Review Chase in Shadow by Amy Lane 3.5 stars
Chase is a young college student who finds himself so far in the closet that he would need a flashlight and GPS system to find his way out. The fact that he is trying to prove himself to his homophobic, abusive father isn’t helping. With college and living expenses becoming too much to handle, Chase is in need of another job. When his friends jokingly tell him about a local porn site, he sees a way to not only earn some money but also get what he’s craving from other men.
The connections between Chase and the many secondary characters are evident and varied, yet the underlining guilt and emotional issues he suffers from keep the relationships from becoming stronger. While the author keeps the truth about Chase’s mother hidden until the end, the many hints she drops lets you know to expect something beyond tragic. When Chase reveals what happened, and why, it becomes easy to understand his many hang ups. Expect to keep a few hankies handy as you will need them.
I had a hard time getting into Chase in Shadow, which was unusual for an Amy Lane book. If any other readers should find themselves in the same spot I just want to say, “Stick with it”, the story gets better as it goes along. The story is full of angst from the very beginning and can in no way be considered a light hearted read. The many secondary characters lend a lot to the story, and it’s easy to see the strong connections forming between them and Chase, even if Chase doesn’t want to acknowledge them in the beginning. I liked that the author let Chase’s issues play out realistically, although some readers may have a bit of a problem reading the strongly written scenes. As Chase in Shadow came to an end I was glad that I had given this story a chance and while it may be some time before I read it again, it was a story that stayed with me long after I finished it.