cover image The Good Chase

The Good Chase

Hanna Martine. Berkley Sensation, $7.99 mass market (304p) ISBN 978-0-425-26752-3

Martine’s second Highland Games contemporary (after Long Shot) is a tender romance for grownups, full of characters with genuine feelings. Whisky expert and bar owner Shea Montgomery won’t mix business with pleasure, so at first she turns down wealthy financier J.P. Byrne’s proposition at the Highland Games festivals where he plays rugby and she conducts tastings. Though they do eventually hook up, she remains wary of being seen as the rich man’s bauble she was during her previous marriage. Shea prefers “Rugby Byrne” to the “Bespoke Byrne” she sees when he overcompensates for his dirt-poor past. He tries too hard to fix things for those he loves, including his family and Shea, who dreams of producing whiskey rather than serving it. Martine falters only with the disaster she invents to separate the twosome late in the story, but the joyous reconnection and triumphant conclusion almost make up for the melodrama. (Dec.)