After all the craziness that went on during Twist, it’s impossible not to want to find out exactly what goes on in Eric’s head. Lucky us, Chaser is nothing but all kinds of Eric-goodness.
Since we first met him in Dirty, Eric has had a rough go of it in Coeur d’Alene. Don’t get me wrong, he loves his hometown and is beyond loyal to his crew, but life has thrown him a curve ball or two. Now, as Nell has made up with Pat and is pregnant with his baby, but she still has a lot of animosity toward our favorite bartender.
First of all, I want to say that I love how the Dive Bar series is tied into the Stage Dive universe. The tight restaurant family in Coeur d’Alene exists all on its own, but our old favorites can feel free to stop in and wreak a little havoc occasionally, especially when Mal’s involved. Plus, it’s nice to see that Stage Dive does have a place of respite when the world might be demanding a little more out of the guys than they have to give.
Okay, now for all things Eric and Jean.
Eric is one of those characters that I had a hard time relating to in previous books, so I’m really glad that we got an entire story from his point-of-view. One, he’s hysterical, and the way he processes things is so incredibly relatable, I found myself chuckling at his innate honesty on more than one occasion. Two, while I had little sympathy for him and the situations that his dick got him into, this book proved that Eric is more than just another manwhore.
He’s a sensitive guy who really believes what people say about him. So much so, that it informs his self worth. When Nell continues to berate him and bring him down, Eric just sinks lower and lower into a pit of self-loathing. For most of this book, I was waiting and hoping that Eric would finally have enough of her interference and just tell her off in some huge blow up in the bar, but it turns out Kylie knows what I want even more than I do. Eric stayed the course and tried to better himself, hoping that others would see the changes he was making and support him.
The only other person that gets any credit for helping Eric to be his best self is Jean. Not because she demands that he be one way or another, but because she gives him opportunities to be better. She trusts him with her daughter. She trusts him with her dirty apartment and unkempt appearance as a new mother. And, after some time, she trusts him with her body and her heart.
Jean walks into Eric’s life at the perfect moment. He needed fresh eyes to see him without the map of his mistakes etched onto his skin. He needed someone who could hear people say things, but look at him differently. Thanks to a past that includes at least a few of the same mistakes that Eric has made, Jean definitely understands him better than anyone. She gives him space to be whichever version of himself he wants to be, and ultimately, he gives all that trust back to her in love.
I adored watching Eric tangle himself into Jean’s life. I love how bonded he is to Ada. It’s not just a ploy to get into Jean’s pants. He sees her struggling with the single parent life, and he insinuates himself into the situation. He just wants someone to need him, someone to want his help, someone to depend on him so he can prove just how much love he has to give.
Kylie Scott always seems to get it right. I never doubt that when I open up one of her books, I’m going to be challenged in heart, mind, and soul. Chaser is the perfect example of that. Eric’s story of redemption pulled at my heart, his dedication to bettering himself played with my mind, and his devotion to Ada bound him to my soul. I would never have thought that Eric could be one of my favorite Kylie Scott characters, but he’s definitely risen dramatically from where he ranked before. Thus, the power of Kylie.