There's only been a few times since I started reviewing about 5 years ago where I've complained about TOO MUCH SEX. This is one of those times.
Lacey hates Troy, Montana. She hates her new government issued name, Susan. And she hates that the first man she's met in town has the power to render her speechless at a glance. After witnessing a mob hit, the subsequent fallout has her on the run from some seriously bad dudes. Her heart stops when she meets Russell Ryland, the big bad former Navy SEAL, upon arriving in her new town. The second Russell lays eyes on Susan, his heart started pounding and he became a tongue tied, bumbling teenager. His desire for her is all-consuming, to the point of obsession. He must have her, claim her, mark her, own her. But when it seems that Lacey's past has caught up with her, he'll have to figure out just why they're both in danger since his woman isn't exactly sharing her secrets.
RUNNING SCARED is the first book in Ms. Jean's Love's Command Series
, and having read a later book in this series first and LOVED it, I desperately wanted to love this one too. But maybe my expectations were just a little too high for the first book in a new series since there was very little about RUNNING SCARED that I can say I enjoyed. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of sex, while insanely erotic, simply took over the story. I'm sure that Ms. Jean wanted some level of action/adventure in RUNNING SCARED, but it really just turned into porn with a been there/done that plot. The sex scenes weren't just long, they were cheesy as hell, too. A quick search showed well over 200 instances of the word baby, and it was sprinkled liberally in bed. Witness these nuggets from ONE scene:
"Damn, baby, suck me. Show me again."
"Holy hell. Ah, fuck. Baby. Let me, baby?"
"Come on, baby, come with me."
"Ah, fuck, Susan, baby, God yeah, so good, so good. Open for me, baby."
"Ah, God, yeah, yeah. Come with me baby. Keep your eyes open. See me. See who's giving you this. Take it, baby, take it. For me. Give me this, Susan."
"Damn, damn baby."
In addition, Russell was obsessed with Susan to the point of being a bit creepy. They used sex to avoid having any sort of conversation, which would be just fine if this wasn't a HEA sort of book. I also thought it weird that they both had an addiction to smelling one another (we get it, she's sunshine, he's like meadow and man. Duly noted). Last but not least, I was very confused on why Ms. Jean used the Queen's English despite her being American and her story being set in Montana. Don't get me wrong, I love kerb's and manoeuvres as much as the next Anglophile, but in this case the language simply didn't add up. Add all of this to the "how does she feel about me?", "how does he feel about meeeee?", "Am I just a convenient fuck?", "Does she love me or the SEAL?" GAAH! Stop! Everything about this story just drove me insane with anger, which is a real shame since I really REALLY wanted to love this book. That said, I'm committed to the series at this point, so I'm hopeful that the writing will improve as the books continue. Fingers crossed!
Bottom Line: While this is an uninspired first book to kick off a series, later books are indeed very good, so those who don't like to leave a series unfinished may enjoy Russell and Susan/Lacey's story.