Blog Tour: Chasing Harlow by Jay McLean

Synopsis for Chasing Harlow (from Goodreads):
What started as a bet can only end in heartache.

Moving to the middle of nowhere right before my senior year wasn’t ideal.
Then again, neither was my brother dying.
The move was supposed to be a fresh start.
A new town, a new school, a new mindset.
Too bad my past indiscretions followed me.
Enter Jace Rivera, the literal boy next door.
Jace is loved by the town. Admired by his peers. Worshipped by his teammates.
On the basketball court, he’s a god amongst men.
Off the court, he’s… nothing at all like I expected.
He’s profound and pure and… devastatingly tortured.
Yet somehow, he offers me light while I offer him hope.
In the end, we’ll either hurt or heal each other.
There’s no in between.
“Pain is the price we pay for love,” he once told me.
And a broken heart is the consequence of it.


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author
Author: Jay McLean
Genre: New Adult / Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Heat Rating: Warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: June 21, 2024
Source & Format: Wordsmith Publicity–eARC

Add: Goodreads | Buy: Amazon


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Jay McLean is a master of writing heavy yet heartfelt stories of love and healing. Her stories just draw me in from the start with layered characters that I can’t help but be drawn to.

This was written originally as a short story (that I never read) but it this version is the newly released full length novel.

The Plot:

This is a very character driven story. There wasn’t really an overarching plot besides these two learning to overcome their trauma and family situations. There’s a fake dating scenario for a little bit but it gets pushed to the side as we begin to unravel what makes Jace and Harlow who they are.

And there is a sports aspect (Jace plays basketball) but I wouldn’t say it focuses on that either besides it defining Jace and showing how sport can bring people together. It truly is a heartfelt coming of age story when all is said and done.

The Characters:

Both Harlow and Jace keep their cards close to their chests so it took a bit for them to not only open up with each other, but also to the reader. I didn’t get a strong read on them at the start because of that. However, as I read, I definitely got drawn into their story as they started to share more and heal from their pasts. I appreciated the message of both of them learning to overcome their family traumas and not letting it be the defining aspect of who they are.

And as per usual, Jay McLean writes a fantastic cast of support characters that just enhance and bring this story to life.

The Romance:

For me, this was a slow burn and I really loved that. I wasn’t even sure these two liked each other when they first met! So I thought it was so great to watch them start as strangers, become friends and then develop such a strong, amazing romantic connection as they got to know each other. Their story reminded me that love can heal and help make a person confident and whole in who they are.

My Rating: 4/5

If you love character driven stories and a friends to more romance, this is one you need to pick up ASAP!

Read if You Like: healing trauma, heartfelt romance, layered characters
Avoid if You: are triggered by trauma


Jay McLean

Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult and Young Adult romance, and skilled procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her three little boys, investing way too much time on True Crime Documentaries and binge-watching reality TV.
She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.
Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in her dream home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

Author Links: FB Page | Instagram | BookBubAmazon | Goodreads | TikTok | Reader Group | Website 

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