Review: RUNNING IN PLACE by L.B. Simmons

****NA Contemporary Romance, can be read as a stand alone. Due to theme of Child Abuse, Explicit Language, Mild Violence, and Sexual Situations - Recommend Readers 18+******

Tatum O’Connell: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.

Noah Reese: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, Unknowingly tethered.Too slowly drawn,Impatient fate calls. The jolting collide intertwines their livesAnd splinters their walls.”
“Catalyst” – Noah Reese

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ARC provided by author.

Review

Running in Place is book three in the Mending Hearts series. It can be read as a stand alone. My review doesn’t contain any spoilers for this book, but I can’t promise that it won’t contain spoilers for the first book Running on Empty, which was an EXCELLENT book.

Running in Place tells the story of Tatum and Noah. Noah is the guy that every girl wants, Mr. Perfect: perfect clothes, grades, hair, he is on his way to stinking Harvard medical school. Of course, things aren’t always what we see on the surface. It makes you wonder about that perfect person you see while you waiting in line at the post office or the coffee shop and you feel that sting of irritation. Maybe their lives aren’t as perfect as you think.

Tatum, on the other hand, is a total mess. She is in an abusive relationship with a total jerk. She rationalizes it because she thinks she doesn’t deserve better. It is heartbreaking to get inside her head and feel her pain and desperation. This is a girl that you just want to reach into your Kindle and hug. She is one of the most likeable characters I have found in a long time.

Tatum’s brother,  who works at the bar that both she and Noah work at, has asked Noah to “keep an eye on her.” This works well for Noah, who has secretly been keeping an eye on her for a while. They both try to resist their attraction to one another, but we all know how these things work out, right?

The truth about their painful pasts start to come out, and how they deal with them is touching and hearbreaking at the same time. This is a moving story of love and healing and moving forward.

I give Running in Place by L.B. Simmons Five Stars!

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