Series: New York Leopards, Book 2
Also in this series: Rush Me, Imaginary Lines
Published by Carina Press on 21 October 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, New Adult, Sports & Athletics
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Also by this author: Rush Me, Imaginary Lines
Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Dundoran, Ireland // Paris, France
First Line(s): Three archaeology professors sat before me, frowns on their faces as they decided whether or not to give me the most important grant of my life.
I was excited when I first heard about Running Back by Allison Parr as I enjoyed her debut new adult romance, Rush Me. Running Back featured Mike O’Conner who we first met in the Rush Me and I was interested in reading his story as he seemed like a fun guy. Running Back was also partially set in Ireland and so I thought that this one would be a total win. Only I found that I had a hard time getting into it. I just didn’t connect with Natalie’s voice right away and it took several attempts before I made it past the first chapter. Then when I did it didn’t seem like Mike was as pleasant as in the first book and it made me a little sad.
While I liked that there were more layers to Mike they just didn’t always ring true and his reasons for not letting Natalie dig on his land seemed a bit over the top. Though once he stopped being a jerk to her he was actually pretty nice and I enjoyed their story. However, it was the side characters that held most of my focus in this story. I was glad to see cameos of Rachel and the team but I loved the scenes with Mike’s sisters and his mother. His aunt’s nephew also added some entertainment into the mix as well. These scenes made me wish that this was a dual POV story so that 1) we’d learn what Mike was thinking and 2) we’d get more time with his sisters and other family.
As a character, Natalie annoyed me at times. I liked that she was smart and she fought for what she believed in but she seemed to let others in her field walk all over her. She did so much just to get the project up and running but others often took the credit. That is until things didn’t go as expected and then they were quick to pass the blame. So I was glad that Mike saw her worth and told her the things that he saw in her that made her great. I liked how this book was more about Natalie and her job than it was about Mike being a football star. It was refreshing change just as it was nice when Mike was a nice guy for most of the book. Its easy to forget that there are nice guys out there when the ones you read about all tend to be a-holes or fit into the bad boy mold.
Once, I really focused on Running Back I found that I enjoyed the story. Natalie and Mike fit well together and I liked how they balanced each other out. I liked the change of pace in a sports story to focus on something other than the career of the male lead and yet it still kept it relevant to his story. This was a fun read and it can be read independently of Rush Me since the bulk of it takes place outside of New York and that world. Running Back is also currently free to download from Amazon and BN (and maybe at other ebook retailers as well) so you should go DL it if you are looking for a few New Adult sports themed romance.