Book Review : Running Back by Allison Parr

November 14, 2013 Book review 8 ★★★

Running Back sounded like a fun read, set in Ireland and America and involving archaeology; I knew it was one I wanted to try out. And I’m glad I did, I had a few issues but it was still an entertaining, fun read.

Book Review : Running Back by Allison ParrRunning Back by Allison Parr
Published by Carina Press on 21 Oct 2013
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 229
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon

Natalie Sullivan is on the verge of a breakthrough most archaeology grad students only dream of: discovering a lost city. Her research points to a farm in Ireland, but to excavate she needs permission from the new owner: the Michael O'Connor, popular NFL running back.

On TV Mike seems so charming and good-natured that Natalie figures getting his cooperation will be a breeze. So she's not prepared to deal with the arrogant—and adamantly opposed—man she meets in person. Or the way one look from him sends shivers down her spine…

Determined to kick-start her career, Natalie travels across the Atlantic and finds herself sharing an inn with Mike, who has come to Ireland in search of his roots. She tells herself her interest is strictly professional, but the more she gets to know him, the harder it is to deny her personal attraction to the sexy sports star. And when Mike confides why he refuses to allow the dig, Natalie must decide if she can follow her heart without losing sight of her dreams.

My Recap of Running Back:

Natalie is archaeology grad student who has plans to excavate a farm in Ireland to search for a lost, ancient city. Then unexpectedly the owner dies and she now has to get permission from his nephew Mike to dig there. And Mike, a famous NFL running back, is stubbornly saying no. Can Natalie persuade him to change his mind?

My Thoughts on Running Back:

I requested this book because of the Irish setting, I was so curious to see whether it would be authentic or whether it would be the Hollywood version of Ireland. And I’m happy to report back that the setting is great, it is so well done. It shows a contemporary Ireland that is realistic and pretty accurate. I only saw one detail that wasn’t true to life and that was a really minor one. In case you’re wondering it was a mention of a new gravestone for someone who had died a month ago, that doesn’t happen here, no headstones are put up until nearly a year later. Anyway a tiny detail, the rest was satisfyingly on the money. And the NY part of the book was entertaining too and an unexpected bonus was the Parisian setting. I loved that. All three settings are well described and atmospheric.

Both Natalie and Mike are interesting characters and there is a big cast of family and friends but all are engaging and distinct so I never felt lost.  The chemistry between our duo is spicy and intense without getting overly graphic.  And I loved that they took the time to build up a real friendship between themselves so even though it all happened very quickly it didn’t feel like insta-love to me.  They share a lot of similarities so you could feel that they really ‘got’ each other.

I had a bit of an issue with the main character at one stage though. Natalie was willing to give up on her dreams just to please Mike. For six years, she had researched, dreamed of and worked out meticulous plans to excavate this site. But she backed down for Mike after only knowing him a few weeks. I don’t care what she felt for him, to give up so easily on her dreams for a man who won’t even tell her why he is saying no just didn’t sit right me. Mike stepped up to the plate and explained his reasons after Natalie backed down but I think he should have spoken sooner. Its fine for him to say no but it’s disrespectful to a girl he is developing feelings for not to give her some explanation in my opinion.

Overall I enjoyed this book. The settings are a high point and the characters are charasmatic. However I found the plot to be predictable with a bit of a join-the-dots formula; despite that it was a fun read and one I’m glad I read.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-stars

Who should read Running Back?

If you enjoy NA romances then you should enjoy this one. In particular if you enjoy varied settings and interesting characters.

Thanks to NetGalley and Carina Press for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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8 Responses to “Book Review : Running Back by Allison Parr”

    • trish

      And there was no good reason here! He was just being silly! I hate that she backed down so quickly and was prepared to back away from her dreams. That aside I enjoyed the book.

    • trish

      Rush was in this book a bit (and his girlfriend) and I loved them both. Especially Rush, he seems to be a great friend to Mike and really protective of his friend. I really want to check out their story sometime too.

  1. Danielle

    Ooo I’m glad the setting is good, I hate when it’s Hollywood style like Leap Year! I’m glad you did enjoy this one despite some issues, I love the covers of this and Rush Me so can’t wait to start this series soon!

    • trish

      Leap Year, OMG that film was so ridiculous! It was worth watching it just to smash it to pieces for all its Oirish nonsense! Thankfully Running Back is no Leap Year!

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