“Still Running” is a Siren publishing release by Judah Raine. As I read this story, I kept comparing it to a longer version of one of the sweeter Harlequin lines. The hero and heroine who are strongly attracted to each other yet have a ‘big secret’ that prevents (at least in either the hero or heroine’s mind) a real relationship between them is a theme that repeats often in romance and even more so in some of the Harlequin/Silhouette lines. Ditto for the hero turning out to be extremely well off and the heroine in need of a rescue, be it physical or emotional.
Josie lived through a psychologically-scarring event in her youth and has been running ever since. She’s ended up as an au pair for a self-absorbed socialite who ends up deserting her children by running off with Josie’s boyfriend! She does leave explicit instructions with her lawyer for Josie to ‘deliver’ the twins to their absentee father. But for Josie, who has grown attached to the children, this will mean a return to the scene of her worst memories. Only her love and protective instincts towards the twins can cause her to make this journey.
There were a couple of things that pulled my attention from the story itself as I read. The first is the author’s use of Australian cant, which wasn’t so bad for me as I’ve worked with many an Aussie, but that makes me the exception rather than the rule. ***I stand (or sit) corrected. The cant is actually South African, not Australian although that’s the closest I could get without having too many South African acquaintences.*** The biggie for me was Josie’s continuing and seemingly unending resistance to open herself up to love. When I read a romance, I understand there must be a barrier to love…but I guess I’d just like it to be a little more scalable! In my opinion (and it’s only MY opinion), I’d have liked to have seen Josie soften up earlier. This would have made my feel that her softening had more to do with Cade than with outside forces…which is how I ended up feeling at the end.
Other than these two things, I truly enjoyed reading Josie and Cade’s story. Josie’s angst and Cade’s stubbornness seemed to flow from the book. Even now, I can picture these two having a face-off–and I’m not sure who’d win! “Still Running” is Judah Raine’s tale of a tortured woman and the man who just won’t give up on her. And I think we’d all like to have a man like that.