Caught Running by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux

Caught Running by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux

Blurb:


Ten years after graduation, Jake "the jock" Campbell and Brandon "the nerd" Bartlett are teaching at their old high school and still living in separate worlds. When Brandon is thrown into a coaching job on Jake’s baseball team, they find themselves learning more about each other than they’d ever expected. High school is all about image – even for the teachers. Brandon and Jake have to get past their preconceived notions to find the friendship needed to work together. And somewhere along the way, they discover that perceptions can always change for the better. 

 

 

Review:

I found this on the backlist of author Urban and I’ve heard mentions here and there of the title within favorite book lists so I finally bought it. I didn’t however know anything about it or I might have read it earlier as this is a rather cute and enjoyable romance with some pretty hot guys. The story factors heavily on the does he or doesn’t he angst with some feminine undertones to the writing and the now typical head hoping, but it’s very worth reading and has some scorching sex scenes. I realize why this is on so many favorites lists as the romance may not be complicated or intricate or especially moving, but it is incredibly satisfying and the kind of romance story you read over and over again because it remains that good as a comfort read.

Jake and Brandon are back teaching and coaching at their high school due to circumstances beyond their control. Both men had dreams for a very different life, Jake hoping for professional sports before injuries ruined his body and Brandon wanting to go to medical school or finish his PhD. However they are both content with the path their lives have taken even if it wasn’t exactly what they envisioned and have found passion in their chosen careers. Interestingly, the division of jocks versus nerds from high school is repeated in more subtle ways amongst the faculty and Jake and Brandon slowly overcome their preconceived notions of each other.

This process is lovely and wonderful to read as Brandon slowly realizes the physical toll that being an athlete takes upon not only Jake but also student athletes. His new observations of the attendance and intelligence of athletes is one of many great details added just as Jake’s admiration for Brandon’s physical ability as well as mental add layers to their relationship. The playful and sometimes abrupt mannerisms Jake has off the field are a perfect foil for Brandon’s more somber tones and the back and forth power dynamics kept their chemistry interesting and fresh each time. I liked that there was no definite "top" or "bottom" but that each took control when they wanted to and the welcome response was just as fun and delicious to read.

A few qualms I had while reading were that there was very little external drama and most was focused within the relationship in a form of does he or doesn’t he love me that mostly Brandon but sometimes Jake indulged in as well. Brandon was clearly the more insecure and I felt at times he pushed too fast, too soon in a classic mistake of wanting definition and reassurance in a brand new relationship. An example of this is Brandon seeking verbal confirmation they are in a relationship mere hours after having sex for the first time. This kind of quick to need dynamic wore a bit but thankfully was not the main aspect to the relationship. It created a nervous, angst filled atmosphere when there should be a glow of great sex, but no doubt female readers everywhere will understand the tendency to immediately want reassurance.

Another issue was the condom debacle. Not to give too much away but there is a scene where the issue of condoms comes up and is handled very well and interestingly. Unfortunately the issue from there is dropped without further explanation and left dangling (in more ways than one). This was frustrating as was the head hopping. The constant point of view changes which showed Jake’s POV one paragraph and Brandon’s POV the next allowed to immediately understand what both men were thinking and feeling in almost every scene and was never confusing, but did get dizzy over the full course of the book with the never ending shifting. It was a nice change to see both points of view simultaneously but for those that find head hopping to be a pet peeve, your brain might explode on this story. For those that don’t mind, it’s noticeable but unlikely to bother you if you’re the type of reader to ignore such.

The book wasn’t the most evenly paced as half the story is setup for the men and the other half is incredibly hot sex and need for reassurance but really for any of the issues I’ve mentioned, the story is a real joy to read. The men are delightful and fully developed, easily relatable and the theme of sports and school folded neatly together. There is enough material left hanging for a sequel if the authors so choose, but even as it stands, the story is solid enough to read repeatedly when you want a good, satisfying romance without a lot of external and artificially created drama. You’ll want to get this book. It may not be perfect but you won’t care.

Get it HERE!

 


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