Book Review: Chasing River by KA Tucker

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Title: Chasing River (Burying Water #3)
Author: K.A. Tucker
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 610 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis
Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude.

Twenty-four-year-old River Delaney is rattled. No one was supposed to get hurt. But then that American tourist showed up. He couldn’t let her die, but he also couldn’t risk being identified at the scene—so, he ran. Back to his everyday life of running his family’s pub. Only, everyday life is getting more and more complicated, thanks to his brother, Aengus, and his criminal associations. When the American girl tracks River down, he quickly realizes how much he likes her, how wrong she is for him. And how dangerous it is to have her around. Chasing her off would be the smart move.

Maybe it’s because he saved her life, or maybe it’s because he’s completely different from everything she’s left behind, but Amber finds herself chasing after River Delaney. Amber isn’t the kind of girl to chase after anyone.

And River isn’t the kind of guy she’d want to catch.

Grace Review

This is the third book in the Burying Water series, and it’s my favorite so far.  The story-line was realistic yet fresh, a carefully woven tale of love set in the tumultuous world of Irish terrorism.

I applaud the author for taking on such a weighty subject.  While the first two books follow a similar theme with mafia ties, this one seemed deeper because terrorists don’t care who they harm in delivering their message, even innocents.  It was a bold endeavor and what I liked most about it was all of the information she laid out.  If you weren’t familiar with the IRA, she gave you enough background to bring you up to speed, particularly in the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book.  If you know enough about this group, then you’ll be happy that she didn’t gloss over the group’s actions and how they relate to Ireland’s history.

Amber’s life which always seemed so perfect to others, while to her, after a recent heartbreak and reflection, is a bland.  Taking the advice of a friend, she takes off on a World tour of sorts for the summer.  Hoping to make the most of the journey, she creates a fun To Do list.  Some include sites to visit or activities.  But as a joke, she puts as her #1 To Do:

1) Have a torrid affair with a foreigner.  Country: TBD.

This book hits on a fantasy of many women, the vacation romance.  How this fantasy becomes a reality was not how one would want or expect that to happen.  But a chance run in, literally, impacts both main characters, Amber and River, beyond the danger they both faced and survived.

River, like the other men in this series, wasn’t always on the right side of the law.  He made mistakes that cost him, but even with those mistakes, you know he is a good person.  Beyond being Amber’s hero on more than one occasion, he tried to do right by his family and help his brother, Aengus, take a different life path.

I loved how the relationship between Amber and River was built.  How a brief run in with danger left a strong impression, and how, as the title suggested, Amber had to chase River.

“How long will a girl like that chase when she’s only here for another week?  That she’s even chasing after me at all is a shock.”

Although he is not completely upfront about his past, I get his hesitance to reveal such information, for fear of her running off.  I also love how River gave her the full vacation experience, and encouraged her to take in more than the generic tourist traps.

The angst within the story was mild, but what little there was, wasn’t contrived.  The reasons for Amber’s concerns were completely valid.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done in her situation.  With River’s family business and past history, he wasn’t going to leave Ireland.  But given his family, and that bad history, could she trust that staying in Ireland was the right thing for her?  She was right to be concerned for her safety.  While the story doesn’t dig deep into the world of a terrorist, I think the author did a great job of weaving that world into the story-line and how it impacting innocent lives.

“I want you to look at me the way you used to.  I want you to think that I’m good.  I want you to still want me.”

The author doesn’t push a HEA.  It all seemed real, which for me, made it fresh from the unrealistic fantasies some stories follow.  There is a sweet ending, although a bit abrupt.  However, as a bonus, we see Amber’s To Do list, with #1 still unchecked, with River’s addition at the end of her list, which I loved.

“Please stay.”

When I finished this book, I realized I didn’t highlight much, and that’s ok.  What I did have was one thought – that this was a really good story.  It felt like the best kind of history lesson.  It captured my attention, taught me something along the way, and entertained me, all at once.

– Grace

*An ARC was received from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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Click on the images below to purchase the previous books in the series:

Burying Water1c

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