Chasing Smoke by K.A. Mitchell ~ Book Review by Zane

65041801Title: Chasing Smoke

Author: K.A. Mitchell

Publisher: Samhain

Cover Artist: Anne Caine

Rating: 4.50 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 06/09/2009

Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)

Genre: Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Blurb:

An old mystery brought them together. Solving it could tear them apart.

In the best of times, Daniel Gardner hates visiting his family. With his boyfriend pressuring him for a mortgage-serious commitment, Christmas in Easton, PA sounds, for once, like a welcome escape. His old house holds more than memories of a miserable adolescence, though. It has Trey Eriksson.

At seventeen, Trey was taken in by the wealthy Gardner family after his father was jailed for his mother’s murder. Until he left for the Army, he fought a double-edged battle—for proof of his father’s innocence and against his attraction to Daniel.

Fifteen years later, things haven’t changed. Trey is still looking for the real killer. And Daniel has never forgotten how Trey used to sneak into his room at night.

Now new clues to the murder are resurfacing—and so is Trey and Daniel’s sexual chemistry. Except this time, Trey has come to terms with his orientation.

But their connection may not be enough to overcome the mistakes of the past. Not while a murderer still walks free…

Product Warnings
Anyone who would rather not read about hooking back up with someone who broke your heart, minor suspense, hot guys who can handle guns and each other, and lots of steamy gay sex probably isn’t reading this warning anyway, but if you are, back away slowly and keep your hands where I can see them.

My View:

KA Mitchell has long been one of my favorite authors. Alongside JL Langley and ZA Maxfield, she was one of the first authors I’d ever read in the M/M genre many moons ago. When I got a chance to review Chasing Smoke, I jumped on it.

Chasing Smoke is a fabulous romance novel that is a staple of what a good romance should be. Well-developed characters, a plot that extends beyond a simple miscommunication, and a story that keeps you turning the pages are all features of this book.

Both Daniel and Try are great characters. They each had their quirks and personalities, and yet, they had their similarities. It was easy to see the chemistry between the two. They fit together and complimented each other, making a perfect couple. Even with both of them acting like hard-headed idiots at points, they act like adults and work out their problems, even if that means yelling at each other for ten minutes.

The mystery around Trey’s parents was intriguing and what kept me interested in the book. I wanted to see what happened, needed to know how it all unfolded. KA Mitchell created a suspenseful plot that could’ve come right out of a mainstream suspense novel. I was much more interested in the mystery plot than the romance and found my interest in Daniel and Trey’s relationship taking a backseat to the mystery.

So that’s what I loved about the book. Now, let’s go on to things I wasn’t a huge fan of.

There were a few too many sex scenes for my taste. When it comes to a romance novel, especially one that’s not a pure romance plot like this one, sex scenes should be used sparingly. Each time you including an explicit sex scene it should have a purpose, either for developing the characters or moving the plot forward.

A few of the scenes in this book were devoid of that purpose. They served as filler that I found myself skimming through to get back to the actual story. Probably about half of the sex scenes could’ve been cut out without sacrificing anything of importance.

The other problem I had with the story was the ending. It felt rushed and anti-climactic. We spent this entire book searching for the truth behind the murder of Trey’s parents only to have it just end. We know who did it and why they did it, but nothing happens. The book should’ve had a longer ending with more than the two characters riding off into the sunset together.

The ending was really the only reason I couldn’t give the book a full five stars. The sex scenes, while pointless, didn’t detract too much from the story. But the last chapter or so really needed to be fleshed out with a proper ending.

Overall, I truly did enjoy reading this and highly recommend it. KA Mitchell’s characters stick with you, making you care about them, making you want to see them have a happy ending. This is a book you won’t want to put down even after you’ve finished it.

Links

Chasing Smoke on Goodreads
Samhain
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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