Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane
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 was very unsure starting this book. Chase has had a very difficult childhood and it has caused him issues in how he interacts with the world. He wants “perfect” (though I will admit I really didn’t see that it was “perfection” he was striving for). Chase starts making gay porn to supposedly make money for school and his life with his girlfriend but it is really about letting himself have the freedom to be with men. While there he meets Tommy. Tommy is everything he wants but thinks he can’t have. Tommy and Chase fall for each other. Chase allows himself to be talked into an affair with Tommy, but Chase is being torn apart and is unable to handle the fallout.
Normally the one thing that will REALLY turn me off a story is cheating. If you are like that DON’T read this. Yes, Chase cheats on his fiancé and though Tommy knows I still feel he is cheating on Tommy. I don’t like that. I have never understood it and do not find it something that I can read objectively. (This is not the same as an open relationship, triad, or a poly relationship. These kinds of relationships all have an understanding between all parties and hurt no one. EVERYONE was hurt here.)
That all said I enjoyed the writing. The author is a wonderful writer and creates worlds that are so real! The characters are so personable and fun but still real. I have always loved the characters in the books I have read by this author. I really think she has a gift for writing. Even with the cheating I enjoyed the story. Chase’s struggle within himself and wanting what he thought he couldn’t have and shouldn’t want. The guilt and the buildup effect it had on Chase.
There was a touch on Tommy and his problems. Since the story is from Chase we don’t get a lot of that side of the story. Tommy isn’t perfect and had a good home but he still had his issues. Mental problems can affect any and all. Chase’s depression was well described. I can relate to that. I think everyone suffers at some point a degree of depression but the level that Chase reached and how he felt when he starts with the razor is a perfect look at how someone can be so far gone to it that nothing matters. It’s all far away. I think that was well done by the author.
Now I have looked at other reviews by some. They address the fact that Chase is a self centered, child. That he isn’t the only one to have a bad childhood and they didn’t do like Chase. I don’t agree with it all. I think people are individual and can’t always be grouped like that. What can destroy one person’s mind may be more easily dealt with by another. I think as a child Chase’s mind dealt with his life in a way that made sense to it. To me this story is one example of how a mind can trick itself.
I didn’t like the cheating but it was central to the story. It was part of Chase’s denial. I did feel that Chase was being childish and should have woke up to what he needed to do long before he did. I didn’t like that aspect of the story. I don’t know if it was the cheating or something else but I had a hard time becoming invested in the actual story. I would have normally bawled like a baby during a story like this but I just couldn’t invest into the story itself like that. I still believe this story is wonderful. I think the author has amazing writing skills. I think my issues with the story are my own and not a reflection on the quality of the book.
Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2013, in Book Review, Contemporary, Five Roses, M/M Romance, Novel: 150 pages and above, TJ and tagged Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Five Roses, M/M Romance, Novel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.