Author: Colette Ballard
Source: Thank you to Netgalley and Tulip Romance for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What does it feel like when you die—in those final moments? Do you feel the physical pain, or just the pain of your regrets? What does it feel like when you realize you can’t answer these questions because you’re not the victim?
You’re the killer.
River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape. The girls manage to elude police for months, but with every near-miss, River’s life spirals further out of control, until she finally hits rock bottom. Realizing she must stop endangering her friends and find evidence proving she acted in self-defence
, the girls decide to make a risky move. River must face her ugly past and the one person she was protecting the night her world caved in, the guy she has loved for as long as she can remember.
My Rating: 4.25/5
One word….. Amazing! Colette Ballard has an exceptional gift, she had the reader hooked right from the start. There was a few things which lowered this books rating such as many things seemed to fall into place a bit to easily at times but the raw emotions throughout the book make it all worth it. The author instantly grabbed readers attention with her opening lines.
“I always assumed my final moments on this planet would be more dramatic- that I would at least go out fighting. I thought I would be filled with panic, desperately clawing for that last breath like they do in the movies. But all I really felt was an eerie calmness, a peacefulness that wrapped around my whole body like a warm blanket.”
She then keeps the reader interested by going back and describing the events which lead up to River’s life changing forever. By doing this Colette Ballard allows her readers to connect with and understand her fantastic characters. One of my favourite things about this novel for me as the reader was the overall plot and the many emotions that the characters experience throughout the course of the book.
River can’t understand why all of her friends hate her boyfriend. She is blind to his controlling and possessive nature. When her mum dies prior to the tragic events of this book River is left to care for her younger sister. Having faced rejection many times all River wants is to feel wanted which is exactly what she gets when she is with Logan. After on fatal night when Logan’s true colours are shown River is left on the run with her two best friends. Being chased by the police for suspected murder and missing the only man she has ever truly loved River must come to terms with her new life on the run. Throughout this novel the author created a dark underlying tension which keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. One of the many things which was particularly good about this book was the final few chapters as they show the aftermath of the trial and the changes it made to the characters lives. This cleverly allows an insight into the characters futures but also the trouble River’s friends and family faced during the time River was on the run.
Colette Ballard has created brilliant characters who throughout portrayed believable emotions which let the reader connect with them very quickly. River is a fantastic characters she has to adapt quickly when her life is turned upside down and she stayed strong with the help of her friends. It was incredibly easy for the reader to like River as she was always putting those she loved before her. Although I really liked her as a character I did think once or twice River came across as acting slightly naïve. For example whilst she was in hiding she answered Justice’s home phone which could have been the police phoning to question Justice again. Justice was another great character all he was focused on was keeping River safe. It was very clear how much he loved her he was willing to do anything for her. On top of this he was an incredibly sweet, caring and don’t forget sexy man. Each of the authors fantastic characters had a coping mechanism whether it was alcohol or drugs and in a strange way this made them seem more real and helped the reader connect with them easily.
Overall this was a brilliant book full of twist and turns. Colette Ballard keeps the reader on their toes when many unexpected events take place and new shocking characters are introduced. I would definitely recommend people give this book a try as despite a couple tiny things which lowered my rating I really enjoyed reading Running On Empty.
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Find the author on her website http://coletteballard.blogspot.co.uk/