Monday, April 27, 2015

Running Fire by Lindsay McKenna (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Temporarily assigned to the Shadow Squadron in a troubled region of Afghanistan, Chief Warrant Officer and pilot Leah Mackenzie is no stranger to conflict—even if most of her physical and emotional scars are courtesy of her vicious ex. Still, she's got a bad feeling about picking up a team of stranded SEALs. A feeling that's all too justified once enemy fire hits their helicopter and all hell breaks loose…

SEAL Kell Ballard's goal was to get the injured pilot out of harm's way and find shelter deep in the labyrinth of caves. It's a place of dark intimacy, where Leah finds unexpected safety in a man's arms. Where prohibited attraction burns brightly. And where they'll hide until the time comes to face the enemy outside…and the enemy within their ranks."

My Thoughts:

Romantic suspense is one of those genres that I always want to read more of but hardly ever do.  I love when it is done right and I cannot stop turning the pages.  While I went into reading this book assuming that it was going to be that type of read, what I found was a more slow burning romance that I couldn't help but appreciate for other reasons.  Running Fire throws the two main characters into a tough and intense situation where they are relying on only themselves to survive and get out of enemy territory.  Almost instantly they realize that there is also a deep attraction between the two of them.  But it isn't the danger that is keeping them apart from exploring their feelings.  Instead, it was Leah's past and emotional scars that they are forced to deal with right away.  The author did a really great job of not glossing over all of the horrific things that Leah went through with her first marriage.  For me it made what was growing between her and Kell all of the better.  At first I struggled with their instant attraction/feelings.  But then as I thought about it, it was really the intensity of their entire experience that brought those feelings out and they both couldn't help but to given in a little bit to their feelings for one another.  Sigh!  I liked that and I liked what they found together with one other.  It took its' time building as Leah needed for them to take it slowly and you don't see that enough in romance books in my opinion.  I liked that they didn't just jump right into a relationship even though they both wanted to.

I did have a few issues connecting to this book at times.  I think it was mainly because I wanted Leah to stand up for herself.  I don't even know if that is realistic with everything that she had gone through but I wanted it all of the same.  (The quirks of the reader, I know).  She left her ex-husband which shows she had some strong grit to her but she didn't always show it in the book.  I would have liked to see more of her stronger side and I think this caused me to not quite connect to the story like I had hoped.  I also expected this to have a bit more suspense to it which for me even despite the dire circumstances they found themselves in didn't happen until later in the book.  And then it really was a page turner and I needed to know what was going to happen.  

Overall, I thought that this was a good read even though I had a few issues with it.  I definitely want to continue on with this series and see what happens next.  I would love to see if Kell and Leah are included in future books as it would be nice to get a peek at their relationship as it continues to grow.  I think that romance readers will probably enjoy this one.  Recommended with a few hesitations.

Bottom Line:  A good read and I will be reading more by this author.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher for a TLC book tour.  Thoughts are my own!


  1. Excellent review, Sam. It sounds like you really enjoyed reading it for the most part.

  2. Romantic suspense is that genre for me too! It's also partly that I just don't know enough romantic suspense authors, so I don't know whose books to look out for. Any recommendations of ones you've enjoyed?

  3. Samantha
    I appreciate you taking the time to read RUNNING FIRE. Warmly, Lindsay McKenna

  4. "I liked that they didn't just jump right into a relationship even though they both wanted to." I really appreciate this in a romance novel - it makes the story more believable to me.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this book. Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  5. I have seen this book pop up before, and have been curious about it. Although I do like romantic suspense, I can't say I've read romance novels involving the military. Kind of surprising, I suppose, given how I'm drawn to stories about the military in other types of fiction. I'll have to keep my eye out for this one.


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