I could not be more grateful that Elle Kennedy decided to write more books for the hockey boys at Briar University. The Chase kicks off the Briar U series in the best way possible.
It’s been a little while since The Goal debuted and we all learned that we might not be saying goodbye to our beloved Briar University after all. Fast forward almost two years and our next Briar adventure, and hopefully many more to come, is here!
The Chase tells the story of how two characters we met in the Off Campus series finally figure out why they drive each other so crazy. I mean, there’s a whole lot more to this story, what with hockey boys, sorority-house fires, creepy professors, bar brawls, and house parties sprinkled throughout this tale, but Summer and Fitzy figuring out that the thing that was truly making them crazy was being apart is really what we’re all here for.
Read on for my The Chase review.
I didn’t have time to do a re-read of all the Off Campus books before The Chase release day, but I distinctly remember reading The Goal and hoping that someday, somehow, Elle Kennedy would want to tell this story. Fitzy just seemed different than so many of the other hockey guys. While we love the Garretts and the Deans and, well, every single other guy on the team, it’s nice to read about a guy that loves hockey, but also loves other things, too.
Hockey might be beloved to Fitz, but it’s not his entire world. He has a plan for his future and the NHL doesn’t really factor in. It’s wonderful. For every kid out there who is lacing up skates hoping to someday wear an NHL jersey in an arena full of fans, there’s a kid who is playing video games and dreaming of the day he’ll be able to make his own, create his own world and make all the rules.
Fitzy is also different as he’s not the bragging type. While it’s hilarious to watch Hollis strut his stuff and share his sexual shenanigans with anyone who will listen, it’s also wonderful to meet a jock who doesn’t see the need to share his every thought with the world. Fitzy’s strong, silent type is a welcome change from all the extroverts he’s surrounded with on the regular.
Moving on, there wouldn’t be much of a chase in The Chase without Summer Heyward Di-Laurentis. Summer is a force to be reckoned with, and I have to admit, I wasn’t sure I was going to like her much. We met her in The Score (AKA Dean and Allie’s book), and while she was entertaining as a guest character in Dean’s story, I didn’t see what lay beneath her surface.
I could not be more thrilled that Elle had all kinds of hidden depths to Summer. She came off as an opinionated, spoiled rich girl who normally gets whatever she wants in The Score. The moment you read from her perspective in The Chase, you learn just how wrong about her you’ve been this whole time. Yes, she’s outgoing and honest to a fault, but that’s just how she relates to the world. It doesn’t define what she has to give to those that give her a chance to be more.
One of the most interesting things we learned about Summer is that she has a severe learning disability. We couldn’t have possibly learned about it before now, because Summer doesn’t brag about it. She thinks that because her brain is wired differently and processes knowledge in a different way, she’s stupid. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Summer Heyward Di-Laurentis is not stupid. She is a wonderful, loyal, creative bombshell that can befriend anyone who doesn’t piss her off first.
These two couldn’t be more perfect for each other, but in ways that neither of them could reconcile at first. Fitzy, the introverted, silent type, has his whole world turned upside down when he can’t get enough of the extroverted, outgoing Summer Heyward Di-Laurentis. I love his frustration as he tries to figure her out. He wants to hold on tight, but she pushes every button he has. She challenges him to learn how to handle the spotlight, which is probably a good thing, since he’s a fantastic game developer, and will probably have to handle the spotlight at some point or another throughout his career.
Their romance is every bit the chase the title infers. Summer runs from Fitzy. Fitzy runs from Summer. They play all the games you can think of, and maybe one or two you can’t. However, they also can’t stray too far from each other without going a little bit nuts. Summer needs Fitz to balance her crazy, and help her when things start to spiral out of control. He is the calm in Summer’s storm. He alone can bring her back from the brink, and it’s delightful to watch. In the same way, Fitz needs Summer to push him. She will never settle for less than his best. She won’t let him permanently hide himself away from the world. Summer knows that Fitz is an incredible, talented man, and she challenges him every day of their lives.
I LOVE The Chase. I love it in all the ways. I can’t get enough of Fitz and Summer, and I hope that we get glimpses of them throughout the rest of the Briar U books. They just have that ‘X’ factor that sometimes feels missing from other couples sometimes. Summer and Fitz complement each other in all the best ways, and I am beyond happy to see them find their partner in each other. I have no doubt that this will be one of my favorite reads of the year when all is said and done, and I am beyond anxious for whatever Elle has in store for us next.