Chase in Shadow - Amy Lane, Sean Crisden

I finished this two days ago and I am still surprised at how I am left with such a positive overall impression considering how much I loathed Chase and his actions throughout most of it.

Based on what is already in the blurb, it’s hardly spoilerish to mention that Chase spends most of this book cheating on his girlfriend. And for some reason the mere fact that there was cheating didn’t bother me as much as it generally does. No idea how Amy Lane managed that?!

What does bother me in general, and in Chase’s case in particular, is the idea of a closeted gay man stringing an unsuspecting girlfriend along for years. And we don’t even get any justification from her being a bitch or a bad person in any way. On the contrary, Chase constantly goes on about how she is the sweetest, kindest person ever who deserves so much better. And yet, even though he himself is miserable, even though Tommy loves him and wants to be with him and even though Mercy deserves better, it does not occur to him even once that there is a very simply solution to making things better for everyone.

Apparently Chases many hangups and his inability to break up with his girlfriend are all rooted in various issues locked inside his brain and dating all the way back to his childhood. This is all really well done but as much as I believe that childhood trauma can affect a person throughout the rest of their lives, I still did not buy it as an explanation let alone an excuse for how Chase treated the people who love him.

So why is it that I still think Chase is a nice guy and I still loved this book? One of life’s mysteries, I guess. And Sean Crisden, of course. Let’s not forget him – totally awesome job on the narration.