Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5
After a lengthy world tour, pop star Samuel Gibbs is looking forward to a nice, quiet break—sleep in, write a bit of music, do his own cooking for a change. He doesn’t want his time spoiled by the constant presence of bodyguards, and he is certainly not willing to have someone tail him each time he so much as goes to the shops. No way, no how. It’s a good thing, then, that his head of security relents on the matter—or so he leads Samuel to believe.
The break is starting to look even better when Samuel runs into his new neighbor. Ryan Halston is smart and hot and, quite possibly, everything Samuel wants. However, he doesn’t know that Ryan is part of the rejected security detail, tasked with protecting him from the dangerous attentions of an unknown stalker.
No Place Left To Run by Zarah Detand had a promising plot but I found the author’s characters and lack of continuity kept her story from coming close to achieving the potential it promised.
You can forgive a story many things if you believe in its characters and that’s a hard thing to do here, starting with Ryan. Ryan Halston, age 24, is supposed to be an accomplished bodyguard, nerves of steel, best in the business. etc. The author spends time framing out the man’s character and background and then uses the rest of the book to ignore everything they established. Ryan is acts one way on one page and then can appear to have an entire different persona on another. And Ryan’s lack of a solid characterization extends to others. From Gary to the bodyguard Mike, the author spends time and many descriptions “telling” the reader how responsible and remarkable they are at their jobs, then proceeds the demonstrate just the opposite in the events that occur. Mike seems to act more like a smitten kitten and Gary? His actions felt the very antithesis of someone trying to protect this client. One after the other, Detand’s characterizations were so flexible that they became unrecognizable as real or believable. And don’t get me started on their timelines. If ever there was an author in need of a storyboard, it is this one. Ryan is 24, Sam is 20, Ryan said he lost his parents when he was 13 in the early 90’s, but the time frame of this story is now. See the problem? You can delve further into the dates but it just gets worse.
Samuel Gibbs is a rocker but that aspect of the story is missing. We get little of the reason Sam is a rock star, his love of music, what drives him. We do get his exhaustion, his age (20), his friends like Sumi. But again, it all feels as though we are left needing more of his character.
The resolution and the reveal is possibly the worst thing about the story. Not just the person, but the way it happens and the aftermath. It finishes off what little is left of several characterizations here, and continues on with an Epilogue which is really just another chapter. Does the author not understand what an epilogue is?
This is the first story that I’ve read by this author, so I will see what else they have on their shelf. I try not to judge on one book alone. I only wish I had liked the story as much as I had liked the synopsis and the cover.
Cover artist Paul Richmond. I like the cover. It contains an element of the story.