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Oak Hill #1

Chasing Ivy

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Six 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.

333 pages, Paperback

Published November 15, 2018

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About the author

S.J. Sylvis

17 books801 followers
S.J. Sylvis is an Amazon top 50 and USA Today bestselling author who is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband, two small kiddos, and dog. She is obsessed with coffee, becomes easily attached to fictional characters, and spends most of her evenings buried in a book.

For upcoming info on new releases, join her Facebook reading group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/21537...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 73 reviews
Profile Image for Ellie.
522 reviews128 followers
February 9, 2020
Really wish we could give half-stars, but we can't so know I'm giving a .05.

I thought I'd found a decent writer after reading two of her books. Then I read a third and disliked it, but figured that just happens sometimes. But this one? It pretty much proved the writer isn't unique or in touch at all, which I mistakenly started to believe.

The heroine, Ivy - TSTL doormat with BBS (betraying body syndrome) and constant clumsiness that was NOT cute.

The hero, Dawson - entitled, up-his-arse wanker who makes someone else's tragedy all about him and then hooks up with the bully of the girl he claimed to love.

This book was awful. The premise sucked, the motivations of the characters were ridiculous and flimsy as were the reasons for their actions. I hated Dawson. Hated him. What kind of prick has a relationship with the very person who bullied and humiliated the h all through school? The one who stole her boyfriend at one time? He knew all of this and claimed he loved the h, yet he chose a relationship with her out of spite, because 'she had been there for him and Ivy hadn't.'

Ivy's house burnt down and killed her parents, and she had to go live with a relative. She was a teenager who had the clothes on her back. She even lost her phone. But yeah Dawson, you stupid f*ck, she betrayed you.

When Ivy finally managed to get to him after a few weeks, she found him cozying up to her nemesis.
When he learns the truth, instead of feeling remorse and trying to make it right, he goes home and shags the OW senseless. If you're into scrotum-bags for heroes, Dawson is your man.

The heroine was worse for panting after him like a b*tch in heat, despite his betrayal. She barely blinked when she learned who his girlfriend was. These two were thick as posts and a total waste of space. They deserved one another.

Moving on, and shelving this writer.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
November 6, 2018
Whew! That...was a doozy.

I've never wanted to finish a book fast enough while also wanting to continue reading? Because this book was full of so many cringy lines, I toughed it out and kept going forward. But let's be honest, I wanted to DNF this one at 20%.

CHASING IVY has such a strong beginning. It was set in the past and almost had a YA feel to it and I was honestly living. Two high school best friends who are in a constant state of wanting to kiss, but never being brave enough to? That was the angst I loved!! Honestly, I think the author has a future writing YA and I'd be here for it.
But then...

Not even going to lie, the next page right after a tragic incident happened, the story started going downhill. I absolutely loathed both main characters because they were very much still in a high school state of mind. These two were now adults and they couldn't communicate properly? And don't get me started on the entire "you have a girlfriend, but she may have cheated on you so it's fine, but you can also just break up with her for me" type bullshit I couldn't get over.

But OH. The sex scenes.
It was the oddest thing. We're waiting for the big moment these two finally get together and have sex and it just becomes the cringiest thing I've ever read. Since when did the words "penis" or "dick" get replaced with "rod"? And when did dipping fries in ketchup being a euphemism for sex? Am I missing something?

Also, this story deadass had a conflict that lasted 5 pages long. Almost as if it were thrown in as an afterthought. And then to just go ahead and top it all off, you have a bit of toxic masculinity in there and a whole lot of "she's mine, so back the fuck away before I kill you" type of possession I was sooooo not here for. Like legit no male body could look the heroine's way without receiving a death threat from the hero.

It's over now and while I'm not going to knock the author, I will be a bit more less willing to jump in future non-YA works.
Profile Image for Claudia Pinillos.
871 reviews25 followers
November 12, 2018
*** I was provided an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. ***

This book was off to a great start. Everything in the premise of the book set it up to be something I would love. Friends to lovers getting separated by a tragedy and reconnecting years later? Yes, please. However, in reality, this book just did not deliver that to me.

Dawson and Ivy had this cute back and forth in high school. They were both convinced they were just best friends but they start to feel more and neither is sure how to go about it. This part was absolutely cute. I could have read and loved an entire book of just this.

