Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Review: Chasking Ivy | Oak Hill Series by S.J. Sylvis

CHASINGIVYSix years ago, I had a best friend with sky-blue eyes, purposefully messy brown hair, and a body that made every single girl drool on sight. I would know—it drove me absolutely crazy…until I was the one doing the drooling. 

Our days were filled with stomach-hurting laughter accompanied by easy conversation, and our nights were filled with secret, awkward teenage flirting. 
But that was when Dawson was just my best friend. Nothing more, nothing less. 

And then… it was more. 

It’s a memory I pretend to see through blurry eyes, hazed by passing years of no communication. The one night that my heart was suddenly soaring through the starry night, only to catch fire as it rapidly descended seconds later. 

Six years was a long time to get my heart under control. A lot has changed, and yet here I am, still drooling over Dawson—my ex best friend.

4 Stars

Romance | Contemporary | New Adult

Well I think I might have found a new author to stalk endlessly… you have created a monster S.J. Sylvis. I won’t deny, if I haven’t won a giveaway for a free eARC, I don’t know if I would have snagged at this series, which is sad considering how much I really enjoyed this read. Let me explain why before everyone smites me – this is one of my least favorite romance tropes, though I will buy and read until I find one I like, but I do not actively find ‘Best Friends to Lovers’ tropes. Again though, if I hadn’t seen this, I would truly be missing out because holy moly, this is the ‘Best Friends to Lovers’ trope done right – Chasing Ivy was greatness on a massive scale.

Chasing Ivy takes place in two parts essentially, which is probably the main reason I really enjoyed how the build of the romantic dynamic took place – there was teenage version verses adult version of Dawson and Ivy. Oh my goodness, this is what I want, this is what I need as a reader to be able to connect to this type of trope, I need a build, I need some kind of history that makes this trope believable. Ivy and Dawson exceeded this expectation, at least from my point. 

During the teenage view, both Ivy and Dawson admit having feelings, though they both were friend-zoned not wanting to break their trust and bond, which was adorable. Their friendship in the span that the reader is able to get glimpses of was definitely cute, sweet build, definitely a nice additive to understand the build of their chemistry plus their ultimate downfall to their friendship, which believe it or not, wasn’t because someone made a move on the other, more like someone moved… 

Once the adult Ivy and Dawson come out to play things change a bit. Dawson was definitely my favorite character in this mix. He fell into that swoon worthy, broodily handsome book boyfriends that I need to fawn over aimlessly. I just honestly enjoyed his personality, his charming, overly sweet mouth made it easy to fall madly in love with everything about them. That also goes for Ivy, it was hard to not NOT adore these characters. 

Ivy did slightly irk me on many points of the spectrum pole in terms of her personality however, she was very timid, almost inferior in her actions both as her teenager and later in her adult life. She allows herself to cower, she also seems to act like a love sick teenager even as an adult. On many occasions, though I understand her perspective, I wanted to shake her senseless, maybe bash her brains in a smidge to add some better perspective on the situation. It was as if she had the least amount of growth in her character when I felt she could have been a little more developed, more stronger; not saying she wasn’t a strong female character, but there were definitely things that stuck out over the rest that really overstepped her more stronger attributes as a strong leading female character. 

And that chemistry – oh my lanta. Watching Ivy and Dawson rebuild their friendship was like watching a slow trainwreck of delicious foreplay, mostly because Dawson was in a committed relationship when Ivy returned to town and denying their burning chemistry, playing that ‘we can just be friends‘ was melting me off my seat waiting for them to collide. I liked them together, they meshed well as personalities. Both sweet and passionate, it was undeniable to resist their chemistry was melting off the pages. 

Overall, I rather enjoyed Chasing Ivy. Sylvis absolutely blew me away. I have said this before and I will say it again, it takes a lot for me to enjoy the ‘Best Friends to Lovers’ trope, and when I say that this one was absolute greatness I mean it was sublime. I truly enjoyed the sweet, blissfully scrumptious build of their chemistry, Ivy and Dawson were so believable I could almost imagine them in my head in all their beautiful glory – that is their romance – simply beautiful. 

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