Monday, October 5, 2015

REVIEW: Chaser by Staci Hart

Everyone knows you should never say never.

Cooper Moore never saw Maggie Williams coming. She was just his best friend’s little sister, the curly-haired, freckle-faced girl from Mississippi who was absolutely off limits. And he never thought about her any other way — not until he saw her that night, broken and brave. From that moment on, he knew he’d do whatever it took to protect her, even if it meant he had to stay away.

Maggie never expected to find her fiancĂ© banging her maid of honor an hour before she was set to walk down the aisle, but life’s funny that way. The only option to save her sanity is to get the hell out of Jackson and move to New York where her brother lives. The only downside: Cooper is there too. And she just doesn’t know if she can stay away from him — the filthy rich, dead sexy playboy who’s allergic to commitment.

The second Maggie sees him again, she realizes he’ll be impossible to resist. Luckily, commitment is the last thing on her mind, and Cooper is the perfect escape. As long as she can keep her heart in check, everything will be just fine. Because she can never have feelings for him. Or at least that’s what she’ll keep telling herself.

Chaser is a standalone romantic comedy and book 2 of the Bad Habits series.

Source: Author
Purchase your copy: Goodreads


Shel: I follow Staci Hart on Facebook and it's a glorious thing (find her here ) because she's hilarious, shares sexy pictures, and teasers for her books; but honestly, one of my favorite things Staci does is share her book writing journey. Lately she's been sharing her excitement and nerves and love for Chaser and reading those status updates clued me in that this one was gonna hit me right in the feels and it did! Court: Ditto! She has the BEST graphics, teasers, and is hella fun. Shameless Author Plug - right here! We love her! 

Shel: Here's the thing, in genre fiction (namely romance), it's more likely than not that your characters are going to end up happy. We all know this on some level, whether we want to admit it or not, and so it's not really so much about how it ends, but how we get there. In Chaser, I wasn't exactly sure how we were going to get to that happy place but it felt like from almost page 1 that it was going to hurt at some point. How could it not? The synopsis tells you that this is supposed to be just a temporary thing--that he's a playboy and she's recovering from a cheating ex-fiance--and yet...and yet, within pages you know that there is no way in hell these two are walking away from this. Don't get me wrong, Maggie fights it hard. She doesn't think she's ready and keeps trying to convince herself that she's absolutely not falling for Cooper (LIES. Total denial going on here, Mags). And to Cooper's credit, he sort of tries to follow her rules (totally half heartedly), but it's evident to him (and all of us) that there's something more to this fling and he's smart enough and wily enough and persistent enough to see what this 'something more' is (he just has to convince Maggie). It's Cooper's sweetness and curiosity and willingness to explore the 'more' and Maggie's stubborn insistence that this is a fling that made me cringe long before I got to the 'shit hits the fan' part--this was the recipe for hurt. Thankfully, Staci Hart didn't kill us with angst or hurt and once I got over how I wanted to throttle one character...for reasons...I was able to pick the book back up (after putting it down because ANGST! WORRY!) and get the best reward--an ending that was immensely satisfying and really perfect for these two. I should note that Hart does all of this her trademark romantic comedy style--there will be lots of smiles to balance out those angsty bits. And BONUS! she also gives us a look at what's going on with Lily and West and Rose and Tricky, for those of you who've read With A Twist (and if you haven't, it's not a must but I feel like you'll be more invested if you read it first).

Court: O-M-G. Shelley had told me that she was riddled with feels, and I saw lots of tweets flying when she finished this one, but I wasn't prepared for it apparently. In the first book Cooper is the epitome of rich playboy who has it going on...but as we have figured out time and time again - there is usually more than what first appears on the surface. And there is so much moore to Cooper Moore than I ever thought possible, and I am in love with this story and these characters. Staci has given us a world of people in New York City that are up and comers finding their way in the world. I love their group, and on that note I do appreciate that this novel is less group centric than the last one. Maggie and Cooper give us a run for our money, and I am so glad to say that this one is a super quick read but one that is full of heart, feelings, and more than a few of my heart strings were pulled. Because ----SCENES---you guys. Whew. Man can sail, that is all I'll say! Whew.

Shel: ..and that's normally where I'd end the review, but I wanted to say something about Staci Hart's books--I love the worlds she creates. It's not so much that she's invented a new place or new tropes or new feelings, it's the way she takes what we already know exists and creates such strong scenes. In her Hardcore series I still have the strongest images of her characters running and jumping and flipping from rooftop to rooftop; there was a layer of grit mixed in with romance that I cannot forget. In With A Twist she made grading papers interesting, strenuous ballet practice inspiring,  and a tiny apartment seem more romantic than cramped and the scene at the end?! something I imagine I'd see on tumblr or Pinterest complete with twinkling lights and love pouring off the page. And in Chaser I've never wanted to go sailing, sit in the grass in Central Park, or be in a penthouse apartment more than after reading this book. Staci is not only great at making me care about her characters but she creates these places that are rich and hit everyone of my senses. I'm eager to see what she does with Tricky and Rose (and in the meantime I'm going to try to find time to read the one other series she has out that I haven't read yet: Hearts and Arrows).YES! Her novels are rich in setting, and rich in characters and what else can we ask for, I ask? Not one thing. I come away even when my heart is a flutter (mega flutters for Hardcore) and not sure where things will go...to formulating plans, and texting my plans, and then being wrong about my plans to Shelley...lol...they're great fun, and this reader is supremely happy with this book. Read it. Love it. We love it a lot! 


Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, even though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k. 

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.


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