Runner (The Runner #1)

Author: Karma Kingsley

Publisher: NineStar Press

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: NSP & Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher


Blurb: Alex Banez is a runner for a Los Angeles film set. When he has a chance encounter with executive producer Atwell Richards, he finds himself falling fast and hard. Atwell is rich, powerful, gorgeous, and everything Alex never thought he would have. But Atwell also has a dark side and an inflexible need for control that threatens to suffocate everyone around him.

Alex has to figure out if he can love Atwell without losing himself.


Review:  Alex Banez has worked hard to get where he is. Alex has plans to rise through the movie studio ranks and eventually become a director. He doesn’t expect to fall for Atwell Richards. Alex has plans to get where he’s going on his own merit. An affair with the producer of the movie he’s working on is the last thing he wants people to think of when his name comes up. So of course he ends up in a relationship with Atwell. Despite Alex and Atwell having wonderful chemistry, things are never really smooth sailing for them. Atwell is demanding. No really. It’s intense. It’s beyond a D/s type relationship and into obsessive control. When Alex’s past shows up at his house Atwell does everything he can to shield Alex from the problems. Unfortunately for Atwell he can’t shield Alex from himself.

I found this book fascinating, but not particularly romantic nor sexy. Some things about Atwell and Alex we know right from the start while others slowly roll out with just a hint of foreshadowing. We always know there is another shoe that’s going to drop to mess things up for these guys. What I found really fascinating was the way Alex and Atwell’s behavior degenerated with every new revelation. Atwell begins to dominate every aspect of Alex’s life while Alex turns to some of his less than legal past behaviors. Both men do it out of an obsessive love for another.

This book ended with an HFN. The emergency situation is dealt with. Alex and Atwell are stable, but Atwell holds all the power. In some ways it really is power over life and death over something Alex cares deeply about. This relationship is not healthy. This is more like “Sleeping With The Enemy” with less domestic violence. It is engaging to read, but in no way does this book feel romantic to me. I’m really hoping for a sequel to see where this goes. Not only because I’d like to see some parity in the relationship, but the reader knows next to nothing about Atwell and Alex knows even less. Readers know Atwell is a mess and has a bad relationship with his family. Beyond that, who knows?

Despite Atwell’s obsessive control issues I’d recommend this book to people who don’t need romance as part of a relationship. I’d say this book was fascinating and riveting, but not comfortable nor happy. At times it was a little disturbing, but the characters disturbed themselves. Provided there is a sequel I really want to see how this evolves and where Alex and Atwell can go from here.

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