My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Running Scared is Book 2 of Elizabeth Lowell’s Rarities Unlimited series, but I was a bit disappointed to see that it didn’t quite live up to the enjoyment I got out of Book 1, Moving Target. This is not to say that Running Scared was bad, mind you–it’s just that this one didn’t tickle my fancy nearly as much as the first one did.
This time around we’ve got a heroine named Risa Sheridan, a gold appraiser in the employ of wealthy Vegas casino owner Shane Tanahill, who has a strict hands-off policy when it comes to his female employees. But a shiny new Celtic artifact has come to Shane’s attention, and so Risa’s been called upon to appraise it. But this being a suspense novel, the artifact is of course a Problem, with a nasty backstory of recent bloodshed and theft. Naturally, this leads to current bloodshed and theft, which drives much of the plot.
And because Risa is a suspense novel heroine, she too has some angsty backstory in the person of her old friend Cherelle Faulkner. The two of them grew up in poverty together, and while Risa worked her way out of it, Cherelle has not been so lucky. Cherelle becomes involved in the fate of other artifacts from the same collection that Shane’s artifact originated from, and thus, she comes back across Risa’s radar after years of separation. How the two women deal with the way their lives have gone since their childhoods is actually some of the best stuff in the book, as it’s halfway decent character fodder even if you often want to smack Cherelle for her whining, and Risa for putting up with her. Their interactions stand out more clearly in my memory than the standard chemistry between the two leads.
So all in all an acceptable Lowell read. Not as awesome as its predecessor, but decent for a quick breeze-through. Three stars.