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REVIEW: Run to You by Rachel Gibson

 

“There’s nothing like fleeing Miami to ruin a girl’s day.

Stella Leon’s bartending gig was going fine until gorgeous retired Marine Beau Junger decked her mob-connected boss, spirited her out of the city, and claimed that Stella’s half-sister—the one with the perfect life—sent him. Now Stella has no choice but to go along for the ride . . . and seduce Beau’s military-issue socks off . . .

The Marine Corps was Beau’s escape from his old man’s legacy of naval heroism and serial philandering, but no amount of training could prepare him for the day he looked in the mirror and saw his father staring back. The answer: swear off meaningless sex. Oh, and find a way to make Stella Leon quit being so damn hot . . .”

Dear Ms. Gibson,

We’re back for the (I think) 2nd book in this series and it’s about Sadie’s illegitimate sister Stella. Stella has always felt unwanted by her rich father who basically paid a huge trust fund to Stella’s mother to manage until Stella’s 25th birthday or marriage to keep them all away from the Hollowell family in Texas. Stella has never felt as good as beautiful blonde, debutante Sadie and has stumbled through life with a few jouvie incidents with the law and by working as a singer and bartender. She’s apprehensive about meeting her sister and stunned to learn that up til now, Sadie hasn’t known about her.

RuntoYou_RachelGibson_300Beau is a former marine sniper who now runs, surprise surprise, a security company who has been tasked by his twin brother, who is friends with Sadie’s fiancé, to find Stella and deliver the news her sister wants to meet her. Only events don’t play out like Beau planned and he inadvertently gets Stella in trouble with her boss who has mob connections. Now Beau has to drive Stella from Florida to Texas and both of them aren’t sure they’re going to survive being in that close contact with the other without one of them committing murder. Can love bloom along the interstate?

I can take one or two characters being unlikeable or difficult but so many of them makes a book hard to read for me. Stella is a woman with some quirks and annoying habits while Beau is downright crude. And no I’m not going to give him a by based on 18 years in the military and a dickwad of a father. Being in the military doesn’t have to mean you’re a uncouth bore. Even Stella’s family sounds like a pack of bloodsucking leeches living off her trust fund. And then there’s her boss Ricky and his mob buddies. I was halfway into the book and not really liking anyone – including Beau’s mother who gives off a slightly creepy vibe and spills family secrets the minute she meets Stella, hinting that she wants her son to marry and start giving her grandchildren.

On the plus side, the plot is coherent and well thought out. It’s a road trip from Annoyance Land as these two tick each other off yet feel a strong sexual attraction. Neither of them will dive into that for two reasons – he’s tired of his “hook up for a night” lifestyle which suddenly reminds him too much of his philandering father and has decided to remain celibate until he finds his One and Only while Sadie is still a (technical) virgin depending on how one feels about oral sex and also waiting for Mr. Right before giving it up. Then suddenly after their night of hot and heavy in New Orleans – whether or not it’s sex depends on your idea of if Bill Clinton was right or not – feelings seem to be developing. Really?

Beau’s thinking Stella isn’t as annoying now that he’s gotten his hands on her fine ass while Stella is annoyed that she lost control and yelled she loved him as she hurtled towards her orgasm while he maintained his icy control. Added stress arrives now that they’ve arrived in Texas and the sisters meet but it just as quickly dissipates as Stella’s “feeling of inadequacy” plot line fizzes out.

Well, okay then what’s left to settle? Why it’s whether or not Beau will admit to any feelings beyond caring for Stella. She’s pissed, he’s confused and now off to help his twin brother in what will probably be the set up for a future book. Then, suddenly, Beau realizes his feelings are lurve. How did this happen?, he asks himself. And I’m wondering the same thing. There’s a grandiose public statement of love, delivered Marine style with sound/light effects but I’m sorry, I just didn’t see the love striking any more than Beau did. It is a fast read but not a very convincing one. C-

~Jayne

 

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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.

12 Comments

  1. LeeF
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 11:19:08

    Yeah, I listened to this one on audio and was amazed at the plethora of poorly fleshed out story lines- celibacy, virginity, mob connections, ex-Marine with daddy issues, bartender with daddy issues, drunken brother, brother/brother sister/sister issues- the story really lacked focus. It seemed as if Ms. Gibson was trying to be all things to all readers. I think the author has definitely written better books. I agree with your C- grade.

