Running Scared by Caitlyn Nicholas
Samhain Publishing
Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-309-5
Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

Gemologist Julie Marchant is at a gala, schmoozing with potential clients, when she meets archaeologist Mitchell Cartwright.  Though Julie is normally cool, calm, and collected, she feels an unexpected attraction for the charming, sexy Mitch.  Ditching her normal restraint, Julie spends a wonderful night in Mitch’s arms.  When she awakens the next morning, he’s gone, and she believes she’ll never see him again.

Mitchell Cartwright has to leave for Laos the morning after his night with Julie, so he thinks it will be easier to just go.  He’s shocked when Julie shows up in Laos weeks later to look at local gems and play tourist.  Just when they are picking up where they left off, a potential civil war causes chaos.  Even worse, Julie is keeping a dangerous secret.  Can they make it home?

Running Scared was a very unusual story.  I hadn’t read a book centered on the gem trade before, and the exotic locations added a great deal of interest to the story.  Mitch and Julie’s perilous journey to safety was very suspenseful and seemed realistic.  The love scenes were well done, and the writing was good.  Although Mitch was arrogant and a bit presumptuous at times, I liked his willingness to protect Julie and his passion for archaeology.  The only problem I had with this story, in fact, was Julie herself.  At times, her behavior was ill advised at best.  She continues to be friends with a very shady character, even after he repeatedly acts like a total jerk.  She goes to Laos even after being warned not to by someone she trusted.  Then, to cap it all off, she keeps a potentially deadly secret from Mitch, even though he is the only person who can possibly help her!  Later in the story, she attempts to justify her behavior, but in my mind some of it came pretty close to the “too-stupid-to-live” line.  This was especially frustrating since at other times in the book, Julie showed great strength, intelligence, and resilience.  While the storyline of this book was truly suspenseful and the exotic locations were fascinating, the heroine’s behavior keeps me from wholeheartedly recommending Running Scared.  Still, Caitlyn Nicholas showed a deft hand with suspense and description, so I’ll be looking out for her next release.

     

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