Review: Being Chase by J.J. Scotts

Being Chase CoverTitle & Author: Being Chase by J.J. Scotts
Series: Chase (#1)
Release Date: February 24, 2014
Publisher: Self-published
Pages:  unknown pages

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):

Wouldn’t it be nice to be a celebrity?

Liam Collins is desperate for a job. Forced to jump to the big city, he can’t believe his luck when he suddenly gets an offer from a prestigious publishing company. Absolutely ecstatic, Liam doesn’t even bother reading the details. But on his first day of work, he isn’t ushered to a quaint cubicle. Instead, he’s brought to a classy high-rise and told that he’s been hired to be the face of the best-selling author, Chase Preston.

When Liam first meets Chase, he’s so captivated by the mysterious man’s imposing figure and deep-set eyes. Maybe Liam really did get lucky.

All Liam has to do is go to fan meetings and award events as a stand-in for Chase. It actually doesn’t sound bad, but Liam soon realizes that being with Chase is harder than it appears. Despite the challenges of Chase’s arrogant attitude, Liam puts up with it. What he finds difficult to put up with is Chase’s sexy body and brilliant blue eyes.

Even worse, the feeling may be mutual.

Our Thoughts:

*À la Etta James* At last . . . our first official Buddy Review! And to help us mark the special occasion, we have the first book in a series, Being Chase by J.J. Scotts. Ecstatic to get a chance to read the ARC copies that would be sent to us in exchange for an honest review, we both said yes (honestly though, how could we have said no to the excerpt that was provided?It was a good one!).

Below are our thoughts on the book, which in short, boils down to that you need to read the first book because this series reads like it’s going to be really fun. And hot. And sexy. And . . . well, you get the picture.

Runell: Overall, I enjoyed it, but I did have some issues with it. Issues that could totally just be me, or issues that could have bugged you too. What’d you think?

Catherine: *laughs* Maybe it’s because I’m currently going through the soul-crushing experience of trying to find a job in my field, but Being Chase had me at “hello.” Unfortunately, as much as I found myself relating to Liam in those first few pages, the overall experience of reading this novella ran hot and cold for me; there were aspects to it that I really enjoyed and others that I felt just didn’t work.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m reading a book, the main characters make or break a story for me. They need to be engaging and authentic and it never hurts if their chemistry together is off the charts. I loved that Being Chase had two very polar opposite characters with very distinct voices. What’d you think of Chase and Liam?

Runell: One of the issues that I had with the story was with Liam himself. The way he talked, the way he acted seemed . . . juvenile. Perhaps, the whole “I’m a small town guy” was played off of a little too heavily. In some ways, he just felt very meek and young to me – much younger than the 27 year old that he is supposed to be.

Catherine: Exactly! I felt like there were moments in the story in which Liam was sweet and honest and refreshing, but most of the time I felt like he was characterized as weak, immature, and . . . dare I say it? Feminine. Don’t get me wrong, not every character needs to be an alpha or charmingly arrogant, but I don’t want them to be a doormat either. I just felt that Liam went along with the crazy demands and atrocious treatment for far too long. I kept thinking, “surely he’s going to say enough is enough now, right?!” after each incident but he never did. Well, until . . .

Runell: Yes, yes, yes! Until! But let’s save that discussion for a little later. Personally, I thought that the voice for Chase was much stronger and self-assured. I liked it, but whereas Liam seemed so much younger than his age, Chase seemed far older than his.

Catherine: I picked up on that too, but I felt that it was authentic to his character. Chase is supposed to be this pampered, independent, talented guy who has been largely on his own for years before we meet him, so it made sense to me that he came across as more worldly and experienced than Liam.  That said, there wasn’t a lot that was likable about Chase in this short story. In fact, the man is an arrogant prick. I don’t necessarily say that as a criticism; I actually think a lot of readers are going to love Chase’s bad boy persona and I think Scotts writes this character particularly well. I know we’ll get more info about Chase and his history in the next story, so I’m trying to reserve judgement, but I gotta say that as of right now I think the man’s a straight up jerk.

Runell: You’re right. There doesn’t seem to be too much to like about Chase, but I am holding out for the idea that I will like him too. And regardless of the fact that you think Chase is a jerk, you can’t deny that those two scenes with Chase and Liam being . . . “intimate” were hot. I definitely liked those! 

Catherine: Ooooh buddy! J.J. Scotts does the steamy really, really well. I practically had to roll my tongue back into my mouth after that first scene. *fans face vigorously*

I think the thing that bothered me most about this novella was the lack of interaction between the two main characters – especially given their molten hot chemistry together. I understand that this is only the first in a series and that Scotts needed to establish context for the two characters to meet (so she’s earned some leeway from me for that), but Chase doesn’t even enter the story until 30% of the way through and then they only have two or three more scenes together. I guess I was just hoping that Liam would spend less time with secondary characters and more time with Chase talking, flirting, butting heads, and ramping up all that delicious sexual tension between the two of them. 

Runell: The lack of interaction between Liam and Chase didn’t necessarily bother me. I don’t know why exactly, it just didn’t, though I do agree with you there should have been more of it. One of the biggest issues that I had with the story was the whole “we control your life thing”. Uh . . . no, you don’t. I know that the job required him to be low key and to not really draw too much attention to himself as he is “the face” of Chase Preston, but everyone felt way too controlling and heavy handed for my taste. I mean… the thing with the cellphone?

Catherine: Ugh! The thing with the cellphone. *groan*

Okay then, I have to ask: what was your favourite part of the novella?

Runell: I got really excited when Liam punched Chase because it felt like he was finally standing up for himself.

Catherine: Oh my God! I loved when Liam punched Chase! It was like . . . BAM! No one likes a cock tease! Liam definitely got his man card for the first time in the story.

Runell: Yes. That’s exactly what Liam got when he punched Chase. His man card.

Catherine: *laughs* I think we may be taking an unholy amount of glee in Liam going all Evander Holyfield on our second leading man.

Runell: Yeah, but Chase can take it. 🙂

I also felt that her slide into the NA novel near the end was some of her strongest writing. It was weird and it did throw me off guard, but it was a lot stronger than a lot of the actual story was.

Catherine: Huh. The slide into Chase’s NA novel annoyed me. I agree that it was some of her strongest writing, and I actually think that it would make a really successful NA series, but I thought that it was a solid 3-5 pages that Scotts could have chopped in order to add a scene between Liam and Chase that would have heightened that sexual tension I was looking for. 

Runell: Yeah, I hear you.

Overall, as the first part in what is supposed to be a “serial”, it’s a fairly stable foundation in which, hopefully, will only prove to grow stronger and more firm with each book. Though I’m hoping against hope that the reason why Liam was hired to be Chase’s face was not because of his scar. If it is the reason, however, I do believe that has got to be one of the most shallowest story plot devices ever used. Just sayin’ . . . Damn that “cliff hanger” though.

Catherine: Okay, I know my review of Being Chase hasn’t been the most glowing I’ve ever written, but here’s the bottom line: I think that the series has an unique premise, the characters have excellent chemistry together, and Scotts’ writing shows great potential for improvement. After reading that damn cliffhanger, I’m totally hooked and can’t wait to see where Scotts will take these characters.

Catherine’s Rating:

2 SmoochHalf
Runell’s Rating:

1 Smooch1 Smooch1 Smooch

*A big thank you to J.J. Scotts who generously provided Runell and me ARCs of Being Chase in exchange for an honest review.

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