Runner (Steph’s Review)

Title: Runner
Authors: Parker Williams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 28, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 200
Reviewed by: Steph
Heat Level: 1.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.13 stars out of 5

Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

Warning: Possible triggers include a brief, but graphic sexual assault scene involving a minor.

Okay, so there’s this guy named Matt and at the age of sixteen something horrible happened to him. From that day forward darkness slowly started to descend upon his life. When he turned 18, he moved away to his own private ‘castle’ in the woods. He thought by doing this that he would not only spare himself, but his loved ones as well. Time passed and the darkness stayed; never letting up. That is until he spots a man running down his road. Little does he know that this man, Charlie, will change his life forever. In fact, he is his knight in shining armor; destined to save him from the darkness.

So, I am going to break it down to what did and didn’t work for me in this story. And here we go!


  • I liked how the author kept the story a real as possible. The fact that Charlie isn’t a magical cure-all to Matt’s problems is nice.
  • The fact that Matt and Charlie took the physical side of things slowly was wonderful.
  • The little twist that the author had in the story was nice and unexpected.


  • Charlie seemed too perfect most of the time.
  • The relationship between Matt and Charlie, once they physically met, seemed kind of quick. IMO a lot of insta-love/feelings going on.
  • The timeline seemed a bit rushed at times, and it was hard to tell how much time had passed.

All in all, I did like the story but IMO it could have been greater than what it was. Given the subject area I did expect the story to be a bit more of an angsty/emotional read. Unfortunately, the only time I felt any bit of sadness was in Chapters Six and Seven, and I will leave it at that because I try to leave out spoilers.

However, I will say that in the end both Charlie and Matt get their HEA.

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Galley copy of Runner provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


I love reading books about boys who love other boys <3. Sometimes there is a HEA or HFN, but sometimes it just is. Yes, I love all outcomes even it is not what I hoped for. We all need a good cry from time to time. As you can probably can tell, I love cliffhangers as well. Yeah, I am one of those people :) I read a variety of genres, whether it is dark/taboo, historical, shifters, GFY, SciFi, mysteries/thrillers; I love it all.