Chasing Red Duology – Isabelle Ronin

Chasing Red Duology: Chasing Red (Book 1) Always Red (Book 2)

“It’s what you learn from the bad things that can determine the path you choose. If you embrace your scars and let them make you stronger, you might be able to open up and move beyond the pain.”

Isabelle Ronin, a Filipino-Canadian based writer. Her Wattpad story Chasing Red has garnered more than 150 million reads and was Wattpad’s most read story of 2016. I actually read this book on Wattpad before it was published.

“It’s one of my favorite parts in Alice in Wonderland. Alice asks the White Rabbit, ‘How long is forever?’ The White Rabbit answers, ‘Sometimes just one second.’ This”—he kissed my lips—“this feels like forever right here.” He stared into my eyes. “How can I not wish for that?”

Chasing Red is a story about a spoiled, rich heartthrob, Caleb Lockhart. He’s a college basketball star, king of campus, and surrounded by adoring coeds. His wealthy family provides everything he needs. His life is perfect with wealth, adoration and a brilliant future. Until a chance encounter with a siren in a red dress who changes everything.

“I need you to stop,” He whispered

“Stop?”

“whatever you’re doing to me.”

“I am a prisoner sentenced with lifetime of loving you”

“She was like a puzzle that was missing a few pieces. Maybe I’d carve my own pieces to complete her.”

When he meets the aggressive and stubborn, earthy Veronica at a club, he falls for her completely. There is nothing in this world Caleb wants more than her. She’s his opposite in every way; hardworking, self-sufficient, sharp, and from a working class family. Temporarily homeless, she needs a place to stay, which gives Caleb his chance. She bristles when he calls her “Red” not realizing it’s because of her dress. She’s intoxicated and needs rescuing from a potential attacker. Caleb takes her to his apartment where he cleans her up after she throws up all over his new car. He discovers that she’s homeless and asks her to move in, no strings. I’m not quite sure if the offer was in Red’s best interests, because he comes off as obsessed, he was like really really obsessed; he kept her hair strand, her post notes. At first, I thought it was a challenge to him, since she turned him down, but you can tell he cares about her, even though she keeps her distance.

“Her mouth twitched. My girl rarely smiled, but when she did, I felt like Superman.”

“Caleb was like the sun. He was so warm, so big and bright that you couldn’t help but come closer. But what would happen when I get too close?.”

Isabelle Ronin, throws together two unlikely people and lets their passion develop at a tempting and alluring pace. Caleb is full of life, he says whatever comes to his mind and gets whatever he wants which make things pretty hard for him with Veronica but Veronica or “Red,” as he calls her is endlessly patient. Caleb’s generosity keeps her off the street. While Veronica tries to figure out her next step, the two evolve past Caleb’s juvenile pickup lines to form a meaningful connection. Caleb feels intensely drawn to Red. And, for the first time in his life, he really wants something―someone. But Red past makes it hard for her to trust anyone. His playboy reputation stirs up the trust issues she developed after watching her mother ache after her unfaithful and emotionally abusive father. Once Caleb discovers that Red is a virgin, he handles her tenderly but becomes more frustrated. They have mutual friends with their own sets of problems that complicate the landscape, and the pair has similar childhood issues that bring them closer together. There first night out for fun was amazing when they came home the way Caleb said.

“thank you for showing me something different tonight”

And the way they say pancake, like it was a code word for them.

“Pancakes?” he murmured, his eyes filled with an emotion so intense and sincere it filled my throat with longing. “Pancakes,” I answered.”

Caleb’s father was also unfaithful to his mother, and Caleb has vowed never to dishonor a relationship, which is why he’s never been in one before.

“Everything that happens in your life is to prepare you, Veronica,” she’d said. “Metal has to go through fire to melt and be turned into a sword. Be strong because this is just a test. You are being melted, being molded into a stronger person. This burning will pass, and you will find rest. Don’t give up, honey.”

Veronica has some insecurities about the class difference too.

