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Reluctant Runaway
by Jill Elizabeth Nelson

Reviewed by Vickie McDonough

"...an exciting book that should keep readers quickly turning the pages."

After nearly becoming the victim of a terrorist, Desiree Jacobs isn’t sure what her boyfriend, FBI Agent Tony Lucano, will say when she tells him she’s going to Albuquerque to help find her best friend’s niece. Karen Webb left behind a loving husband and infant son, which makes Desi suspicious that the young woman didn’t just run away. Could her disappearance be related to the theft of rare Anasazi Indian artifacts from a local museum where Karen worked?

Tony cautions Desi about interfering in an official investigation, but Desi cares too much for her friend to not help. Desi discovers Karen was involved in a strange religious group called The Inner Witness. The more Desi finds out about the group, the more she’s convinced it’s a cult. When evidence surfaces that Karen’s disappearance may have a link to the case Tony has been working on, he also comes to Albuquerque.

As Tony and Desi work together to solve Karen’s disappearance and his case, their relationship takes a hit. Tony knows he can’t live without Desi, but can his heart stand her constantly putting her life in jeopardy? Desi loves Tony, but he’s keeping secrets from her. If he won’t fully trust her, is there any hope for a future for them?

Reluctant Runaway is Book Two in Jill Elizabeth Nelson’s exciting To Catch A Thief series. It is a stand alone book, but readers will understand the characters and their relationships to one another better if they read Reluctant Burglar first.

Reluctant Runaway has a fast-paced beginning and ending, with kidnappings, heinous bad guys, mysteries, and romance in between. Tony always seems to be a step behind Desi as he tries to keep her from getting into mess after mess and risking her life. Desi is a go-getter, who sometimes isn’t as cautious as she should be. She goes the extra mile to help a friend and to solve a mystery.

I enjoyed Reluctant Runaway, but there were a few places I was confused because of the large cast of characters and the complicated plot. Some sensitive readers may be put off by some one of the topics touched on in the story, but the story moves at a quick clip, and characters are put in positions where their faith is sorely tested. The romance is hinted at in the first part of the book, but really takes off in the second half when Tony and Desi are together more. Overall, Reluctant Runaway is an exciting book that should keep readers quickly turning the pages.

Vickie McDonough is an award-winning inspirational romance author. She has written four Heartsong novels and five novellas. Her stories have placed first in several prestigious contests, such as the ACFW Noble Theme, the Inspirational Readers Choice Contest, and the Texas Gold contest. She has also written books reviews for nearly five years and enjoys mentoring new writers. Vickie is a wife of thirty-one years, mother to four sons, and a new grandma. When she’s not writing, Vickie enjoys reading, gardening, watching movies, and traveling. Vickie loves hearing from her readers via e-mail.