ARC Review: The Chase by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg

The ChaseThe Chase by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg
Book #2 in Fox and O’Hare

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
ARC Provided by Netgalley and Random House

Synopsis from Goodreads: Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling authors of The Heist, return in this action-packed, exciting adventure featuring master con artist Nicolas Fox and die-hard FBI agent Kate O’Hare. And this time around, things go from hot to nuclear when government secrets are on the line. Internationally renowned thief and con artist Nicolas Fox is famous for running elaborate and daring scams. His greatest con of all: convincing the FBI to team him up with the only person who has ever caught him, and the only woman to ever capture his attention, Special Agent Kate O’Hare. Together they’ll go undercover to swindle and catch the world’s most wanted—and untouchable—criminals. Their newest target is Carter Grove, a former White House chief of staff and the ruthless leader of a private security agency. Grove has stolen a rare Chinese artifact from the Smithsonian, a crime that will torpedo U.S. relations with China if it ever becomes public. Nick and Kate must work under the radar—and against the clock—to devise a plan to steal the piece back. Confronting Grove’s elite assassins, Nick and Kate rely on the skills f their ragtag crew, including a flamboyant actor, a Geek Squad techie, and a band of AARP-card-carrying mercenaries led by none other than Kate’s dad. A daring heist and a deadly chase lead Nick and Kate from Washington, D.C., to Shanghai, from the highlands of Scotland to the underbelly of Montreal. But it’ll take more than death threats, trained henchmen, sleepless nights, and the fate of a dynasty’s priceless heirloom to outsmart Fox and O’Hare.

Angie’s Review – 3.75 Skulls – B+

In The Chase, FBI agent Kate O’Hare continues her reluctant ‘relationship’ with super-sleuth Nick Fox as the two embark on a brand new escapade.

This book starts off by tossing the reader right into the thick of things, and it doesn’t let up. The pacing in this one was perfect; there was plenty of action and humor to keep me glued to the pages. If you don’t take these books too seriously and are simply looking for something fun and light to read, you can’t go wrong with this series. There were times when I was roaring laughing while reading this book, and I didn’t want to put it down.

While we still haven’t learned a lot about Nick’s past, we did see him connect with some of his resources from his career as a thief. This book was almost a flip of the previous one—in The Heist, we saw Nick trying to navigate within Kate’s world and the parameters she’d set, but this time it was Kate really wading into Nick’s realm and trying to stay true to who she was. It was fun to see Kate loosen up in this one and even enjoy herself when she knew she shouldn’t. Their trademark banter from the first book followed them into this one, and it was funnier, and times, even steamier.

“…if anything goes down and you go into fight mode, he’ll know you’re a pro. So rather than try to hide it, I’ve built it into your cover.”

“Which is what?”

“You’re my bodyguard and lover.”

She shook her head. “Just your bodyguard.”

“He’ll never believe I’m not sleeping with you.”

“You aren’t.”

“Even I find that unbelievable,” Nick said.

Kate’s dad shows up again in The Chase, and some of his old cronies from his special op days came along for the ride. They were all great additions to the story and livened things up, especially Walter, a KFC addict who’s down for anything his cardiologist wouldn’t approve of! Nick also utilized some of the zany characters from the first book to help Kate and him pull off their caper, and he also brought in a few new ones. I’m looking forward to seeing more of them!

As much as I enjoyed this book, it was missing something. The narration and descriptions have a very procedural feel to them. There’s very little opportunity to get into the characters heads and get a grasp on their emotions. At this point, it’s obvious Kate is attracted to Nick and vice versa, but it’s hard to tell how deep that attraction goes. It’s also hard to know when Nick is being sincere. The head hopping that worked well in the first book didn’t work so much in this one. It’s time for the reader to get a better grasp on the characters and have their voices solidified. And the heat needs to be kicked up a notch or two!

While the last book was fun, I thought this one offered a few more surprises for the reader. It kept me on the edge of my seat never knowing what to expect. Overall, I think this book was a quick, fun read, and if this series keeps its momentum, we are in for a treat with the third book!

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  + ¾

Series Reading Order:
1. The Heist
2. The Chase
3. The Job (Expected Publication: November 18, 2014)

Thank you to RANDOM HOUSE and Netgalley for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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