Tragedy strikes and they're forced to separate, however, years later Ivy comes back to town. Again, this is set up to be something I love, but I just couldn't. First of all, Ivy and Dawson are very immature. For being young professionals and after Ivy having been in charge of her life for years, I just expected a certain level of maturity in these characters that wasn't there. Also, the cheating. I'm not going to sit here and tell you I'm opposed to cheating in books, I'm not. But, it has to be done a certain was and this just wasn't. I didn't connect with Dawson, I didn't root for him and I just didn't think he was worth it really. He's presented as this dreamy guy and I just don't see it. He's been with the same girl for years out of convenience and has no respect for her or their relationship. If you want to be with Ivy so bad and you're so clearly not interested in your girlfriend, just break up with her from the beginning...

I don't know. I was highly disinterested and detached while reading this book. I wasn't engaged or connected to the characters and the last 60% seemed like it dragged on forever. There was a level of unnecessary drama and immaturity that would maybe fit better in a YA book, but I just wasn't here for it in this book.
Profile Image for Elsa Gomes (BookishAurora).
2,005 reviews261 followers
November 15, 2018
Rate: 4,2 / 5 stars

I was new to Sylvis but not anymore and I'm definitely following this series. I loved this friends to lovers/ second chance romance it had everything I love in a book, a friends to lovers romance with all the emotional turmoil I crave along with the angst and then there was the cuttes friendship and love, the sexiness that was Dawson and the little slice of drama that threaten to tear our couple apart again.

I loved Ivy and Dawson's relationship and watching them realize they loved each other as more than friends. Adn then everything had to be torn apart in their world. I felt so much for Ivy, losing so much all at once. But once she came back to her hometown, you can see how her leaving affected Dawson a lot too. They both never got over what happened nor over their friendship and love, even though they both tried. Dawson was still trying but as soon as Ivy came back, so did all the memories of them together, all the hurt over her leaving him without a word, and most of all, all the love he felt for her all along. And it definitely didn't help him that he was spending so much time with her while working on her house.

The universe was trying to bring them together but there was also a lot still standing in their way. It is now up to them to repeat the past or work out their problems as a unit.

Chasing Ivy was a very good read, I really loved these characters and I can't wait to get back to this series soon, hopefully with Max and Becca's book and eventually Mia's, Emmet's, give me them all.

➳ARC kindly provided by author, in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Shawna  Wood (A Girl and Her Books).
572 reviews19 followers
November 7, 2018
This is the first book by this author but it won't be the last! I really enjoyed this book and the journey of Ivy and Dawson had to take to get to their HEA. The author did a great job at having the perfect amount of angst in tension without being over the top.

I loved seeing the foundation of Ivy and Dawson's relationship. They had such a great friendship and were always there for each other but when it didn't work it was realistic. when you take teens with little life experience and add in grief and pain it is understandable that a great friendship could go sideways.

What is really appreciated is that when Ivy and Dawson's life intersected again it wasn't all about how to continue to hurt each other or to run and hide from their pain. Sure they are hurt and they have to work at finding a way back to each other, but both of these characters decided to face the issues head-on and be real and honest with each other. I find it more interesting to see people work their pain and hurt then running from it or continuing to hurt the other person.

Ivy and Dawson don't have an easy road to finding a way back to each other. Not only do they have to learn to get out of each other's own way, but there also are outside forces who don't want to see them together and they will have to decide, will they fight for what they want or will they once again let love slip through their fingers.
Profile Image for Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm.
1,256 reviews106 followers
November 20, 2018
They were barely teenagers when they met on the first day of middle school. Dawson Lanning and Ivy Collins. They became friends, best of friends, over the years. Both were attracted to each other, but neither confirmed or acted upon their feelings. That one day when they finally got their first kiss from each other, was also the last day they'd be together. A family tragedy brought forth a deluge of tears, separation, miscommunication and misunderstanding, until they met again after six years.

Hurt, betrayal and confusion clouded their emotions, thus making it hard for them to reconcile their feelings. But if there's one thing I learned from this story, it's that true love will always prevail, no matter the circumstances. I wish I could understand Dawson's moment of relapse when he fell for Brianna's antics, I wish he didn't have to feel like he was cheating at all because of what he felt for Ivy instead. I don't know but I was really hurt. I felt what Ivy had felt, and so much more.

