Desert Run is the first book I’ve read by Marshall Thornton and it won’t be my last! I’m always on the hunt for books written by authors that are new to me, so I was pretty excited to be able to read and review this book. I’m pleased to say that I was quickly enthralled by the fast-paced storyline and the different and intriguing twists and turns the plot takes throughout the storyline. But, the main reason I loved this book is because I adored both heroes, Don and Harlan, and how their relationship developed as the book progressed.
Ever since Don Harris accidentally killed a mobster’s son, he’s lived his life on the lam. Now, he’s a piano player at a dive ironically called The Hideout, where he drinks too much, plays requests and often has female companionship for the night. One night, he takes a young woman home and soon discovers she is the younger sister of his best friend. As they talk about old times, she assures Don that she will keep his secret and not tell anyone where he is.
Unfortunately for Don, this doesn’t happen and he soon finds himself running for his life again. When he accidentally finds himself in a gay bar, he meets the sweet and sexy, Harlan, and allows the young man to pick him up. Initially, their relationship starts off as a safety of convenience for Don, but as he gets to know Harlan, the more he becomes fascinated by the younger man and the interestingly problematic life that he leads. As the men start falling for one another, both of their lives soon become in danger. Will they be able to find a way to escape and live their lives happily together, or will the next move they make be their last?
I loved this book! I admit it took me several chapters to warm up to Don. He’s pretty slick in the beginning of the book, but as the story progresses, the many intricate layers of his personality is revealed and I couldn’t help but find myself rallying for his safety. On the other hand, I adored Harlan’s character! Like, Don, there is so much more to him that meets the eye, and with Don’s love and friendship, it was amazing to watch Harlan bloom into his own man. I loved how both of the characters’ development grew throughout the book. It didn’t take me long to totally fall in love with these characters and their relationship and I admit I was captivated with their story until the very last word.
Desert Run is written in first person under Don’s point of view. Normally, I’m not a fan of this viewpoint at all; especially in romance because I like knowing what’s going on in other characters’ heads, but Mr. Thornton’s talented storytelling abilities a non-issue with me. I loved the emotional rollercoaster ride and the danger that Don and Harlan find themselves in as their story progressed. Like any great novel, I felt an array of different emotions as I read this book. My husband thought I was crazy because I kept making comments to the characters all through the book. I admit I fussed, laughed, cheered and even teared up during the course of this book. I truly loved it, and I hated to see it come to an end.
I’m looking forward to reading more by Marshall Thornton and have added Desert Run to my ‘keeper’ shelf. He’s definitely an author I’m totally excited about reading more of in the years to come. Mr. Thornton also has a very informative and interesting website. Here is the link to check it out: http://marshallthornton.wordpress.com/
Palm Springs, 1973. Don Harris is a piano player on the run after killing a Chicago mobster's son in a bar fight. On the lam, he meets a pretty blonde girl in town for a convention. He lets down his guard and spends the night with her only to discover she’s the younger sister of his best friend all grown-up. Foolishly, she tips her brother off to Don’s location, and he’s on the run again, hoping to find a safe place to land.
Out of money and desperate, Don accidentally walks into a gay bar where he allows a kid named Harlan to pick him up so he'll have a place to stay. As the mob chases them, Don begins to fall for the kid, putting them both in harm's way. Harlan has problems of his own, and Don knows he shouldn't get involved but he can't help but step in when Harlan gets in trouble. To save himself, Don's got to save Harlan.