time, and then we go back 1 year to experience how Chase got to his breaking point. 70% of the book takes place in that year and we witness Chase trying keep his head above water, only to finally figure out he was drowning.
There's a fair amount in this book that many readers will find hard limits, such as cheating - Chase has a girlfriend for the majority of this book. A girlfriend who doesn't know he's taken up performing in gay porn. A girlfriend that doesn't know about Tommy. And if Chase would have been less screwed up, I'd have hated him, but the truth is, he tried to make people happy and he tried to be someone he wasn't and he failed spectacularly. He wasn't malicious at all, and when his world finally came to a breaking point, Chase took responsibility for all the hurt he caused everyone else, and himself.
I loved Tommy, too. He was kind and understanding and the only person who could get Chase out of his head. Chase kept so much locked away and Tommy is the only one to ever have success in chipping away at that fortress. He stuck by Chase, but not in a doormat sort of way. He was Chase's rock.
Amy Lane definitely knows how to put her characters through the wringer, that's for sure. She pulls no punches. But, she also gives HEA's that feel hard earned. Chase and Tommy get their HEA and it was truly gorgeous.
My verdict? I loved Chase in Shadow. I'm glad I finally read it and I'm looking forward to digging into the rest of the series.
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Happy reading (but bring a teddy bear)