Author: Zarah Detand
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
After a lengthy world tour, pop star Samuel Gibbs is looking forward to a nice, quiet break—sleep in, write a bit of music, do his own cooking for a change. He doesn’t want his time spoiled by the constant presence of bodyguards, and he is certainly not willing to have someone tail him each time he so much as goes to the shops. No way, no how. It’s a good thing, then, that his head of security relents on the matter—or so he leads Samuel to believe.
The break is starting to look even better when Samuel runs into his new neighbor. Ryan Halston is smart and hot and, quite possibly, everything Samuel wants. However, he doesn’t know that Ryan is part of the rejected security detail, tasked with protecting him from the dangerous attentions of an unknown stalker.
I have a love-hate relationship with musician stories. Mostly, I don’t like being reminded about the media and management machines that surround our favorite stars. I also don’t like to be reminded of all the obfuscation involved in those machines. In addition, I have a hard time connecting with the characters because we live in such different worlds.
For the first half of No Place Left to Run, I was bored. Samuel and Ryan went round and round with each other. Having the same arguments with themselves over and over again. We knew Ryan was holding back. We knew the Samuel didn’t know. We knew it was going to blow up in Ryan’s face. In case we didn’t know, we were reminded on every page. For me, that constant refrain got a little old and a little overbearing on the story.
Once everything does blow up, both literally and figuratively, the story finally found a way to hold on and not let go.
There were two main plots in No Place Let to Run. First, of course, is the romance between Samuel and Ryan. Second, and the reason Sam and Ryan are thrown together, is the stalker.
First let’s talk about the stalker subplot for a minute. It was basically ignored, except that we are repeatedly told that Samuel is in danger, and Ryan has to protect him. Well, until right before all is revealed. The scene before the big reveal, Ryan finally takes some steps to figure out who the stalker is, even though he knows from the start it has to be someone close. For the record, I was not fooled by the red herring offered.
There are several subtexts to the relationship that are indicated but never fully resolved. The most prominent of which is the fact that Samuel is in the closet as far as the world is concerned. However, he doesn’t let that change his actions too drastically. There isn’t the perpetual worry of how his friendship with Ryan (or his best friend Jeremy for that matter) might be perceived. There is no making sure there have at least 6 inches between them at all times. There are no accidental touches and immediate recoils. He leaves the prevention and cleanup to the aforementioned management machine. Potential backlash and homophobia are non-issues in this story.
So that leaves the main love story. Samuel and Ryan. The big question with any love story is, “Did the reader feel it?” In this case, the answer is yes and no. I liked Sam and Ryan together well enough. They seemed to fit well together. They are both just a little broken and a little unsure of themselves, despite their respective lines of work. However, when the inevitable blow-up came about, I didn’t have so much as a tug on my heartstrings. Both men seemed to just go on with life. They both SAID they were broken up over it, but their stubborn pride wouldn’t let them show the readers (or anyone else) their feelings.
In the end, I enjoyed reading this story, but I don’t know if I would read another from this author or not.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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