Chasing Gravity (Riley’s Peak Book 2),
by Tempeste Blake
Publication: February 13, 2017
Synopsis: Tish Duchene wonders if she’ll ever be able to live a normal life after what happened in Iraq. She’s left the army behind, but the horror is indelibly etched in her mind. And just when she’s ready to find a nice corner to curl up in and lick her wounds, her mother, a pharmaceutical executive, goes missing. Tish would be more comfortable with a solo mission, but she needs the expertise of a certain private investigator, Dylan Tierny, a man who infuriates her from the get-go.
Dylan has fought his share of demons, so what’s a few more? But falling in love is the last thing on his agenda as he battles the dark side of a drug company deep in a cover up. Pile on chaos in his personal life and it’s enough to drive him back to the vice that nearly cost him everything and everyone he cared about.
Tish and Dylan traverse a bridge of uncertainty, redefining with every step what it is they can’t live without.
Who they can’t live without.
Before it’s too late.
I have anxiously awaited Chasing Gravity, the follow-up to Tempest Blake’s debut novel, Chasing Symmetry, and it was better than I could have imagined! Book 2 focuses on Dylan Tierny and Tish Duchene, when Tish’s mother, Elyse goes missing. Tish and Elyse are supposed to be spending the weekend with Finn and Bianca’s eccentric older neighbor, Helen, but when Tish arrives at Helen’s she learns that Elyse is missing. Tish and Dylan team up to look for Elyse and learn more about the pharmaceutical company that she works for, while also trying to protect Tish’s mentally disabled brother, Luke. Dylan is confronted with his own challenges with the return of his mother, news that Finn and Bianca are having a baby, and his growing attraction to Tish. People are murdered, a home blows up, and Tish and Dylan’s worlds are turned upside down throughout this fast-paced novel.
A lot of the characters are flawed in this novel, but in a realistic way that keeps you rooting for them to overcome their ghosts from the past. Dylan is much more together and confident in Chasing Gravity, and I found myself quickly developing a crush on him! Although still struggling at times with maintaining sobriety, he seemed more grounded, focused and accepting of Finn and Bianca’s relationship. Tish’s character started out very serious and stand-offish, but her walls slowly came down throughout the story, revealing a softer and more likable side. I was completely fascinated by her brother Luke, who I’m guessing was Autistic or somewhere on the Autism spectrum, yet brilliant and at times, hilarious. As far as other characters, there were literally too many “bad guys” to mention. Between the employees at the pharmaceutical company, the evil sister of Elyse’s husband, and the thugs who kidnapped Elyse – there were a lot of nasty, sneaky, conniving characters – but they all added to the mystery and suspense!
The thing that I really love about Chasing Gravity is the wonderful blend of romance, suspense, mystery, family issues, as well as, the psychological themes of overcoming trauma and the past. There were plenty of subplots in this novel, but it didn’t become tedious or overwhelming. The action and the dialogue flowed perfectly and this story kept me guessing from beginning to end. I was initially frustrated with jumps in time from chapter to chapter, however, as I continued reading I fell in love with how much this added to the suspense of the novel, and understood why the chapters were ordered that way.
Tempeste Blake, a writing collaboration between Nancy Smith and Cat Trizzino, has proven again what a force they are in the writing community. The compelling characters and deliciously suspenseful plot are flawless, providing a completely satisfying balance of questions, wondering, and finally “aha moments.” I can’t recommend this novel enough to fans of romantic suspense but read Chasing Symmetry first in order to get the full experience.
*Many thanks to Tempeste Blake for providing a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Learn more about Tempeste Blake by visiting their web page.
Purchase Chasing Gravity on Amazon.