Runaway Lies by Shannon Curtis

In brief: Darcy is on the run from her ex-boss, who wants her dead. She didn’t think a split second decision to save children from an accident would put her in multi-millionaire Dominic St John’s world. How does she continue to hide her identity? (Read the full blurb here).

The good: This book is so fast paced with hairpin twists that it needs to come with a warning.

The not-so-good: A little slow to start for me, then BOOM! (Like, literally). I was hooked.

Why I chose it: Beautiful cover, plus I’d heard good things about this novel. Thanks Harlequin Australia!

Year: 2015

Pages: 355 (eARC)

Publisher: Harlequin Mira

Setting: New South Wales, Australia

My rating: 9.5 out of 10

Who can resist a cover with a girl in a red coat? Not I. I’d heard some book noise that Runaway Lies was a fantastic book with some gripping suspense scenes, so naturally I had to pick it up. I don’t think that description did it justice, because this book is bloody good (not bloody as in gore, bloody as in the Aussie adjective). It would perfectly suit two types of readers – those who are fans of romantic suspense and those who enjoy suspense with a little bit of romance. The suspense is brilliantly written – just when you think Darcy (the heroine) is safe, something else jumps out of the shadows. It’s taut writing that will get your pulse racing. Oh, and if you don’t mind a bit of romance (which I don’t), the hero, Dom, is a hot multi-billionaire with baggage.

The story opens with Darcy, who is on the run as she’s a wanted woman. Not for what you might think though – Darcy’s a whistle-blower against her boss, who lost a lot of people’s life savings. Now he wants her gone. There’s not long until the trial, so Darcy has changed her appearance and gone into the Australian bush. But while driving, she notices a vehicle behaving erratically, which then crashes into the river. Darcy can’t help but to try to save the occupants and that’s where she comes into contact with Dominic St John, multimillionaire property developer. His children were in the car and his ex-wife has disappearance. Dom is incredibly grateful to Darcy for saving his children and wants her to stay until she recovers from her injuries. Darcy really doesn’t want to put the family in danger and declines, only to be forced to accept under explosive circumstances. Here begins a game of cat and mouse, where Darcy is the hunted and multiple threats turn up on her doorstep. Dom is under fire too – someone has a grudge against him and things turn nasty. In the midst of this uncertainty, Dom and Darcy turn to each other. But can they outrun their enemies?

While the characters of Dom and Darcy are incredibly well done (both their pasts are revealed slowly and deliberately – it’s like an intricate jigsaw puzzle where you only see the picture as the final piece is slotted in), the secondary characters are just as amazing. Dom’s security man, Alex and his police siblings were fascinating in the way they combined their skills to solve the mysteries. I would be a happy reader if any of them got their own story. Dom’s twins are just delightful – they’re cute and clever. It’s easy to see why Darcy falls for them and is determined to protect them at all costs. Even the minor characters, such as Darcy’s physiotherapist, are memorable. It really packed a punch when something happened to them (there’s a bit of a body count in this book).

The plot of Runaway Lies breaks all the speed limits and flies through some rough terrain – it’s incredibly well done and once I’d established Darcy’s motivation for being on the run, I was happy to be taken for the ride. It’s a wonderful story, not just for romance fans, but for anyone who likes a suspense thriller.

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