Run, Rose, Run
Grade : B+

Run, Rose, Run is just as charming as everything else connected to musician/actress/philanthropist Dolly Parton. Though it’s mostly a character study about three different personalities making their way through the Nashville scene than a thriller, the suspense element adds a nice bit of variety to the proceedings. It’s a fun, quick read in spite of its length – a page-turner with brief chapters.

AnnieLee Keyes wants to make it big as a country music singer.  She has natural talent and big dreams, and when she meets the handsome Ethan Blake at a small club and sings her way into the spotlight, it seems that good things are ahead of her.  The bars get better even though she’s sleeping in a park every night. Even though she’s haunted by nightmares involving the mysterious Rose.

Ruthanna Ryder is a rich and famous country star who’s exhausted by the old grind and the glitter of life in Nashville.  She’s in the middle of retiring, but that doesn’t mean she wants to stop writing songs. After Ethan – who happens to be one of her session players – convinces her to come to the small Tennessee club where AnnieLee is playing, their lives change forever.  She takes an interest in AnnieLee, and the superstar and the homeless up-and-comer become friends.

As AnnieLee’s rocket-ride to fame intensifies, she and Ethan get closer while Ruthanna provides AnnieLee with the building blocks toward becoming famous while finding herself inspired to create more music.  But all three of our protagonists are hiding major secrets, and in AnnieLee’s case, those secrets come in the form of a threat that might snuff out her life before she attains the fame she’s been seeking.

Run, Rose, Run is a fun little ride through one girl’s journey to the top.  It’s a classic Cinderella rise, which means some nuance and subtlety (and a sense of reality) is lost in the process.  The book’s not afraid to point out the goo beneath the glitter of the Nashville scene, but it should have thrown a few more obstacles in AnnieLee’s way.  And yet that didn’t stop me from enjoying every second of this spirited trip.

I loved Ruthanna, her big personality and wisecracking sense of humor.  AnnieLee is more vulnerable but has grit and determination. The relationship between the two women is fabulous and worth the price of the book; I enjoyed every makeover, songwriting session and pep talk.  It’s a much more interesting relationship than the one between Ethan and AnnieLee, but their burgeoning romance is also quite sweet (when he makes her a guitar after she had to pawn her own, one cannot avoid being touched by the moment).

The mysteries themselves are properly suspenseful and well-seeded, but again not the true focal point of the book.  You will be shocked, root for our heroes, and hope for them to find safety.

Run, Rose, Run was a pretty good time.  Fans of Parton and women’s fiction with thriller and mystery elements will be better served by the tome versus those looking for more Patterson’s usual offerings.

Note: This book contains references to sexual assault.

Buy it at: Amazon, Audible or your local independent retailer

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Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : B+
Book Type: Mystery

Sensuality: Kisses

Review Date : March 11, 2022

Publication Date: 03/2022

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Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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