Chasing the High by Beth Michele
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Contemporary, Opposites Attract, Holiday Romance, Second Chances
Reviewer: Kazza K
Left at the altar. Dumped. Abandoned. Jilted.
That only happened in books. Fictional disasters like the kind I wrote. It wasn’t supposed to happen to me, Sam Stone. My life was supposed to be orderly. Organized. Perfect.
But I had no control over my fiancé’s decision to leave me.
What better place to be alone while nursing my broken heart than in paradise, right? Two weeks of sandy beaches and tranquil waters to quietly rethink my life.
That’s what I thought anyway—until Drew Mariano came along and shook everything up. He shook me up.
He made me forget myself. And that was good.
He made me want to take chances. And that was hard.
He made me feel high on life. And that was amazing.
But I was afraid…the higher I got…
I was going
This is a contemporary romance for readers eighteen and over due to graphic language and sexual content.
After being left at the altar by his fiancé, Sam Stone decides to go on his honeymoon to Hawaii anyway. On the plane he bumps into a rather hot guy, one who has a bit of an attitude. Sam’s humour breaks through Drew’s defences and they develop a friendship from there. In the beginning Sam thinks Drew is straight so when he’s asked why he’s in Hawaii, and Drew assumes his fiancé must have been a female, Sam doesn’t disavow him of that notion. Having said that, they build a good friendship base from near the start, with a smouldering intensity just beneath the surface.
Sam is twenty nine and a successful author. He comes from a loving family. He is sweet, methodical, practical, and has anxieties, particularly involving a bit of risk or change to his routine. Working for himself and on his own doesn’t particularly facilitate any need for him to come out of his comfort zone on any given day. Going to Hawaii on his honeymoon alone was pretty much new territory for him.
Drew is twenty six and works in Web development for a New York department store. He is a risk taker and full of outward cheek and bravado. He talks Sam into some adventures, like helicopter rides, jumping off cliffs into the sea, and trying new foods at a luau. And dancing – something Sam does not do. He pushes Sam into unchartered territory.
The two are opposites in the way they grew up – Sam from a wealthy family in New Jersey, including a sister, Mia, whom he’s close to. Drew, from a one parent one child home of borderline poverty in New York. Sam’s family are accepting of him, Drew’s father isn’t. The two guys learn a number of things about the other while on vacation.
Because the author requested a spoiler free review I won’t go into anymore backstory or details. I’ll simply say that the MCs are an interesting and lovable mix, the story a nice read, with enough emotion to make you relate to the guys at a deeper level.
Things I liked:
It is nice to have a relationship forming from a compensatory standpoint as opposed to a couple who are two peas in a pod. People don’t have to like the exact same things, eat the same food, act the same way in order to have a great relationship. These guys do compliment one another well, their strengths are a well developed backbone for each other and for their relationship.
You get two POV, although the majority of the book is from Sam’s perspective. If Drew didn’t get a POV, and it takes a while to get to his, it may have been hard to connect to him. I thought it added to the overall storytelling and the two main characters that they both had a voice, and exactly the way it was written.
There’s a good slow burn to hot, really well written sex.
The secondary characters, while not needed much, were good.
The three dimensional writing added good emotion and I felt a real connection to and understanding of Sam and Drew – I always need that, and Chasing the High delivered.
It’s well written, it’s well edited and it’s easy, engaging reading.
Drew swears way too much for me. I don’t mind swearing in dialogue, that is fine, but in the general narrative I don’t like it. I understood the motivation for it here, but irrespective, I’m just not a fan as a reader. It’s official. I’m old.
I really liked this book. A lot. It was so close to a 5 star read. I think the MCs are fantastic, the chemistry right, the time spent away in Hawaii had a lovely slow burn, and when they had sex, phew, it was really hot. Beth Michele has delivered a highly enjoyable contemporary gay romance with MCs you can cheer for, and I can see she is one talented author. For lovers of gay contemporary romance with emotion and some depth as well, for those who simply believe love is love, who like to mix up the gender of the main love interests in romance, Chasing the High is highly recommended reading. 4.5 Stars!
ARC supplied by the author in return for an honest review – but since bought a copy.