New York Leopards
Publication date: 21st October 2013
Although I am very fond of a good book boyfriend now and again I'm often really disappointed in the heroines, not so in Running Back the second book in Allison Parr's New York Leopards series. Here the heroine Natalie really took centre stage, she smart and dedicated and I ended up loving her to bits.
Grad student archaeologist Natalie has been working with her mentor trying to find the lost city Ivernis in Southern Ireland and finally prove the link between Ireland and the Romans. She's very focused and determined, this is as much her dream as her professor Jeremy's so when the owner of the land Natalie wants to excavate in Ireland suddenly dies Natalie is forced to go to the new owner to get his permission to dig on his land. The problem being that the new owner is none other than Mike O'Connor the rather famous American footballer from the New York Leopards and he's super cute. When Mike says no to the dig for "personal reasons" of which he refuses to disclose to Natalie, she's crushed but refuses to be down forever and is determined to head to Ireland to do some further research at the same time Mike, his mother and sisters also visit Ireland to pay their respects to the long lost uncle who left the land to Mike and to finally discover their roots.
At first I found it hard to believe that Natalie could still even speak to Mike after he refused her permission to dig on his land, especially since she has invested so much of her life in trying to find the lost city, she's clearly a bigger person than I would be! But they soon become friends and this friendship leads nicely into a romance whilst Mike and his family uncover their own pretty interesting O'Connor family history. With the local community desperate for the dig to go ahead and bring some much needed money into the area Mike is under increasing pressure to reveal to Natalie the real reason he can't agree to the dig.
I liked the romance between Natalie and Mike. Mike isn't your usual big headed alpha male sportsman and Natalie doesn't believe in happily ever after so seeing them come together was really pretty sweet. I liked Mike's close family and newly found Irish family, they welcomed Natalie with open arms even though she seemed to struggle with the relationship with her own parents. I have to say I absolutely loved all the archaeology references and the historical side of the story both in the search for Ivernis and the O'Connor family history it added a whole different dimension to the book that I really wasn't expecting.
Overall, what I thought was going to be another cutesy romance book was so much more than that and guarantees that I'm definitely going to be looking out for more from Allison Parr in the future. 4 out of 5.