Series: LCR Elite #4
Published by Amazon Digital Services, Amazon Publishing, Christy Reece on November 1st 2016
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LCR Elite operative Aidan Thorne is dedicated to rescuing kidnapped victims from some of the most dangerous places in the world, but that will never stop him from hunting down a cold blooded killer. Child psychologist Anna Bradford is a temptation unlike any he’s ever faced, penetrating the steely armor encasing his heart. Though he wants her with an unending ache, Anna’s very survival requires Aidan to stay as far away from her as possible.
Understanding human behavior is Anna Bradford’s profession. Aidan Thorne is a mystery she has yet to unravel. Her fascination for the snarling, often rude man is a battle she fights on a daily basis. Her head tells her to stay away, her heart tells her something different. When they join forces to help rescue a friend, Aidan finally allows Anna to see the man beneath the tough exterior. Falling in love with him was inevitable.
But someone is watching. He’s been hiding in the shadows for years, waiting. The time has finally arrived. Anna Bradford will be his tool, his perfect weapon of revenge. She will be his masterpiece.
His worst fears realized, Aidan must now find a way to save Anna before the madman that destroyed his life once before lives out his ultimate fantasy.
‘Running Wild’ packs a huge punch, not least because it deals with a pseudo-hostile pairing that’s actually lust/love in disguise. Nonetheless, it’s compelling enough a story, with satisfying twists and turns amidst the lush and exotic locale, peppered by secondary characters from Christy Reece’s other LCR novels and villains who are hysterically insane.
Aidan Thorne and Anna Bradford have a prickly relationship but that’s mainly because of the former, who puts up a front for his apparent inability to get close to any one because of several traumatic events in his past that have conditioned him only to have dalliances with women. A chance meeting in Columbia where Aidan gets roped into Anna’s search for a lost colleague, dovetails into a plot of revenge run by a madman whose antics do stretch the limits of my belief, but are pivotal enough to change the status-quo between them.
But if I thought Anne was everything a heroine should be, her slight desperation for Thorne aside: brave, compassionate and and more importantly, lacking the TSTL bits which are detestable, I thought she was way short-changed by Aidan who spent most of the book in denial manifested in the form of a distant front and his inability to man-up right up until the end. Operating on the belief that grovelling and apologising seemed to be better than doing the right thing, I felt Aidan spent way too much time being obsessed with his own guilt regarding the other women in his life than Anna (!), making it seem as though Anna was sort of important but wasn’t his priority until he found absolution with all of them. Soft-hearted as she is, Anna nonetheless accepts his albeit rushed declaration of love and subsequent proposal, because he had finally, emotionally, caught up with her.
My quibbles with characterisation aside, Reece’s LCR Elite’s series are solid reads though; some action bits do even take on a filmic quality that I can appreciate as ‘summer blockbuster’ scenes as her characters work their way on a path to a HEA that I sometimes wish could have been laden with less stupidity.