Monday, July 17, 2017

ARC Review: Runner by Parker Williams

Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

Todd's rating:

There were certain aspects of this story that I enjoyed, but as a whole, I found it to be just an okay read.

Initially, I had a problem with a few details of the book.

First, the level of severe PTSD seemed a bit extreme for the attack, as described in the book. This is only *my* opinion and I realize that people would act differently to different types assaults, so that was only *my* impression given the description of the 16 y.o. in the book before the attack and the events that transpired on page. I admit I could very well be wrong, but I am allowed my own *impressions*, so please put the flaming torches and pointy pitchforks away, thanks.

Second, the fact that the mother allowed her 16 y.o. kid to dictate his own treatment, which basically translated into *no treatment* at all, as soon as the therapist asked *one* time if Matt wanted to talk about the incident and he fled. No more sessions, no talk of even anxiety medications, he was just DONE. Which went relatively uncontested.

Sorry, but allowing your child to become a terrified recluse at 16 is not acceptable. Ever. Even if it's against their will, it's your responsibility to get them every ounce of help they need to heal, especially if you have a $3M settlement to help pay for treatment. That's WHY it was awarded.

Once I put those two aspects of the story (finally) behind me, the part of the story where Charlie worms his way into Matt's expected, necessary, daily routine was extremely cute and was definitely my favorite part of the story.

However, as the story progressed and they got more serious, I found the story to be a bit too saccharine sweet for my tastes.

Charlie was a bit too perfect and I really could have done without the whole  parts at the end.

I do give points that there was no Magical Penis of Mental Wellness, pardon my pun, injected into this story, though. That would have put me on a tirade for sure.

The book does contain a bit of steam, with Charlie helping Matt overcome, at least to an extent, his fear of being touched. Those parts were well-written and handled well.

I'd have to rate this story at around 3.25 stars and would consider reading other books by this author, just not his BDSM-themed series. #NotMyThang ;- )

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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