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Reluctant Runaway: To Catch a Thief    by Jill Elizabeth Nelson order for
Reluctant Runaway
by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
Order:  USA  Can
Multnomah, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

From a dinner at the White House to a home in Boston to the reservations of Albuquerque, Reluctant Runaway takes readers on a wild ride alongside Desiree Jacobs, head of an art security company. This second installment in Jill Elizabeth Nelson's To Catch a Thief series assumes you have read the first novel, Reluctant Burglar. Although I think this sequel would be enjoyable by itself, having read Reluctant Burglar made it easier for me to understand some of the relationships going on throughout the novel (and details such as why Desiree is wary of her best friend's husband and her boyfriend's retired partner).

Desiree and boyfriend Tony Lucano, an FBI agent, are at a formal dinner at the White House when Desi's best friend Max comes in and collapses on the floor. Max's niece has disappeared in New Mexico; Max and Desi make immediate plans to go there and be with Max's sister Jo. As the novel progresses, Desi finds herself deep in all kinds of mysteries ... Who took the art that Max's niece Karen is accused of stealing, and why? Where is Karen? And what is going on with the cult group Inner Witness, which has entangled both Jo and Karen? Meanwhile, Tony is in Boston dealing with the loss of a fellow agent and trying to determine what part Gordon Trucking is playing in a drug and illegal media trade. These complicated questions swirl around until the final pages of the mystery, when all comes together.

Well, sort of. These situations were all so complex I am not sure all the loose ends were tied up. I was a little confused as to how everything came together. I think it did, but there were just so many problems circumventing the novel that I'm not sure I followed Nelson's conclusion as well as I might have with a simpler plot.

If you enjoy a good romantic suspense, this is a great one! The action is fast-paced, Nelson keeps you guessing, and Desi and Tony are very likeable characters. They are dedicated Christians, which adds another element to their whirlwind romance and relationship. I would definitely recommend this novel to a friend, and can't wait to get my hands on the next in the series, Reluctant Smuggler!

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