by K.A. Tucker (Goodreads, Twitter, Website)
Published by Atria Books on July 7th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Format: eARC (337 pages)
Source: Publisher via Inkslinger PR
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Armed with two years' worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.
Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn't let her die, but he also couldn't risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.
Maybe it's because he saved her life, or maybe it's because he's completely different from everything she's left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.
And River isn't the kind of guy she'd want to catch.
Chasing River is the third book of the Burying Water series and also, my first K.A Tucker novel--which, once again, goes against my habit of reading a series in order despite the idea of standalones. This book is one of the best books I've read in 2015 and I am just in awe of how wonderful this novel is.
The heroine, Amber Welles, has already been introduced in the first novel (Burying Water) and this time around, she's on a three month adventure around Europe, however, her first day in Ireland isn't just a walk in the park (pun intended) when she almost gets hurt but is saved by an unknown Irish man, who then flees the scene.
"He ran. Innocent people don't run."
Her knight in shining armor, River Delaney, has wronged the law in his younger years, but despite that, he's a good man and a family man indeed. He works for his parents at the family pub of centuries, alongside with his brothers, and if he hadn't followed his no-gooder older brother to the park, the oblivious American tourist would have gotten hurt, or worse, killed.
The characters were written in a realistic manner; Amber is a young girl fresh out of a break up, thus, a few months on solo would be a good way to heal and find herself as she arms herself with a tourist to-do list during her trips. Always the good girl with a caring heart, it's time Amber cares for her own self, even if it means to go against her judgment--being the sheriff's daughter and all. River, on the other hand, is one of the most amazing heroes I've ever read. A good man with an incredible heart, he will do anything to keep his loved ones safe, even if it means cutting ties with someone important to him. Can I say, swoon? Indeed, his wrongful past makes him mysteriously sexy.
"So...Where'd you meet this guy?"
"At the park one day. He kind of...ran into me."
"It was, in a way." If pipe bombs could be called romantic.
There are many things I adored in this novel. [Chasing River] is told in alternating POVs between Amber and River, and my god, I enjoyed River's the most. K.A. Tucker's spot on portrayal of this Irish man was amazing. The author took importance of tone, accent and dialect in River's speech, alongside with the other Irish characters that were introduced.
Reading Chasing River satisfied the tourist in me, and it's apparent that Tucker did her research because even though world building isn't a major requirement in contemporary novels, I felt as if I was really in Ireland. Not only were her descriptions on point, this book was also in tune with the history of Ireland, particularly, the IRA which I know very little about.
Speaking of romance, Amber and River's romantic development bloomed in a way that I wasn't expecting. Sure, it had the makings of an instalove novel, with its short time span and the fast pacing, but Tucker wrote the perfect balance between sweet and steamy which provided for a delicious romance with an emotional punch.
“You’ll never be good enough for my daughter.”
“But I’ll never stop trying to be.”
Chasing River is a beautifully written romantic suspense--it had the perfect balance of tension in terms of action, romance and suspense. Every turn of a page is a thrill and is worth the read. I may have ventured into K.A. Tucker's works without a single clue of her writing style, but now, she's earned a fan in me.
I highly recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense; Chasing River is not something you would want to miss out on.
*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.
**Quotes are taken from the uncorrected copy of the novel and are subjected to change.