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The story begins with Delia Myers Schmidt driving god-knows-where in a state of desperation having just received divorce papers and the worst possible Dear John letter from her army husband.
She has no luggage, no money, no plan. She is driving away from the home that she and her husband shared as quickly and comprehensively as she can manage.
It wasn't going to end well, that lack-of-plan. And when she gets hit by a drunk-driven truck, it looks like her already as-bad-as-it-can-get day is about to get even worse. Still, you know what they say - every cloud has a silver lining. I have no idea why they say that, mind. It's neither literally nor metaphorically true.
At least in Delia's case, her traffic accident doesn't leave her with any lasting injuries and allows her to meet the very sexy and very charming police captain Jake Forrester. Not that things get off to a smooth start. Hurt and angry by her husband's betrayal, Delia decides that Jake needs to take responsibility for all failings of all men ever and screams abuse at him while half-dressed in her hospital room.
Rather than being insulted, Jake rather sweetly realises that Delia's anger isn't really directed at him and shows good humour throughout. It does kind of help that he fancies the (non-sexy flowery old lady) pants off her, of course.
But things are never going to be that straightforward and Delia makes a run for it before she and Jake can become properly acquainted. She runs away a lot, does Delia.
Flash forward three months and Delia has moved to a new town and found herself a job with possibly the world's coolest Small Town Lesbian Bakers. She is totally getting her life back together post Shitty Emotionally Abusive Unfaithful Husband. But she's not totally over things yet. So when sexy Jake Forrester and his very cool eleven-year-old son serendipitously stroll into the bakery one day, Delia once again, freaks the fuck out and runs. Only as far as the back room, this time, mind.
Jake is charming and patient and utterly smitten with Delia and over time a very wonderful and believable romance blossoms between the two. Every time she runs from him after that, he fetches her right back again. (Luckily we know that (a) that's what she wants and (b) Jake isn't a serial killer from the narration. I wouldn't advocate that all men chase after women who literally run away from them.
Plenty of erotic romances are entirely based in fantasy. Not just the ones based in the Mystical Planet of Zpan-Koh or in the futuristic-spanking-based political system of the twenty-ninth century. Even contemporary spanking romances can have very little in common with the real world.
Chasing Delia, however, is all about real world issues. Not only does Delia have eleven years of a sham marriage to recover from, she also has an alcoholic single mother with whom communication has completely broken down. Jake has demons of his own including a complicated romantic history which has left him raising a son who is not biologically his. There's a lot of baggage all round.
It's beautifully handled.Aubrey Cara makes you care for the characters so much that it makes your heart ache. But be warned, things certainly get a bit grim at times. There's all kinds of emotional abuse and parental neglect and possible infertility and betrayal and heartbreak and addiction to get through. It's counterbalanced by an engagingly romantic plot and some delightful spankings, but you need to be able to handle the grimness.
Overall, it's a wonderful, wonderful story. As much about family as it about spanky romance. It's heartwarming to see Delia - the girl who though she'd never belong - find herself through the love of not just her soul mate, Jake, but also the love of her various friends and her step-son, Steven.
There is a confrontation with her ex-husband towards the end of the book which feels a bit contrived. I guess it's necessary though. Having spent so much of her life just following the path of least resistance, this is our chance to see Delia as a strong, independent woman with a clear vision of her own future,
She takes an amazing journey to get there.I felt privileged to share in her happy ever after. God knows, given the emotional wringer that Aubrey Cara put me through, I feel I deserve it,