Run to You by Sarah Ballance
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (154 pages)
Rating: 4 cherries
Reviewed by Dogwood
Mattie James can't pinpoint exactly when she lost control of her life, but the moment she decided to take it back made the front page of the local paper. Desperate to dodge the fallout— and the tabloids—she jumps at the chance to spend an off-season week in a tiny resort community by the sea. Making the trip with her ex-lover is a complication she can live with; coming face to face with a dead woman is not.
The last thing Sheriff Wyatt Reed expected to find on the storm-ravaged beach was a beautiful blonde with a jealous sidekick, but one look at Mattie left him wanting more. Their first date takes an ominous turn when he gets the call that a woman was found murdered. With a killer on the loose and a troubling lack of suspects or motive, Wyatt has to put his feelings aside to focus on the case. But his vow not to become personally involved is shattered when he discovers Mattie's life is on the line, and this time the truth leaves her with a deadly choice . . . and nowhere to run.
Suspense and love at the Carolina Coast? This sea-side adventure story has it all!
I can picture it now; Sarah Ballance's scenic words in Run to You melted into a graphic story to encourage the imagination in this mysterious love triangle romance.
Mattie James, the daughter of Senator James, is a Raleigh, NC socialite, who has the worst luck with men. She has been hiding out at her friend Hutch's place after the tabloids caught her throwing a drink in the face of her two-timing lover.
Daniel "Hutch" Hutchins is a spoiled, rich-womanizing hunk who oozes sex-appeal. but he is also Mattie's previous lover and the younger brother to her late fiance. Mattie expects friendship from Hutch however Hutch is in love with Mattie and wants much more.
Since Mattie is trying to avoid the press, Hutch talks her into an off season visit to the NC coast in hopes of reminding Mattie of what they once shared. Oh what love can drive one to do!
At the Coast, there have been terrible storms causing much erosion, debris and damage. If this is not enough of a headache for Sheriff Wyatt Reed, well let's just say his problems are about to increase tremendously.
Sexy Wyatt Reed has been hurt by love and has no intentions to ever date again until he falls “head-over heels” for the beautiful and charming Mattie James. What should be a beginning of a beautiful new love relationship for them is soon interrupted by the small resort-town's first murders. Funny how these murders seem to center around the unsuspecting Mattie.
Mrs. Ballance did a great job of painting the scenes. I found myself surrounded by angry tides and dark scenarios wondering what might happen next. Even though I found the plot to be a bit predictable, I like that she planted the idea that more than one character might be the murderer. The secondary characters were interesting and added flavor to the story. I had trouble connecting to the heroine's character as I felt she had a lot of growing up to do, but she manages to do just that as the story progresses.
I loved the character of Wyatt, a quiet, yet loyal sheriff and friend, who has a broken heart and feels love just is not in the cards for him. Wyatt is a perfect wounded hero and cheering for him was a given.
Though I did feel the story was a little choppy at times like the waves of the coastal storms, I have to say the turbulence brewing in the story was intriguing and adventurous. As I stated before, Mrs. Ballance did a good job of making us feel that we were there with the characters in that moment.
I did find this puzzling that this was published as an erotic romance. I did not find that to be the case at all. The love story was nice and maybe a tad-bit spicy, but I'm not certain it falls into "erotic" territory.
I also like that the love story brought together two characters from completely different backgrounds thus reminding us “opposites” can attract.
So if you want to travel to a stormy coast where murder abounds and romance is blooming, then run right out and get Run to You! You'll be glad you did!