Friday, March 25, 2016

ARC #REVIEW Chasing Shadows by Annabelle Jacobs #mmromance #romhero

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 24, 2016
Publisher:  Annabelle Jacobs
Length: 238 pages

Description: Jamie Matthews goes to Cornwall to find his missing brother. The police are convinced Michael drowned, but Jamie knows better. No way would Michael swim to his death, especially on a beach with a wicked rip tide. Finding a stranger in his brother’s cottage only deepens his misgivings.

Felix Bergstrom is recently discharged from the British Army. Unable to put the past behind him, he takes an unhealthy interest in old acquaintance and millionaire businessman Karl Weston, hoping to catch him up to no good. Michael’s disappearance adds fuel to Felix’s suspicions. Weston’s clifftop home overlooks the beach where Michael supposedly walked into the sea, but Weston has an alibi for that day.

When Jamie and Felix meet, the physical attraction is instant. Mistrust keeps them from acting on it until finally all their secrets are laid bare. But time isn’t on their side. Before they’re able to work out whether they have a future, danger catches up with them and threatens to put an end to everything.

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Chasing Shadows is the dynamic amalgamation of all the best parts of good storytelling: good writing, an interesting plot, a well-developed romance, sharp conflicts, humorous interactions,  and smoking hot sex! 

Jamie and Felix meet under auspicious circumstances. Jamie has come to Tresthelway Cottage, in Cornwall, to collect his brother's belongings and to question the police on the investigation into his disappearance. Everyone is convinced Michael is dead, drowned in the sea, but Jamie dismisses that theory. Something sinister is up. A feeling that is only reinforced when he opens the door to the cottage and comes face to face with a mysterious stranger who refuses to tell him anything.
"What an arsehole!" Jamie yelled into the silence of the kitchen, refusing to look out the window and watch Felix walk away.

Who the fuck did he think he was? Poking around as if he owned the place and then refusing to tell Jamie what it was he'd hoped to find. Michael was Jamie's brother, and Jamie had every right to know.
The initial tension between these two men is fabulous. Their attraction to each other is already making itself known, but they appear to be on opposite sides of this disappearance investigation. Or are they? As they reluctantly come to know each other, truths come out that reveal that they have more in common than either had thought.
Jamie jumped when Felix put a hand on his shoulder, squeezing once with his strong fingers before letting go. This was the second time Felix had touched him, comforted him. The warmth lingered, making Jamie wish Felix had kept his hand there. He glanced up to see Felix watching him intently.

"Jason was my best friend. He called me two days before he died. We argued. I told him he was a fucking idiot and hung up."

Felix scrubbed a hand over his face, and Jamie had the sudden urge to pull him into a hug.
Despite, or maybe because of, the situation, Jamie and Felix are drawn together. They need a release from the taut atmosphere, and soon comfort turns into much more. Now at this point, some readers may argue that no one whose close brother is missing would get involved with someone or even begin to have feelings for someone. But it is that true? Even Jamie questions his actions. What begins as a tryst, a way to turn off the sadness for a few hours, can become more when the partner is right.
They stared at each other for a couple of seconds before Jamie looked down between them and scoffed. "I don't even like you."

Despite the gravity of the conversation only minutes before, Felix was helpless to stop himself shifting his hips. The telltale hardness in Jamie's jeans made him smile. "I beg to differ."

Jamie glanced back up and shrugged. A small answering smile on his lips. "It's only a semi."

"It was only a kiss."
Humor tinges many of the interactions between Jamie and Felix, lightening the considerably dark mood. Also a lot of fun are Felix's army buddies Adam and Nick, who come to visit Felix while they are on furlough. Adam and Nick immediately see what is going on between Jamie and Felix and miss no occasion to take the piss out of the two men (love that expression!). 

The suspense aspects of this story are not overly developed or complex. However, although some parts are very tense and the overall scenario is dark (missing, possibly murdered, brother), Chasing Shadows is billed as a contemporary romance and not a romantic suspense. As such, our rating is based on this being a contemporary romance with romantic suspense elements.

All in all, I really enjoyed Chasing Shadows and will certainly be reading more of Annabelle Jacobs' m/m romances!

OUR RATING: 4.5 stars!


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