Title: Red Dust Runaway
Author: Eva Scott
Series: – –
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: 25th June
One jaded rock star. One sheltered classical musician. One hell of a red dust road trip…
Sheltered, coddled, gifted, Iris longs for something more than practice and performing. She wants to rebel, break the rules, have a hot affair, fall in love — to really live before happily committing to her classical music bubble. But her strict parents and her stricter schedule keep her confined to her gilded cage, even as she yearns desperately to be free.
Super star, successful, and sick of all of it, Kit just wants to stop. Stop the touring and the recording and the media and the bickering with his band mates. After two years on the road, he’s coming apart at the seams. He has to slow down, calm down, clear his head — to really think before recommitting to his rock star lifestyle. But his manager and the tour schedule keep him locked to his super star lifestyle, even as he rages against the confinement.
A chance encounter in a car park leads to a snap decision and an enormous risk: suddenly Kit and Iris are on an extraordinary road trip together across Australia, making their own choices, breaking all the rules. But reality is chasing them more quickly than they can know, and soon Kit and Iris will have to decide whether they are just running away — or running away together.
Source: ARC from Escape Publishing via NetGalley
This is a cute read about running away and growing up, with both characters taking control of their lives along the way. I enjoyed it, but at the same time, I expected something a little different from what I got. I was hoping for a sort of musical odyssey, with the two of them finding common ground and freedom in that way. Instead Kit is hiding his identity, while Iris is breaking away from her musical background. It’s not a bad story, but it’s been done before – maybe not with a violinist and a rock star, but to be honest either could have been substituted for something else since music plays such a small role in their relationship.
Which is a shame, because that’s what drew me to the book in the first place. Not that there’s not anything to enjoy here, because Kit’s reasons for escaping are firmly believable and Iris’s sheltered upbringing explains her naivety in a similarly believable way, so it was good to see both of them take control.
However, Kit annoyed me. Partly because he’s a Brit who is completely fluent in Aussie slang. It’s a small thing, but to be honest he might as well have been Australian since it wouldn’t have made any difference. Bigger than that, though, was the way he kept his identity from Iris. I know why he does it, but it still irritated me, as did his response when she grew justifiably angry about everything.
Not that Iris is perfect, because she isn’t. Some of her anger is over the top, her own lack of curiosity at times was less naivety than willful delusion and her behaviour towards the end implied she hadn’t grown up as well as she might have done. And again, the big ending wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for, though it and the epilogue were still pretty cute.
Still, away from deceptions and self-delusion, these two are sweet. Once you get over the slow start, which made me wonder if they were ever actually going to meet. Their relationship is enjoyable, even if their fall into love seemed really quick. Kit makes a few emotional leaps a bit too fast, but it works well enough.
So overall this was okay. It wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for, but if you like runaways and stars-in-hiding, then you may well enjoy this.
Red Dust Runaway is out June 25th.
Visit Eva Scott for more details.