Running Hot by J. L. Sheppard
Release Date: June 23, 2017
Series: Hell Ryders MC #2
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Thomas “Cuss” Layne has never wanted for anything, except the beautiful girl he saved so long ago. But she’s a rich girl, and he’s a biker. For years, he hasn’t had a glimpse of her. Still, he’s never been able to get her out of his mind. When her life’s in danger, he rides to her rescue once again. This time, he’s determined to do what he should’ve done long ago—make her his, in every possible way.
Tiffany Hamilton has never gotten over the bad boy with the sapphire eyes and midnight hair, the boy who once saved her. She wants him–a touch, a taste–but he’s never wanted anything to do with her. It’s past time to move on. When the sexy biker barges back into her life, saving her yet again and making demands, he makes it impossible to say no to his raw magnetism. She’ll finally have everything she’s dreamed of…but will it be enough?
Running Hot is the second book in the Hell Ryders MC series, not exactly a second chance romance (Cuss and Tiff weren’t romantically involved in the past) and not exactly a friends to lovers story too, J. L. Sheppard managed to create a beautiful mix between this two tropes and it worked for me.
Cuss has been in love with Tiffany since high school, one look was all it took but she was a rich classy girl and Cuss knew they were worlds apart. He never acted on his feelings because he thought his heart wasn’t enough for her, although he always protected her from harm when she found herself in the middle of messy situations. So, when her dad who definitely thought Cuss was beneath his daughter, contacts him, Cuss knows she has to be in deep trouble. Will he be able to save her? And will he be able to walk away again?
Tiffany just got out of a serious relationship that ended because no one can ever live up to her biggest crush: Thomas “Cuss” Layne. Even though the last time Thomas saved her, he wasn’t very nice to her at all, she just can’t seem to get him out of her head and heart. Now, she’s scared and she did promise Thomas, years ago, she would always call him if she needed but she just can’t bring herself to ask him for help again. After all, they weren’t even friends… right? But suddenly Thomas is on her door step prepared to rescue her again while demanding to know why she didn’t keep her promise.
Tiffany and Cuss are mostly walking on eggshells around each other, trying not to say too much, both terrified of getting hurt or rejected. Sometimes, I wanted to shake both of them: Tiffany for not seeing what was right in front of her and Cuss for his stupid belief he didn’t have to say the words because anyone could see how much he cared! Their miscommunication was a little too much sometimes, I wish Tiff would speak up instead of second guessing everything. I did love how Cuss tried to win Tiffany’s trust, how he struggled to keep things platonic because he thought she needed to get used to having him in her life again. That was so sweet and the movie nights… absolutely perfect!
Running Hot is a slow burn romance with suspense, drama and lots of sparks flying. Cuss and Tiff’s story is captivating and kept surprising me, I’m curious about Running Wild, the first book in this series, and I’ll probably go back to read Jace and Allie’s story.
**I voluntarily received an Advance Reader Copy of this book**