Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Brian Paulson has lived a life of luxury and ease. If he’s been left lonely because of his family’s pursuit of wealth and their own happiness, he figures it’s a small price to pay for what he sees as most important: money.
Cade McAllister has never had it easy. He works two jobs to support himself, his mother, and his special-needs brother. They don’t have much, but to Cade, love and taking care of the people who are important to him mean more than material possessions. When Cade is mugged in the park, he can’t afford to lose what little he has, and he’s grateful for Brian’s intervention.
Cade is given a chance to return the favor when Brian’s grandfather passes away and Brian’s assets are frozen. Cade offers Brian a place to stay and helps him find work, and the two men grow closer as they learn the good and the bad of the very different worlds they come from. Just as Brian is starting to see there’s more to life than what money can buy, a clause in his grandfather’s will could send their relationship up in smoke.
First I have to start this guest post by saying that I love Two Chicks Obsessed (TCO note: Thank you! We love you too!!!). First because the blog name is so awesome and because they really are what they say they are. These are ladies who are obsessed with books and there is nothing better than that. I know I’m supposed to be talking about Chasing the Dream, but I think I’d rather talk to you about readers. See Chasing the Dream is about a man who finally figures out what he truly wants in life. Up till this point he had been going through the motions, but in Chasing the Dream, Brian comes to learn what it is that’s really important in life. And for us writers, its our readers who form a large part of our dreams. We tell our stories, write them down, and then leave the rest to fit up to the reader to complete the dream and let it take root in their imagination. So to Two Chicks Obsessed and everyone else who enjoys a good story, I want to thank each of you for being part of my dream!
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Andrew Grey‘s latest book, Chasing the Dream. I love pretty much anything that Andrew writes. He has an amazing ability to capture the hearts of his characters, and find emotions that make sense in the situation that the MC’s are in. Andrew writes book after book, releasing (if my estimates are correct) approximately every 6 weeks or so. Yet, he has an uncanny ability to make each book fresh, different, and not in the least formulaic. He researches the world he creates so well that even if he was wrong, I would still assume he was correct over my own assumptions. 🙂
In this book, I expected to dislike Brian from page 1, and that was not far off the mark. Self-centered, snobby and without any moral compass, he was the epitome of what a man who grew up with all the privilege of money, but none of the responsibility would be like. And this book was about Brian, almost entirely. Yes, there was a love story, but in its essence this book was about Brian’s redemption, his road to healing his emotional scars, and finding out what living with purpose and passion are all about.
Along the way, Brian meets Cade who doesn’t show him the way, as much as he helps Brian be able to find his path, merely by being there for him when no one else would. Cade had almost nothing and yet, was willing to give what he had for someone who needed it, showing Brian by example that living that life of purpose was more meaningful than all the money he could spend.
I cried several times during this book. Seeing how Cade’s life, and especially Phillip’s, helped Brian realize what he needed in his in own life, and how to create his own family was inspiring. Watching Brian move from the self-centered man he had been to one who cared about others, and their needs brought those tissues out. 🙂
Great job to Andrew on once again creating a world that the reader can connect with.
4.5 pieces of eye candy
“Mr. Paulson?” Cade said, and he turned to see him with the manager of the restaurant right behind him.
“There’s seems to be a problem with your card,” the manager explained.
Brian pulled out his wallet and handed them another.
“I’ll have to call them tomorrow.”
He turned back to Peter, who said good night. Brad also said good night and followed Peter out. Brian sat in his chair once again, and this time Cade and the manager returned, both looking just as dour.
“I’m afraid this one has been declined as well.”
He placed the card on the countertable, and Brian went cold.
“There has to be some mistake.”
“Quite possibly, I’m sure.” The manager was clearly uncomfortable.
“You know who I am?” Brian said, holding himself high in order to hide his embarrassment. Nothing like this had ever happened to him. He’d need to call his trustee as well as the bank and yell at all of them in the morning.
“Yes, I do.” He sounded snooty, as though Brian had been caught stealing. “Cade is off shift and has agreed to go home with you to get the bill paid. A check will suffice, but if it isn’t good, we will call the police, and we will know where you can be found.”
Brian wanted to snap at him and put him in his place, but the realization hit him that he was in no position to bargain. The manager could simply call the police, and then that story would hit the papers. His family would have a cow. His fucking aunt and uncle would be making snide comments about it for years.
“Of course. It’s just some mix-up.” Brian stood to get ready to leave.
“I’ll need a minute to change,” Cade said and hurried away.
Brian left the dining room. This was one time he did not want to be the center of attention. When Cade came out, they walked to his car.
“I’m sorry about all this,” Brian said as embarrassment rose once again. He hated being out of control, and this was certainly that. He had a trust fund set up by his family grandfather that was his source of money. He never gave it any thought and never asked anyone else for anything. Being beholden to any of his relatives was not something he was the least bit interested in.
Brian started the car and drove sedately through town, then parking parked in front of his building. He figured he’d have to take Cade back to the restaurant once he’d straightened this out. They got out of the car and went inside, riding rode up to his floor in the elevator and unlocking unlocked his condo door.
Inside he went right to his desk.
“This is amazing,” Cade said, walking over to the windows to peer out.
