Review: Chase Me by Laura Florand

Review: Chase Me by Laura FlorandChase Me by Laura Florand
on April 5, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Series: Paris Nights #2
Published by Self Published
Source: Author

Copy for review provided by Author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads

five-stars

A Michelin two-star chef at twenty-eight, Violette Lenoir could handle anything, including a cocky burglar who broke into her restaurant in the middle of the night.

Or so she thought.

Elite counterterrorist operative Chase “Smith” had been through things that made Hell Week look easy. But nothing had prepared him for a leather-clad blonde who held him at bay at knifepoint and dared him to take her on.

Now if only saving the world didn’t require he ruin her life.

Two people who thought they could handle anything now have to take on each other.

It's a battle neither one expected. But with their futures on the line, they have nothing to lose...but their hearts.

Warning: This book contains one arrogant Navy SEAL, nights of Paris passion, and a woman who wants to have it all.

Chase Me is the second story in Laura Florand’s new standalone series Paris Nights and is a departure from the sensual and lush storytelling of her other series. The Chocolat et Amour and La Vie en Roses series evoke an old world charm in the descriptions of Paris and Provence and are among my favourite romances (which makes it no surprise that the author always makes my ‘best of’ lists). In contrast, this story has a sharper, more contemporary edge, with a storyline influenced by the tragic events in Paris last year. The author has stated that the terrorist attack on her beloved city influenced the way this story turned out, as she was midway through writing it when these events occurred. The result is a timely romance with a romantic suspense subplot, yet still containing the wit, humour and sensual romance that draw readers to her stories.

Violette is a successful, avant-garde chef in the tough critical world of Parisian dining. She’s got her two Michelin stars after years of 18 hour days, slaving in male dominated misogynistic kitchens, and she’s finally feeling like she’s made it close to the top. When she encounters a late night intruder in her restaurant, ostensibly testing her security measures in advance of a possible upcoming American presidential visit, she’s suspicious, but can’t deny her attraction to him. Counter-terrorist agent Chase is fully capable of defending himself against Violette’s knives and sharp words, setting up an intense banter between them that eventually leads to a steamy night together. It’s clear that Chase is no personal threat to her safety – but when her establishment is shut down by a health scare the very next day, she knows full well who is to blame, and when Chase shows up again, she’s quick to vent her fury on him. But Chase doesn’t give up – the more he’s around Violette, the more he likes her, her spirit, her fire, and his guilt over what’s happening because of him is only tempered by his knowledge that something much more sinister is going on than he can admit to. Trying to protect Violette (and the rest of Paris) doesn’t stop him from wanting to spend time with her, and as the action heats up, so do their nights together. But will Chase be able to prevent another tragedy before it’s too late?

This was a fast paced, funny, suspenseful, sexy romance all rolled into one tidy package. As mentioned above, it’s definitely a different style of story than the author’s other works which tend to be more dramatic and slower paced. From the start of this story, Chase and Violette spark off each other, the result being some fantastic dialogue that doesn’t let up for the whole book, even amidst some of the more action-packed scenes as Chase and his team try to track down a possible terror threat centered around Violette’s restaurant, and one he can’t share with her or risk jeopardizing their operation. His bland responses of ‘I’m just in private security’ with no forthcoming information infuriate her, but his military stance and reactions to things make it clear to Violette that there is obviously something deeper going on than just a possible presidential visit to her diner. Violette feels all sorts of emotions towards Chase, but the predominant one is delight in finding someone who is not afraid of her sharp tongue, who can hold his own in a snappy argument, and who clearly desires her any way he can get her. The result is some steamy love scenes between them as Chase charms the pants right off Violet, and she’s woman enough to admit that she quite likes it that way. It’s not all flowers and chocolates though, as some of Chase’s decisions and how they impact Violette make for some believable anger on her part (and some worthwhile groveling from Chase). I love seeing a strong female heroine who can stand up for herself and Violette definitely fits that description. The action really picks up in the second half and leads to an exciting finish. In the end, we get a lovely happy ever after romance with a wonderfully matched couple. 5 stars.

He stared at her a second. “I hate your damn language.” He thrust the flowers right into her chest, so that she had to either take them or drop them. “Except when you speak it. When you speak it, it’s beautiful.”
He let go of the flowers.
She dropped them.
“Damn it, Vi.” He bent to pick them up. “Now you’re just being rude.”
“You ruined my life.”
“I sav–” He bit the word off abruptly, turning his head away, jaw set.
“And on top of that, you used me!”
“I…used you?” For the first time since she’d met him, anger flared in those blue eyes. “Last I checked you had a really good time!”
She tried to slam the door on him again. It bounced off his shoulder.
“Look, nobody made you take me home last night! I would have been happy to take you out for a while first.”
She grabbed one of the bouquets from him and hit him over the head with it.
“You’re gorgeous!” He pulled the bouquet away, white petals from it clinging to his hair and on one cheek. “You’re so damn fine. Hell , you are fine. You’re so fine it makes my brain shrink little bitty and then explode.” He pressed his fingers into his forehead and then flared them out to indicate. “If you wanted to make me court you, you think I wouldn’t have done that? You chose to go fast. I did not use you.”
She glared at him, both insulted and stymied. Because she made all her own choices, and made them proudly. And it was true that she’d chosen him.
Knowing he was arrogant, cocky, uncrushable, stubborn, and doing something that was really out of line, knowing that he was challenging her and teasing her and deliberately misleading her, she had still taken him home. Because all the adrenaline in her just focused on him like he was where her energy could find its home. Because he was deliciously hot.. and she was an idiot.
Plus, in her defense, she had watched way too many Hollywood films and halfway thought his behavior was normal for an American.
She made his brain shrink little bitty and then explode?
His blue gaze drifted over her, and all that hard energy slowly softened out of him. “You look like you could use a cuddle or a punching bag. I have more practice at the punching bag role, but I could definitely try the cuddle.”

 

addtoGR

Purchase:

 


five-stars

About Laura Florand

Laura Florand is the international bestselling and award-winning author of fifteen books, including the Vie en Roses series (Once Upon a Rose), the Paris Hearts series (All for You), and the Amour et Chocolat series (The Chocolate Thief). Selected by NPR for their Top 100 Romance list, her books have appeared in ten languages, been nominated for RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book of the Year, received the RT Seal of Excellence and numerous starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal, and been recommended by USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

She was born in Georgia, but the travel bug bit her early. After a Fulbright year in Tahiti, a semester in Spain, and backpacking everywhere from New Zealand to Greece, she ended up living in Paris, where she met and married her own handsome Frenchman, a story told in her first book Blame It on Paris. Now a lecturer at Duke University, she is very dedicated to her research into French chocolate. For a glimpse behind the scenes of some of that research as well as recommendations for US chocolate, make sure to check out her website: www.lauraflorand.com.