Series: LCR Elite #3
Published by Christy Reece on May 31st 2016
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To Have A Future, They Must Face The Past Together
Riley Ingram escaped hell, taking secrets with her that could get her killed. As an Elite operative for Last Chance Rescue, Riley’s single-minded focus is on saving others from a similar fate. A survivor of unspeakable horror, she hides behind a cool mask of indifference, vowing to never let her guard down again.
A family tragedy brought Justin Kelly to LCR. Saving lives and protecting others is a way of life for him. The phenomenal connection he shares with his intensely private LCR partner surprises everyone but Justin. He knows that beneath Riley’s icy façade is a warm, caring woman with tremendous depth.
When the past comes calling, colliding with the present, the LCR duo have no choice but to face it together. Relying on each other’s strength and courage, they’ll work to destroy one of the most horrific monsters LCR has ever faced.
But some secrets can’t stay hidden. And sometimes plans fall apart. It’ll take every bit of their grit and fortitude for Riley and Justin to stay alive to have the future together they’re just now realizing they want more than anything.
Christy Reece has consistently mentioned the unusual, unspeaking partnership between Riley and Justin in her previous LCR books and to get their story finally breaks this mystery in a way that is both expected and unexpected.
If all the LCR operatives that Reece writes about have shady, difficult pasts, Riley’s one is particularly traumatic and seeing how far she has come is nothing short of an amazing journey. Having Justin as her support and reading about the eventual change in their relationship is gratifying, though not as dramatically so or unpredictably or as tension-filled as I’d expected. Instead, their connection is written almost as preternaturally natural and one that doesn’t require words when communicating.
The pacing of the story itself was steady; I knew from the start that Riley needed to confront her past and it was what she did, in an admirable manner at least. Her mistake of running scared at the end irked me a little because I did think that Justin had proven himself way more deserving of such treatment.
‘Running Scared’ deals with sexual assault and human trafficking, brutal topics with which I normally struggle a lot – and rightfully so. Yet it suddenly struck me mid-way through that there are very little shades of grey in the LCR books; good and evil are delineated as clearly as night and day. While the multiple POVS – sometimes within a scene – could get distracting at times, but many of the LCR characters do show the common thread of having overcome a multitude of hugely mitigating circumstances while the bad guys were written with demeanours so evil that they slipped into stereotypes which (incidentally and unwittingly, I’m certain) sometimes got funny. For obvious reasons, I’m adamant that ‘Running Scared’ should not be an easy read because of the issues that Reece has raised in it. Yet my slight disappointment is merely targeted inwards because I found that it did get a little too ‘easy’ at times – when the good guys get their good ending and the bad guys are killed off.