The Good Chase (Highland Games #2)
by Hanna Martine
Gleann, New Hampshire’s annual highland games always deliver the best of Scottish culture—rowdiness, rugby, whiskey, and unexpected romance…
Even though Shea Montgomery’s swanky bar and distinguished palate have made her a highly regarded whiskey connoisseur, she’s happiest bringing her favorite spirit to various highland games around New England. Her demanding ex made her wary of men obsessed with money and status, and she’s now more comfortable in the country than in the city. Still, when a gorgeous rugby player straight from Wall Street barrels into her whiskey tent, she’s tempted to change her mind…
J.P. Byrne went from poor beginnings to international high roller by using his charisma and wit, and holding fast to his dreams. A strong, independent woman like Shea is exactly what he’s looking for, only he has no idea how to prove he’s more than his three-piece suits—especially when he’s spent years doing just the opposite.
But as Shea and Byrne battle old demons, they discover together that the best remedy for past pain is a good, stiff shot of present pleasure…
I read Long Shot, the first book in Hanna Martine's Highland Games series, about a month ago, and while I didn't love it I was really excited about Shea's book, The Good Chase. Unfortunately it didn't quite live up to my expectations.
So we have our heroine, Shea, who dreams of opening her own distillery and works extra hard to bring that dream to life. She has strict rules when it comes to her personal and professional lives but with Byrne she's willing to make an exception, though she has a hard time with it from time to time.
Then we have Byrne. He works extra hard to prove that he's worth more than the poor kid he once was. He tries to take care of his family and Shea, and he doesn't understand why they won't let him help when he has the means to do it. In a way Byrne is extremely admirable and on the other hand, he's a bit too pushy at the same time.
You can feel the instant attraction between Shea and Byrne but, of course, Shea keeps pushing him away. The thing that bugged me the most, though? The fact that Byrne didn't try harder to win her over. He asks her out, she says no, and he lets it drop until the next time they accidentally run into each other. I guess I just wish that he had pursued her a little more.
Shea and Byrne are both headstrong, independent characters and while I can appreciate that there were some parts of the story where I felt that they probably wouldn't make it as a couple in the real world with the way they butted heads. I really enjoyed how they talked it out and worked through it though.
There's some drama with his family and her ex that I feel was just thrown in there to add drama to an otherwise drama free romance and I think if that hadn't been the case maybe I would have enjoyed it more. As it was, the story started out strong but then I felt it just dragged after a while and I found myself getting distracted.
If you're looking for a light, angst-free, contemporary romance this just might be the book for you, unfortunately I was hoping for more. After being slightly disappointed with the first two books in the Highland Games series, I probably won't continue if there are others.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of The Masseuse in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.