Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Self-Published on August 6, 2018
Genres: College New Adult, Sports Romance
A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy
Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.
And that his best friend has a crush on me.
And that I just moved in with them.
Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?
I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?
He knows where to find me.
(Briar U #1)
By Elle Kennedy
I was captivated by The Chase…
I judged Summer and I’m not proud of myself. To be honest, I don’t think I will be the first or the last reader to do so. It’s hard to look at an extremely beautiful, rich and vivacious woman, with a family who loves and protects her, and not think that she has everything. What could she possibly have to complain about? I became judge and jury finding her guilty of being a bit of fluff, a princess a spoilt brat. Maybe I was a little jealous and resented her good fortune and thought she was undeserving of the opportunities given to her. I may have even thought she was taking advantage of her “issues” to gain an easy way out of hard work.
I should have looked beneath the surface and taken the time to get to know Summer first. I judged her…and I’m not proud of myself.
There were stages while reading that I found it hard to understand Summer. At times she could be reckless, self-absorbed and a little loopy. Her anger and frustrations controlled her actions and sometimes left her in a dangerous or vulnerable position. I know I would have handled things differently, but, I’m not Summer.
Once I got to know Summer better, I couldn’t help but pause in my reading and reflect back on my initial judgment and reconsider my feelings. I found myself understanding her reactions and giving her leeway, feeling bad for her and hating how people only saw the outside packaging and not her big heart.
I wanted to be the friend by Summer’s side, helping her process situations and deal with the drama. It was hard to witness her inner-turmoil and self-doubts, while also still questioning and contemplating HOW she could have those doubts. I mean, she has money and good looks. Doesn’t money and good looks equal happiness?
Fitzy was a character that took a while to warm up to. He was such a conflicting character and again, I found myself quick to judge and put him on a shelf that he didn’t belong on. A talented sportsman CAN be artistic and a computer nerd. A college hockey player CAN be an introvert and shy away from the spotlight. A sexy college hockey player CAN also think a woman is out of his league…not often…but it CAN happen.
Once I got to know Fitzy, I understood his previous actions and knucklehead decisions. Sure, I still wanted to kick him in the ding-ding and tell him to stop being a scaredy-cat, but I got him. His character growth was impressive from the start to the finish.
This story made me laugh, cry, squirm and sigh, everything I want and love in my romance stories. The Chase was fantastic and I’m in awe of Elle Kennedy’s ability to make me love New Adult Romance. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the college environment. These characters are not idiots, they’re hard-working, ambitious and determined young men and women. Studying, training and playing their chosen sport/instrument/thing keeps them extremely busy. Sure, it’s not all seriousness. There are hijinks and shenanigan aplenty, but it’s definitely balanced out with the serious stuff.
Talking about serious stuff…The Chase tackles some very serious issues that a lot of women and girls face every day. Elle Kennedy handles them in a way that was realistic and doesn’t produce unicorns to make things all work out perfectly in the end. I think she does show there is strength in numbers and talking to the right people can help. Hopefully, readers will gain strength, find courage and knowledge in identifying a risk and taking steps to fix it, if they’re ever in this situation. I’m sure there are men who have also faced this situation, and I hope if they read The Chase, they too find the courage to stand up and speak out.
I’m sorry this review is a wee bit rambly. It’s been a BIG weekend for me and I’m bloody exhausted. I had to write this review tonight…but I’m sure I will rewrite it (or some of it) tomorrow. To finish off, I thoroughly enjoyed The Chase and I can’t wait to come back to take The Risk with Brenna.
“Dance with me?”
I want to say no.
But I also want to say yes.
I call this the Summer Dilemma—the frustrating, polar reactions this green-eyed, golden-haired goddess sparks in me.
Fuck yes and hell no.
Get naked with her. Run far, far away from her.
“Thanks, but I don’t like to dance.” I’m not lying. Dancing’s the worst.
Besides, when it comes to Summer Di Laurentis, my flight instinct always wins out.
“You’re no fun, Fitzy.” She makes a tsking noise, drawing my gaze to her lips. Full, pink, and glossy, with a tiny mole above the left side of her mouth.
It’s an extremely hot mouth.
Hell, everything about Summer is hot. She’s hands down the best-looking girl in the bar, and every dude in our vicinity is either staring enviously or glowering at me for being with her.
Not that I’m with her. We’re not together. I’m just standing next to her, with two feet of space between us. Which Summer keeps trying to bridge by leaning closer to me.
In her defense, she practically has to scream in my ear for me to hear her over the electronic dance music blasting through the room. I hate EDM, and I don’t like these kinds of bars, the ones with a dance floor and deafening music. Why the subterfuge? Just call your establishment a nightclub, if that’s what you want it to be. The owner of Gunner’s Pub should’ve called this place Gunner’s Club. Then I could’ve turned right around when I saw the sign and spared myself the shattered eardrums.
Not for the first time tonight, I curse my friends for dragging me to Brooklyn for New Year’s Eve. I’d way rather be at home, drinking a beer or two and watching the ball drop on TV. I’m low-key like that.
“You know, they warned me you were a curmudgeon, but I didn’t believe it until now.”
“Who’s they?” I ask suspiciously. “And hey, wait. I’m not a curmudgeon.”
“Hmmm, you’re right—the term is kind of dated. Let’s go with Groucho.”
“No-Fun Police? Is that better?” Her expression is pure innocence. “Seriously, Fitz, what do you have against fun?”
An unwitting smile breaks free. “Got nothing against fun.”
“All right. Then what do you have against me?” she challenges. “Because every time I try talking to you, you run away.”
My smile fades. I shouldn’t be surprised that she’s calling me out in public. We’ve had a whopping total of two encounters, but that’s plenty of time for me to know she’s the type who thrives on drama.
I hate drama.
“Got nothing against you, either.” With a shrug, I ease away from the bar, prepared to do what she’s just accused me of—run.
A frustrated gleam fills her eyes. They’re big and green, the same shade as her older brother Dean’s eyes. And Dean’s the reason I force myself to stay put. He’s a good friend of mine. I can’t be a jackass to his sister, both out of respect for him, and for fear of my well-being. I’ve been on the ice when Dean’s gloves come off. He’s got a mean right hook.
“I mean it,” I say roughly. “I have nothing against you. We’re cool.”
“What? I didn’t hear the last part,” she says over the music.
I dip my mouth toward her ear, and I’m surprised that I barely have to bend my neck. She’s taller than the average chick, five-nine or ten, and since I’m six-two and used to towering over women, I find this refreshing.
“I said we’re cool,” I repeat, but I misjudged the distance between my lips and Summer’s ear. The two collide, and I feel a shiver run up her frame.
I shiver too, because my mouth is way too close to hers. She smells like heaven, some fascinating combo of flowers and jasmine and vanilla and—sandalwood, maybe? A man could get high on that fragrance. And don’t get me started on her dress. White, strapless, short. So short it barely grazes her lower thighs.
God fucking help me.