Title: Chasing Eddie
Publication Date: February 10, 2019
Length: 152 pages
Reviewed by Sammy
January 29, 2019
Eddie Smith is a chubby bear of a guy who lives in Daytona Beach and doesn't work much anymore but isn't retired.
Whit Hall has just retired as a tight end for an NFL expansion team and lives in San Antonio.
At 52, Eddie feels at home with himself and has learned how to roll with life. He's happy enough where he is and doesn't expect much to happen anytime soon.
At 35, Whit is ready for a life that put less of a strain on his body. He's banked plenty of dough but doesn't know what to do next.
. . .
About to sit down to his favorite take-out lasagna, Eddie gets a call from a friend who wants to hire him to help Whit figure out what's next in his life.
Eddie is a kinda, sorta life coach and might be able to help but seriously doubts it.
Reluctantly, he climbs aboard his friend's private jet and flies to San Antonio. Once he arrives, he ends up getting a whole lot more than he bargained for. Whit Hall is aggressive, he's angry, and he's under a lot of pressure.
It's a good thing Eddie (sorta) knows what he's doing!
. . .
Now that he's retired, Whit is looking for the next thing.
He's set, with plenty of bank. And he's doing what he can to deal with his parents, who are all up in his business. A lot.
Then, one Wednesday morning, he opens his front door. Before he knows it, Whit is chasing Eddie Smith out of his house, down the street, and even further.
It's a good thing Whit is (kinda) in shape for this new type of chase!
. . .
Neither man wants to go far...
But unexpected changes are chasing them both...
Wherever they end up going, and whatever ends up happening, this will be the beginning of something new and wonderful for them both.
Basically their first meeting is bound to go off badly and it does but good for Whit and Eddie, who decide to give each other another chance. Before long, the two men are becoming fast friends and the hint of possibly something more is in the air until Whit’s mother calls and demands he come home in order to be front and center when his daddy focuses his Sunday preaching on Whit’s success yet again. Whit is stuck—he is scared to come out to his bible thumping parents, and for good reason, considering they are the founders of a mega-church with a lot of clout. Eddie likes Whit but allows his inner demons to decide for him and Whit that there will never be anything between the two of them and leaves poor Whit to deal with his life crisis all by himself. When Whit pursues Eddie and declares his love, the two of them never realize that Whit’s parents will threaten not only Eddie but the son they profess to love. They want Whit to return to the fold and will stop at nothing to get him back.
I loved Frank Butterfield’s previous Nick Williams mystery series and I am thrilled that he suggests that this story will begin a new series which I can only hope will feature Whit and Eddie. Chasing Eddie gives us just a taste of these two characters. The story is far from complete and almost leaves more questions than answers by the end of the novella. However while it may feel that is lacks a complete story line it certainly doesn’t lack in a lot of fun, two fascinating men who are both physically and personally opposite ends of the spectrum and who somehow really work together—much like Nick and Carter did in his other series. Eddie is just plain sweet and so unassuming. He doesn’t profess to have great psychic powers and yet he is the conduit for the mysterious “Paul” who definitely dispenses life lessons to those who need them and are willing to seek them out. Honestly, Eddie is just a really nice guy who attracts attention from just about every gay man he meets despite or perhaps because of his round belly and appealing personality.
I love how the author had Eddie relatively happy in his own skin—yes, he admits that he’s not always perfectly content with his weight and yet he also acknowledges that he likes himself pretty much the way he is. Unfortunately that won’t stop Eddie from disbelieving that he could ever garner the affections of someone so physically perfect as Whit. Whit, on the other hand, presents as an angry man who may never admit he is gay. What that anger hides is fear and unhappiness and it takes Eddie to unlock the place inside Whit that finally has had enough of both. These two worked so well together—they were just so sweet and perfect as a couple. I really enjoyed getting to know both these men and hope that their future is the story Mr. Butterfield will continue to highlight in his new series.
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