August 6, 2015

REVIEW: Release Me (Chasing Fire #2)

Release Me (Chasing Fire #2), by Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers
Publish Date: July 21, 2015
Publisher: Intermix
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Alessandra Sinclair knows that Hudson Chase is the last man she should want. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks has grown into a man who would do anything to get ahead, even if it means breaking Allie’s heart. But whenever she’s near him, the attraction between them is undeniable. And now that they’re working together, keeping her distance from Hudson is almost as impossible as keeping her feelings in check…

Hudson already lost Allie once and he refuses to lose her again. He’s determined to use their new business partnership to rekindle the spark he knows is still there. Only the closer he gets to winning her over, the clearer it becomes there are still secrets that could tear them apart for good…

Wow - Ann and Amy really know how to do cliffhangers right. Remind Me, book 1 in the Chasing Fire series, had left readers hanging, wondering whether Allie would be able to forgive Hudson after his secrets regarding her family's company drove them apart. If you thought that was bad, just wait until you read Release Me. After reaching the end of this one, I kept hitting the advance arrow on my Kindle, hoping it was a mistake, and I really wasn't at 100%. Waiting to see what the fallout from the latest roadblock to this couple's HEA will be is going to be torture. 

Allie is a very determined woman. Despite the horrifically tragic events that transpired at the beginning of Release Me, she was determined to hang on to her anger toward Hudson. She needed his love and support so much, and yet, she denied herself because she was of the opinion that what he had done was unforgiveable. 

Now, this is really the only problem I had with this book. Allie was kind of a bitch. I mean, she never even gave him a chance to explain his motives or what happened. She heard what she wanted to hear, and didn't want to listen any more. She was willing to be absolutely miserable rather than go back to Hudson - a man she admittedly loved and still dreamed about. Pride goeth before a fall, Allie. Thank goodness she had her best friend Harper, but even she couldn't completely assuage Allie's grief at losing so much in such a short period of time. 

Harper was my favorite side character, because she did exactly what BFFs are supposed to do. She supported Allie and plied her with ice cream, shopping and wine. And, when it was the right time, effectively told Allie to get her head out of her ass and stop being an idiot. We all need friends like that. 

Hudson could not have been more perfect. And, this poor man is managing so much. He has two multi-billion dollar corporations he's in charge of running, a brother in rehab he's trying to support and to top it off, he's trying to figure out if there's a way to get back the woman he loves. He needs her support as much as she needs his, and he admits it. I love that about him. 

And, who could forget the snake Julian, Allie's former fiance? After what he did to Allie in book 1, we assumed he had crawled away to lick his wounds. Unfortunately, you have not heard the last of him, and even worse are his plans for Allie and Hudson, the likes of which we don't even fully realize at the end of Release Me. I'm sure it's awful for both of them, though. 

I liked Release Me better than Remind Me. The suspense of whether Allie would take Hudson back consumed me for awhile. And, despite the volatility between them, it never dampened the sexual tension and chemistry. It was there and it was explosive the whole way through, no matter if they were fighting or loving. The best part about Release Me is seeing such incredible growth in all the characters. Hudson, Allie and Nick use their experiences to grow and change and shift into what they need to be in order to be happy. 

I will be waiting very impatiently for the final book in the Chasing Fire series, Reclaim Me. I have no doubt that Hudson and Allie will find their HEA eventually (I mean, if that cover isn't a dead giveaway, I don't know what is), but I'm also sure that the road there is still fraught with pot holes. All the best stories are like that. 


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