  2. leslie
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 11:54:44

    Jayne, great review, much more interesting than the book. I stopped reading very early on……when Stella would not get on the airplane…it was over for me….I was very disappointed. Run to You was everything LeeF mentioned and worse. TSTL.
    I loved the Seattle and the Idaho books. Did Rachel Gibson hit her head…..or did an alien take over her body? The last few books have been DNF for me and I no longer auto-buy her new ones.
    Boo hoo!

  3. Jayne
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 12:07:55

    @LeeF: Yes, lots of plots that went nowhere. Maybe some will be tied up in future books but this one was all over the place.

  4. Jayne
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 12:11:25

    @leslie: I knew she wouldn’t get on the plane as it had to turn into a road romance but her reasons could have been better – like the mob chasing her through the Miami airport or something.

    Gibson is killing me too. I love some books/series and then she’ll veer off into DNFville. I still at least read her book blurbs but not with the enthusiasm I used to.

  5. Jones
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 13:01:43

    I actually enjoyed reading this book. I read a lot of heavy, gritty subject matter and I like Rachel because her reads are “breezy” and they don’t require me to think heavily. I have the same issues with Sadie’s storyline a fizzling out, and also Beau’s brother’s issues. As well, though and Stellas stories just… Ended. So what happens to them? I was feeling like I was going to have to read the next book to get the rest of the story, which has become an annoying habit for a lot of authors. A book is a book right the entire story. The next book is the next book, the entire story.

    I’ll tell you though that between Lori Foster and Rachel Gibson, I have had enough of Rich girls running away from money, ending up as waitresses or bartenders, and meeting these mean, curmudgeon types and falling in love with them in days or weeks.

  6. cleo
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 16:27:36

    Sadie is still a (technical) virgin depending on how one feels about oral sex and also waiting for Mr. Right before giving it up. Then suddenly after their night of hot and heavy in New Orleans – whether or not it’s sex depends on your idea of if Bill Clinton was right or not – feelings seem to be developing.

    This made me laugh. I know I live in my own little bubble, but I thought that this was settled – wasn’t that the big take home message of the Clinton years – that oral sex “counts” as sex? (I certainly watched enough uncomfortable news anchors discussing it in the 90s.) Sigh.

  7. CarolynHP
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 17:04:59

    I didn’t find either of the main characters unlikeable and because of that, I think that I enjoyed the book more than you did. I do wish the author would have done a better job of explaining the situation with Stella’s trust fund. I wondered why she wasn’t spending the money and when it finally came out about halfway through the book the explanation seemed more convenient for the story (and possibly as a way to show Stella’s character) than realistic to me.

    I was also kind of disappointed that the sample chapter at the end of the book was for “Rescue Me” (Sadie’s story, previously published) and not for an upcoming book.

  8. Monique Daoust
    Oct 19, 2013 @ 20:49:06

    Great review. Thanks for saving me money! Those characters seem really annoying.

  9. Jayne
    Oct 20, 2013 @ 02:28:05

    @CarolynHP:

    I was also kind of disappointed that the sample chapter at the end of the book was for “Rescue Me” (Sadie’s story, previously published) and not for an upcoming book.

    Me too. Especially since there’s another book that slightly ties into this one that’s about the Marine friend Beau stopped to help in Louisiana that (according to Gibson’s webpage) just came out. Very strange…

  10. Jayne
    Oct 20, 2013 @ 02:38:27

    @Jones: Totally agree on the light and breezy feel of this one and I did tear through it much faster than I do most books. I’m torn about continuing on and reading Blake’s story. On the one hand, I like that the pressures and issues faced by returning military look as if they might actually be addressed but, like you, I want a complete story in one book.

  11. Jamie Beck
    Oct 20, 2013 @ 14:17:29

    Hmm. I’ve been a very big RG fan (LOVED the Chinooks books, etc.), so this is disappointing. I read the sample pages and was on the fence about pulling the trigger, but after reading this very thorough and thoughtful review, I’m convinced I would come away with the same sense of dissatisfaction. I think I’ll pass and hope her next book is better and more in keeping with her past performance and obvious skill. Too bad…it feels like I’d been waiting a long time for a new RG book. Guess that wait will be even longer now.

  12. cleo
    Oct 20, 2013 @ 17:30:11

    @cleo: Ha. No sooner do I make grandiose claims on-line, do I read something that contradicts me. Just read this article that summarizes research that confirms that we don’t have a consensus about what counts as sex – http://www.alternet.org/print/sex-amp-relationships/what-sex

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