Title: Running from the Past
Author: Lisa Worrall
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Buy Link: n/a
Genre: contemporary m/m
Length: Short Story (36 pdf pages)
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A Guest Review by Feliz
Summary Review: After a slow beginning, this story picks up decent speed during the last part – the ending is a blast!
The Blurb: Deputy Sheriff Ford Mitchell has made what might be the biggest arrest in the history of Eagle River, Alaska. Noah Beckett is wanted on four outstanding warrants for drug charges and one for questioning in the murder of a prostitute. All Ford has to do is deliver his prisoner to the DEA in Miami and he can wash his hands of him – a task that would be a whole lot easier if Noah wasn’t also the man Ford loves.
The Review: Ford Mitchell’s world has been upside down for the last few days. Noah, the man who shared his bed and his life for the last six months isn’t who Ford thought he was. Notified by a neighbor that Noah’s face appeared on TV in America’s Most Wanted, Ford had no other choice than to arrest his lover. And now that everything Noah told him about his past turned out to be fake, Ford is afraid that everything else was also a lie – the love Noah pledged, the emotions they shared, their time together. Ford is so upset and disappointed that he won’t even let Noah explain his side of things.
Since it is the DEA in Miami Noah ran from, Ford needs to transport him to Florida, a two-days journey from Eagle River, Alaska. During their layover in Seattle Noah finally finds a way to make Ford listen. Noah’s revelations cast a new light on the lay of things, but now Ford finds himself suddenly caught in the crossfire of Noah’s past. Only if both men find enough trust between them might there be a possibility for them to escape with their lifes.
This story started out in a small town in Alaska, where Ford Mitchell has been working as a Deputy Sheriff for eight years. His life is uneventful, with catching escaped sheep as a part of his duty, but he wouldn’t want it any other way. He loves his home town and his work, fully expecting to follow in his father’s footsteps as elected sheriff one day. The fact that Ford is gay doesn’t seem to bother anyone, which is nicely depicted in little details like Ford’s mother giving him and Noah a quilt for christmas or his father conveying comfort after they find out about Noah. I found this refreshing, considering how gay and law enforcement are mostly depicted as “contradictory” in m/m romance.
Contrary to Ford, handsome bartender Noah is a newcomer in Eagle River. He’s been there for all of seven months, six of which he spent at Ford’s side. Easygoing and good natured, Noah was generally well-liked. For him and Ford, it had been lust at first sight, an attraction that turned into love not much later. They moved in together two months ago, living a happy domestic life until Ford’s father showed up on their doorstep with the devastating news that changed Ford’s view of Noah immediately and, or so it seems, fatally.
It took me a while to really get into the story. I found the beginning somewhat incredulous – Noah sat in an open cell right across from Ford’s desk for four days, after all. But did they talk? No – all Noah did was complaining about little inconveniences and pledge his love for Ford, while Ford seemed to take Noah’s guilt for granted and cut him short every time Noah said something. I’m aware this was meant to convey the depth of Ford’s feeling of betrayal, but still – from the way their previous relationship was pictured, I couldn’t quite buy Ford’s untested dismissal of his lover.
Anyhow – necessity begetting ingenuity, Ford’s getting into a huff motivated Noah to become enterprising with a pair of handcuffs so Ford finally had no other choice than to listen to him. And with Noah’s backstory revealed, the story picked up speed. Unfortunately, this included another one-eighty on Ford’s part, this time in Noah’s favor. The spins made his character appear inconsistent to me.
Probably due to the short format, the actual ending then came so fast it appeared rushed. I honestly didn’t see this one coming, even though in hindsight, the solution was obvious. It was a nice build – up, though. Noah’s past made him much more likeably for me, and the way Ford reacted won him sympathy points, too.
The actual ending of the story was the part I liked best – it was high drama, two lovers taking incredible risks and trusting each other with their lives in the face of mortal danger. Truely gripping!
If you’re looking for a nicely done, entertaining read and an enjoyable pastime, I can recommend this story.