Erryn reviews ‘Giving Chase (Havenwood Book 1)’ by Riley Hart. The ebook was published March 9, 2020. The audiobook version of this story was narrated by Kale Williams, released April 20, 2020 and is 7 hrs and 36 mins long. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I’m always game for a new Riley Hart book.
I wasn’t supposed to fall for my older brother’s best friend. Unfortunately, that ship sailed when I was a teenager, even though Chase Hawthorne always treated me like nothing more than a younger sibling. Things were worse after my parents died. Chase was sweet and supportive, which only strengthened my feelings for him. But then he’d act like I couldn’t take care of myself, and that part didn’t go over well with me.
Yeah, I had a habit of screwing up. I’d always been the weird boy in our small town, but just like my big brother, he took overprotective to a new level. Until one night when I was 18 and Chase and I hooked up. It was a ding to the ego that he left town right afterward. Ridiculously, I’m still not over him.
I betrayed my best friend, Griffin, the night I messed around with Kellan. So I ran – first to the marines, then into law enforcement. Ten years later, I’m back home, this time as a patrol officer rather than a troublemaker’s son. Oh, and unable to keep my hands off Kellan Caine. There’s always been something about him…the way he stands strong in who he is, even when he’s standing alone. I’m trapped between someone I want more than anything and Griff, the guy who’s like family to me. Yet the more time I spend with Kellan, the harder it becomes to deny there’s something real between us.
With my dad stirring up trouble, and me going behind my best friend’s back, everything’s a mess. The more tangled the web gets, the more I realize I need Kellan. And that there might be something in the Hawthorne family history that’ll make me lose both Kellan and Griffin for good.
I have an affinity for Riley Hart books. I know what I’m going to get, and I’m never disappointed. There’s something comforting with that. I was in a bit of hangover when Whiskey Creek ended, but I was revived when she began a new series – Havenwood.
I also have an affinity for the brother’s best friend trope. Griff is Chase’s best friend. Has been a solid presence in his life. Brought him home one day and showed him what a real family was. Treated him more like another brother than just a friend. Griff’s family embraced the wounded Chase, each demonstrating their love. In the midst of those developing relationships, Griff’s younger brother Kellan hit puberty and discovered not only that he was gay but that he had a massive crush on his older brother’s best friend. He held that secret close to his chest until the night when he was eighteen when he acted on that attraction. The next week Chase joined the Marines, leaving Havenwood seemingly forever.
Fast forward ten years and the Kaine brothers are doing well, thriving in their small town. They still miss their parents who were taken away in a violent mugging, but they’ve settled into a routine. Griff runs a bar while Kellan teaches art. The brothers still live in their childhood home and neither has had a serious relationship. They’re okay with that, though, because they have each other.
Then Chase comes back to town and everything changes. He and Griff take back up as best friends, and as much as he tries to resist Kell, he takes back up with him as well. But they have to be on the DL because there’s no way Griff is going to accept the relationship. Chase is back as a patrol officer and it’s not long before he’s back to dealing with his father. Only this time he’s an adult in a position of authority.
Kellan is certainly all grown up. He has friends and a good business. He’s managed to mature despite Griff’s constant coddling. Now, faced with Chase, he finds himself getting everything he’s ever wanted. But malevolent forces are still present, and soon the men face discovery. The question becomes will they be able to sustain their relationship in the light of day?
I have to admit I fell in love with Kellan, Chase, and even Griff. Loyal and loving, each man believes in family. And in standing up for those they love. Although I knew Kell and Chase were going to get together, there were still some dark moments to get there. But it was a Riley Hart romance, so I got everything I wanted.
Kale Williams is one of my favorite narrators. His Kellen had a bit of a Southern accent, easily distinguishing him from the other men. The delivery was solid and the performance was well done. I hope he’ll be narrating the next book. It’s already out and I’m hoping will be coming to audio soon.
10/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her reading.
Riley lives in North Carolina with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.