by Rachel Sawden
Publication Date: November 9, 2018
Genres: Adult, Women’s Fiction, Travel, Romance
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Harper Rodrigues’ five-year plan was on track. She’d worked hard to secure her graduate marketing job, her boyfriend Adam was set to propose any day, and she was learning to process the death of her sister. She’d been through some dark times, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.
At least, that’s how it had seemed until the day she was fired in the morning and dumped by nightfall.
Now, with her life plans in ruins, Harper turns to her best friends who are going on the trip of a lifetime – five months traveling across Asia and Oceania. Determined to see the silver lining in her unraveled plans, she decides to book a plane ticket to join them and resurrect her dreams of becoming a travel photographer.
But Harper’s travels aren’t all sunshine and cocktails. With Adam begging for her forgiveness and proposing on the eve of her departure, Harper knows she must be on her best behavior. But when she meets Xavier, an enigmatic poet on the beaches of Goa, that may just be easier said than done.
Runaways is the empowering and racy tale of one woman’s voyage of self-discovery. A must-read for fans of travelogues and romance alike.
The sun beat down on me as I plodded through the sand. Two more days, I reminded myself. Only two more days. It was those words that kept me awake last night. Along with thoughts of him in that towel. And the poetry he had written. When I read Tahitian Heat to distract myself that morning, my image of the perpetually naked love interest was replaced by him.
I couldn’t understand why I stop thinking about a guy I had just met when I loved someone else. I know it was just thoughts, and perhaps a touch of cold feet as I wasn’t exactly experienced with men. Or a little harmless curiosity because I had never met anyone like him before. But it still felt as if I were cheating on Adam. I wouldn’t stand for Adam thinking about another girl in the way I thought about Xavier. Especially on our anniversary. What was worse, my body responded to those thoughts in a way I never thought it could respond. This was one of those times that called for a talk with your big sis, someone who knew me, someone I knew wouldn’t judge me, someone whose advice I trusted. I could speak to the girls, but I know Lana would tell me to go after him and compartmentalize my feelings and Jade would get upset because she’s not quite past the pain from being cheated on.
Perhaps I should have stayed in Toronto and eaten the cost of the ticket. But I couldn’t go back in time. I had to live with my decision and get my career going. Abandoning my hopes of a monkey shot I stuck to my new plan for the day: to shoot the market, and avoid the coconut grove. I knew I’d have to see him at the silent disco, but I hoped to avoid him until then.
Passing a group of children, I took a better look at the cherubic clan huddling around a boy about seven years old who was holding a guitar in his tiny hands. I had changed the settings back to automatic and raised my camera. Focusing them in the viewfinder, a little girl in a pink sari moved. And engulfed in a deluge of giggles, clapping hands and innocent smiles, I saw him.
Damn, he gave good nod.
I had to get far, far away from that nod. Breaking eye contact, I turned and made good my escape, tripping over a sleeping dog with my first step.
“Harper?” he called out.
I sped up, hoping to outrun his voice.
“Hey, stop!” I felt his hand on my arm and electricity surged through it. “Are you running from me?”
BlueSeal’s Review of Runaways
Runaways is Rachel Sawden’s debut book. Join this talented newbie as she describes the adventures of three friends and their trip of a lifetime. By the time I was Harper’s age, I was married and working a 40+ hour per week job (dang that makes me sounds old). The travel bug didn’t bite me until much later in life mainly because I couldn’t even afford to dream about traveling like these women, nor was I brave enough. Now, the thought of traveling through eight countries with my two best friends excites me! But my two BFFs, well they would not travel with me like Harper and her friends do (Five Star Hotel – check; Youth Hostel – no way in hell). Grab your coffee and your smartphone (so that you can find the follow their trip on your map) and let me tell you about the adventures of the three Canadian women.
While the book definitely includes summer flings with a young, hot guys, the focus of the book is not the steamy romances. It is about a journey of self-discovery for three women. While the main character is Harper, Rachel has developed equally strong characters in Jade and Lana, Harper’s two best friends. I love that they can argue and fight then forgive and make up. It shows the strength and maturity of their relationship.
Runaways reads like a vacation travel guide, with some hot, steamy romance on the side, which had me adding several places and adventures to my bucket list. Rachel Sawden’s debut book…Runaways is a must read for women of all ages! I give it 4 out of 5 propellers!
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ABOUT RACHEL SAWDEN
Writer, traveler, content creator, master of random jobs, avoider of the 9-5. In 2010, Rachel Sawden set off on a trip around the world hoping to be given a sign of what to do with her life. That sign never appeared. It turned out the entire trip was the sign. When she returned to her home in Bermuda, she began to write about the countries she traveled to because she was still obsessed with them and had run out of people to listen to her drone on about her trip. She turned a life-long personal challenge of ‘write a book’ into Runaways, her debut novel. She has continued to travel, take photos, and write ever since.