Brian found his checkbook and wrote a check that included the amount for the bill plus a generous tip for Cade, especially considering the trouble he’d gone through. “Here you are,” he said, walking to where Cade stared. He’d seen that view so many times he rarely paid any attention to it any longer.
Cade took the check and put it carefully in into his pocket. “I bet you have a front-row seat for the fireworks from up here,” Cade said, practically pressing his nose to the glass. He seemed so enthralled that Brian stood next to him, looking down to the park near the art museum.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been here for that.” His uncle always had one of his family “command performance” parties at his house.
“What a shame,” Cade said softly and then seemed to blink out of his thoughts.
“I should get you back to the restaurant.” Brian was anxious to have this whole episode behind him, even if being with Cade was rather nice. There were no expectations, either good or bad. His family always expected the worst, and he usually delivered on that. His friends expected either the clown or the party animal, and he was adept at playing both those roles.
“Yeah.” He didn’t turn right away. “I love the art museum under all the lights. They have the brise-soleil up, and it looks like it’s going to sail away into the night.”
Cade practically bounced, and Brian turned to where he was looking. He’d never really paid any attention before.
“It does,” he agreed. Brian stood at his own windows for a few more minutes as Cade marveled over what Brian saw every day. It was like experiencing something brand new, and he’d lived here for over a year.
“I’m sorry. I got carried away,” Cade said as he stepped back from the window. “I shouldn’t take up any more of your time.” He patted his pocket. “I appreciate you giving me the check. My boss will be happy about that.” The nervous energy seemed to be back once again.
“Let me give you a ride,” Brian offered, and they left the condo and rode, riding back down. When Brian stepped outside the building, he instantly noticed a number of things. His car was sitting on a towing company flatbed, and large men moved to stand behind him. “What the hell is going on?”
“The people who own the car as well as the condo have decided that you don’t get to use them any longer,” one of the men said as he crossed his bulging arms over his thick chest and stared blankly ahead, as though he wasn’t even seeing Brian at all.
Brian walked up to the huge man who spoke to him. “I own the condo and the car,” he snapped.
“Do you?” he asked and placed a card in Brian’s hand. It had his grandfather’s name on it and nothing else.
“Shit!” He crumpled the card and tossed it back at the man. “What the hell am I supposed to do now?” Brian yanked out his phone. “Peter, thank God,” he began as soon as the call was answered. “Everything is messed up right now, and I need a favor. Can I crash with you tonight?”
Peter hesitated. He sounded winded. “Umm, I have company already. I don’t think that’s a particularly good idea. What happened? Why can’t you stay at your place?”
“My grandfather,” Brian answered.
“Is that what happened with the bill at the restaurant?” Peter asked, and Brian wondered how word could possibly have gotten around so fast. “Carolyn Langdon was at the next table. I’m surprised you didn’t notice her. She spread the word that you were having money trouble within seconds.” Peter groaned softly and tried to muffle it but failed. “I need to go. Call me when all of this is straightened out.” He hung up.
Brian wanted to smash his phone on the sidewalk, but he needed it.
“Simone,” he said when his second call was answered. “I need a place to crash for a few days. Things are really getting weird, and I need some help.”
“Sorry, sweetheart, but we’re getting ready to go out of town for a few weeks.”
She sounded like talking to him was the last thing she wanted to be doing. What the fuck was wrong with these people? He’d shown them a good time for years. Hell, just a few hours ago he was buying them dinner and having a great time.
“We heard what happened, and I’m so sorry to hear that. If we’d have known, we certainly could have helped, but…. Just a second. No. Don’t pack that. I’ll be there in a minute. I really need to go. But I’ll call you when we get back, and I really hope you get all this straightened out.”
She made a kiss noise and then hung up. Brian was floored. Two of his closest friends had turned him away.
Cade had moved out of the way and was on the phone. “Yes, I have the check. Would it be okay if I brought it in tomorrow when I come to work?” Cade seemed nervous once again. “Thank you. I’ll come in a little early so you’ll have it.”
He hung up, and Brian heard a sigh of relief.
Brian made a few more calls, none of which were answered, and he left messages with each of them. He told himself he could straighten all this out when he went to the lawyer’s in the morning. In the meantime, it was getting late, and he needed a place to stay. He almost called his uncle, but his finger hovered above the number. He hated to ask that piece of work for anything. He shivered both from cold and what his uncle would say.
The night air was starting to get under his shirt. The wind off the lake had died down, but the breeze was still chill and damp. Brian pulled out his wallet to see what cash he had on him and realized there wasn’t enough for even a cheap hotel room. He never carried much cash. He always paid by credit card.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but you can come home with me for the night,” Cade offered in a rather quiet voice. “My apartment is really small, and it’s nothing like that one.” Cade looked up the building. “But I have a sofa you can use for the night.” Cade bit his lower lip slightly.
“Thank you,” Brian said through his desperation. He couldn’t believe his friends had deserted him. All he was asking for was a place to sleep for a single night. That was all the time he needed to straighten this out. “You don’t have to do that,” Brian said, feeling something he couldn’t ever remember, humility.
“In the park, you helped me.”
Brian turned to the men by the door of the building, letting others in. He wanted to scream at them again. That was his home. Hell, he thought of calling the police, but if his grandfather had something to do with this, even dead, it wasn’t likely they would intervene.
“We need to go,” Cade said.
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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