Stevie’s Chase

Grade : B+
Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti
Grade : B+
Book type : Series Romance
Sensuality : Hot
Review Date : August 10, 2000
Published On : 1991/10

I had been looking for Stevie’s Chase for several years and had almost given up hope of ever getting my hands on it when I finally found it at a used book store while I was on vacation. So naturally I read it in one sitting. I was a bit afraid that after all that searching and anticipation the book would fall short of my expectations, but it didn’t at all. I am happy to say it was as good or better than I thought it would be.

Stevie Holt works at an advertising agency. She lives in a comfortable old apartment building where the tenants all know each other and are good neighbors. The only one who is standoffish is C. Sullivan. Not that he is unfriendly, he’s just hardly ever there. Evidently Mr. Sullivan is a workaholic, he goes to work early, stays late and works all weekend as well. Stevie has seen him a few times – he is tall, handsome and green-eyed, she has found out that the “C” stands for Chase but that’s about it for the mysterious C. Sullivan.

One day, Stevie notices that Chase’s motorcycle has tipped over. Since he takes good care of it, she worries and when time passes and he doesn’t appear, and when his boss at the construction company comes looking for him, Stevie gets worried. She breaks in and finds Chase is very sick and suffering from a high fever. Stevie and one of the tenants (a doctor) take care of Chase and during the course of nursing him, Stevie and Chase become closer and fall in love. While they talk to each other about anything and everything, Chase has a secret that he will not share despite his growing intimacy with Stevie.

Justine Davis can blend character and story better than almost any category writer I can think of. The characters drive the story and the story illuminates the characters to the point where I can’t classify her books as story driven or character driven – they are simply wonderful books and I have yet to read one that disappointed me.

For me, Justine Davis’s characters are some of the best in the category field. They are almost always tortured in some way either physically or mentally, but they are never cruel or hostile or just plain nasty like some tortured characters can be. They often have a strong protective streak as Chase does in this book and it is the reason why he will not share his problems with Stevie. But the main trait of Davis’s characters is how deeply they crave intimacy.

A minor peeve of mine when it comes to love scenes is one that I run into constantly. Just when things are getting intense and the heroine reaches for the hero he says something like “Don’t touch me – it’s been too damn long” or another phrase along those lines. Not Justine Davis’s heroes. No, they want to be touched and let the heroine know it. This gives them a vulnerability that makes them appealing as all get out and makes the love scenes extraordinarily sensual and intimate. Even though this is a short category novel, the love scenes in it are hotter than many in full length romances I have read. And when it comes to combining physical and emotional intimacy, Justine Davis has few equals.

The sequel to Stevie’s Chase is Left At The Altar, which features Stevie’s brother, Sean, who is a minor character in this book. The last of the trilogy is The Morning Side Of Dawn which features Chase’s sister, Cassie. Both of those books have amputees as heroes and both books are very good. You don’t have to read them in order to understand the stories, in fact I read them in reverse order and didn’t have any problems.

There aren’t too many writers of whom I can say they have never disappointed me. Justine Davis is one. She is a very consistent writer with the ability to mix characters and stories into a seamless, and very enjoyable whole. If you have never read one of her books, you are in store for a real treat.

Ellen Micheletti

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