Book Reviews

Run for the Roses (Circles 1) by Elizabeth Noble

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 01-November-2019

Book Blurb

Relationships aren’t in the cards for everyone and Vladimir ‘Val’ Mihalic figures maybe, in his case it’s for the best. After ending the last in a string of abusive relationships, Val has spent the past year living alone, single and fear free. He’s got a good job at Churchill Downs, a place for him, his three dogs and his horse to live the quiet life. When his best friend, Janelle, is seriously injured in a carjacking, putting her career as a jockey on hold, Val steps up to help her through the crisis. When Janelle’s estranged father shows up at Val’s front door, Val’s life, and his resolve to stay relationship free takes a hard sideways turn.  

Wyatt Harig always wanted to be a part of his daughter’s life, their estrangement was forced on them both. When she’s seriously injured, he knows things have to change and he’s the only one who can make that change. He gets to Kentucky to find his daughter unwillingly neck deep in an elaborate gambling scheme that’s led to murder. What he also finds is Janelle’s best friend and roommate, Val, a kindhearted, alluring man twenty years his junior.

Val is a little happier than he’d thought he’d be when Wyatt stays and starts digging deeper for the truth about Janelle’s ‘accident’. As they uncover layer after layer of the events leading up to that fateful day, they build a solid friendship. That friendship combined with a mutual physical attraction have the potential to turn to love. Uncovering the truth and exposing conmen and murderers puts what’s just begun between Val and Wyatt as well as their lives, in jeopardy.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, May 2014.

Book Review

I have read another series by this author which I loved, so it was with great excitement that I heard about her new series, 'Circles'. 'Run for the Roses' is book one in the series and, after reading the description, I was very eager to get started on it. Just like most other girls, I always wanted a horse. Unfortunately, we moved too often, so it wasn't feasible. Doesn't mean I didn't do what I could to be near them. This book combines all the things I love about horses with phenomenal writing, and an excellent cast of characters.

I can't imagine the fear that ran through Val's mind as he watched his best friend, Janelle, and her abusive ex-boyfriend go end over end in a bad car accident. Janelle is a jockey, but with a broken leg, dislocated shoulder, a concussion, and possible internal injuries, I can understand why her boss, Rod, wants to locate her father and notify him. Val offers to have Janelle stay with him as he has two bedrooms he doesn't use, he works five days a week, he has three dogs who can use the company, and he rents a home on Rod's horse farm. It's a win-win since Janelle won't be earning any money for a while. Val is shocked when Janelle's dad, Wyatt, shows up. Janelle has had no contact with her dad for years, and her information about him came from her mom, who was a little bitter. You can imagine the misinformation there.

As the weeks go by with Wyatt staying in the area and driving Janelle to her rehab every day, Val and Wyatt find time to become friends with a healthy spark of attraction. Val has always had the bad luck to be involved with men who were abusive, usually physically, so he's sworn off relationships. But he's never been involved with a kind, caring man like Wyatt, and it doesn't take too long before they both admit what they want. The police become involved when Janelle's ex-boyfriend is found murdered with some suspicions regarding his activities of late. Next thing they know, the news is reporting the theft and killing of Thoroughbred racehorses, Charlie's murder, and, inadvertently, tying Janelle's name to his. This could kill her career unless Wyatt and Val do some investigating and find the ones responsible. Good thing Wyatt is an investigator who works for a branch of Homeland Security.

This was an exciting story with a great plot. The intrigue and mystery was fun, and, even though I guessed the outcome, I still enjoyed it very much. A good beginning for a new series.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 121 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 31-October-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link