run to you is technically the kick-off to a new series by rachel lacey, unless you've read rock with you, and you've already been introduced to the town of haven, north carolina and some of its inhabitants. while the lead characters weren't introduced in the novella, some of the secondary characters in run to you were and it's nice to have a little bit of history with the town as you read the novel.
in any case, run to you uses my favorite romance trope, the fake relationship that turns real. i like it in books, in film, i maybe even like it in real life. here ethan hunter meets gabrielle "gabby" winters and there is instant sizzle. ethan's beloved grandmother, dixie, who raised ethan after some really horrifying things happened to his parents, recognizes that spark and is convinced that they are meant to be. dixie happens to be on the verge of dying as she has an inoperable brain aneurysm threatening to burst at any moment.
because ethan will do anything to make his grandmother happy, he decides that letting her believe he's finally settled down and gotten over the fears of relationships that have plagued him due to his dysfunctional childhood is the best thing to do. when he proposes this to gabby she's not convinced that lying is the right thing to do. but when her ex-boyfriend shows up, she impulsively agrees to ethan's scheme.
gabby is in haven to recover from some of her own traumas. at first she has no intention of making friends in haven, her plan is to lick her wounds in private and then return home once she feels ready to face her life there. but meeting ethan leads to meeting other people in the town, and then her ex shows up and she realizes that perhaps her plan of loneliness may not be the way to go. gabby is determined to stand on her own two feet, and one of the things lacey does well is to show how it's certainly well-and-good to be independent, but that sometimes it is okay to ask for help, you can be strong and still be part of a team. this is a lesson gabby must learn, and honestly it's a lesson quite a few other romance heroines could stand to learn a little better than they do.
once ethan and gabby give into their sizzling attraction, they inadvertently find themselves in a serious relationship. seeing how they come to terms with their issues with commitment and accepting that they are in love is a really sweet thing. in the supporting cast we see hints of where future novels might go, and it will be fun to see how ryan and mark, ethan's business partners, end up finding their true loves.
**run to you will publish on august 30, 2016. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/forever/grand central publishing in exchange for my honest review.