Series: The Men from Battle Ridge #1
Published by Ballantine Books on November 27th 2012
Genres: Adult, Romance, Romantic Suspense
In book 1 of this steamy new contemporary Western romance series by two blockbuster authors, a cowboy and a woman on the run take a stand and fight for love.
Carlin Reed lives in fear, off the grid, moving from place to place. So Battle Ridge, Wyoming, a small town in the middle of nowhere, seems like a good place to lie low for a while. But after becoming cook and housekeeper to cattle rancher Zeke Decker, Carlin suspects that she’s made her first mistake. Rugged, sexy, and too distracting for his own good, Zeke is pure temptation mixed with something deep and primal that makes Carlin feel almost safe. Soon things are getting way too hot in the kitchen.
Zeke doesn't challenge Carlin’s terms: cash, dead bolts, and no questions. It is easy to see that she’s a woman in trouble. Problem is, he’s so blindsided by his attraction to her he can’t think straight. Zeke tries to stay all business, no complications—but that game plan is sabotaged the second Carlin gets under his skin. And when her terrifying past follows her to the ranch, Carlin faces a heartbreaking choice: run away from the man she loves, or put him in the crosshairs of a madman.
While I haven’t read a Linda Howard book in a very long time, I am a huge fan of her Mackenzie series (especially Mackenzie’s Mountain). Because I love the Mackenzie series so much I thought I would give a listen to Running Wild co-written by Linda Howard and Linda Jones. Unfortunately Running Wild did not impress me.
Running Wild is about Carlin Reed who is running from a crazy barely ex-boyfriend. He’s stalking her, and has actually killed one of her friends before. So she’s really frightened, and trying to live off the grid. She’s ends up in a tiny town called Battle Ridge, Wyoming, and decides to stay the winter. She ends up working for ranger, Zeke Decker.
Despite the exciting premise, it takes a long time for the story to actually get started. And I never was really rooting for Carlin and Zeke to get together. I just wasn’t feeling their romance. I didn’t think they had chemistry, and, quite frankly, I didn’t like them that much either. I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t care about them, either.
I also found so much of the plot quite preposterous. Carlin kept saying she needed to live off the grid because her stalker is a computer expert. She demands to be paid under the table, that sort of stuff. But when she gets to Battle Ridge, she is constantly going to the public library, which is great. But you know what? To get a library card, you have to show picture ID and proof of address. I think that’s a pretty universal requirement for a library card.
And so many bad things kept happening to Carlin. I mean if it was her stalker, it was jerk workers at the ranch. So unbelievable, and just a bit too much drama, too. So, Running Wild didn’t work for me at all. However, I am still a major fan of Mackenzie’s Mountain and highly recommend that one.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: