I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Chase by Debra White Smith
Published by HarperCollins on 2011-09-20
Reviewed by Vanessa
Ryan Mansfield wishes he could turn back time and save his marriage. But there was no going back once his wife, Shelly, found out about the affair. He’s since turned his life around and found God, but Shelly has moved on. There’s a new man in her life, a successful dentist who attends her church. Then the unthinkable happens—a parent’s worst nightmare: Sean, Shelly and Ryan’s young son, is kidnapped and taken from his own house. Their shared grief, fear, and love for Sean have drawn Ryan and Shelly together again—and now the chase is on as they set out to find their helpless child and bring him home safely. But can Ryan and Shelly also find the forgiveness they will need to start all over again as a family?
Police Officer, Ryan Mansfield, is deeply sorry for straying outside the boundaries of matrimony. He has found God since his mistake and wishes to reconcile with his divorced wife, Shelly, and put their family back together again. However, Shelly has since begun to move on and is now engaged to a successful dentist. She is planning to make a new family with him and her adopted son, Sean. But events unfold and Ryan and Shelly are made to work with one another when Sean is kidnapped from his bedroom. Once forced into one another’s company, issues from the past are brought to light and dealt with over the course of their tracking down their missing son.
The Chase surprised me with its subtle message of forgiveness and two sides to every story. I was a little concerned that since this was a Christian story that the one character who had committed the most obvious sin and then turned to God would try to force the forgiveness because they were now a born again Christian. However, that was not the case in The Chase.
I truly believed that Ryan was sorry for what he did and even though he wanted to push the issue he didn’t. Ryan backed off and let Shelly come to the truth on her own, and eventually she does. But it appears that he wants that full trust back pretty quickly as well. I did not like that Shelly’s fiancé was painted as the bad guy either.
The Chase had timing issues for me, and I never felt that Ryan and Shelly truly had that important conversation about all the flaws in their marriage that precipitated his adultery. It was more than just what was acknowledged as her part of the breakup. I wanted that dialogue between these two so badly that I could taste it. The premise was great, but I don’t like unanswered questions in my stories. I felt like I was chasing for answers in The Chase that just weren’t there. Ryan seemed to move on so quickly with the other woman, and Shelly professed her love for the other man, yet her allegiance quickly changed and I felt these two were portrayed as shallow because of that. The surprise twist near the end of The Chase had me wondering if there will be another book in this series that will further answer my questions and solidify the HEA for me better. Perhaps The Chase was to set the ground work/foundation for Ryan and Shelly to build on, but I needed to see these other things dealt with as well.