Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Nine years ago, Chase Richards made the worst mistake of his life. And since that day he has made a life for himself by becoming exactly what he despised – a ruthless, uncaring, businessman, just like his father. When Chase finds out that his ex-boyfriend is now engaged to a former beauty queen, he begins taking steps to become a better person and trying to find a way back into Mathias’s life.
Mathias Tobler fell in love with Chase twelve years ago while competing to become part of the U.S. Olympic fencing team. After three near perfect years together, Chase broke his heart by choosing his family business over Mathias. And although he’s moved on, Mathias has never been able to open his heart to anyone like that again for fear of being hurt. He also knows that he will never truly be over Chase, although there is no way Mathias could ever trust him again.
Mathias is surprised the day that Chase shows back up in his life with a proposal to buy a part of Mathias’s company. Given their history and the type of businessman Chase has proven himself to be recently, Mathias doesn’t give his proposal a chance and instead sells to another company. When Mathias further insults Chase by comparing Chase to his father, Chase makes a move to take Mathias’s entire company by force if he must – just like his father would do.
A takeover was not what Chase had in mind. He simply wanted to find a way back into Mathias’s life and maybe his heart if at all possible. But the cards are already in place; Chase’s company has been forcing the stocks down on Mathias’s company. And when Mathias’s fiancé betrays his strategy to Chase, Mathias has no other choice but to fight or give in.
Chase proposes a duel. Fencing. Whoever wins gets to keep the company, Mathias’s fiancé, and maybe a little dignity. It’s not what Chase wants. He wants nothing more than to have Mathias back in his life, but has he finally gone too far? Mathias only wants to keep the company that his family built over a century ago and to get Chase – the old Chase, the one he loved, not this unrecognizable man – out of his mind and dreams, which hasn’t been possible for the past nine years, but is the fight really worth it?
Hostile Takeover is a wonderful friends-to-lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers story. Yes, it is quite a journey. A story of flashbacks when times between Mathias and Chase were good and love was all they needed. A story of struggle – a struggle for Mathias to get over Chase, a struggle to keep his company, but most of all a struggle to find love again after so many years. And a story of mistakes and misunderstandings.
Mathias and Chase are both intriguing and complicated characters. Mathias has somewhat moved on from his heartbreak, in that he’s found someone to love again – although he doesn’t open himself up to be hurt the same way. He’s fooled himself into thinking that his relationship with Brooke is what he wants, but, in truth, he’s still lonely, confused, and unable to get what he truly needs from their relationship. I was frustrated with his relationship with Brooke, because Mathias was so obviously being used and manipulated, yet he still stayed and wanted to make it work. I felt that Mathias was a better man than that. He wasn’t the type of man to let someone walk all over him, yet he did for a long while.
Chase has been going through the motions of his daily routine for the past nine years, slowly becoming the man he despised – his father. This story is a journey for Chase. He knows that he’s not the man that he wants to be, and, although he makes several mistakes on the way, he struggles to become a man that Mathias could love again. His journey was my favorite in this story. He is imperfect and vulnerable and raw. He gets angry and makes stupid mistakes, but he admits that he was wrong in more ways than one.
The storyline is drama-filled and original. The emotional rollercoaster it took me on was angsty and sometimes devastating, but always enjoyable. The beginning of the story started off rather slow with a lot of monologue, but that was part of the story telling. Although, there were times that I just wanted to get back into the plot, the slower areas, the description, added to the buildup of the relationship between Mathias and Chase.
I highly recommend Hostile Takeover. It is a story of love and loss, of mistakes and misunderstandings, and of drama and romance. It’s an enthralling tale of the time stolen from two lovers who found their way back to one another by ways of a rocky path.
What a beautiful, sophisticated cover by Anne Cain. I love the appearance of Chase, looking to be every bit the corporate tycoon with the fencing match mixed in. I love this cover. Truth be told, it attracted me to the book before I even read the blurb.