What I do love however, is how their slowly kindling romance found its way to their fiery burning love. Dawson and Ivy's second chance romance will certainly tug at your heartstrings. This is my second SJ Sylvis book and she never disappoints. Her stories bring joy and fire to my heart.
Profile Image for Katelyn.
142 reviews9 followers
November 16, 2018
This was the perfect second chance romance I needed to sweep me off my feet! I absolutely adored this book.

I loved the light and bright feeling of the beginning of the book. You get to see and feel Ivy and Dawson’s respect, attraction, and love for each other. No spoilers here- but after a terrible incident occurs the mood of the book does change. However, it would in real life too, and that’s what I appreciated about Chasing Ivy. I felt that the characters were relatable and the story was honest.

I have been in the worst book funk, and when I was sent an ARC for my honest review I was thrilled but also scared because of this book funk. However, it was the perfect book to pull me through. If you like second chance romances, angsty BFFs, that has some lighthearted AND deep aspects to it, you’ll enjoy Chasing Ivy.
Profile Image for G (heartbooked).
135 reviews6 followers
November 26, 2018
I'm conflicted about Dawson and Ivy's story because there have been time I loved them soooooo much... then there are times when I wanted to kick both their butts... I wanted more for these two friends. I love best friends to lovers stories because its intriguing how they change the way they see each other.

I actually read this and felt an emotional roller coaster because I would be angry then smile then laugh and back to being angry - an thus the cycle continues on... Have a read of this. Unforeseen circumstances can change the course of your life and that's something the main character's experienced which drove them apart.. Read to see the hero who's constantly fighting the inner beast within himself from unleashing when it comes to Ivy. I love the supporting characters and absolutely can't wait for Emmett's story.

While waiting for Emmett, give this a go.
Profile Image for Rose.
428 reviews12 followers
November 24, 2018
1.5 stars

Best Friends to Lovers- I like this aspect. I like that Dawson stood up for her in the lunch room, and I enjoyed the little scene about tippin' cows.

But here is what I didnt like about this book:
Dawson messed around WAY too much
15 year olds talking about having sex
Also I am pretty sure Ivy said she was 24, but she moved when she was 15, and they reunited 6 years later...... That dont make no sense.
Dawson still is a horn dog all these years later- (I cared so much about Ivy that I didnt have sex for 1 whole year, and finally did almost to the day that she left with Breanna- Paraphrasing here. ) Did he really love her then?
Then he has a 'relationship' with the enemy
He used Breanna's body to try to get over Ivy
Cheating........ I think there is a fine line between an understandable cheating. This was not one.

I skipped around. I really didnt want to finish this book. But by the point I knew I really didnt like it, I felt like I invested to much into it to just stop......... It only made it more obvious that I really didnt like the book.

Profile Image for Kaesea Wheatley.
89 reviews27 followers
October 28, 2018
This was my third book by S.J. Sylvis, and it just happened to be my first ARC. I was not disappointed. I am loving watching this author grow.
Profile Image for Chelé-----4 The Love of Books .
747 reviews59 followers
November 14, 2018

"She was the only person I knew that could make me feel better, that could make me feel a little lighter."

Ivy and Dawson become the best of friends in middle school. He's the popular, good looking guy that everyone wants to be around and Ivy is a little shy, quiet and reserved. They mean everything to each other, sharing all the things that mean the most......except their feelings for each other. The way they interact with each other.....the subtle glances, their inner monolgues made you swoon so hard and you just want them to be together so badly!

"The second her eyes met mine, when she realized that her life had just gotten turned completely upside down, was the moment I realized that I loved her so fiercely that I would do anything to put the light back in her eyes."

One perfect night they come so close to expressing themselves but then......TRAGEDY! I mean, the worse things you could think of and it's unbearable. Ivy has to relocate but even that can't keep her away from her best friend, until Ivy discovers something that absolutely shakes her to her core. She decides then and there to stay away.

"Sometimes we were given certain circumstances that were almost unfathomable to deal with, but that’s just the thing: you either deal with them or they’ll just take you down in their midst."

