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Running Home, by Barbara Ellen Brink is Book 1 of her Second Chances Series. I loved the plot and all the possibilities. I liked some of her plot twists. But, this book was extremely predictable from the start, soft on research, and too sappily romantic for my taste. I read it on the plane and while jet lagged the next two days, so it was a welcome, entertaining read, though it wouldn’t be my cup of tea for serious diversion.
The story begins one morning when Ivy answers the phone and talks to her husband Todd, a man she no longer knows nor understands. He wasn’t home again last night. It’s his son’s birthday, and he promises to show up for his party.
Todd, though, is plotting his get-away. He needs to get lost and fast. But first, he shows up at his son’s party—late, but at least he makes it. He gifts his son a bike and a little bit of his time before he walks out of their lives forever.
Todd meets his lover, and the plane takes off.
When Ivy Winter realizes her husband has left her, she moves back to Nebraska where her family lives. She gets a call from her husband’s company. They’re looking for him, and they say it’s serious.
They’re not the only ones looking for Todd. So is the FBI, and they send Samson Sinclair and another man on the case. Samson is immediately attracted to Ivy, and she's suspicious.
The phone rings again, and someone asks Ivy for the disc. She has no idea what they’re talking about and even less with whom she’s speaking.
Samson ends up being her next apartment neighbor. Ivy thinks something smells fishy. Samson is telling Ivy half-truths and worse, but it’s part of being a detective. He has to deceive.
As I knew, Ivy and Samson become closer, the husband has deep problems, and the story continues. There is a good twist at the end, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you. If you enjoy Grace Livingstone Hill or Janette Oke kinds of books, you'll enjoy this one.
This is a clean story. It has a few kissing scenes but nothing “too warm.”
For me, Running Home was too predictable and too trite. The FBI agents didn’t ring true at all, and they gave up their cover much too soon. It also bothered me that the romance began while Ivy was married. There are a few spelling errors, more than a few thumping hearts, sighs, electric touches, and overused clichés. When Ivy “smooths her slacks” and “fluffs her hair,” I can hardly stand it.
But, this book is entertaining, and it was perfect to read jet lagged and groggy. I’d give it three stars out of five.