Today is it our great pleasure to host a stop on the “CHASING ABBY” Blog Tour! This is the final installment in the Shattered Hearts series, which I hope you’ve all read and if not we will have links for the other books below! I’m so excited that I got an arc to review this one! This book is a total ‘ugly cry inducing’ amazing read!! We are also bringing you 2 great excerpts!! One is all about Abby and the other is a snapshot of Claire and Chris. I hope that you will love this book as much as I did and go click it into your reader!! Go support indie authors like we at the Geekery Book Review do and we think Cassia Leo is an amazing example of one!! ~ Amber
The heart-stopping conclusion to the New York Times and USA Today best selling series.
Five years, six months, eight days….
It’s been eighteen years since Abigail was born with a hole in her heart. Five years since she collapsed on the soccer field. Five years, six months, eight days since she found out she was adopted.
Abby has spent five years wondering about the family she never knew and waiting for her eighteenth birthday. When Abby shows up on the doorstep of Chris and Claire Knight, her birth parents are overjoyed to see the little girl they lost eighteen years ago.
One summer is all they have to make up for the years they lost. But a summer of love soon turns into a summer of heartache.
CHASING ABBY ON GOODREADS
CHASING ABBY PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1ugNt8s
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AMBER’S 5 STAR REVIEW
5 Stars (Though that’s really nowhere near enough!)
Not sure I even know how to begin expressing to you all how much I adored this book. This is the final installment for the Shattered Hearts series, which is undoubtedly one of my favorite series ever!! There have been so many moments that have brought me to tears during this series; I mean it has been a real emotional roller coaster, so I knew going in that this would be an intense read. However it really really was even more than that and as I messaged Cassia after I finished it – this book should come with a disclaimer that you can’t read without a box of tissues at the ready!!
If you’ve read this series then you know Claire and Chris Knight. You know that they were childhood sweethearts who overcame obstacles to find their happy ever after. Chasing Abby finds us eighteen years after the start of this series, as the daughter that Claire gave up for adoption finally comes to meet them. So this is really Abby’s story as much as Claire and Chris’, and it did not disappoint. It was obvious how much Claire and Chris longed to finally forge a relationship with their daughter, but it was also heart wrenching watching Abby try to come to the decision to meet them and their reaction and hopefulness at what will come. Abby has had wonderful parents, but her life hasn’t been easy because she struggles with a heart that doesn’t work as it should and limits her ability “to live freely”.
As much as this is a story of hope, of growth, of love and coming into your own, it’s also a story about faith and trust. For Claire and Chris it was the hope and faith that one day they and their other children would finally have Abby come home to them. For Abby it was having the hope and faith that she could be more than the “girl with the broken heart”. Abby has a rock in Caleb, her boyfriend, best friend, caregiver and all around everything. Caleb is there to encourage and support Abby in ways that her parents never could. He nurtures her desire for music and understands her in ways no one else does. I thought their story and love was just about the most beautiful thing I’d ever read. You add in to that the acceptance and almost immediate feeling of “home” that Abby feels when she shows up at Chris and Claire’s home, well I’ll just say that this was everything you could hope for it to be if you were in any way invested in this story. I will not give any spoilers, but just know that this is a definite ‘ugly cry’ book. I literally bawled like a baby and if you’ve read Taking Chances by Molly McAdams, let me just say this was similar in the amount of tears it elicited.
I really thought that after reading “Bring Me Home” that nothing could be better in this series, but Cassia so proved me wrong here. I will easily say that “Chasing Abby” is one of the most beautifully crafted and emotionally involved books I’ve read in the past year!! It wasn’t just the story but also the music in this book that touched me. Music is always an integral part of Cassia’s books, this series especially and if you have Spotify do yourself a favor and add this playlist (we include it below)! But the songs specific to the story are also embedded in the ebook, so don’t forget to check out the links!
My last note is just about this wonderful author, whose books I have devoured and loved. I always seem to emotionally connect to a Cassia Leo book, and she is an automatic download for me. So I will just say this – I love Cassia Leo. I love her as a writer. I love her as a storyteller (because there is a difference to me). I love her as a person (I’m so proud I’ve had the opportunity to meet her!). She pours so much of herself into her books and Chasing Abby was the perfect reminder. So to you, Cassia, thank you for sharing yourself with us; for sharing these amazing stories and touching my heart each and every time.
