4.6 12
by Heather Graham

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His smoldering gaze claimed her long before a poker hand made her his. Tara Brent knew she could never escape this dark and brooding stranger who promised her safety, with a price: marriage - and life together in the lush, lethal wilderness of Florida. She didn't even know his name, only the promise of passion, and refuge in his arms...

Jarret McKenzie swept his

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His smoldering gaze claimed her long before a poker hand made her his. Tara Brent knew she could never escape this dark and brooding stranger who promised her safety, with a price: marriage - and life together in the lush, lethal wilderness of Florida. She didn't even know his name, only the promise of passion, and refuge in his arms...

Jarret McKenzie swept his ravishing bride away from New Orleans to his remote Florida plantation, determined to uncover the desperate secret from which she ran. He couldn't tell her of his own Seminole roots - or open her guarded heart - until his former commander, President Andrew Jackson, declared war on the Indians, and a powerful enemy from Tara's past found his way to their door...

In Runaway, the first of a magnificent five-book historical family saga, New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham recreates the tumultuous history of America's leas known frontier, Florida, and brings it vividly to life with a love story that burns with passion and truth.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This entertaining kickoff volume to a five-part series by bestselling author Graham (And One Rode West) is a swift historical drama set in the untamed, exotic Florida of the 1830s. In a New Orleans poker match, ``Black Irish'' plantation owner Jarrett McKenzie wins the services of gorgeous, fiery Tara Brent for a night (against her wishes) and winds up marrying her and taking her deep into the Florida jungles. Naturally, Tara and Jarrett fall in love and learn each other's secret: that she is fleeing a murder charge, and that he has strong ties to the Seminole Indians, through the tribe's leader, Osceola, who is about to make war with President Jackson's American forces. Crisis follows crisis, often separating Jarrett and Tara, but he proves his courage time and again while she grows to care for his Seminole relatives, even risking her life for them. Meanwhile, tension rises as Tara is pursued by evil Clive Carter, the son of the man she is accused of killing, and as the conflict between the U.S. Army and the Indians builds to a crisis. Graham is an indifferent stylist, but she knows what her readers want-tempestuous protagonists, titillation and just enough history to ground the plot. She delivers these elements with panache, and closes the book with an enticing prologue to volume two, The Undefeated. Author tour. (Sept.)#
Library Journal
A prolific author of historical and contemporary romances (e.g., Spirit of the Season, Delacorte, 1993), Graham here begins a new multivolume family saga. Set in Florida during the 1830s, the story follows Tara Brent, who is running from a murder charge. She meets Jarrett McKenzie, who rescues her from her pursuers by marrying her and taking her to his plantation on the Florida frontier. At first frightened by the wilderness and the natives she sees as "savages," Tara learns to love Jarrett, his home, and the people he loves. The story is predictable, and the narrative flow is often interrupted by brief vignettes of Florida history. In addition, Graham's superficially drawn characters are stereotypes of the stubborn lovers unwilling to communicate. Although this novel is not one of the author's best, expect demand based on her popularity and reputation.-Barbara E. Kemp, SUNY at Albany
School Library Journal
YA-The turbulent life in the unsettled Florida of 1835 unfolds as Tara, running from a false accusation of murder, hastily marries Jarrett, an acquaintance who wins her in a poker game. He turns out to be wealthy plantation owner who befriends the Indians. She has trouble coping: war breaks out with the Indians, frightening her terribly. Her busy husband doesn't believe in explanations, and the newlyweds fight frequently, enjoying making up and falling helplessly in love. Their relationship is complex but characterization is realistic. Tension is relieved through subtle touches of humor especially with the pranks they play on one another. Her background remains a mystery, even to her husband, until almost the last chapter, an exciting climax that is nicely resolved. The attractive cover, the light plot, large amount of dialogue, and abundance of action make this piece of historical fiction an entertaining read.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Denise Perry Donavin
A trumped-up murder charge sends Tara Brent running from Boston to New Orleans and into the arms of a gambler in a waterfront saloon. Little does Tara know--as she escapes into the night, pursued once again by the henchmen of the real murderer--that her rescuer will take her as his wife to his plantation deep in the wilds of Florida. Graham manipulates this exciting scenario to introduce Tara and Graham's readers to the Florida of the 1830s, where a battle rages between Seminoles and white settlers. Tara's gradual acceptance of her savage surroundings and her aggravating spouse occurs only after she accepts the Indians as individuals and friends. Graham promises that this story is the first in a series that will introduce the history of a state currently known more for Mickey Mouse than for its multicultural past.

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Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
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4.25(w) x 6.88(h) x 1.00(d)

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Runaway 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
pasosrule More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this very much, started off a little slow, the main characters hard to like at first, but all came together very nicely. I am disappointed that the other books in the series are not available as nook books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started this series with the REBEL which is third in this phenomenal series. Immediately i seeked to know what the others were. I couldnt put Runaway down. Its wonderful knowing how the McKenzies started. This book is full of detail and will have you laughing, crying, and even wishing you were there to see it all. I hope and pray that the McKenzie family will become a mini-series. Heather Graham has won my heart. I have been re-reading all her books just so i dont miss a detail. Captive, Rebel, Surrender, Glory, Triumph are the other books in the Florida series and take place in the same order.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the book runaway a long time ago, but I recently moved and found it in an old box and read it again. I must say it was even better the second time I read it. I was drawn to the characters and their story set in the lush Florida background. I was thrilled when I found out there was a sequel and immediately rushed out to buy it. I really enjoyed the story of Tara and Jarret they are two characters that will be on my mind for a long time to come.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Enjoyable, although somewhat frustrating that neither hero or heroine was able to articulate their feelings. Good series. The stories get better with James and Jarrett's childrens' stories. I believe you'll want to hang onto the complete set to re-read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so truly enjoyed this book. So much to learn about that time in our history. Heather did a wonderful job incorporating it into the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Words cannot express how good this book is. Woman on the run... man in search of something new... a new friendship and love.... terrible accidents.... indians and troops... a right and a wrong... piece together as you go and see if you can see what happens next. Fun fun fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have tead this series quite a while back and accidently sold them at a yard sale. Had to buy the set for my nook so I could read them again. Since I am from Florida and have a history degree, I was very pleased how Ms. Graham incorporporated Seminole culture, Florida history with an exciting and tumultuous storyline. The rest of the books in the series are equally as good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book we r staying n St Augistine this week so real i want 2 go out there & find the places big let down that this is the only one available 4 nook:(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just happened upon this one, and it happened to be the first in the series! I was so glad I found it. It is a historical romance not to be outdone. I am currently reading Captive, which is Jarret's brother James's (aka Running Bear) story. So far I can't put it down any more than I put Runaway done. Heather Graham is an accomplished writer and I will definitely pursue reading more of her titles.