Some people just need to get out of their own way.
This is Sean Rush’s life in a nutshell. Given a choice of the easy way or even the smart way, he runs headlong in the opposite direction.
Rush’s broken past makes a laughingstock of the usual forms of ‘it’s complicated’ type messes people have. Son of an armed robberer doing time for life and a woman who lived hard and died young, Sean was left to make his way in a cruel world where a stint in the army was probably the most peaceful his life got except he came home with a severe case of survivor’s guilt and PTSD.
Running Wild is the story of this guy who seems to need to give caution and death the middle finger as he gets an adrenaline rush stealing high-end cars, street racing, smarting off to the powerful criminal elements around town, and letting a bruiser wearing an MC cut invade the dark hours of his night and mysteriously slip away again. He thinks they are just both scratching an itch until his bestfriend’s troubles with a ring of heavy-hitting car thieves nearly kills him and his big bad biker makes it clear that Rush got things all wrong. Ryker wasn’t scratching an itch and he considers Sean to be his with a capital ‘MINE’. While Sean nearly spins out of control and walks the edge of a knife, Ryker is there and has his back. Ryker’s presence unnerves Sean because the man knows him as well as he knows himself and Sean knows he can’t handle having someone that close. Only, Ryker’s not going anywhere no matter how hard Sean pushes him away and no matter how long Sean runs from him. With each brush with another MC, the law, and the car thieves, Sean’s wild side keeps him alive. The rush from boosting a car and letting it fly is nothing to how freeing the wildness feels in Riker’s arms. But he can’t, he just can’t, right?
This story is dramatic, dirty, and gritty. Sean Rush is one of the toughest heroes to like let alone root for between a bratty mouth and his issues that make him run head-long into stupid decisions and actions and run from what brings him the most happiness.
Running Wild is fast moving and quite the adrenaline rush as each scene unfolds with either a dangerous situation on the dark streets of the town or in the tangled sheets of the bedroom. But though, it is fast moving, it has good strong development and the characters and their backstories are doled out in a steady way that makes it like a revelation so that actions and words make sense when earlier they did not.
The narration is all done from Sean Rush’s perspective. It is his story. He has his best friend who is drugged out on the adrenaline rush of stealing cars and can’t seem to keep out of trouble and there are other key figures who move through the scenes as well. But Ryker is the big curiosity and it was fascinating getting to know him through Sean’s eyes. Sean is observant even if he is too busy trying to make excuses and push Riker away to see the significance of things Riker says and does like the reader.
This would probably fall into a suspense story with the tone and all that is going on, but it is a suspense with an anti-hero flavor. The good guys aren’t entirely good and the bad guys sometimes have their reasons. The hero is neither one nor the other, but both as are his close associates. I enjoyed the worldbuilding and hope there is more from the series.
The narration was a strong element to the enjoyment of the story. I liked the quality of texture and emotion that having Dorian Bane narrate added to the story. These guys and their desperate situations and gritty natures came alive for me. Oh and side note, I have no idea why, but I thought the portrayal of Rush’s friends and one of the bikers who startled Rush with his unlikely support brought some much needed lightness to the story.
So, all in all, this was fantastic. I wanted to snag Rush by the hair and shake him until his teeth rattled, but I was rooting for him to get a clue all along. This one is for those who enjoy grittier anti-hero style m/m romantic suspense.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #323 LGBT
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