CHASING ABBY – Excerpts
Two months after
THE HAIRS ON MY ARMS stand on end the moment I step inside Fidelity Bank in Raleigh. As if I can feel every time my parents walked through here over the past eighteen years. See the ghost of their footprints trailed across the speckled tile.
Caleb squeezes my hand as we head for the line of patrons queued up in front of the teller windows. I want to smile at him to show him that everything is okay, but I’m too nervous. My heart is pounding like a snare drum inside my chest. My fingers begin to tingle and I know I should stop and take a few deep breaths, but I can’t stop moving toward that line. I wriggle my fingers a little and Caleb tightens his grip, stopping in the middle of the floor as he recognizes the signs.
I look up into his green eyes and his eyebrows shoot up as he draws in a deep breath. I copy him, sucking in a large breath through my nostrils then letting it out slowly through my mouth. He does it a few more times and I follow along until the tingling in my fingers is gone. Then I blink my eyes to stanch the tears. It’s not fair to Caleb that he has a broken girlfriend. He deserves a girl with a healthy heart who can keep up with his lust for life.
“Better?” he asks, his voice soothing and hopeful.
I nod and he kisses my forehead. “Thank you.”
What is it like having a defective heart? Sort of like having a defective TV that only displays a few channels. You’re forced to listen to your friends talking about all the cool shows they’ve been watching. Shows you’ll never be able to watch. And you try to pretend you’re perfectly happy with your defective TV, but everyone knows you’re just trying to be a good sport.
Sports. That’s one thing you can’t watch on a defective TV. I learned that when I was thirteen. That also happens to be the age I learned about the safe-deposit box that brought me to Fidelity Bank today.
“I can help the next person in line.”
I look up and the woman behind the bulletproof glass is giving me that impatient, eyebrows-raised look. I step forward with Caleb and slip my driver’s license into the curved slot on the counter.
“I’m here to… to look at my safe-deposit box.” Look at? She must think I’m crazy.
She takes my driver’s license and swipes it through a machine. She types in a few commands, then she looks back and forth between the picture on my ID and my face.
“Do you have your key?”
“Yes,” I reply quickly as I begin digging in the front pocket of my jeans for the small silver key my father gave me two months ago.
I slide it into the slot and she smiles. “You can hold onto it.” She slides my ID back to me and I take both the card and the key back. “Just give me a moment. I have to go get my supervisor to help you.”
She disappears behind a curved wall and comes back with a man in a suit who’s sifting through a gaggle of keys on a chain as he walks. They arrive at the teller window and the man smiles at me.
He nods to his right. “This way, ma’am.”
Ma’am? I’ve never been called that before. I guess this is what it feels like to be an adult.
We reach an unmarked door that buzzes softly before it’s pulled inward. The man with the keys smiles as he waves us inside. He closes the door behind us, then he leads us to an enormous circular vault door. He slips a key into a lock, then he places his thumb on a print reader. A soft beep sounds and he enters a code on a touchpad. A heavy click sounds inside the door and he turns the wheel to open the door and pull it out.
The vault door opens onto a corridor, which runs perpendicular. Straight ahead of us is a room where another heavy, rectangular vault door stands open, revealing a narrow room lined from floor to ceiling with brass safe-deposit boxes. I look right and see more vault doors leading to other places. The man with the keys leads us forward to the room with the safe-deposit boxes. There aren’t any tables, just a single plastic chair with metal legs pushed up against the back wall of the narrow room. I may need that.
“Do you know which box is yours?” the man asks.
I look up into his dark eyes and my mind blanks, so Caleb speaks for me. “Fifteen-five-zero-eight.”
I nod in agreement and the man smiles as I hold up my key, still unable to speak.
He leads us to the middle of the room and taps a box on the left. “This is it.” He begins walking back toward the door. “Go ahead and take your time. When you’re ready, just press this button right here and someone will come back to let you out.”
I nod again. “Thank you.”
He nods as he closes the rectangular vault door, closing us into the room. My fingers are beginning to tingle again, but I don’t wriggle them. I don’t want to worry Caleb.
I hand him the key. “You open it.”
“Do you want me to look inside and tell you what I see?”
He looks at me for a moment, then he heads for the back of the room. He carries the chair back to me and pats the seat. I sit down and try to resist the urge to wring my hands.
“Deep breaths, Abby,” he reminds me.
“Just open it. I need this over with.”
He quickly slides the key into the lock and turns. He pulls box 15508 out of the slot and I lean forward to put my head between my knees. I don’t want to see until I know what’s in there.