Years later and Ivy's back but she isn't the same girl she used to be and Dawson definitely isn't the same guy. Unfortunately for me here's where some of the misunderstandings, lies, secrets and decisions the characters make lose me a bit. The beginning of the story and the bond that S.J. cemented between Ivy and Dawson kept me interested but at times parts did drag a bit and some of the storyline wasn't completely developed and certain things seemed a smidge outlandish.

Still......that being said I did enjoy Chasing Ivy, I loved the ending and would read this author again.

"His mouth on mine was like silencing every sound on earth. His breath along mine, it sent goosebumps over every single inch of my body. All I wanted was more. I would never get my fill of Dawson. Never."
Profile Image for Weronika -  Little Steamy Reads.
636 reviews100 followers
November 15, 2018
Oh my ... S.J. Sylvis gave me a quite nice emotional ride ... Chasing Ivy is the title hit the mark, because the story of Ivy and Dawson is a one big race. To what? To the happily ever after!

Ivy and Dawson met at school as teenagers and became best friends. Everyone around them knew they were meant to each other, except themselves. However, when their feelings become so strong that they were unable to ignore them anymore, a tragedy occurs that will change everything. Ivy is forced to move and the unfortunate course of events makes the contact between friends to end completely.
After six years, Ivy returns to her hometown to start a new job. But she’s afraid of meeting Dawson. Despite the time that has passed and the wounds that remain after their friendship, Dawson is still the person with whom she has something special ...
Can they start again? Are they actually meant to be together?

I love the character of Ivy. She’s an incredibly strong woman who despite unimaginable sadness didn’t break down. Her caringness for her younger sister is admirable. Ivy is simply a good soul.

Dawson ... I have slightly mixed feelings about him. Ok, he's charming, he's handsome and his protectiveness for Ivy is endless. But I can’t forgive him for what Ivy found when she returned to Oak Hill. For me the whole situation was a knife in the back. Seriously. I just can’t ignore it.

I must admit that Dawson’s brother caught my attention - I can’t wait for his story! :)

S.J. Sylvis has put up three categories in one book. We have here slow burn, a story from friends to lovers and a second chance love. During reading we’re able to feel ALL emotions possible. I definitely recommend it!

*ARC received for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jasmine.
436 reviews704 followers
January 29, 2023
My heart stretched in my chest as the words poured out of my mouth. "I know you felt like you were alone in it all, but you weren't, Ivy." My eyes bounced back and forth between hers, hoping she could understand what I was trying to tell her--what my heart was trying to tell her. "I was right there with you, every step of the way. I never stopped hoping that you were okay, I never stopped missing you, and I never, ever, replaced you."

Aww, Dawson, dear Dawson, what a sweetheart you were! As a huge S.J. Sylvis fan, I was proud to say that I'd read and loved every single one of her books so far and the Oak Hill duology was the only series I hadn't savored yet. To remedy that ASAP, I picked this book up after suffering from a massive hangover from Sammi's latest new release, Heartless Boys Never Kiss, and I was glad this book was quite a delightful read.

If you knew me well, you'd know that I was a sucker for the childhood-friends-to-lovers romance trope and this book was all about it. Ivy and Dawson had been insta-besties when they set eyes on each other in a high school pep rally; however, their friendship ended rather abruptly when an accident struck both of their worlds upside-down. Six years later, Ivy was back and rekindled the long lost sparks between them. The most amazing feeling about friends-to-lovers was that they'd been through thick and thin, seen the darkest pasts, and still stayed by each other's side. That was definitely the kind of romance or relationship I yearned for so I was glad to see Ivy and Dawson get their well-deserved happily ever after in the end.

However, I thought the last 20% of the book was a bit redundant and too much drama. Honestly, I'd be content if the story ended right after Ivy and Dawson got each other back since they'd come such a long way and there was nothing better about that ending. To my satisfaction, Sammi did give the readers more insight into Dawson's older brother's, Emmett's, personal (love) life in the very last part of the book so now all I needed was the second book, Falling for Fallon!

To sum up, please go read Sammi's books soon! I'd recommend Chasing Ivy for sure and trust me, Sammi's writing only got better and better. Her stories became more and more angsty with each new release. In fact, after having so many senior high school background settings in her publication, she'll be launching a brand-new college sports romance called Bexley University series in Spring, 2023! How exciting!!

