This tour is presented by Brandee's Book Endings.
Running in Place by L.B. Simmons
#2 Mending Hearts Series (can be read standalone)
Release Date: October 24, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me – really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me…
And I’m never going to let that happen.
Perfect. That’s me. That’s the only acceptable way to be, according to my father. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school. My future has already been mapped out for me and there’s nothing that can change that. Not even Tatum O’Connell. That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can’t seem to keep my distance from her. I watch her closely, hoping that one day she’ll let me in, but watching her lead her life down the dangerous path she’s on right now isn’t easy…
I have a feeling I’m about to find myself swept away by the hurricane that is Tatum O’Connell.
“Two fleeting souls,
Too slowly drawn,
Impatient fate calls.
The jolting collide intertwines their lives
And splinters their walls.”
“Catalyst” – Noah Reese
**Other Books in the Mending Hearts Series**
I had the perfect life.
Beautiful and loving husband.
Three gorgeous little girls.
The only thing missing was the white picket fence. I really wanted that fence.
Three years ago, I lost that life. I lost my husband. And I lost myself. But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness. I’ve made peace with my new life. I have my girls, and that’s all that matters. They are my world. I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse.
But then he came back into my life. On a freakin’ motorcycle.
There’s no way I’ll let him turn my life completely upside down. Absolutely no way.
The question is…
How long can I keep pretending that I’m happy with my life being right-side up?
Purchase Running on Empty here:
Barnes & Noble
Purchase Running on Empty here:
Barnes & Noble
I have the perfect life.
I’ve finally found my happy ending.
I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a lifetime of happiness. Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems.
What really happens after the fairytale ending? What happens after the prince rescues the princess? After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live happily ever after?
This is our story.
Purchase Recovery here:Barnes & Noble
I fell in love with Ms. Simmons' writing and her characters in Running on Empty and Recovery. (If you missed my reviews, you can read them here.) Ms. Simmons has, once again, managed to wring every possible emotion from me through her words. Running in Place is a darker story, in many ways, than the previous books. It deals with some heavy subjects. And it's eloquently rendered. Also, Running in Place is classified as a New Adult novel due to the age of its main characters. I have to say it delivered on every element of NA that I love.
Tatum O'Connell is a damaged young woman. She's survived unspeakable abuse. And now that's she's free from her tormentor, at least physically, she's stuck in place. She can't seem to move on, to let go of the past. She quit school with only a semester left to complete. She's dating a douchebag. She drinks copious amounts of alcohol. She's beautiful and she wears shorts in lengths that should be illegal (Noah's opinion).
Noah Reese seems to have it all put together. He has a list of accomplishments miles long - a college degree, a good job, acceptance into Harvard Medical School - and he's gorgeous! However, Noah isn't living his dream. He's living his father's dream. But he feels trapped and unable to follow his heart.
Tatum sees Noah as Mr. Perfect. Noah sees Tatum as a bit of a loose cannon. They each have their reasons to avoid the other. And yet, they captivate each other. When Tatum is forced to work a second job, where Noah is her supervisor, the proximity brings them closer together. As they become friends and open up to one another, they each begin to understand the other. They build a foundation of trust and reveal things to each other they've never revealed. And they serve as a catalyst for the other to seek out the person they want to be - to find the life they want to live.
Witnessing Tatum's growth was amazing. She started out as this girl barely surviving, doubting her sanity at times, and became a confident woman who realized her strength and worth. I wish we'd been privy to more of Noah's transformation but I loved that he 'left a boy and came back a man'. He made the choice to live his life on his own terms and to follow his passion. These two had so much in common, having dealt with the loss of a loved and then suffering at the hands of another. They each were stronger than they realized, facing their demons. And by facing those demons, they learned to forgive and began to heal.
Although Running in Place dealt with such deep topics, it wasn't without its humor. I was delighted to see Alex, Blake and the girls, as well as Trace and Harlow. Nycole, Kyndall, and Rylie made me smile and giggle. And Harlow's particular brand of humor was always a bright spot in the story.
Running in Place can be read as standalone. But I recommend reading the first two in this series for the added depth of the characters. Tatum and Noah's story is completely different than Alex and Blake's but it's no less compelling. Ms. Simmons delivers relatable, very real characters and an emotionally-charged story. And I loved it!
**I received an eARC of the book, as part of the tour, in exchange for my honest review.
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