By: Holly Brandon
Publication Date: November 2021
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Review Date: November 10, 2021
The first time I met and fell in love with Chastity (AKA: Chase) Morgan was when Holly Brandon released Life in the Chastity Zone – the first book in this incredible series. I met the girl who dreamed of a perfect life that included all those perfect things: great career, great husband, great family. She even remains a virgin at 31, God bless her, but in the first book the “fairytale” Chase longed for was riddled with holes, like a block of Swiss cheese. Grant, the love of her life, hightailed it away before wedding bells could ring in order to take up with a new partner...this time, a male. And in the odd aftermath, a psychic/clairvoyant stumbled into her life who ended up giving her advice.
Here we are, with a new “chapter” in Chase’s life, and all the fun, quirky characters have returned; her one beloved who came “out” has arrived back in her life as a friend; the Morgan clan that surrounds her still has their opinions on her lonely life, most especially her outspoken Nana; and even the “evil” girls from high school are back in Chase’s realm, yet there are things truly different when it comes to each character’s life.
We open on Chase having a perfect, yet odd, dream of a 1920’s love scene featuring the face of the man who helped her a while back when she passed out at an airport. In her dream, however, he has a British accent and is basically the James Bond-type who sets the female heart aflutter. She believes these new dreams occur because of the hit she took to her head those few months ago, but lately they wake her out of a dead sleep and are happening more and more, causing her confusion.
Roxie, her best friend and a creative woman who started up her own party planning business, is the memorable character who brings Chase back to the present. They are in a car racing at breakneck speed to a getaway Roxie planned for Chase to celebrate her birthday. Roxie is hoping this will calm Chase down a bit. What isn’t calming is the fact that when they get there, Chase’s entire family is also there to celebrate with them – a family readers would love to sit down with because they are a blast. From loving Uncle Mason to Nana, who is more than a bit mean when it comes to Chase’s love life to her father, mother, and more, they’ve all come to this resort in Idaho where people are walking around in Christmas reindeer costumes in the middle of August.
Meeting at the Village Station, a newly opened restaurant that has murals depicting a medieval Austrian ski town, Chase loves the place because of her architectural engineer background. She’s also surprised to learn that she’s been set up on a blind date with some guy at a nearby restaurant that she goes to meet in order to stop Nana from annoying her anymore. She meets Casper Donwood. A good-looking divorcee, he’s a composer, teacher – you name it, he has the brains. And, at first, he’s a nice guy. Then...he speaks, eventually saying enough to anger Chase once again. Yet another strike out with a useless guy.
Back home in L.A., because Chase has been through the break-up with Grant and the death of her own brother, she’s been out of a job and heads to an interview where Grant suddenly appears and starts fighting for her to land the job. Until she finds work, however, she has to spend a great deal of time with Nana as she has some “work done” to remove wrinkles and look younger. Through this scenario, Chase is faced with Doctor Butkus who seems nice at first, and then turns into yet another dud she can’t stand.
Perhaps best of all for Chase is the fact that Paul, her long ago best friend who she hasn’t seen in forever, is in a relationship with someone he simply doesn’t like but is on the verge of getting married to, which both Roxie and Chase will not allow because the girl is a witch. Not to mention, Paul still owns an attraction for Chase which, in the end, may make him the one to knock her off her chastity track.
In this book, however, nothing is as it seems. Characters have hidden agendas, Chase will find herself in various situations where her strength, courage, and/or humor will be tested, and there will even be a “healer” showing up that has her own interesting story to tell. It’s no wonder that this author has won a bevy of awards, considering her first foray into Chase Morgan’s life was absolutely bewitching. She knows what she wants to say, and it will be a reader’s dream to see how it all works out for Chase and her cronies. This book ends with a ‘quake’ of monumental proportions; an event that may make you more than annoyed because NOW you (and I) have to wait for Book III.
Quill says: A series you need to read; Chastity Morgan’s life has all the perfections and flaws known in life, and her journey is one of pure enjoyment!
For more information on Nothing’s As It Seems (Chastity Series Book 2), please visit the author's website at: authorhollybrandon.com