***Thanks to the author for kindly providing me with an e-copy in exchange for an honest review.***
October 30, 2018
CHASING IVY, A second chance romance, small town two best friends that with out a doubt have fallen in love with each other. Ivy and Dawson are each other kryptonite the closer they get to each other the weaker they become. Honestly truly a beautiful book. Can’t wait for you all read it.
Profile Image for Telma Rocha.
Author 4 books31 followers
November 11, 2018
Note: I received an Advance Review Copy from the Author in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book!

The story is told through the perspectives of the two main characters.

This is a lustful read, full of humor with a genuine protagonist that I can relate to in many ways. Ivy’s clumsiness, and ability to fall easily had me laughing out loud.

I loved the sisterly bond between Ivy and Mia. Ivy brings a new meaning to the term ‘Protective Older Sister’ and being an older sister myself, I related to her.

There are some well-developed secondary characters that I enjoyed reading and getting to know. I liked Ivy’s best friend’s character, and Dawson’s brother.

This book is not intended for young readers; because it contains many explicit scenes that are intended for a mature reader. So, if you are an adult and interested in a fun, steamy read, then this is the next book for you!

My full review is posted on my blog: www.turnthepageofbooks.com
Profile Image for Lindsey Powell.
Author 29 books493 followers
January 24, 2019
You know those books that start off by drawing you in and slowly turning up the heat before leaving your heart racing as you savour every bit of what the characters are going through? Yeah, this book had all of that and then some.
A hot romance and a new book boyfriend to add to my list. Dawson was just delicious!
This book totally deserves every one of the five stars that I am giving it!
Profile Image for Brook Obsessed.
478 reviews31 followers
December 12, 2019
An adorable and heartbreaking friends to lovers trope that follows Ivy and Dawson from high school to adulthood. It’s the type of book akin to “The Notebook” and “A Walk to Remember,” all encompassing and utterly romantic.

Dawson and Ivy are best friends and just when they are about to take their friendship to the next level, an awful tragedy strikes Ivy’s family and the two are separated for six years.

When Ivy returns to town the two estranged friends try to rebuild a relationship despite the fact that Dawson is dating Ivy’s mortal enemy.

But can Ivy and Dawson be just friends?

This was so so so good! Ivy and Dawson have the type of epic, slow-burn love story that any hopeless romantic would appreciate.

I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up if it weren’t for @themrsbookclub and I’m so thankful because I adored Ivy and Dawson. It was a sweet and epic contemporary romance that deserves mass market publication and all the praise!
Profile Image for Suey_Library.
324 reviews19 followers
November 19, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Candyce Kirk.
1,160 reviews34 followers
November 18, 2018
Chasing Ivy starts out really strong. We start reading about the past. Dawson and Ivy are best friends from the start. It's cute seeing them both feel more, but not wanting to change anything. When they finally get the chance to make it more, something tragic happens and Ivy's life changes for good.

I loved how this was all described, from the first feelings of having a crush to the heartbreak Ivy experiences a few years later. Then the story fast forwards six years later. A lot has happened since then, but nothing has really changed. Ivy and Dawson haven't talked in all those years and are both heartbroken for their own reasons.

I thought it was very brave for Ivy to move back to her home town even though there were a lot of bad memories. It was nice to see a character fight for good things even after being dealt a bad hand in life. She graduated college, is starting a new job and is really close to her little sister.

Dawson isn't doing bad either. He's working for his father's company, which he plans on taking over after his father retires.Dawson never expected Ivy to be their newest client when her house needs some improvement.

This is when things got weird for me. I loved that the two of them meet again and it's clear there are still feelings and misunderstandings that need to be discussed. I guess some things were just a bit too cliché for me and I normally love that in romance. The way certain things were written just rubbed me the wrong way I guess?

I also had the feeling that the age descriptions weren't always correct. It seemed like she was 15 when we read about the past, but the way the present is written, she should've been 17? That would also make a bit more sense with certain aspects of the story.

Also, before the happily ever after. Dawson and Ivy hit a rough patch that just felt out of place and I kind of wonder why that had to be added. I think the story would've been fine without that last element of drama.