“How can you not belong in my world? When you are my world?”

Her determination to stay protected hits with Caleb’s goal of winning her over, and she ignores his efforts to prove that she’s the only one for him, instead of being fooled by jealous so-called friends who scheme to destroy their relationship.

“I don’t want a castle, Caleb. I never did. I just want a home. A simple one. With you.”

Caleb is blind when it comes to his best friend, Beatrice Rose, who used to be his bed buddy and his on and off sex partner, he has been always there for her. The girl ended up falling in love with him, but Caleb doesn’t realize this. She becomes crazy, bleeds herself out, she even kidnaps Veronica and try to kill her, hire someone to roast the garage. And then there is Justin, who traps Caleb in a drug case, who is jealous of him and steals stuff from his house and Caleb doesn’t even know or he think he doesn’t. These two people are the actual trouble in this book.

“If I learned something from living with my girl, it’s that sometimes girls don’t want to be saved. They want to do the saving.”

Then there are these other characters which I really really loved, how Ronin wrote them perfectly with their own twist and story. Cammie/Kara and Red their friendship is so amazing. First there are two Cam’s, Cameron and Cammie whose name is now kara (I have actually read this book on wattpad first). Kara is actually Red’s best friend, Red works for her garage, and then there is Cameron, Caleb’s best buddy. Both of the Cam’s (Cameron and Kara) has some issues in there relation they have been separate through all the book but it is said that they were together but it’s never explained why they are not together anymore. But not to worry we got there separate story which is currently “a work in progress” on Wattpad.
Then we have some other friends of Red, Beth her other best friend who is in love with her childhood buddy, Theo, but he doesn’t know that, they use him to scare Justin off, that was kind of funny. Then we have Damon, who is Kara’s neighbour and friend and becomes Red’s friend too he take cares of her like an guardian angel and calls her Angel face, Caleb is kind of jealous of him.
Then we got to meet Caleb’s handsome brother, it felt like he is more charming than Caleb, and then his mother, at first she doesn’t like Red and blames her for all Caleb’s trouble but then she apologizes to her.
Oh yeah I almost forgot, their childhood memory where Caleb met a batgirl (Red) and offered her a peanut butter sandwich from where peanut butter became her favorite and Caleb become her first friend. You see they were meant to be together.
Well overall the romance is well developed, and readers will swoon over Caleb, who’s a spirited and fun-loving optimist, but some parts make me feel like he is going to be like Red’s father, he orders her like he owns her and the part he carries her on shoulder and wants to punish her makes me feel like I am reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Although there are more serious implications of their relationship, Caleb and Veronica are sweet, young, and light with each other.

“When you know that someone in this world is thinking about you…when you know someone wants to be with you, that they think the world of you…when they make you fall in love with them over and over again…it makes you feel like the world is a better place after all. Even when everyone is against you, it’s okay. Because you know that one person will never leave your side. For me, that person is you.”

Chasing Red is a perfectly sweet romance, with just the right amount of spice. It had me laughing out loud so I knew I was in for a fun ride. Oh how right I was. The way Caleb expresses his love, in all the perfect ways. Just so beautiful. The story drew me in completely. I felt the tension between Veronica and Caleb, the way they were building their trust towards each other, the hope that they can be better, have better, do better. I flew through this book, loved the twists it had, loved all the romance that was added in both little and big ways. Caleb had me laughing at his comments and you can just picture that carefree but underneath full of heart man who would do anything for Red. It is sexy, witty and a breath of fresh air. This novel was well written, sexy and full of life. You feel as though you are right there with the characters. Chasing Red is a definite must read for young adults and adults alike who love romance, humor and real life struggles built-in.

“Everything that happens in your life is to prepare you, Veronica,” she’d said. “Metal has to go through fire to melt and be turned into a sword. Be strong because this is just a test. You are being melted, being molded into a stronger person. This burning will pass, and you will find rest. Don’t give up, honey.”

-Irma

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