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May 21

Review of Chasing Morgan (The Hunted Series # 4) by Jennifer Ryan

I had my first experience with Jennifer Ryan’s work when I read the second book in The Hunted Series, Lucky Like Us. I enjoyed the story and hoped Chasing Morgan would be just as good, and, again, Ryan did not disappoint.  Even though I haven’t read all of the books in the series and characters from previous stories reappear to play minor roles, I was able to follow the plot without confusion or disappointment that I didn’t’ read the series in order. Ryan has written each book as a standalone and fills in necessary background for you to understand the relationships among the characters and their importance to the plot.

Tyler Reed, an FBI agent has had an unusual relationship with a psychic who only goes by the name of Morgan for the past five years. I became aware of their connection to each other when I read Lucky Like Us and, although their story thread was peripheral to the plot featuring Sam and Elizabeth, I learned enough about them to entice me to want to know what would happen between them in the future.

Since the story opens with an established, albeit, unconventional relationship between Morgan and Tyler, I initially worried that I had missed out on the excitement of their one and only brief encounter and wouldn’t understand the odd connection they have with each other. At first I thought my worries were justified since it’s clear from the start that Morgan and Tyler are able to communicate telepathically no matter where they are geographically located, and I wanted to know how their relationship began and why Morgan chose to forge a long-term connection with Tyler, when she keeps her distance from everyone else. As the plot develops, though, Ryan describes how their relationship evolved and how their infrequent communications either by phone or telepathically have impacted their lives. So all of my questions about the dynamics of their relationship do get answered over the course of the book. 

I was surprised that five years had passed and Morgan has still refused to meet with Tyler or let him know of her whereabouts.  She knows all about Tyler’s life and his family, but she won’t reveal any personal information about herself. When the story opens, Tyler is frustrated by Morgan’s evasiveness and his friends think he’s become obsessed with finding Morgan.  Although he’s an FBI agent with the means to find Morgan, he’s always stopped himself to respect her request for privacy.  However, when Tyler breaks a promise he made to Morgan, a series of events are set in motion that bring danger into Morgan’s life and are the catalyst for bringing them together.

Morgan is a gifted, multi-talented psychic who uses her gift to help others and is willing to sacrifice her happiness to ensure the safety of others. I appreciate that Ryan doesn’t just label her as a psychic and leave it at that. Instead, she goes into great depth to explain Morgan’s unusual powers and how she is able to use her talents to provide assistance in a variety of difficult and dangerous situations.

Even though Morgan feels a special connection to Tyler and has come to care deeply for him over the years, she is adamant about keeping her distance, and as the plot unfolds, her reasons become apparent and justified. Not only is she trying to avoid unwanted media attention but her traumatic past has given her little reason to trust others. Morgan is depicted as almost ethereal and angelic.  Almost everyone who gets to know her adores her and, indeed, she’s almost too good to be true. She has an inner strength and unbreakable spirit that allow her to endure the obstacles she faces in the book.

Tyler is a good man but his stubbornness bothers me at times. I don’t understand why he is so angry with Morgan even after their inevitable meeting. Thank goodness, his friends and even Morgan call him out on how he has let his pride and selfish behavior become an obstacle to the woman who has become so much a part of his life that he can’t seem to live with or without her. It’s frustrating to watch him in denial trying to find happiness he doesn’t think he’ll ever have with Morgan.

There are two main antagonists hunting Morgan, her father and a serial killer known as the Psychic Slayer. Morgan does have visions that alert her to what is about to happen, but her visions aren’t always clear to her, and readers don’t always have full knowledge of just how much she does know about the upcoming danger. Morgan is sure of one premonition; if she’s going to survive she will need Tyler’s help, and she questions whether he can get past his anger and resentment toward her to be there when it matters.

Chasing Morgan is a nice blend of romance and suspense. Love scenes occur late in the story, and they are integrated in a believable and appropriate manner considering Morgan’s danger.  Although the antagonists’ motives for their behavior are revealed, they are still depicted as flat characters with no redeeming qualities. Several POVs are used to narrate the events, and I am impressed with how smoothly Ryan is able to switch character perspectives even within a scene and not interrupt the flow of the story.  Overall, this was another enjoyable read by Ms. Ryan. 

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