All in all, I did enjoy these characters, but it just didn't all fit for me. I am really curious about Emmett's story though. Even though there were things that bugged me, I'm not giving up on the series. I'm curious to see where it goes from here.
Profile Image for Sarah.
716 reviews
October 30, 2018
I dove into this book last night and was pulled right in from the beginning. This is a sweet, emotional and steamy second chance/friends to lovers story with characters who you can't help but fall for.

High School best friends Ivy Collins and Dawson Lanning have a unique friendship that no one truly understands except for them. Their connection and chemistry are obvious from the beginning, and the pull between them is magnetic. I fell for Dawson immediately. Not only is he a charmer and incredibly good-looking, but his loyalty to Ivy is sooo swoon-worthy. I mean - what HS guy would wait for his female best friend after school in the parking lot - and beat up asshole guys for her?!? He has such a compassionate and tender side to him that you see when he is around Ivy, and it is SO endearing.

Dawson & Ivy are tragically separated from each other for several years. But when Ivy returns to their small town, the connection between them is still electrifying. The push and pull between them and their inner turmoil about their relationship is sometimes frustrating, yet addicting. There were times I just wanted to cringe at their actions, and then I found myself swooning over their attraction and loyalty to the other.

This book will have you turning the pages quickly and trying to catch your breath between the angst and steamy scenes with these characters. You will also meet some side characters who are very intriguing - one in particular is Dawson's brother, Emmett, whose book I can't wait for!! You will sigh, swoon and shed some tears while reading this story - it will break your heart and then put it all back together again with some curve balls thrown in between. Be patient - it is worth it! Well done once again S.J. Sylvis!
Profile Image for Alexa.
275 reviews4 followers
November 17, 2019
4.5 ⭐️💫
Steam :🔥🔥🔥 (slow burn)

This is exactly the type of friends to lovers story I CRAVE!!! I’m a huge fan of two people meeting when they were in middle school and stayed friends for such a long time. Ivy & Dawson met in middle school and instantly there was a spark. That alone made me melt!! Then high school Dawson watched over ivy & just expresses how much he truly cares for her, then the night they start to realize they could be more than best friends, something horrific happens in Ivy’s life which causes her to move abruptly, Without even a goodbye.
6 years later she’s relocated In her hometown and she bought some old fixer upper. She needs some housework done and the only company in town is now owned by Dawson. she’s confronted with her childhood best friend and possible love of her life. Sexy, hot, sweet, and perfect Dawson.

This book was Sooooooo stinking cuteee!!!!!!!! First of all ummm Dawson is perfect!!!! And Ivy is perfect!!! This book will melt your heart and just give you all those butterflies!!! I’m so excited and happy about this book I honestly don’t even have words. I think if your looking for a sweet slow burn friends to lovers romance then you’d really enjoy this one!

Profile Image for Lourdes.
52 reviews
November 10, 2018
*Thank you to Ms. Sylvis for providing me an advance copy of Chasing Ivy and allowing me to read it before the book release date**, in exchange for an honest review. This is a spoiler-free review. Every thoughts, feelings, and opinions about this review is solely MINE. *​

This novel tells about a story from two persons' points of view. Throughout their teenage years, Ivy and Dawson are been the best of friends: from hanging out to sharing secrets. Everybody in their small town of Oak Hill believes that Ivy and Dawson are more than just friends. At first, they just laughed it off but little did they know that both are developing a feeling, much deeper than their friendship. It is just that either they would not admit it or too scared that things will change, causing their friendship to end. Until one fateful night, when all things turn that caused them to drift apart from each other.

This is actually the first time that I have read Ms. Sylvis' work, (though I was part of a book blog tour for her first book few months ago, as I helped and supported her in promoting its release [click here]) and I instantly fell in love with her writing style. I am a sucker for "friends-turn-lovers" story, so my heart soared when I got introduced to Dawson and Ivy. As a reader, I got connected to these characters and how raw their emotions are: their struggles, fears, angst, and confusion; as being presented for readers to feel all throughout in the novel.

On the other hand, I love the twist in the story. However, it became a bit predictable to me and also there are a scene or two that I got confused. An example is the issue between Ivy's family and her classmate's family (I'm trying to be spoiler-free as possible). It was not thoroughly explore which for me will add depth into the story.
RATING: 4 out of 5 stars
​For those who are looking for a light, "friends-turn-lovers" novel, then I highly suggest you to buy this one!It has all the right ingredients for hopeless romantic bookworms like me to fall for this. I tell you this: you will drool all over Dawson.
Profile Image for Jess.
229 reviews16 followers
November 15, 2018
So I’m new to S.J. Sylvis and Chasing Ivy is my first book, but it won’t be my last after reading by this author. Chasing Ivy was a super sweet story on childhood best friends to lovers and had all of the angst I love.

