Runaway Heart: A Game of Hearts Novel, by Sonya Loveday & Candace Knoebel
Publication: December 21, 2015
About the book: One Hurricane. Two Strangers. No Rules.
Hannah Adamson was immune to relationships. Swearing men off long ago, she buried her painful reasons under her feisty independence and a passion for roller derby. Until she met Ed and was swept away by the tall, witty, sarcastically sexy best man who might just be the one to have the antidote for her runaway heart.
Ed Alcott wasn’t looking for love, especially not after a particularly nasty breakup left him with a shattered heart in desperate need of repair.
Taking shelter together when a hurricane bears down on Rum Cay, Hannah and Ed find they can’t fight their growing attraction. It was supposed to be simple. Easy. A weekend of passion with no strings. But how do you forget the one who stripped away all your layers, and haunts your dreams?
Can Hannah keep the scattered pieces of her heart in check, or will the promise of Ed’s love be enough to mend them back together?
*** This is a full-length, stand-alone novel that mildly touches on the topic of domestic abuse. Suitable for ages 18+ ***
Obviously, I am bingeing on the Game of Hearts series, because I had to read the 2nd novel in the series as soon as I finished the first one. Guess what? I loved this one even more than the first! This novel focuses on Maggie’s best friend Hannah and Phillip’s best friend Ed. Hannah and Ed fly to Rum Cay for Maggie and Phillip’s wedding, thrown together to sleep in a small hut the first night. The second night, they stay in the main house since Maggie and Phillip are on their honeymoon. Then a hurricane strikes leaving them together for the night dealing with the storm and really getting to know one another. Although neither wants a relationship, they realize months later that they can’t stop thinking of one another. A chance meeting brings them together once again, but are they willing to take that leap?
I love, love, love Ed! I loved him in Love Always and fell even more in love reading Runaway Heart. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Hannah too, but oh my Ed…. So anyway, Ed and Hannah meet while in Rum Cay for Maggie and Phillip’s wedding and are immediately attracted to each other, although Hannah tries denying it at first. After a passionate and romantic night they each go home. Hannah is still dealing with the trauma of her childhood, whereas, Ed is also leery of relationships after having his heart broken a few years earlier. There are so many starts and stops between them in this novel that were frustrating, but also made me root for them all the more.
**Trigger alert, there are several, detailed references and descriptions regarding physical abuse, specifically spousal abuse and children witnessing it.** With that being said, I think it was handled realistically and in a sensitive manner. Anyone familiar with the topic will easily relate to Hannah’s mother, Aunt Della, and a young woman named Annabelle. Anyone that witnessed this abuse as a child will certainly relate to Hannah.
The authors included some heavy and emotional themes in this novel, but overall it was an amazing romance. Hannah finally faced the inner and outer demons that made her so fearful of commitment. Ed faced his inner and outer demons that made him afraid to fall in love again. There was so much growth with the primary and secondary characters I couldn’t help but feel like a proud Mama after reading this. I had joy in my heart for everyone in the story which far overshadowed the uncomfortable parts of the novel.
Yes, there are sensitive issues addressed, but to me, this novel represents finding your true self, as well as, learning to trust others. Sonya Loveday and Candace Knoebel did a beautiful job of addressing the hardships that people endure, as well as, the challenges of overcoming them – while still reminding readers that healing is possible. I can’t wait to read book 3 about Charlie and Charlotte!