On TV Mike seems so charming and good-natured that Natalie figures getting his cooperation will be a breeze. So she's not prepared to deal with the arrogant—and adamantly opposed—man she meets in person. Or the way one look from him sends shivers down her spine…Determined to kick-start her career, Natalie travels across the Atlantic and finds herself sharing an inn with Mike, who has come to Ireland in search of his roots. She tells herself her interest is strictly professional, but the more she gets to know him, the harder it is to deny her personal attraction to the sexy sports star. And when Mike confides why he refuses to allow the dig, Natalie must decide if she can follow her heart without losing sight of her dreams.
Publication Date: October 21, 2013
I liked Running Back and was glad to see some of my favorite characters back from Rush Me, but overall I didn’t love the story as much as the first book. It wasn’t a bad read, but the lack of football and lackluster male lead didn’t leave me eager for more.
The one thing I liked much better in this novel than the previous book was the main character. Natalie was very likable, albeit insecure, but I found she had a lot of depth. I liked her attempts at stepping out of her parents’ shadows and her passion for archaeology. I wanted her to stand up more for herself, but she was very compassionate and loyal.
Mike was just an okay character for me. His mood swings were ridiculous and I didn’t like how he treated Natalie for most of the book. When his reasons for blocking her excavation are revealed, he still didn’t win me over. The secondary characters, especially his family, were intriguing and the family dynamics added a lot of tension to the book.
The writing is good and I did love the author’s descriptions of Ireland. After reading the novel I was researching Ireland vacations online. She really brought the country alive and I liked the local folklore aspect. The pacing was well done as well. I didn’t feel like any parts dragged and the romance developed naturally. I like this series because each book can be enjoyed as a standalone novel.
I’d definitely recommend the series to fans of contemporary novels. Running Back had less of a sports angle, but it was still a romantic book and I will pick up future novels from the author.
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this novel for review!