Ivy and Dawson have been best friends since middle school. Everyone knows they’re into each other but them. While in high school it finally seems their relationship could be changing for the better, until Ivy is suddenly ripped away from Dawson and her home town. A tragic accident leaves her living 4 hours away with out a single word left to Dawson. Leading to events making both of them angry at the other in each others absence. When Ivy moves back to her home town it’s inevitable that they run into each other, but what Ivy doesn’t expect is that they will be reconnecting through Dawson working on Ivy’s house.

Overall the story had an irresistible charm about it. I loved the relationship between Dawson and Ivy. She was so insecure when she was young and Dawson protected her fiercely. What I loved is how much Ivy grows into herself when she grows up and becomes braver than ever. While Dawson only becomes more romantic and more of a hotty. I only had one issue with this book at it’s a certain action of Dawson that I wasn’t agreeing with or happy with. Especially with how it concerned Ivy. It wasn’t anything horrible (so don’t let that deter you) but it just irked me personally

If you’re looking for a book with chemistry, angst, sweet romance and a few laughs then Chasing Ivy is for you. I’m so glad I picked up a book by SJ Sylvis and I’m looking forward to picking up some more books in this series!

*arc generously provided in exchange for an honest review*

My rating: 4.3/5 stars
Profile Image for Sjf.
315 reviews8 followers
November 16, 2018
This is the first book that I read by this author and it won’t be the last.

I was swept into the story from early in the book. It is an emotional and sweet fiends to lovers story. It is a second chance romance.

I think and Dawson have been best friends since middle school. They friendship is sweet, special and swoon worthy.

Tragedy strikes and they are separated. Misunderstandings happen and their feelings are devastated.

Ivy returns to town and so much is different and yet the important things under the surface are the same. The push and pull, simmer and steam take you on a wonderful journey.
Profile Image for Melissa Parnell.
2,681 reviews11 followers
November 15, 2018
This was my first book by this author, but I will definitely be reading more. I enjoyed the angst and the romance in this story. I also liked the twists and while the characters frustrated me a lot of the time, I fell for them as well by the end of the story. I am definitely intrigued and looking forward to reading more from this series.
November 12, 2018
This is the first book I read by SJ Sylvis. It took a bit to get into it but I think the reason for that is her writing style. It’s a very unique style that injects humor into the story when you least expect it. So it makes a heavy topic not as difficult to read. I loved Ivy and Dawson! I loved them separately and I loved them together. They were well written with lots of character. Chasing Ivy is a great friends to lovers romance with a twist that you won’t see coming! I’m looking forward to reading more about Emmett next!

Reviewed by: Alexis B.
Profile Image for Pamela.
3,507 reviews27 followers
November 15, 2018
Ivy and Dawson were best friends throughout school. The feelings between them turned into love. A tragic incident left them both broken and hurt at each other. Years later they run into each other, will they be able to repair their friendship? Will they become lovers again? A good read.

I received a copy of this book via the author and am leaving a review.
November 15, 2018
Oh my goodness, a book full of feels, so emotional and sweet and hot with a twist I didn't see coming. I LOVED this second chance/friends to lovers story, this was a new author to me and I'll definitely be reading more from them.

*ARC kindly given in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much*
Profile Image for Tasha.
256 reviews4 followers
November 8, 2018
This was so cute! I love friends to lovers tropes and this one was so adorable. I loved the teenage perspective from their younger years as well
Profile Image for Ambur.
796 reviews429 followers
November 1, 2018
This was my first book by S.J. Sylvis and I really enjoyed it! I really liked Ivy and Dawson, and I absolutely loved seeing their feelings evolve throughout the story. I could've done without a tiny bit of the angst and some of the obstacles keeping them apart, but overall, I thought it was a really wonderful story and I really, really loved their chemistry! I'm especially excited the next book because I am SUPER curious about Dawson's big brother. ;)

Full review to come!
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