Book Review – Running in Place by L.B. Simmons


Tatum O’Connell:
Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me – really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me…
And I’m never going to let that happen.
Noah Reese:
Perfect. That’s me. That’s the only acceptable way to be, according to my father. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school. My future has already been mapped out for me and there’s nothing that can change that. Not even Tatum O’Connell. That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can’t seem to keep my distance from her. I watch her closely, hoping that one day she’ll let me in, but watching her lead her life down the dangerous path she’s on right now isn’t easy…
I have a feeling I’m about to find myself swept away by the hurricane that is Tatum O’Connell.
“Two fleeting souls,
Unknowingly tethered.
Too slowly drawn,
Impatient fate calls.
The jolting collide intertwines their lives
And splinters their walls.”
“Catalyst” – Noah Reese

Ena’s 5 Star Review

So this is my very first L.B. Simmons read and where the heck have I been? I loved Running in Place that I will now go back and read all her previously published books.

Running in Place is a book about just that. Feeling like you are constantly running in place and never really going anywhere. Due to circumstances beyond her control when she was just a little girl she is now all grown up but lost and alone. Having nothing to show for her life she doesn’t know how to let the past go and grow and move forward. Aimlessly running in place Tatum has to hit rock bottom before deciding that it’s time to say good bye to her past and finally look forward to her future.

Noah has always tried to live up to the expectation of his father, even when those dreams aren’t his own. Growing up under a hard hand there isn’t room for mistakes and when those mistakes occur Noah’s father is the first one to discipline his son with those very hands that are supposed to protect him. Noah doesn’t live his life – he lives his father and he doesn’t dare go against that. Not being able to follow his dream and meeting Tatum who is a free bird Noah is torn between learning to stand up for himself and live his life or continue to follow in the footsteps that his father has laid out for him being alone and miserable.

Will Noah finally say enough is enough and take charge of his life and live or for him? Can Tatum finally learn to let go of her past and move forward toward a bright future or will the demons that still haunt her continue to drag her down and keep her Running in Place?

One glance in the mirror, I’m brought back to reality and reminded exactly why I can never allow myself the luxury of someone like Noah Reese. The way I felt, the way I feel, when he touches me…
He will absolutely shatter me.
And there will be no coming back from that….Running in Place

Noah melted my heart – the ultimate book boyfriend from his sexy head to toe self to his big sweet heart. He is such a wonderful character to fall in love with because he proves over and over again that he has so much to offer our leading lady – Tatum. He is everything that is swoon worthy and left me feeling….

Noah is so protective of Tatum and wants to take that sadness out of her eyes. He wants whatever is dragging her down to take that from her and watch her fly. He will do whatever he has to do to set her free from her past and have her see the bright future she could have if she learns to let go.

“I know a lot about you because I’ve been watching you for a very long time. At first I observed you, because you intrigued me. I didn’t understand you.” He takes another step and I counter backwards, only to hit the wall behind me. “Then I studied you, because you captivated me. I found everything you did absolutely fascinating. And now,” he takes one more step and then places his palms flat against the wall, one on each side of my head. Leaning in, his warm breath hits my ear as he speaks. “Well, now I live and breathe you, because you own me.”

(Holy book boyfriend of the year right there! Give me just a minute – I am having a personal issue and I am a puddle of mush….)

Tatum is a ticking time bomb and at any moment she is going to blow. The things she went through growing up broke my heart and left me…..

My heart broke for her and I found myself wanting to help her, fix her. The letters read in this story will rip your heart out. So much of Tatum’s life was put out there to be judged and you get to know her on a deep level. I saw a very sad and broken girl who isn’t quite strong enough to let go and move forward with her life. She needs something and that someone is Noah!

“I dealt with it the only way that I knew how, that’s how I fucking survived. I was alone,” I gasp for breath as the reality of this conversation sucks the air from my lungs, “He was the only person I had to talk to. He was there for me when no one else was.”

Noah did frustrate me a bit during Running In Place because I was hoping and praying that he would finally wake up and stand up to his father and finally after all the years of total control and abuse he would finally give his dad exactly what he needs. I really wanted to see Noah to finally face him with this….

Noah and Tatum have so much more in common and they need each other. The compassion and need that Noah has to help Tatum is powerful and he wants so badly to help her move forward if he isn’t willing to do that himself. He helps her, pushes her, and is basically just there for her whenever she needs him.

“Tate, open your eyes. Look at me, baby.” I keep them closed, not ready to face the wary expression in front of me. “Let me in, Tate. Open your eyes.”

I can’t even begin to describe the energy that runs between Noah and Tatum. It’s explosive and beautiful and you will find yourself wanting them to help mend each other. I want to see them come together and learn how to finally love themselves enough that they can love each other. Learn how to let go of their past and fly free into their future. This type of love will last a lifetime they just have to finally take a stand and jump into it together. They need to finally speak a loud everything they are feeling inside.

But the summer is winding down and with Harvard in Noah’s future their time together is coming to a close. Tatum is finally learning to let go of her past and look forward but what will happen with the one person she has completely 100% opened up to doesn’t follow his own advice and leaves?

With tears in my eyes, I finish my final letter to you, knowing that you will also find your peace. You will always be in my memories and in my heart – never forgotten. You’re just free now…..Running in Place

Can Tatum learn to fly free and finally love herself? Will Noah finally start living his own life the way he wants to live it or will he say good-bye to the only person he has ever truly love so she can finally fly free?

L.B. Simmons thank you so much for giving us such a beautiful story of learning to overcome your past and love yourself no matter what. Running in Place to me was a story and living your life and learning to grow your wings and fly. It is beautiful and now I need to go back and read every book you have out to date.