MtSnow reviews ‘Chasing Shadows’ by Annabelle Jacobs. Self-published on March 24, 2016. 238 pages.
Why MtSnow reviewed this book: This week was ‘Reviewer’s Choice’ week, and this new release was in the vault. I was intrigued by both the cover and the blurb of this new-to-me author’s story.
Note: a copy of this book was received in exchange for an honest review.
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.
First off, this is the first book I’ve read from this author. The story had many elements that drew me in, including location, mystery/suspense, former military, and a possible enemies to lovers aspect. The cover was quite attractive as well, with the black and white image having a very pensive, thoughtful feeling to it. I liked it better than many of the headless torsos we’ve typically seen on many book covers in this genre.
So, without giving much away, this author had me on a heck of a roller coaster ride, at times feeling disgust, anger, and sadness, getting my emotions yanked around while being afraid of what was going to be the end resolution to this mystery. I seriously felt Jamie’s grief as he had to come to terms with his brother’s death. I found myself initially not liking Felix too much, almost feeling like he was pretty callous and able to disassociate too easily.
Having said this, I couldn’t help bring drawn into the story and feeling little bits of hope and despair here and there. I loved the descriptions of the Cornwall coast with the crashing waves and scenic venues. The perfect place to draw an artist in. I found myself really liking Michael through Jamie’s memories of him and their time together. They sounded like very happy siblings. And I found myself getting emotional in a few of those parts, too.
And eventually, after being introduced to two of Felix’s Army buddies, well, I even got to where I began to like him too, with their good -natured ribbing of each other *wink*. Felix became more likable as we learn of his losses, and see him acting out with his friends.
The mystery aspect wasn’t extremely intense, but the author had me on the edge of my seat either dreading or anticipating what might happen next, or what Jamie might find out about his brother’s demise, but in the end I was able to finish the book with a smile on my face, and found myself being quite happy with the conclusion. The epilogue was perfect.
This story was a lovely escape from reality, and a good way to pass the time with tea, scones, and clotted cream. Quite a lovely view of the Cornwall coast, as well, and a place I’d love to visit one day. Highly recommended for those that like a little mystery, travel, and former military guys to love, all getting their HEA.
8 of 10 pots of gold
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.