Sunday, 4 October 2015

Chaser (Bad Habits #2) by Staci Hart - ARC Review

Released: 15th October 2015.
Everyone knows you should never say never.

Cooper Moore never saw Maggie Williams coming. She was just his best friend’s little sister, the curly-haired, freckle-faced girl from Mississippi who was absolutely off limits. And he never thought about her any other way — not until he saw her that night, broken and brave. From that moment on, he knew he’d do whatever it took to protect her, even if it meant he had to stay away.

Maggie never expected to find her fiancé banging her maid of honor an hour before she was set to walk down the aisle, but life’s funny that way. The only option to save her sanity is to get the hell out of Jackson and move to New York where her brother lives. The only downside: Cooper is there too. And she just doesn’t know if she can stay away from him — the filthy rich, dead sexy playboy who’s allergic to commitment.

The second Maggie sees him again, she realizes he’ll be impossible to resist. Luckily, commitment is the last thing on her mind, and Cooper is the perfect escape. As long as she can keep her heart in check, everything will be just fine. Because she can never have feelings for him. Or at least that’s what she’ll keep telling herself.

Chaser is a standalone romantic comedy and book 2 of the Bad Habits series.


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Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: October 2015.

To be honest, I'm not too sure what I was expecting with Chaser, With A Twist was my first book by Staci Hart, and I loved every second of it, I love the friends to lovers stories, it's pretty much my crack, so when we meet wealthy playboy Cooper Moore he seems to have it all together...looks, money, women throwing themselves at him, no real job to screw with his bachelor lifestyle, things seem to be coasting along for him, I think I almost expected a tried and true formulaic story about a rich Manwhore who gets tamed by some sweet naïve girl, but Chaser is so much more than that.

West Williams sister Maggie had it all figured out, she was getting married to her childhood sweetheart, surrounded by her best friends and family, that all ended when she walked in on her fiancé and maid of honour going at it on her wedding day, suddenly her wedding was off with good reason, and she's never felt more alone and confused despite the brave face she's wielding like a mask for all those around her.

When Cooper and Maggie embark on a casual sex relationship, the rules are clear, no dates, no romantic feelings, no staying the night, no screwing around with anyone else and in one month it all ends, it seems like the perfect way for Maggie to her over the painful events that brought her to New York, and Cooper is the perennial playboy, he doesn't do relationships, he doesn't do romance and it will all be over long before any feelings can develop so there's no way it could possibly go wrong...right??

As we wade into the murky waters of both Maggie and Cooper's pasts we realise not everything is as it seems, Maggie may seem like the one who is guarding her heart at all costs but there's more to Cooper than meets the eye, for every cleverly crafted image he puts out there, there's a vastly different one he's keeping close to his chest, and for the reader it's thrilling to discover who Cooper really is.

"Making you smile gives me life. Making you laugh gives me hope. Making you happy is all I want, other than to keep you."
I loved every second of Chaser, I loved watching Maggie struggle to find herself and separate her fears from her regrets, I loved catching up with West and Lily and where their relationship had taken them, I loved seeing Rose and Tricky orbit each other with minimal interaction (and just quietly I really hope we get their story) and I loved getting to know Astrid a little better. Reading Chaser was like catching up with old friends, sitting down for a drink with them and hearing what they were up to and what they were doing. Hart proves that she can write an ensemble cast of characters that make you greedy for her next book, for her words, because there is so much good here that I found myself devouring the pages and simultaneously trying to savour every word, everything about Chaser was a heady combination of friends you wish were your own, romance, sexy times and laughs that not only had me invested but utterly captivated, with moments of quiet desperation as Maggie struggles to find herself again, to the sheer beauty of seeing two people connect on a soul deep level, the swoony rush that comes with the whispered words and secret glances left me feeling both sated and exhilarated and I can't wait to see where Ms Hart takes this series next.

About Staci Hart:
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, even though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

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