Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Chasing Red (Chasing Red #1) by Isabelle Ronin

* * * *
They said she was going to be my ruin...
Then let her ruin me.
Caleb Lockhart has everything—wealth, adoration, a brilliant future. Until a chance encounter with a siren in a red dress changes everything.  Until he meets the woman he dubs Red.
Veronica Strafford's past makes it hard for her to trust anyone. Now, kicked out of her apartment, she reluctantly accepts Caleb's offer for a place to stay.
Caleb feels intensely drawn to Veronica. And, for the first time in his life, he really wants something—someone. Too bad Veronica's heart might just be the one thing Caleb can't win.
Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Apparently I'm one of the last few people to catch on to Chasing Red, a Wattpad sensation with a very tantalizing title. But late is better than never and I have such a crush on this book it's ridiculous.
Our two main characters meet under unusual circumstances. They're at a club when Caleb, who's known around campus for having his fair share of dalliances notices Veronica dancing on the floor. There's something about her movements, her face, that red dress that captures his attention. Next thing you know she sidles up to him but when she perceives that he's just throwing out his typical lines, she walks away. He's baffled by what just happened and leaves only to find her outside drunk and being propositioned by a very sketchy guy. Hesitant to leave her a dangerous situation, Caleb takes her home with him where she can sleep it off and be on her merry way the next day. Only he finds out that she has nowhere to go and so offers to let her move in with him rent-free. The rest of the story is them dancing around each other as Caleb is obvious in his attraction towards her and Veronica is always skirts around it.
So yes, it's all unusual and requires some suspension of disbelief but Caleb is a genuine-hearted person who finds himself in front of a person who has faced more disappointment than she can bear. The easiest solution is simply to cut herself off from people and not get attached. But he makes that difficult because he's so incredibly kind and funny.
Honestly, I enjoyed this story more than I expected I would. I was hooked on it right away and thank goodness, too because I was in danger of falling into another reading slump. While I don't relate directly to either of these characters there were some basic emotions that spoke to me such as Veronica's sense of self-preservation and the immense leap of faith that's required in order to trust anyone, or Caleb's innate need to take care of people and have love reciprocated. I did like the inclusion of POVs from two of Caleb's friends, both of which are surprising and their presence adds drama to an already unorthodox and vulnerable relationship. 

I so wish I had the second book handy as soon as Chasing Red was over. It's been a while since I've been left longing for the next installment as I have been with this one. I hope you feel Chasing Red is as captivating a read as I did so that we can all look forward to Always Red together!
~ Bel

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