“It’s a memory card and… Holy shit.”
“What?” My head snaps up, but I can’t see inside the box from this angle. “What is it?”
His eyes are wide, but I can’t tell if he’s excited or terrified.
“Caleb! Answer me. What is it?”
“It’s… There are some pictures in here.”
“Pictures? So… what? Why is that shocking?”
His Adam’s apple bobs in his throat as he gulps. “It’s not the pictures that are shocking… It’s who’s in the pictures.”
“What? Let me see.” I stand up to get a look at the contents of the brass box, but Caleb quickly slides it back into the slot. “What are you doing?”
“You asked me to tell you what I saw before you see it.”
I slap his arm in frustration. “Then tell me, damn it!”
“Abby, calm down.”
He looks into my eyes with that stern look that only Caleb and my dad can pull off.
I take a deep breath and nod. “Okay, I’m calm. What’s in the box?”
“It looks like… your biological father is… Chris Knight.”
I narrow my eyes at him. “What? Is that supposed to be a joke? Because that is not funny at all. Just tell me what’s inside the box.”
He’s not smiling as his eyes lock on mine. “This is not a joke.”
The silence is so absolute, I can hear my feeble heart stuttering under the weight of this news.
“Sit down, baby,” he whispers and I gladly sit as he pulls the box out of the slot again. “Are you ready?”
I nod and he carefully sets the box in my lap. The first thing I see is the picture sitting on top of the stack. It’s clearly a professional family photo. Chris Knight, his wife, and their three kids are standing in front of a large elm tree. They look so happy and… perfect. I’ll bet all the TVs in their house work perfectly.
Caleb kneels in front of me and reaches forward to wipe a tear from my cheek. “Are you okay?”
I shake my head, shaking loose another tear. “No.”
I lift the photos out of the box and move the top picture to the bottom of the stack. The next one stops me cold. It’s a picture of Chris Knight looking quite a bit younger. He’s dressed in a suit and holding… me.
THE HOUSE IS QUIET as I climb the steps to the second floor. My home is rarely quiet, so it always raises the hairs on my neck when I walk through the door and I’m greeted with silence. I enter the bedroom and see the door to the master bathroom is closed. I approach slowly, listening for the sound of running water, but I hear nothing. I raise my fist to knock on the door, but it opens on its own.
Claire screams when she sees me. “Shit! You scared me. I didn’t know you’d be back so soon.”
“Why are you naked? Are you taking a shower?”
She looks over my shoulder at the bedroom door. “Close the door!”
I smile as I turn around and head over to pull it closed. Then I lock the door, for good measure. When I turn around, she’s at the dresser, sifting through her panty drawer. I come up behind her and nuzzle my face in her neck so I can taste her skin.
“Where are the kids?” I murmur into her ear.
“Jimi took Ryder to get a new bodyboard. They just left.”
“Chris?” she whispers, her back arched as I slide my hand between her legs. “Remember that surprise I told you about?”
My finger slides between her flesh and she lets out a soft squeak when I find her clit. I pull her backward, away from the dresser, then I gently lay her belly-down on the bed. Sliding my left hand down the back of her left thigh, I pull it sideways to spread her legs.
“You said the surprise might involve you being naked, so I’ll just come right out and say that I really like this surprise.” My hand glides between us to undo my pants and she laughs. “What’s so funny?”
She tries to turn around, but she can’t with me lying on top of her. “Get up. I need to turn around.”
“Okay, fine. No doggy style today.”
I stand up so she can flip onto her back, but the minute I see her ample breasts trembling with movement, the sinful curve of her hips, and the light patch of hair on her mound, I can’t resist. I get right back on top of her and she laughs as she pushes me back.
“I’m serious, Chris. I have to talk to you.”
I roll my eyes as I stand up again and offer her my hand to help her up. “What could be more important than having sex right now? All the kids are gone. All of them.”
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo grew up in California and has lived in three different countries. She loves to travel and her dream is to one day score a record deal based on her awesome shower singing skills. She is the author of the Shattered Hearts series (Forever Ours, Relentless, Pieces of You, Bring Me Home) and the Luke, Knox, and Chase series.
Come chat with her on
You can also follow her blog at http://cassialeo.com to stay up to date on new releases and giveaways.
Thanks for reading!
CHASING ABBY PLAYLIST
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PIECES OF YOU
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BRING ME HOME
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