Cover Image: Chaser

Chaser

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I wish I could have felt a little more of a connection between the characters, but overall I thought Reed did a nice job of showing the many sides of love. It would have been nice to see more of what happened during their time apart. I felt like the ending came really quickly in comparison to some other parts.
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I had the pleasure of reading Chaser (#1) back to back with Raining Men (#2) and Rick R. Reed has a great, compelling story to tell.

Right from the top, Reed gives us something lacking in a lot of M/M Romance- real characters that resemble all of us. Kevin, sort of a 'bear' type, is the MC I've been missing. A genuine, good guy that isn't perfect. Physically, he doesn't have a perfect body, he knows it, and he struggles to find the motivation to change that. 

Then we meet Caden, who IS nearly perfect, naturally. (Well, he's a runner, too.) Caden's secret is he's a 'chubby chaser'. Of course his too perfect best friend (and slut) Bobby, would never understand. Bobby is the typical bar fly, taking a different man (or two, or three) home every night. 'Judgmental' is his middle name.

With that set up, author Reed gives us a fairly predictable storyline, but he makes it fresh and keeps it entertaining. All three MCs have plenty to learning about life, and more importantly, themselves. Things do turn ugly, but there is a happy ending.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Another Rick R. Reed book and another near miss. Honestly, the only person in this book that I cared about was Kevin. That may sound harsh, but it's how I felt, even when Caden finally came to his senses. And don't even get me started on Bobby.

To be fair, it was a good story, but not a great HEA. Sure, things worked out for Caden and Kevin in the end, but I'm not so sure I wanted it to work out that way... which is not the way I expect to be feeling when I reach the end of what I expected to be a romance. *sigh*

That being said, I haven't given up on this author or this series. Am I a glutton for punishment? Maybe, but I'm also a fan of any author who can change my opinion of a character that I loath. Raining Men is next and it's Bobby's book. Right now the jury's out on whether or not I want him to find a HEA. Rick R. Reed has his work cut out for him and I'm just curious enough to stick around and see if he can make it happen.
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Chaser by Rick R. Reed is a contemporary romance. Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can’t help but stare. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky bearded blond. But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance. When Caden runs into Kevin on the train, he figures it’s fate offering him a second shot. Caden manages to get invited back to Kevin’s place for a one-night stand that turns into the kind of relationship he’s dreamed about. But the course of true love never runs smoothly—Kevin and Caden’s romance is no exception. When Caden returns from a few weeks away on business, Kevin surprises him with a new and “improved” body—one that fits Caden’s shallow friend Bobby’s ideal, but not Caden’s. Caden doesn’t know what to do, and his hesitation is just the opportunity Bobby was looking for.

Chaser is a romance that has characters with realistic and relatable issues and problems. I like that the characters all have their insecurities, because as much as people like to hide it I believe we all have them. Caden has doubts about his own desirability, and about who he is attracted to. I really like that he is aware of his issues and taking steps to make himself a better person for his own sake, rather than for someone else. Similarly, Kevin has insecurities and takes a completely different, yet still healthy, path to try and better himself. Like Caden I thought he was physically just fine in the beginning of the story, but getting healthier and being aware of your personal coping methods is not a bad idea. I have to admit that the tension of the story in the second half really got to me. I wanted to throw things as things went sideways, and while I love a good crisis and villian in a story I was way too tense to really enjoy this level of conflict. I think it was extremely well done, and too believable, which is probably why I found it so difficult to read at times. I read to escape the madness of the real world, and my escape was thwarted. Those that enjoy realistic crisis, betrayals, and so one will enjoy this much more than I. This comes from personal preference in reading rather than anything wrong with the writing or story- in fact, I think the fact that I found it as disturbing as I did goes to show how realistic the characters and story were.

Chaser is a realistic and well written romance.
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I am not entirely sure how to rate this one.  I love the character Kevin and at first I want to really like Caden but I am not entirely sure that he completely redeemed himself.  I do love an HEA but I felt like there were still things these two characters needed to deal with and in the end they acted as if all of their issues were all due to Bobby.  I am getting ready to read Bobby's book now but honestly it is going to take a lot for me to get over hating him right now.  I think Chaser is a 3.5 star book for me.   I will round it up to 4 just because I love Kevin.
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Chaser by Rick R Reed,is a re-release.
I have read this one before,and I like the book.
Loved the no perfect body Mc,to be his own self
and be happy about it.It takes a while.
But I loved reading about the road to his h.e.a
The book is well written and the build up to read more
about an certain villain sidecharacter is wel done.

