Kyle grew up with a single mom and had a habit of stealing things he didn’t really need. When he hit age fourteen, Kyle became the target of a predator teacher. Skipping school and risking getting into trouble, Kyle went out of his way to avoid being alone with the man…except that Roman Nigel wasn’t going to take no for an answer. Immersing himself into music, Kyle fell hard for rock star Stoney Rockland and because he was in the right place at the right time, rumors of his affair with the closeted rock star gave Kyle a boost with his blog dedicated to the man. As things with Roman got to the point that there was going to be no escaping him, Kyle packed a bag and headed off to Las Vegas and a new life as a kid on the streets.
Kyle’s blog followers know nothing of his real life outside the blog. Living on the streets, he relies on his talent of picking pockets… until he meets Bryce. Bryce is a wildcatter who struck it rich in the oilfields of North Dakota. Well on his way to becoming a billionaire, his life is about to change as having a bodyguard is a necessity…but before he allows that to happen, he gives himself one last weekend in Las Vegas. When Bryce meets Kyle, he knows the kid is a hustler, but his sexy English accent and the promise of no-strings sex are too appealing. What Bryce didn’t expect was to find that one night would never be enough…if he could only convince Kyle to give them a chance.
The Runaway Model is the first book in a three book series. Though the author claims that this book is cliffhanger free, readers will quickly realize that the story is far from being told and will have to wait to read the second book in order to start getting some answers.
Before I continue this review, I will warn readers that the story contains a child predator, attempted kidnapping, and date rape drugs being given.
The first third of the book deals with Kyle from ages 14 – 16 and his problems with stealing, having a single mom, a predator for a teacher, and his obsession with the rock star Stoney Rockland. I really enjoyed reading about Kyle during these formative years because it gave some insight into why he was the way he was.
Bryce was a much harder character to like. Bryce is obsessed with becoming a billionaire and I was constantly reminded of how rich he was…so much that at times I was picturing him as Ebenezer Scrooge sitting there counting his money. Yet, he did begin to grow on me.
The prominent secondary characters included Stoney Rockland and Roman Nigel. Stoney is a character that I never quite figured out how he played into the story. The object of Kyle’s obsession, I kept wondering whether he was going to be part of a love triangle, but it never materialized. Roman Nigel, Kyle’s stalker/predator, was downright creepy…like I could feel the hair at the back of my neck raise up type of creepy. Despite not liking him as a character, his scenes were probably some of the better written parts of the story because I could actually imagine him doing the things he does.
My biggest complaint about this book is that it felt as if the author didn’t know where the story was going until after it was written. Maybe I am mistaken and it will all sort itself out after reading the entire series, but this book was nothing like what I was expecting after reading the blurb on the back cover. In the book’s blurb, we are led to believe that there is a romance that brews between Kyle and Bryce – except we don’t really get a whole lot of romance at all. Sure, there are some sex scenes, but sex does not equal romance. The potential for romance was there, it just seemed to be simmering on the back burner as the suspense/action seemed to overpower the storyline for the second half of the book. The blurb also suggests that Kyle is a model – well, eventually during the story he does become a model, except if you are expecting a whole lot of storyline to revolve around his modeling career, you will be sadly disappointed. The blurb also suggests that it is Kyle’s secret that threatens his relationship with Bryce – except Bryce figures out Kyle’s secret pretty early on in the story.
My second complaint is that there are several instances in this book where readers have to suspend their sense of reality, specifically the circumstances and way in which Kyle escapes England and finds himself in Las Vegas and then the whole action/suspense part of the story. To say these action scenes were over the top is putting it mildly.
Overall, I really wanted to like this book – and did like this book until about ½ way through when it seemed as if the author took the story in a totally different direction than the one I was expecting. If you want a book with heavy angst and lots of action, you may like this book. For me, I would have preferred a bit more romance and whole lot less action. For me, this was a miss.