Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones

August 3rd, 2013 Kimberly Review 34 Comments

3rd Aug
Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones
Running Wild
by Linda Howard, Linda Jones
Series: The Men from Battle Ridge #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In book 1 of this steamy new contemporary Western romance series by two blockbuster authors, a cowboy and a woman on the run take a stand and fight for love. Carlin Reed lives in fear, off the grid, moving from place to place. So Battle Ridge, Wyoming, a small town in the middle of nowhere, seems like a good place to lie low for a while. But after becoming cook and housekeeper to cattle rancher Zeke Decker, Carlin suspects that she’s made her first mistake. Rugged, sexy, and too distracting for his own good, Zeke is pure temptation mixed with something deep and primal that makes Carlin feel almost safe. Soon things are getting way too hot in the kitchen. Zeke doesn't challenge Carlin’s terms: cash, dead bolts, and no questions. It is easy to see that she’s a woman in trouble. Problem is, he’s so blindsided by his attraction to her he can’t think straight. Zeke tries to stay all business, no complications—but that game plan is sabotaged the second Carlin gets under his skin. And when her terrifying past follows her to the ranch, Carlin faces a heartbreaking choice: run away from the man she loves, or put him in the crosshairs of a madman.

One of my favorite genres is romantic suspense and when you add a smexy, drop dead gorgeous cowboy, this little woman is one happy reader. I read Dani @ Paulette’s Papers review of Running Wild where she declared she was reading this over and over!  *Naturally I bought it!* Howard and Jones provided me with a suspenseful thriller and a delicious romance. I literally consumed this full-size novel in one sitting. Three-word review: suspenseful, smexy and colorful.

The tale begins when we meet Carlin Reed as she anxiously watches traffic for signs of a familiar blue car. Carlin is on the run from a bad date turned stalker. When she fears him closing in she heads north and finds herself in a place called Battle Ride, Wyoming. She ends up becoming a cook and housekeeper to cattle ranch owner Zeke Decker and the tale that unfolds has humor, romance, and danger. I became completely swept up in this fast-paced tale and its delightful characters.

Carlin Reed is sweet, determined, confident and deathly afraid. Living off the radar, Battle Ridge seems safe at least for a little while. I really admired Carlin and laughed at some of her escapades.  Zeke is a cowboy through and through not to mention totally swoon-worthy. He works hard, has a ferocious appetite and is good to his employees. He is not looking for a woman, he’s been there, done that! There is only one problem; Carlin. The dance these too waltzed was sweet, hot and endearing. As a couple, I felt the spark from their first encounter. I love the wicked banter and their chemistry was intoxicating. Zeke’s patience and handling of Carlin stole my heart as did the crew. The folks in Battle Ridge are exactly what you would expect in a small town with all the charming qualities. Kat, the diner owner was a hoot and the cow-hands on the ranch provided humorous and heartwarming moments. A few of the secondary character was developed and I am hoping we get their story. Of course, the stalker was creepy and getting inside his head gave me the shivers.

Small town romances always offer such wonderful, colorful characters and I love watching the romance unfold and the humorous side of life in rural America. Running Wild added a suspenseful thriller to the plot and it captivated me as I turned page after page in search of resolution and my HEA. The writing and pacing of the overall arc were well done, and the romantic aspect felt genuine and built slowly. The collaboration was well done, and their voice blended to create a fast-paced, entertaining and suspenseful read.

Running Wild will appeal to both readers of suspense and romance. I am looking forward to the next book in The Men from Battle Ridge series.


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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

34 Responses to “Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones”

  1. Pabkins

    Linda Howard is always who I go to when I need a dose of cowboy romance!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was so good Pabs, I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.

  2. anna

    I’ve been told I need to read Howard so many times. And I might have to buy it just for the cover. lol Love some good banter and chemistry you can feel right from the start. Always good. Thanks for the heads up on it :

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was such fun, and I hope you pick it up! Have a nice night Anna:)

  3. Lauren

    This is one of the many reasons I love your blog, you always bring me awesome romantic suspense books I never would have known about otherwise. I also love that this has that small town romance feel (and that cover is totally begging to be on my shelf). Thanks for putting this on my radar! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      *snickers* I do like to mix it up, and romantic suspense is one of my favorites in any genre. This was one of those books you picked up and couldn’t put down.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh so do I and wrap a little romance around it and I slip into another world!

  4. Maida

    I was too busy staring at that mouth watering cover for a good 10 minutes when I finally decided to actually begin reading your review…and you had me at “gorgeous cowboy”. Umm…duh, yes please! I also enjoy romantic suspense a lot, and this one sounds like a fun read. I can’t wait to get my hands on Zeke…*snicker*…I meant the book. ;p Glad you enjoyed this! Great review! 😀

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

    • kimbacaffeinate

      romantic suspense is one of my favorite go to genres, I would love to hear your thoughts on Zeke, err I mean the book when you read it:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      squee, would love to hear your thoughts when you read it!

  5. Bella's Shelf

    Does the stalker ever catch up to her? I love stories like this! Reminds me of a Lifetime Movie actually. I can imagine how sexxy the cowboy looks as he silently watches the gal cook, and their chemistry heats up more than the food together! lolz!

  6. Sam

    Cowboys and a small-town romance? I’m sold! This sounds like so much fun and I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. Brilliant review, Kimba! I guess I’ll have to head over and buy this right now. 😀

  7. Ellen

    I love smexy drop dead gorgeous cowboys to. There is just something about cowboys that gets me. You’ve convinced me that I need to meet Carlin Reed.

  8. Andrea

    I’ve really gotten into romantic suspense lately, and I think I have you to thank for that! And I know you’re the one who got me back into small town romances. Running Wild sounds great and I’m adding it to my tbr.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      your first comment posted, it doesn’t appear until you refresh page..LOL I am so glad you are enjoying romantic suspense and small-town romances 🙂

  9. Candace

    Oh my… this one does sound good! I love small towns with colorful characters and I love books that take place in Wyoming (since I use to live there). I’m glad you loved this one!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      we visited there once and stopped at Devil’s Peak.

  10. Jenea

    So, you had me at cowboy! Don’t know what it is about a man in boots and a cowboys hat. *fans self* This does sound like a good one too. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Right..there is something about a man in a stetson and blue jeans..LOL

  11. kindlemom1

    I really need to stop coming here you are so not helping my TBR pile.

    And yeah…that cover sure doesn’t hurt either. 😛

  12. Tanja

    You totally didn’t notice that cover, right Kim? 😀 Kidding, I haven’t seen this book before but it’s been a while since I have read anything like this. Sounds really good and Zake and Carlin sound like a great characters. Great review 🙂