3,5 stars

arc rpvided by netgalley
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I suppose Caden could be called a "chubby chaser," but darn it, he just likes a sturdy guy with some heft and substance. And when he meets Keith at a Boystown bar, he is smitten. Keith, for his past, is taken with the lean, fit Caden who runs daily. After just a date (and a half) Caden is called home when he learns his beloved mother has cancer. 

It's easy to love Keith, who is a kind nurturing man. But Keith isn't comfortable with his body and over the six weeks Caden is gone, Keith starts working out and loses 30 pounds in an attempt to surprise and delight Caden with his new fit body. But Caden is less than appreciative. As he tells himself "You like big butts. You like bellies. You want a man with a little meat on his bones. What's wrong with that?" and he wonders "Is sexual attraction supposed to have some sort of PC all-for-one and one-for-all universality?" 

I like how Reed challenges our preconceptions about attraction and the part it plays in love. And as a counterpoint, Reed introduces us to Caden's best friend Bobby, who is all about the superficial and sheer sexual attraction. On the surface, Bobby has it all yet his life is empty and void of true emotional depth. It's very easy to hate Bobby and his malicious game-playing but definitely read "Raining Men" (which is Bobby's story) to get the whole story. 

As a series, the two books work together beautifully as it strives to show how "the essence of a person doesn't change with his appearance. To the core, essentially, people are not a collection of blood, sking, bones, and muscle, but something harder to put one's finger on. The body is a shell, and it contains the fragile and ethereal spirit of the person." 4 stars for "Chaser."
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2.5 stars. 

I’m really sad that I didn’t like this one more. From the blurb, I thought it would have a lot of things I liked, but ultimately that’s not what happened. Instead there was changing yourself for a love interest; shallowness from said love interest; a complete troll of a best friend who is the worst; and the most abrupt and flimsy ending. 

I will say this, I really liked Kevin. He was sweet and endearing. I liked that this took what you think is shallow, and turned it a little on its head. I always love more plus size MC rep (even if he almost instantly loses the weight here).
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2.5* SOOOO disappointed, and the ending wasn't an ending. I feel like I wasted my time reading this.

Right now, it feels like this author is releasing books like the heavens are releasing floods in the UK. I suspect that this is because he's got his rights back, and though I don't know if they've been re-edited or re-beta'd or tweaked, I think that maybe it's a question of not. 

I normally enjoy Rick R Reed's books as they have an authentic voice and perspective. I think this has the latter, too, but OMG, it was so lacking in everything that makes his books such a decent, sweet, satisfying read. And, I didn't think that the blurb was particularly accurate, and that the word 'chaser' has been used to generate interest in the tale, which didn't really feature 'chasing' or the type of lead you'd typically expect from a tale with 'chaser' in the title.

This had a feel of 'the gays and their true lives' in a world that I didn't like. I was left with what felt like trope-y stereotypes of gay males: What they supposedly like. What supposedly motivates them. How shallow they supposedly  are. The supposed beeotchyness. How they're supposedly quick to use and discard. How they're supposedly so good at letting the drama take hold and escalate out of control. How supposedly a quick hook-up is worth risking friendship for. The list goes on.

I liked the larger character of the tale, Kevin (who really sounded like a Kevin: stable, comforting and comfortable, happy in himself, liking the simple things) who seemed a really, really decent guy and who tried to improve himself both for himself and for the guy he was falling for, Caden (shallow, up himself, selfish, obsessed with his thinness, with his running (tbh, I think he needed to see a counsellor, as there were possibly 'body issues' lurking), a bit high maintenance). The latter, I didn't like at all. I really felt like he was so self-absorbed and when Kevin no longer lived up to his image/requirements, he backed off without explanation, hurting Kevin and just being utterly, utterly shallow and selfish. At the same time, the author introduced a family situation which I think was to make us see Caden as someone caring, but tbh, if that was the MO, it didn't work for me. I simply couldn't like someone who was so self-obsessed and all Me, Myself and I.

The tale ended in a way that made me want to throw my Kindle across the room. You know, where you turn the page expecting to get the good stuff and to see the leads making plans, but nope. I got NOTHING. No HFN, no HEA, no words, no plans, nothing. This is the first ever time that I feel like I've wasted time reading a Rick R Reed book. I hope he ceases this crazy output and goes back to putting his usual warmth and believability in his tales.

ARC courtesy of NineStar Press and NetGalley, for my reading pleasure.
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I enjoyed this book but it left me wanting.
For me Caden didn't do enough grovelling.
I'd have liked a confrontation with Bobby in this book.
I wanted more of Kevin and Caden together before the ending came.
I loved Kevin though and that's what the four stars are for.
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