Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Run for the Roses
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Series: Circles #1
Heroes: Val & Wyatt
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 164 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 2, 2014
Available at: Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Wanting to end his pattern of choosing controlling and abusive men, Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures it’s better to live alone than live in fear. Just when things are settling down—his biggest trouble recently is a Kentucky Derby hopeful that won’t load into a starting gate—his best friend Janelle’s violent ex-boyfriend kidnaps her. After she’s seriously injured in a car wreck, Wyatt Harig, Janelle’s estranged father, comes around to tend to his daughter. Despite Val’s determination to avoid relationships, Wyatt interests him in ways that make his resolve waver. As complications and repercussions pile on in the aftermath of Janelle’s kidnapping—including a gambling charge and a murder—Wyatt and Val must work together to seek answers. And the closer they get to each other, the more Val wants them to stay that way.
When I started reading this book, ironically, it was the same day as the Belmont Stakes. I had no idea what the book was about, to be honest, so I got a kick out of the fact that they were training Janelle’s horse, Dreamspinner, for the Triple Crown. For anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s when a three-year old horse wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. It’s like THE big deal in horse racing for three year olds and has only been accomplished eleven times.
Anyway, if you’re thinking this is going to be a lesson on horse racing, think again. I just had to share my little story because I found it highly amusing that I picked this book up on the very day I watched the Belmont Stakes. Now that THAT’S done, we can get onto the review!
Val is just trying to get back to a normal life when his best friend, Janelle, gets kidnapped by her abusive ex-boyfriend, which results in a car accident, leaving her pretty banged up. Helping her heal isn’t so bad but when her estranged dad shows up, Val is wholly unprepared for the sparks they seem to have. Though a tentative relationship starts to form, they’ve got bigger problems when they’re thrust into the investigation of not only a few murders but also a gambling scheme. Unfortunately, danger is much to close to home but with Wyatt’s investigative skills, will they be able to catch the killer before he makes his move on Val or Janelle?
I really liked this book. It was just so easy to read. The progress of the story is soothing, the writing flows nicely and most of all the connection between the characters is all kinds of slow-burn. I loved that Val and Wyatt weren’t quick to get into each others pants but instead sort of circled around each other. It was nice to see them hesitant to really do anything unless they were sure about it. As Val has been in abusive relationships, he’s even more cautious to start anything. Wyatt is older and more experienced but I think he was still grieving a little for his lost partner. The two together are lovely and sweet. I just adored them. I also loved that Janelle was so cool about her dad and her best friend being together.
While I loved the book, I had a few little niggles. Mostly, they were questions left unanswered such as who killed the horse? Beyond that, I felt like there were sections of time that were told instead of shown, parts that I really wished we had gotten to experience (such as Wyatt and Val’s date, etc.) that I think would have furthered their relationship just a bit more.
In the end, though, I absolutely loved this book! The characters are intriguing, the story is fast paced and interesting and I really liked the little mystery that plays out in the story. The relationship between Wyatt and Val is sweet and I loved their connection. I’m looking forward to reading more in this series and seeing where it heads next!
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*