Love on the Run
I saw Love on the Run mentioned at the #RomBkLove hashtag on Twitter and it piqued my interest. When I saw that I already had it in my TBR along with a couple of other books from Zuri Day, I immediately decided that it would be my pick for contemporary romance month at the TBR Challenge. I don’t read tons of sports romances, but if an author I like has written one, I’m definitely there for it. Such was the case here, and I enjoyed my glimpse into the life of a track star on the rise.
Fresh off an Olympic win, runner Shayna Washington finds herself at the center of increased attention. When superstar athletic manager Michael Morgan reaches out to her, Shayna responds and what starts as a business deal between a manager and an athlete quickly turns to more than just professional courtesy.
The first part of the story set-up was honestly the hardest for me. Michael is a player, to put it mildly. By player, I mean that he gets multiple calls from multiple women looking to hook up just about daily, it seems like. He even has more than one phone that these women are calling! If this were a Regency, he’d be the Duke of Slut. Knowing this, I have to admit that while I kind of liked the lead characters, I knew I would want to see a lot of growth from Michael before I could believe that he would be hero material.
I warmed up to Shayna a lot faster. She takes her running – and her career – seriously. In that sense, she seemed pretty mature for her stated age of twenty-five. However, throughout the book we get to see Shayna with her friends and roommates and those interactions were both fun and felt like conversations actual people in their 20s would be having. I can see where very conservative readers may not find this book to their taste, but I enjoyed the lighthearted raunchiness of some of the banter here. The book has a solid emotional heart to it, but there’s also quite a bit of good-natured fun to the story.
In addition to the fun and romance, we also get to see glimpses into both lead characters’ families. Michael’s mother is a widow, but she and her sons are all close-knit and obviously share a lot of very happy memories. Shayna’s situation is a bit more difficult. Shayna mourns the loss of her strong grandmother, and it’s apparent that her relationship with her mother is more strained. Shayna’s mother was only 18 when she was born and seemed to view her more as a peer or as competition, and this doesn’t make for a smooth mother-daughter dynamic.
These issues carry over into Shayna’s adult life as her mother’s immature meddling with a violent, untrustworthy ex-boyfriend place Shayna in some difficult situations. As a reader, I was aghast at some of the mother’s actions and found the resolution of that storyline somewhat unsatisfying.
I greatly enjoyed the relationship development between Shayna and Michael even if Michael did seem to reform himself almost unbelievably quickly. They seem to be a well-matched pair and the chemistry between them was pretty hot. However, I found the resolutions of backstory plot threads to be a little rushed and abrupt as the book neared its end. Even so, this is a fun read and I was glad to find a book where the female lead is the athlete instead of her male hero.