Monday, January 13, 2014

Chase the Ace by Clare London

Title: Chase the Ace
Author: Clare London
Publisher listing at Amber Allure
Buy at All Romance eBooks
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 24k (novella)
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf, prc, Microsoft Reader


Newly single in his late twenties, and looking for more fun than he gets from his boring job, Daniel Cross soon discovers the lure of social media. After a few hiccups, he’s excited at the chance of tracking down his old mates from the Scorching Summer Sports Club of 1990. He lost touch with his “Gang of Four” after that summer, but now he launches a personal quest to find out what kind of man each boy has become.

It starts well with a link to the first boy’s current address, through a mutual friend on Facebook, until Dan realises he’s been chatting online to the wrong man. Nick Carson isn’t an old school friend at all. It’s a genuine mistake, and Nick isn’t offended. He offers to accompany Dan on the trip to find the others. It’s the first step to friendship and something more for both of them.

For Dan, the reunions with the “Gang of Four” range from startling, heartening and disturbing. Nick’s company is a constant support, though neither of them are prepared for the exposure of personal secrets they’d thought were long-hidden. Dan begins to suspect that he’s really looking for a direction in his own life—and the excitement and purpose he craves may be closer to home than a quest with its roots in a boyhood dream.


After that blurb, there’s not a lot I can say that’s spoilery—the story is now a matter of how rather than “what”, but it’s still a pleasant afternoon’s read.

Daniel’s remarkably social media-inept for someone of his age bracket, which is good for a chuckle or three, even if it’s a bit contrived. Facebook friending leads him to a road trip with someone who isn’t the old sports club pal he originally thought. Nick’s up for an adventure, and since he drives and Daniel doesn’t, it’s a good thing that he’s got enough flexibility to keep going as they gather addresses.

He’s very good company, too, which leavens the encounters with Daniel’s now-grown friends, which range from entertaining with a side of surprise to shocking and painful. In every visit, Daniel finds a new puzzle in himself, in how he could have overlooked things then, and what he wants for himself now. Nick stays in the background during these encounters, but he has some very good questions later, and Daniel uses the answers to grope towards his own true desires.

I was a bit startled to find an old misconception about cross-dressing trotted out, but other than that I enjoyed the read, watching Nick and Daniel find more intimacy than they expected. There’s more to Nick than meets Daniel’s eye at the beginning, and of course, Daniel’s psyche is kind of hanging out for Nick to get to know because of the nature of their journey. And the sex is hawt.

The chemistry between them is good, and we’re left with the feeling that this road trip is only the beginning of something wonderful. 4 marbles

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